Thursday, July 1, 2010

Livin' La Vida Locavore

Often, when I tell people in my hometown that my husband and I have this dream to buy a farm, start growing our own food, hand making most of our household products, and to can and preserve all summer so that we can eat in the winter, I get these blank and questioning stares like they have just run into a certifiable masochist. The look is always followed with the inevitable question, "but, WHY would you want to work that hard, when you can just go to the store?!" It makes me giggle:)

To put it lightly, the DFW metroplex is not necessarily a haven for agrarian minded people. I get it...I really do. I'm a city girl. I'm one of those that actually finds it relaxing and wonderful to be in the middle of New York City. I've grown up and lived in one of the largest metropolis areas in the country for the last 20+ years. So, it's a little counter-intuitive that I would actually choose a life of weed pullin' and feather pluckin'. But, there is a reason...LOTS of reasons...and I'm about to give you my Top 5. *Notice I said top five...there are MANY more. {these are not necessarily in order of importance}

5. Quietness
Everywhere, all the time, there is noise. It's funny to me, how everyone always yearns for a better time. They yearn for the time when everything wasn't so scary, and everything wasn't so tense, and everything wasn't so hurried. I have a thought about that. When I sit and listen to all the opinions about every single thing that's going on in the world, it dawns on me that the information age may have a hoodwink buried in it somewhere. Who said it was a good idea for everyone to know every moment? I get tired of all the noise, all the political BS that comes from everyone knowing how the president reacted when he spilled guacamole on his shirt in the middle of a security briefing, or what happened when Brad Pitt was shaving this morning. Just a bunch of sheep, being told what to think, what to care about, what to buy. Nothing good comes of it...ever. I'm ready to learn the opinions of the ground, as it gives up the fruits of my labor, communing with the bees as we work together to make the garden grow, to feel the sun warm on my back, or the few whispers of rain, letting me know it's time to go in. Job 12:8 says, "speak to the earth, and it shall teach you"...yeah, I intend to hear it.

4. It's Biblical
I have been in church my entire life, and I never knew this part. We are called to a sustainable, manual life in the Bible. I Thessalonians 4:11-12 "11Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we have told you, 12so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody." Now...I don't think that God expects everyone to be a farmer. However, I do believe that it's important for people to at least know HOW. I believe we need to live in community with one another, and to be able to contribute our skills into the lives of those around us. However, at this point, the closest thing we know to having a relationship with those who produce our food, is saying hi to the checkout person at the grocery, or thanking a waiter for their service. We need to go deeper.

3. It's the Opposite of Consuming
Our daily lives consist of a long series of acts of consuming, interspersed with moments of expending. Here's what I mean...(and this is a general look at the American lifestyle...not every person)...we eat, we buy, we type, we gas up, we burn that gas, we listen to radio, we watch TV, we read, we watch the news, we read emails, we read tickers, we workout, we bathe, we eat some more, we work at a job where we push buttons a bunch, we turn on lights, we dry our hair, we sit, we grocery shop, we stop in for a just goes on and on. There is so much that we do to consume all kinds of energy. Producing your own food is a practice in creating fuel, expending physical energy, putting life into the earth, putting nutrients into the soil, creating health benefits, creating environmental benefits, and living with purpose...for a noble cause. It's a life that is spent giving forth, with highly valued times of reaping harvest, consuming truth, and sharing with those you love. See the difference? It's intended life...not life happening to us.

2. Real Health
Man, this one's loaded. order for me to fit this paragraph into this post, I'm going to have to completely leave out the issue of our fake food debaucle. Chances are, if you're reading this, you are looking for answers to the "how the heck do I get off this crazy thing" question regarding what has been allowed to pass as food, in our country. So, I think I'll just address the integrity of our supply of "normal" food, and leave the Frankenfood discussion for a time when I'm blogging with a glass of red wine in hand. order for food, namely produce, to be transported 1500 miles, and still look nice when it gets to the grocery, things have to go a certain way. First of all, if it were to be harvested when ripe, it would be a soupy mush by the time it traveled in the back of a semi all the way across the country or up from Chile. So, they pick it green (unready), load into the truck, and throw an ethylene cartridge in, shut the door, and LOOKS ripe when they get it at the store. What's the problem? Well, the ripening process as God designed it, is the part where are the good stuff know, like flavor, nutrients, color, phyto-chemicals, disease healing properties, disease preventing properties, and the like. When that thing is picked "green" all that stuff that we think is in there....well, it ain't. It's just made to LOOK good, so that when we go to the grocery store, and "stick to the outer perimeter" in order to ensure that we're making the best health choices, well, it's really just a smoke and mirrors game where they all laugh while we buy a very colorful array of, let's be honest...sour water. Then we wonder WTF is going on, when we go to the doctor, and despite our best efforts, have some horrendous disease, for which we will take a little pill for the rest of our lives, and actually die of the affects of THAT, quicker than we ever would have died of the disease, itself. Cue weepy loved ones at the edge of the grave....Aaaaand, SCENE! Man, they're clever.

1. Sustainability.
I'm becoming less and less inhibited about telling people that I am somewhat of a conspiracy theorist. Now...I'm not carrying around copies of The Catcher in the Rye, and I don't think there are government agents following me (yet;). The kind of thing I'm talking about is the kind of thing that we are dealing with right now. I believe that greed and convenience addiction are literally killing us; that how we have come to depend solely on those philosophies to run every facet of our lives is dangerous...and a ticking time bomb. And friends...that timer is winding down...AND HOW! The BP oil spill is really just like seeing the flashlight in the Watergate. It's just the warning shot. There's always going to be that guy...the one who's phone rings in church, that reminds everyone else that they need to turn theirs off...BP is that guy. We have a problem, here, folks...and, it's not going to get any better as long as our very livelihoods are completely dependent on a giant, oil-guzzling infrastructure to bring our food to us from an average of 1500 miles away. That is INSANITY! All it's going to take is for some sleeper cell somewhere to fully understand the fact that if they screw up our ability to get oil...the whole country folds. Seriously...the grocery stores are empty, the stores go bare...and then what's a consumption-addicted, push-button country to do for food? At this point it would be laughable to think we'd just pick up a hoe, and get to work. Kids don't even know that their food came out of the dirt, much less how to get it there and get it out! That is a problem...a serious one. The system that we all adhere to, every single day, is really just a giant sinkhole under the day soon, the whole thing is going to open up, and take us all down with it. So...yeah, not sustainable. I don't want to be a part of it, anymore...This sheep's jumping the fence.

* I realize that there is a very irreverent tone to this post, and I apologize. But, that's where I am...I'm sick of it. It's like life is a joke, and it's not getting any better until we start taking a hard look at taking back the reigns. There shouldn't be a single person left in this country that believes that "they" have our best interest at heart. They don't.

Check out this post in Fight Back Fridays at


  1. Sign me up I'm jumping the fence too. Living a country life on a farm has been one of my desires for a long time. Granted I don't exactly have the same reasons you do, but I do agree with them wholeheartedly. The life here in the city can become a little suffocating, and let's face it I've always been a country girl. I was sitting here reading this and I realized that everything you are saying is what I feel. I'm tired of being a body in a crowd that just gets pushed through a never ending, never satisfying, constant flow of society. I want to do something that matters. I want to help animals grow, I want to watch seeds I planted grow and feed me, I want to do something more than just survive and do what society says is expected. The problem is, how do you break out of the pack?

  2. We jumped the fence 6 years ago, just before my son was born and I never once have regretted it. We don't have a big house, or a fancy one, it's simple and sturdy and it's ours. It's quiet here, with very little traffic. Most of our neighbors are very distant cousins but they treat us like close family.

    While we don't live on a 'farm', we've turned our 1.1 acres into a microfarm, with berry patches, herb gardens, and a grape arbor that is so dense with vines you can hide in it. We have a large garden with perennial vegetables. And we can/dry the food we grow and eat it on it all winter long.

    There's a peace/contentment that comes with this lifestyle that people either 'get' or they don't...and if they don't 'get' it, you'll never be able to make them understand.

    Very nice blog, BTW. My best wishes to you in your attempts to jump the fence.

  3. Thanks guys! Andrea, I read your blog for the first time the other day, so it's thrilling that you commented! I am very inspired by what you're doing. We are still in the process of trying to figure out where we are going to find land, but we are very excited for the possibilities. I am actually hoping that we start out with something like yours, so that our learning process takes place on a smaller scale. Thanks for reading...I love meeting fellow bloggers!



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