Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Yarn Along

Joining in again with Ginny...

Still so much left to do on the blanket for Sarah's birthday.

But, what I really want to share today is this fantastic book - The Dirty Life, On Farming, Food and Love by Kristin Kimball. The author was a thirty something, single woman, and writer living in New York City who goes to a farm to write a story, she meets her future husband and most of the book is about their adventures of buying a run down farm in upstate New York. What I appreciate most is that they do it without lots of cash, and without the mind set of bigger is better. Their goal is to provide a CSA that provides many of their members' food needs - meat, syrup, vegetables, eggs, etc.

I want to copy a long quote from near the beginning of the book where the author is describing her future husband.

"He didn't like the word work.  That's a pejorative.  He preferred to call it farming, as in I farmed for fourteen hours today.  He did not own a television or a radio nad figured he was probably one of the last people in the country to know about September 11.   Still doesn't listen to the news.  It's depressing, and there's nothing you can do about most of it anyway.  You have to think locally, act locally, and his definition of local didn't extend much beyond the fifteen acres of land he was farming.  The right thing was to try to understand how you were affecting the world around you.  At first he'd been against plastic, but he was becoming suspicious of any metal that he coudn't mine and smelt himself.  In fact, when it was time to build himself a house, he'd like to build it with no nails, no metal at all, so that it could compost itself down to nothing after he was dead.  He had never owned a car.  He biked or hitchhiked where he needed to go.  He had recently turned against the word should, and doing so had made him a happier person.  He found the market economy and its anonymous exchange boring.  He'd like to imagine a farm where no money traded hands, only goodwill and favors.  He had a theory that you had to start by giving stuff away - preferably big stuff, worth, he figured, about a thousand dollars.  At first, he said, people are discomfited by such a big gift.  They try to make it up to you, by giving you something big in return.  And then you give them something else, and pretty soon nobody is keeping score.  There is simply a flow of things from the place of excess to the place of need.  It's personal, and it's satisfying, and everything feels good about it.  This guy is completely nuts, I thought.  But what if he's right?"

Even though our family's goal isn't to make our living from farming alone, I found the information and experiences could be applied to many of our goals of  working towards a more self sustaining food system on our small homestead.  It is also filled with humor and is fun to read.

I look forward to seeing your projects and learning of what good  books you are reading.

Warm wishes, Tonya

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