Friday, November 27, 2009
And all the fixings
Here's the result of all our Thanksgiving cookery. Minus the pumpkin pie, which I forgot to put on the table for the photo.
Sprouts, carrots, potatoes, pumpkin, lamb sausage and sage for stuffing: ours.
Turkey: Raised by an young Amishman called James, who at the age of 15 or 16 essentially runs his own farm and can drive a three horse plow with ease. Three Belgiums too, mind, huge 18-hand mega-horses.
Cranberries, stuffing bread, onions: Commercial.
And here's a slide show by provocative NYT artist/commentator Maira Kalman, whose work I like.
I found it hard to read some of her comments. Apparently there are people who think that growing your own food is elitist.
Here's an example, the most egregious since it seeks to inject reverse racism:
"I’d rather the kids learned how to read, write and add rather than dig, clean up, and recite the elitist food cant of white people with too much money and time on their hands."
I may grow my own food on my own land that I struggled for years to be able to buy, and that may make me elitist, but I plan to do so until the day I die.
I tend to feel more like I'm reclaiming my birthright as a working class Englishman and a Yorkshireman from a rural area now swamped by suburbs, reclaiming in fact what my grandfather and grandmother tried to teach me, but were not able to succeed at, thanks to the distractions that engaged me as a teenager. I also tend to think that what we do here on this small farm is a natural consequence of the many years of thought my wife and I have put into our criticism of society, and represents our own effort to change that for the better.
We raise affordable, high quality meat, eggs, firewood, fleece (for yarn), and vegetables that we sell for a reasonable price, or often just give away.
How is that elitist? Somebody needs to get out of the city once in a while.
Never one to dodge an argument, I posted the above response on the NYT site.
I should have added that since of course we both also teach math, science, reading and writing to under-served American kids of all colors and races, we both also believe in education. But if that education is only fitting to secure the recipients a better-paid place in the machine, and not the fierce independence of thought Aimee and I value so highly, then it will be at least partially a wasted effort.
And who then will renew society and make it better each generation? A society too, that will always need to eat.