Saturday, October 25, 2014

5.25 Courage - The American Farmer

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-fifth day of each month is "Courage."
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Today was a celebration of the American farmer. We started the day at the Farmers’ Market where I lusted after honey and eggs from organically fed, free range chickens.
Then we were off to more agricultural tourism with a trip to a working farm where I dreamed about owning a pet goat and pet pig and finished off with hours wandering about a corn maze. It’s sort of a traditional October weekend day for us.

Along the way , I learned some things. 97% of farms in the United States are family farms – not the factory farms I always think of when I think about the meat, poultry, and produce in our grocery stores.  But farm and ranch families make up less than 2% of the total population of the country.   Since the early 1980s, most farmers and ranchers have taken a “pay cut” of about 50%.  They feed this country, but because of production and labor costs, their take home pay shrinks every year.

I don’t want to get all preachy here. I know that there are bad farm out there where horrific abuse is done to animals in the name of meeting quotas and keeping food costs low. But most of the farmers I know are hardworking men and women who keep busy hard every second of every day while they deal with constant worries about droughts, floods, and blights. They take on crappy second jobs in the “off season” working in restaurant kitchens, doing the books for co-ops and other small businesses, and pushing mops.  They take out loans to buy a few acres of land here and there and hope that at the end of the growing season they have enough left over to feed and shelter themselves over the winter and have enough to replant in the spring. 

And they feed us.  If you get a chance to thank a farmer sometimes, you really should. They work hard for all of us.
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 To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Friday, October 24, 2014

5.24 Pain - Technology Woes

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-fourth day of each month is "Pain."
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Do you know how many times I saw THIS today?
More times than can be counted on both of my hands.  And that was all before 11:30 this morning.

Technology failures (neither my email nor the course management system were working this morning and my desktop was freaking out about something) were a standard for me this morning and even right now, as I type this, I can't get my email account to let me send attachments and it's possible that I'm gritting my teeth and just barely preventing myself from screaming. Eventually I just manually shut down my desktop at school and came home. Fuck it all.

What a pain in the ass.

It's a strange problem to have. I'm lucky to have access to this technology at all, but my job requires me to use technology and when it's not my fault I can't do my work, it just pisses me off.  I have a headache now and I'm going to take some Advil and down a gallon of water and when I come back to my computer, everything better be working appropriately or I'm going to do some physical damage.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

5.23 Writing - End of Season

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-third day of each month is "Writing."
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Today will be the last frantic dash to pick up the CSA basket in between my jobs. Today was the twentieth week of the season and it was a bittersweet moment. I will miss the vegetables, but I will not miss the not knowing what we’re going to get or how much we’re going to get that makes grocery shopping arduous. I will miss the moment of excitement when I unpack everything on the counter and dream about all the delicious things we will make, but I will not miss kale. 
We missed a basket this year (someone forgot to pick it up when someone else was out of town, despite a reminder note, a text message reminder, and a phone call the night before, but the person who forgot was very, very, very sorry, so the person who was out of town must learn to be forgiving) and we didn’t always do super well at using everything in the basket (kale, ginger, and beets are a problem for us), but it certainly did force me to integrate vegetables into my diet in ways I never have before. I know pack the largest size Ziplock container we have fully of cut up vegetables for lunch every day – cucumbers, radishes, sweet peppers, tomatoes, beans, and carrots are most common – and eat everything as if it is dipped in honey.

Here is the haul for the very last week: two honey nut squash, two butternut squash, two peppers, some kale (argh!  no more kale until next June, thank heavens), a bulb of garlic, two red onions, carrots, and some sunchoke potatoes.  We’ll bake the squash as sides with dinners, I’ll saute the kale with some of the onion and garlic and balsamic vinegar for lunch one day this weekend and make the kale go away, I’ll cut up the peppers and carrots for lunch, and I’m going to make some hummus with the sunchokes.

And this little girl helped me put it all away.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.
 
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