Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Fresh Perspective

Going from corporate to country wasn't easy.  

I didn't see a bright shining light nor did I see any shiny things.  It was a slow process that gently accelerated when I met a farmer.  Fortunate for me, he liked this city girl and we tied the knot last August.  Getting married is a life changing experience for anyone.

In my life, however, EVERYTHING has changed.  I didn't just have to adjust to married life.  I had to transition from corporate to country.  Life in the fast lane ran right up on a tractor proudly touting its slow moving vehicle sign.  In many ways, it rocked my world.  Confusion led to aggravation before education brought on enlightenment.

There is more to farming than I ever dreamed possible.  The girl with a degree had to ask questions, dig deeper than the soil, and return for more question and answer.  I still don't know half what I should but that doesn't intimidate me.  It challenges me.  This blog is a journal between me and anyone who wishes to know more about agricultural life from the city girl's perspective.

Some things are downright funny while some entries will be rather serious.  For starters, the redneck meets the redcoat in this household.  Second, no subject is off limits because I'm a naturally curious sort who believes the day we stop learning is the day that we all die.  I will not become roadkill on the information highway.  I prefer the fast lane...even in a country setting.

The city girl is going to talk about how far folks are from their food.  No, I don't mean how many miles that you are from the supermarket.  I am talking about how far removed the family has gotten from the farm:  the source.  How has that distance impacted our society?  We know, in part, how these things occurred.  The part most do not know is what happened later, is still happening today, and what is intrinsically wrong with being that far removed from your food.

When my seven year old niece came home from school last month, she told me about her day.  Earlier that week, the class had taken a field trip to a nearby farm.  My niece milked a cow for the first time.  And I am proud to say she was the only child who volunteered!  (Yay, for my little girlfriend!)  The teacher quizzed the children about that trip to gauge what each learned.

She asked one girl, "Where do eggs come from?"

My niece said, "Aunt, do you know what she said?"

"No, what dear?"

"She said 'from the grocery store'!  So, I turned around and said, they do not; they come from chickens!"

The little girl grimaced and said, "Ewww!  I'll never eat an egg again!"

Country folks, I hope you read along but this blog is really for the city folks who, like me, are many generations removed from their food.  Some terminology is old hat to a farming family.  The old hat is new gig for city folks so I will bring it down to laymen's terms the way my husband explains things to me.

Until I met a farmer, I had no idea just how removed that I was from my food.  Food was my life and livelihood.  I managed a bakery when I met my husband.  Then, I went on to managing a grocery store.  In the mid-90s I worked for a grocery procurement cooperative of supermarket retailers.  I was well versed in marketing strategies, private label management, creative services related to brand design, logos, etc.  I worked for a company whose quality department was a test kitchen.  I was trained in food safety; I taught food safety.  I also had five years in produce and floral while serving as the comptroller for the 1800flowers.com out of Chicago  I thought that I knew everything there was to know about food and related perishables.

I was never so wrong.

Hope you stick around until we talk turkey (and chicken).   With a few companion blogs from my brilliant better half, we are going to discuss cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, turkeys, and even rabbits if there is an interest.  What happens in nature and how the farm should mimic that same process.  How far should we be from our food?  Not very...if you want to know what you're eating.

Be blessed!

6 comments:

  1. It's like Green Acres, but the MySpace/Facebook version! I'm so happy for you guys.

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    1. Hey, finally got my threaded comments working. You should put a DVD tutorial together for "Blogging for Dummmies". I should have kept up with the new stuff but getting married has a way of erasing a whole year of your life. LOL Now, I am in the position to learn some new things again. Love your blog, Eric!

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  2. rose jamison-klousJanuary 12, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    I lived in rural Missouri and know the country life well. Have gardened and canned. Out there a lot of people buy from the Mennonites because they farm the old fashioned way. Can't wait to get back to that life. My own well!

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    1. The memories that I have are mostly of my Grandma Mitchell because she canned over a bonfire in the back yard until she was too old to do it herself. She never lost the ways even after she left the farm but they still lived far enough out that her old fashioned practices and chicken keeping was accepted. I don't miss leaving the concrete jungle.

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