Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Humanity & Harvest

I got up this morning to find my mom in the garage surrounded by bags of corn she picked up at Shepherd Farms.  She & Doris had gotten up early to meet the trucks as they came out of the fields.  At $2 a dozen, it was worth it.  They got fresh peaches, tomatoes, pecans... and they were not alone.  Mom reported long lines of cars and mobbed trailers of produce.  So, the two of us sat outside in the cool morning breeze and shucked 122 ears of corn; my feet resting on the galvanized tub. 

It's amazing how human it is to MAKE food.  From the earliest days of humanity, we've been hunters & gatherers.  (Of course, today that translates into list makers & list getters.)  But there is something so absolutely primal about digging into a pile of leaves and coming out with sustenance... and it's catching on.  Over the past few weeks, I've read articles in Oprah's little journal & Newsweek about the influx of small farms.  Stories abound of new farmer meet & greets that doubled or tripled organizers' attendance expectations.  It seems that average farms run 400-500 acres.  These new little farms are 4-5 acres, are trending to younger owners and are going organic.

While in Colorado, Suzi & I used a solar panel for the first time to power the lights in our trailer.  We hauled water from a hand-pumped well.  And you know what?  We managed 2-3 gallon showers & didn't leave the lights on.  While we were traveling across Colorado and Kansas on Hwy 70, I was amazed at the huge wind farms... dozens of turbines in that "flyover" territory harnessing free electricity.  Don't get me wrong, I know they make a lot of noise and disturb bird migratory patterns and make the cattle skittish, but at least someone's trying.

Now, I've not gone moldy green, but I turn off the water when I brush my teeth and I always look for ways to keep paper & plastic out of the landfill.  If we'd all be a bit more conscious of what we're leaving or using, this little bubble we call a planet may keep us afloat just a little longer.

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