When we decided to make the move to the boonies from suburban sprawl-land, we weren't all that granola. Or crunchy. Or whatever adjective means "likes natural stuff". We wanted to give our kids a new perspective on how life could be lived, but I wasn't ready to spend extra money on organic apples. Chickens? You bet. Actually trying to grow enough food to stock a root cellar? Sistah, please.
But living in a place like this does something to you. It makes you want to know more. It makes you want to preserve and nurture what's here. It makes you want to celebrate the incredible abundance that exists in nature and not do crazy things like feed animals things they weren't meant to eat so that the dollar menu at McDs can still be the dollar menu. It makes you start watching....sustainable living documentaries.
I know, I know. It's all crazy like.
The first one we watched was Broken Limbs: Apples, Agriculture, and the New American Farmer.
Then Netflix got smart and started suggesting others for us, and we said "Yes please!".
So it was on to Ingredients: The Local Food Movement Takes Root.
This is when I really started getting enthusiastic- not only about supporting local farms and sustainable practices, but perhaps someday being a local farm with sustainable practices.
Okay, film #4: To Market, to Market to Buy a Fat Pig.
And then. Oh friends....then we watched the grandfather of all food industry films: Food Inc.
Yes, some of them got themselves into that mess (don't sign a deal with the Devil, folks. Just don't.), but it doesn't mean my heart doesn't break for them as they well up in front of the camera. And others who refuse to deal with Monsanto are hunted down and sued for things like patent infringement (they hold the patent on gmo soybean seeds, ya know!) and defamation. They're forced to spend all their savings in court fighting this company only to come out losing their farms in the end. The only way they can get out of this mess, now, is if there is enough demand for non-genetically modified foods that they can go back to growing things the "old fashioned way" and not have to use Monsanto's magical seeds anymore. We, the consumers, need to vote with our dollars. We are the most powerful people in America and don't let those BIG guys scare you into thinking otherwise. Even Wal-Mart stopped carrying milk from Rbst treated cows because their customers demanded it. Let's keep making our demands heard!
Or maybe we can grow our own food. Maybe we can can raise our own livestock. Maybe we can say "Hey, time and talent are my two biggest blessings. How best can I put those to use in a way that makes other people's lives better?"
And we have been saying that. Over the last few days, it's almost all we can talk about. One of the many blessings of a real winter is that it forces you to think. You can't just run out and start planting things willy nilly and carting in goats and doubling your flock of chickens. No. Just...think. Research. Make lists and charts. Make phone calls. Do math. Oh yes, do math. Visit local farms who successfully sell to the public.
I don't know exactly what's going to come of all this, but I know it's no accident that my husband and I both feel very strongly about pursuing things further. Because whenever people say "Someone should do something about this" I always think "Maybe that someone is me.....".