Friday, April 29

Ideas vs Reality

Michael and I decided two years ago...we were going to make realistic food changes.
I had this LONG, rambling post about our food goals.  In the end, we're trying to grow what we eat/eat clean foods/eat humanely raised & slaughtered animal products.. as much as possible.  It needs to make up 90% of our diet.

There.  I saved you 15 minutes of blather.

Food things that did NOT work out as easily as I thought:
Eggs.  Someone had a sign for fresh eggs stuck at the end of their driveway.  JOY! 5 minute drive from my house!  Joy turned to horror when I saw the hens milling around junked cars and garbage.  I'll pass on the motor oil and God-Only-Knows in my eggs.  Finding someone in WV who did NOT include junked cars and old couches in their chicken pen plans? Nearly impossible.  Way to carry the WV stereotype, folks!

Beef.  Finding minimal confinement/humanely slaughtered beef within a 3 hrs drive.  I shudder to think of our carbon footprint from driving all over the eastern seaboard finding this magical beef.
 We just found a source for exactly what we want, and I'm having a hard time not weeping in gratitude. The farm is 20 minutes away.  If I get any more grateful, the farmer is going to get a restraining order.

I had dreams of wandering through my garden bounty...dinner from God's hand to our plates.  I spent hours drawing up garden plans, deciding on crops and dreaming of our productive backyard garden.   For some reason, I was always barefoot and wearing flowing skirts during these dreams and there was gentle sunshine and soft breezes.
Reality:
Hours of backbreaking labor and enormous insects and 100 degree temps with 90% humidity.
3 inches of rain just after I planted carrot seeds.
  Cargo pants that smelled like manure tea and were stained with bean beetle guts.
Barefoot?  HA.  Accidentally squash one tomato horn worm between your toes and you'll never go barefoot again.  Ever.  Even in the house.
Chasing a raccoon through the yard with a rake...at 2 am..wearing a Tshirt, underwear and the above mentioned muck boots..because that bastard just mangled the only watermelon you managed to grow out of 20 seedlings.
(Explaining to husband why he was woken by you screaming across the yard in your underwear..with a rake..is a whole 'nother post.)

This is our third year with a garden large enough to sustain 2 people for most of the year.  I'm starting to enjoy it more...I've lowered my expectations and developed a sense of humor.
The Zen state some people experience while gardening?  We call it exhaustion and resignation. ;)