The desire to grow my own food, to get my hands dirty, to have ownership in what I eat has been foremost in my mind as of late – the desire to get primal, back to the land, away from the structured chaos that is modern day society. I’m sick of the concrete, the walls, the stale air and not seeing the sun.
There are beautiful foothills on either side of the freeway here. This time of year they’re lush and green. I have this overwhelming desire to just get out of my car and walk in whatever direction calls to me. To walk and walk for days, gathering from the land what I need to survive, baking in the sunshine, stalking my prey, cooking over an open fire. Nothing would make me happier than to strap the kids on my back and never look back. Sometimes my husband is featured in this daydream, other times (like when he doesn’t take out the trash before going away on business) I’m on my own, Xena-style. No matter what, the sun is always shining and I’ve got my Vibrams on.
In the back of my mind I know that I’ll come upon another vestige of civilization over the next hill but it’s nice to have a dream.
Do I want to give up my iPod, my laptop, running water, modern medicine and sofas? No, not really. Primal man had it effing tough. But I do think it’s time that I at least start taking responsibility for what I eat. I can no longer in good conscience eat everything that is put in front of me without first learning where it came from, how it was raised and what impact that will have on my body.
And that is why I will be raising some turkeys this spring with a friend. The ultimate in organic, free-range meat. They’ll be ready for Thanksgiving and I plan to slaughter them myself. I’ve ordered a ¼ cow from a local grass-fed beef company (and a new chest freezer from Sears) and am planning to order wild boar from a local farm when it’s all grown up. Isn’t that a novel idea? Waiting for our food to be ready before we can eat it?
‘Is it more expensive than the shit at FoodForLe$$?’ you ask. Yes, it is. It should be. I think having such cheap food is a big part of the problem in this country. What kind of quality do we expect out of a 99 cent hamburger? I mean, seriously. So, how much of an investment is this? Well, I’m paying $6 a pound for beef tenderloin, filet and all the steak I can eat for a year. Not too bad, really. And delivered to my door, individually wrapped and already frozen.
I’m going to a composting class in April and I’ll be growing some of my own fruits and vegetables too. I’ve vowed not to buy ANY tomatoes this year, except for the ones I can grow by myself. I’m not getting all eco-terrorist on you, so don’t worry, I won’t be recycling my own waste anytime soon. I just think we did something wrong when we let big industries decide what we eat, how we eat and to a certain extent, when we eat. Fourth meal, anyone?