Monday, August 8, 2011
A Guest Post From B
A short time ago, a friend of ours who is spear-heading a co-op grocery in our town, asked for B to write a little bio about what has led us to what we do, what inspires us to be so excited about the prospect of the Wild Root Market, and why we want to be founding members. He spent a lot of time contemplating his responses to her prompts and I was so impressed with what he ended up with. Here is his bio...
My journey from conspicuous consumer to semi self-sustaining loca-vore.
After my father passed away at an early age my mother would take us on summer long car vacations, often visiting as many as 15 states as we "cousined" our way around the south. One of my favorite stops was my cousin Russell Ray's farm in Shorter, Alabama. There were tractors, horses, all nature of fowl and hound roaming about and did I mention tractors? These idealistic rural experiences at such a young age instilled in me a sense of awe about rural life.
"If my mom ever gets married again, please let it be to a farmer." I hoped.
Well, she did!
My life is certainly richer for the experience of working on large industrial style family farm. Being a jack of all trades and knowing in a very real way what "hard" work means are valuable everyday. But, suffice it to say that reality did not match the bucolic fantasy that had been percolating in my brain. Apparently my childhood vision of the agrarian life went out of style a few generations before I was born (think "The Waltons"). I couldn't have been happier to shake the Kansas dust off my shoes and seek my own way in the world.
So, off I went, matriculating my way through college, veterinary school, first job as a professional person, marriage, home ownership (many times), parenthood, business ownership and so on. But, as the now WE gained what I hope is some modicum of wisdom about life and how we all fit together in the world and affect it for good or bad, the desire to grow and fix and build things with OUR hands was always there. In fact, those passions started to look like a fine way for one to journey through life. Whether we satisfied that itch by landscaping and gardening in the several suburban properties we have called home, by converting a room or garage into a shop in which to build "stuff" or by talking and dreaming about what would constitute our ideal home. The sun was going to warm our skin and dirt was going to take up permanent residence under our finger nails.
Then the whole thing finally gelled one afternoon while I was indulging another of my favorite activities, exploring our fine corner of the state on my bicycle. I'm not the head down go till it hurts kind of cyclist, at least not all the time. I like to take note of the flora and fauna and all the different places people call home. While approaching an intersection in Franksville, I noticed a For Sale sign on a neat little farmhouse complete with a barn, dairy building and silo. This was a Friday afternoon, we signed the contract the next Wednesday. We have the good fortune to become the "next" family to become the caretakers of this 120+ year old farmstead on six acres.
Jumping out of the dream and into the reality of exploring a more self-sufficient relationship with what we eat and the impact we have on the earth has opened the door to a wider community of like minded people.
The punchline is that we did this to our selves to fulfill an unrequited childhood fantasy of mine. That is certainly an over simplification, but to see that fantasy flesh itself out every time I step through the door is surely inspiration to continue to explore how much we can do for ourselves.