At last! Made my way to the “Heart of the City Farmers Market” in San Francisco. One of sf’s many farmers markets. Beautiful day and fresh produce. Tried my first pink cherry tomato and picked up some summer squash.
Fittingly, last evening I had the opportunity of watching “Unbroken Ground” a documentary film that’s part of Patagonia’s new venture to sell high quality and responsible food. It explored the role of food in the environmental crisis. They profiled three farmers – a grain farmer using perennial plants (diversified grain practises) to replenish soil, a former cattle farmer that switched to raising bison (they don’t eat grass to the ground and that’s better for the soil), and a sustainable salmon farmer.
Overall the movie has a good message – however, I was sorely disappointed by the people the filmmakers choose to interview: all white dudes. Women were given few and insignificant speaking parts, and there was one person of colour who was given 30 seconds of air time. Many of the people that were interviewed constantly referenced using indigenous farming practices – I kept waiting for them to interview an indigenous farmer. Nothing.
Today at the farmers market I had the pleasure of meeting a few hispanic, Chinese, and black farmers. Many of them using sustainable farming practises. It wasn’t that hard.
Been spending evenings indulging my love for cooking, finding nourishing recipes in cookbooks from the library, and sourcing fresh ingredients. I have yet to visit the farmer’s market in SF but I am over the moon excited for that first trip.
Also found Nina Planck’s cookbook. Nina’s first book “Real Food” is what inspired my love of sourcing out good ingredients.
Also, can’t help but notice the subtle changes in the ingredient decks in the USA. I am dismayed by the number of “food” products in the USA with HFCS and corn syrup. Canadian Heinz does not have hfcs or corn syrup.
Thank you, thank you SF for making it so easy to find ethically and pasture raised chicken. Chicken that grows slowly on an animal centered farm, eats green feed, encounters no physical obstructions (that’s right, no cages) and spends life on the same farm. It’s my first go at cooking “from the farm chicken”, I roasted it with butter salt, pepper and onions. It was delicious, it’s less tender than factory farmed chicken but that’s the way chicken is supposed to be > when a chicken spends its entire life running around it develops muscles. Slow roasted for maximum flavour.
When I think about shopping in the 16th and 17th century, my Hollywood tainted imagination starts stirring up images of trading posts owned by old men with white hair, general stores that smell like horses, and markets on the streets.
I was not entirely off. In 16th and 17th century North America you would do your shopping and ordering at the general store. In Europe, markets and smaller general stores were the norm.
But, before all of this “in-person” buying and selling, most of the Western World also dabbled in a different method of retail: the mail-order* catalog.
*Mail Order traditionally, was the process of selecting an item through a catalog, sending the company your order along with cash for the product plus shipping through post. You would receive your product by post in the following weeks.
The first catalog ever published is older than your great grandparents.
Wandering for clarity is a secret of the literary greats. Writers such as Rousseau, Dickens, and romantic poets such as William Blake and John Clare, all used wandering to clarify their thoughts. It seemed to de-stress their minds and gave them an opportunity to think up great ideas.Dickens supposedly logged in 20 miles every day.
When I went to university I ended up in a discipline (Sociology) that I surprisingly loved. I read the most fascinating books (such as this one, this, this, and this), my perspective on the world changed, and I got advice from some really smart people.
But I realized early on that the credentials I was going to graduate with were probably worth little in the real world.