This morning after chores I came inside to make breakfast, pretty ravenous. Last night as part of dinner I had shredded beets including greens, sweet potatoes, red potatoes, onions and garlic, and sauteed them together in left over bacon grease and seasonings to make a hash-like side dish. The left overs were on my mind as I filled water buckets. I tossed a bunch into a skillet to re-heat and then cooked two farm-fresh over easy eggs to go on top. A little hot sauce and another cup of coffee- and damn- What Luxury! The richness, the sweet, the savory and a bit of heat and my belly is full and utterly satisfied. I'm ready for the day.
Folks often ask how/why I got into farming and food- and there are a lot of reasons, some of which I have written at length about. But, one I don't always discuss is the food insecurity I've experienced at a variety of ages in my life. I'm not a stranger to laying in bed, staring at the ceiling after chugging a glass of water to feel full. Or, drinking another cup of coffee mid-day so that what's left in the cupboard can last just a little longer. I know what it's like for the meal to have to stretch too far, but contain little to no nutrition. I often joke now that when I don't get a meal or snack, I get 'hangry'- but it's not just low blood sugar. It's like this minor tantrum my brain has- I'm recalling a place I really don't want to go to. It's visceral, and though irrational at this point, still very real.
When I grow food, it soothes this dark place hidden away, the person who wondered where the next meal may come from. The times that this food insecurity happened to me, I was doing everything I could to survive, even at an age where that could hardly be expected. I hope never be in that place again. It could happen, but farming makes it much less likely for us. And the solace there runs right to my core.
We've started this fund, to defer the costs of our products. We've spoken at great length about how we believe the way in which we farm shows the greatest respect for the land and the animals. But, we also want our farm to be respectful of the communities we want to provide for. Each year, we donate between $300-$500 worth of products to charity events, benefits, church dinners (though we're not religious) etc. But we can't really start to tackle making our food accessible in the way we want to. This is our effort to start to bridge that gap- and it's a modest one. We're selling t-shirts, so that we can cut the cost of our goods for folks that are economically disadvantaged. If we reach our goal, we will be able to provide 250 servings (about 85-100 lbs) of meat totally free. Or, at least double that at a reduced cost.
We know, not everyone can always fit the foods they would like to be eating into their budget. But more than that, there are folks who really need a little support. Help us bridge the gap, because if you or someone you know has never experienced food insecurity- now you can say you know someone who has.
We only have today to reach our goal- and we are SO close! Fund closes tonight at mid-night, and if we don't hit 50 t-shirts, the fund fails and we get nothing. You can get your t-shirt and support our fund here.
And, not for nothing, but the t-shirt is pretty cool too.