Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pickle Whack-o and The new farmer

There is a new farmer and a new farm culture.  The primary difference between the old farmer and the new is a path, the path into farming.  I am heaping massive generalizations all over the internet right now, pretending to be an authority, but bear with me; I want to jot down this one little note and get on with it.  

The old farmer typically found himself in the farming biz because his dad was in the farming biz, and backwards ad nauseum.  There are good reasons why, especially in the modern era, farms and farming are passed from father to son, or father to son and daughter etc, and one of those reasons is capital: land and farm equipment are expensive.  You need to splash out a big chunk of change to start a farm.  It's not like getting into the airline business, but it's also somewhat more prohibitive than opening a hot dog cart.  Anyway, let's move on.  Like you, I am eager to get to the fun video, Pickle Whack-o.  

The new farmer comes to farming differently.  She doesn't start a CSA because her dad's hips are shot and he can't do anything around the farm anymore but sometimes fill the horse's trough.  She comes to farming via political conviction or by something that is related to political conviction.  She comes to farming with idealism oozing out of her hoe.  If you come to farming because your parents need extra hands in the field (kid farmers) and then come to owning that same farm because your parents are too arthritic to even turn the ignition key of the tractor, you probably don't come to farming with a boat load of idealism.  You don't come to farming as part of a movement; you come to farming as a part of a tradition.  The new farmer might turn down a cushy office job to make the earth yield.  Go to any farmer's market and see for yourself.  If the heirloom beets don't tell you that something has changed (back), go ahead and compare the old woman selling the beefsteak tomato to the young woman selling the lemon cucumber.  What do you even do with a lemon cucumber?  

Anyway, I think I've made my point.  I picked up several pounds of this amazing cucumber the other day to make some more pickles.  I'd seen these amazing cucumbers in the co-op, but the co-op didn't have enough of them, and I wanted cucumbers fresh off the vine, and so I read the little label, googled the name, Kitchen Garden Farm, and emailed them.  A couple hours later one of the farmer's replied, via iPhone, that I could come by after lunch the next day and pick them up.  I showed up during lunch, sorry, and found a handful of farmers all sprawled out in a dark room, slowly eating their lunches, a five gallon crock of who-knows-what fermenting on a nearby table, and instantly I new that I loved these strangers.  In any case, I appreciated them very much for cultivating the awesome cucumbers that are now fermenting in my basement and which are the subject of this hot new birthday week cooking video!  


Anonymous said...

My aunt and uncle had a spare old 100 years since the making house across the driveway from them. It was on the property. I lived there twice for a number of months each time. My uncles's a farmer. I could tell he worked quite hard, hard job that is. I chewed some dip with the farm hand in the shed once. I worked at a nearby greenhouse. sometimes this lady would pick me up, and as I stood at the edge of the road, I could see her coming from her house the whole way; making each turn, and then ending up next to me, because there was no buildings or hills around there. I wrote some story about a dog that had parts that took place in a region like that. Farmers are interesting. There was a hog farm for sale when I lived there, and my uncle said it would go for about a million. I'm living presently off a two hundred a month trust fund, that came from my grandpa passing away, and then the shares of the farmland where passed out to his sons and daughters, and my mom gives me some of it. My uncle, myself, and the farm hand went to a nearby town called Chestnut once, for lunch. It was straight out of the fifties, the town and this little country diner. I am glad that I haven't spent my whole life in Los Angeles, that would have been a waste. best, earl parker

Liver Detox Diets said...

Funny video, he needs to get out a bit more perhaps. I thought I was the only one that talked to my food when preparing, too funny.