How far we've come from the source of our food sustenance. Sure, I bought these from my local farmers market - I even 'walked' to the market. But what I didn't do was:
- Leave my homeland and family seeking personal freedom or economic opportunity
- Cross mountains and rivers and prairies to find affordable farmland
Was it the "Little House" books that started my awareness? Alanna, who writes the wonderful blog Veggie Venture, lives in St. Louis, where those settlers often passed through. Here in New England we are reminded by the stone walls and the rocks that are still in our soil how hard those early farmers had to work to grow food for their own subsistence, let alone to feed a village or have enough for the markets in town.
The need to return to the soil is strong. In recent times, people grew Victory Gardens during World War II. In the 60's, communes and "back to the land" inspired me to grow my own garden, as big as a neighbor and I could handle. (Where were the men?) Rodale's Organic Gardening magazine was an inspiration, along with Ruth Stout's book on gardening "without an aching back." Moving into the world of selling commercial produce made the garden redundant, but now that we're no longer suppliers we are again consumers. We are happy to support the CSA's and farmers markets that have sprouted and multiplied, putting us close to the soil again, one step removed. Support them -- we need them!