Friday, September 7, 2012

Full Circle

Last weekend my sister and nephew came out west for a visit.  Kids had football games and cross country matches and I had bakery hours and farmer's market.  We had a birthday party to plan. 

What I ought to have done was clean house, decorate, bake cake etc.

What I did was take a shower, change clothes, prepare some picnic goodies and head to Marfa with R. and Christine. 

Can you believe we had the opportunity to listen to Michael Pollan at the Marfa Dialogues?  I was so excited.

OK, true confession, I have never read one of Michael's books (see how we are now on intimate first name basis?).  I have read several interviews with him.  I always had plans to read one of his popular books, but was too busy living a sustainable life.  Even so, I always wanted to tell him thank you.  I have no doubt that to a great extent his work is responsible for us being able to survive as small family farmers and even now as a small town miller and baker.  I may not have read his books, but I believe what he is talking about to be true.  Am investing my life in it. 

A great deal of our customers have read his books.  And they invested in our milk and lamb and beef and chicken and bread.  And now they invest in my bread.  And cookies and other goodies, made from freshly milled whole grain goodness.  They appreciate the fact that I use raw milk from a ranch down the road as much as it is available.  And my raw honey comes from a multi-generational family-owned business up by my parents.   The organic coconut oil I use is from Mexico instead of Asia.  Less miles to get here from there.  And distributed by a woman who lives south of my sister. 

All that to say, I was pretty pleased to spend my Saturday evening listening to Michael Pollan and Hamilton Fish discuss Climate and Sustainability.  To be honest, it almost hurt as they mentioned Wendell Berry and I remembered my farm dreams.  I did grieve as I thought about all the loss that brought us from there to here.  And then I smiled at the irony. 

How many miles did we come to get to Alpine from Catawba?  We are still working on sustainability? 

After the dialogue I shook Mr. Pollan's hand and told him thank you.  Then we went outside into the glowing evening, took our picnic out to the tables in the vacant farmstand area and feasted.  J. brought a lovely handmade quilt and meatballs and carrot salad and boiled eggs and fruit salad.  And pepper jelly and cheese and crackers.  I brought Mark's baby squash and peppers, roasted with olive oil and sea salt, spread with Sally's herby chevre from Z-Bar ranch.  And Coyanosa tomatoes sliced and topped with Marfa Maid sundried tomato chevre and minced onions steeped in balsamic.  And of course homemade bread and cookies.  John brought the wine.  We celebrated G's return to the region.  We laughed and paused our stories when the train rumbled past.  We laughed and danced on the broad table top to 80's tunes.

Chocolate brioche at the morning market.  My dear sister's visit.  Michael Pollan.  Golden washed sunset and pictures.  An evening yummy picnic with friends.

You would think that would be enough!

Then we headed to Padre's, a local entertainment establishment, and danced and danced and danced to Joe King Carrasco, live Tex-Mex rock and roll. 

Life is pretty darn full.


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