When I moved to Grand Rapids in the Fall of 2002, I met a girl with fire in her hair. Julie and I spent 5 years singing together at Mars Hill. She has been a silent (and, uh, not so silent) constant in my life, walking with me through heart ache, Indigo Girls, depression, utter joy, pregnancy, miscarriage, home parties, and sushi. I’m blessed to know her.
Also, in 7th grade, she pinched Curt’s buns. No lie.
Julie has just started up her own business, Food(ed). She has a heart for healthy people, and has turned that passion into fruit by offering her knowledge to the community through helping you shop and cook well. Not merely decent, not fast, but well. She’s far too stretched right now to keep up with her own blog, but I’ve invited her here to Apple Pie, Anyone? to throw down some serious food chat, knowing that you’d love it. Based on the Pantry Confessions of last Monday and all the recipes I’ve gathered from you over the years, it’s plain we are a community that thinks a lot about what we put in our bodies.
Stay tuned. Get excited. She’ll be here soon.
I’m also super excited and scared to death to announce I have a new idea. Well, not a new idea… but one I am finally taking a deep breath and running with: classes at TexasNorth using local friends and experts. Some will be free, some will cover cost, and some will have profit to buy new equipment for future classes. These ‘classes’ will give all of us the chance to learn from the past and lean on community. We can sew, we can garden, we can mill wood, we can preserve, we can work cattle, we can do lots of things out here.
Curt and I strongly believe we have a responsibility to share this land we’ve been given. Share the land, share the food, share the porches. Thus far, that’s looked like lots of hayrides, lots of campouts, and few weekends working on hay lofts.
We’re great at sharing space.
I think there’s the potential for more. I think I can create an environment where people can come and experience the ‘old school simple but hard and rewarding’ way of doing things. I’ll do the homework and bring in local friends and experts to teach us well. I’ll set up the classroom. Let’s make this place work.
We’ve been asked several times if we’d raise chickens for the freezer… and we did that by accident one year, but never again simply due to better flock management. It keeps coming up, and I keep thinking, “Dude. I can’t do that alone every year!” So, I’m not.
You’re going to do it with me.
Introducing the first in hopefully a long series of informal gatherings on the farm entitled OLD SCHOOL. This Spring, I’m going to open up a small OLD SCHOOL • CHICKENS class to anyone in the area who wants to learn how to butcher chickens for their freezer. I know. I can’t believe it, either. But, many hands make light work and any chore is better with company. Not to mention, in this craze of EAT LOCAL! we still find ourselves extremely detached from the food on our plate.
I think we can change that.
Let’s do it. Let me raise the chickens. I’ve got the time and the space (for up to 50 birds). When they’re ready for the table, you come out and we’ll all just do it together. My friend Amy will guide us all through it, you’ll amaze yourself with what you remember from Biology class, and we’ll all stock our freezers a little. I’ll even make dinner (not chicken). Maybe you come once, maybe you come every year. At least you can say you’ve done it and you know how it’s done. Check it off your list of Amazing Things.
If you’re in, I’m in.