We're bundled and staying warm during this freezing weather. The high tunnel is covered in snow. We're collecting and bringing firewood to the basement. Bundling up the children to get them outside at least once a day, if not more. Seeds are buried underground, waiting. It's a time of rest. The rest and restoration lays the foundation for the fruit of the growing season, for the earth, and for our soft human bodies. To quote the incredible Mary Oliver, "You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves."
Adam and I have been taking turns curling up with a book while the other plays with the kids. We went to a farming conference and attended a racial equity training. This is ground that we've been working with already for a long time, but it re-inspired us to dive deeper. We're a seventh generation family farm and we're proud of that. But unpacking it, we know this was once Native Cherokee land. It was fully settled with agriculture, industry and houses, despite the myths and stories of being "only hunting grounds." As a seventh generation family farm, we try to look to the past and forward to the future equally. We've taken this to mean caring for the soil for the next seven generations, which is still central to our practices. The conference raised the question for us, "what does an equitable farm and equitable food system look like seven generations from now?" Will it still be in the context of a capitalism that rewards a few? Or can we create a more just creative economy? Will we be able to create a system where all people have access to healthy food and no one goes hungry or replies on nutrient-depleted food? How can we plant those seeds now? Primarily for us right now, what more do we need to learn and read to move ourselves forward?
That's what we've been loving right now, diving deep. Right now, our reading list includes:
A Foodie's Guide to Capitalism: Understanding the Political Economy of What We Eat by Eric Holt-Gimenez
White Fragility: Why It's So Hard For White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in Americaby Ibram X. Kendi
Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America by Jennifer Harvey
Wild Creative: Igniting Your Passion and Potential in Work, Home, and Life by Tami Lynn Kent
The Taste of Country Cooking by Edna Lewis*
* I heard this episode on Splendid Table about cooking turtle soup an was enraptured, then this episode of Splendid Table and was inspired to learn more about Edna Lewis and get her cookbooks. It's what I got for Christmas!
Do you have any book or movie suggestions for us, or want to be part of this conversation? Send us your thoughts! You actually are part of this conversation already by being part of a farm share with us, shopping at the markets, or being part of the Barr Farms community. This is one way we think we can be part of creating a just food system. And... if any of this makes you uncomfortable or even angry/frustrated/confused... lets talk!
All thoughts welcome!