My community farm
I don't have a job.
Don't worry people, I will eventually get one. But even then, I have student loans to pay. I wonder what will happen to this blog then. Will I be able to keep up with local adventures even on a tight budget? I may be naïve here but I am convinced that this local lifestyle is something that everyone can participate in, even if it's only in small ways.
Thanks to my unemployment, I have to rely on a lot of people to help me out right now. And whether they all realize it or not, but all of this community that is a part of my life right now is paving the way to this local lifestyle that I crave. I would be nowhere without community, as would we all.
I recently returned from a trip out to Ohio to visit friends and family. While staying with my friends in Wooster, Ohio, I had the privilege of participating in butchering several monster of zucchinis – tasting the overflow bounty from their garden. This was a real privilege since I return to the States towards the end of zucchini season and the ones from my parent's garden did not do well this year. That's a weird concept, hey? Zucchini? Not doing well? Usually people have so much of it they have no idea what to do with it. This was the case with the people I stayed with in Ohio. And like any person who is going insane from all the zucchini on their counter tops, they were eager to depart with some of it. After having lunch with dear friends in Bluffton on Saturday, I found myself leaving their house with 5 large zucchinis, happily looking nice and fat in their plastic packet.
That was the first thing to go into the trunk of my car. My last Ohio stop before heading back south was my Aunt and Uncle's house in West Jefferson, Ohio. I was sent there on a mission from my father (well besides the fact that I was planning on going there any way because they are cool people). He wanted me to ask his sister (my Aunt) for tomatoes to make salsa with. We had tomatoes in North Carolina but the ones in our garden were almost done and what are sister's for if not to ask for free produce from? And after bartering with a zucchini I added not only a hole carton of tomatoes but two AND cartons of peppers and onions as well – oh and 4 dozen free range chicken eggs. My car's trunk was a farmer's market on wheels! It was awesome.
So as I drove back to North Carolina with car packet full of Ohio produce, I couldn't help but be really excited about it all. I realize that taking it out of its area no longer makes it "local" but this is my community – family and friends who invite me in and give me a taste of their seasons. This is my community farm.
The results: Out of all of this loot in the "boot," (and some more tomatoes we got from an organic farmer who goes to our church), we "put up" 17 pints of salsa (that we made and split with neighbor Steve), 6 pint of marinara sauce, and 5 pints of tomato juice. The zucchini- we happily shredded, chopped, and ate. Summer is the best.