Monday, April 25, 2011

Totally Urban Farmers: Already Doin It Rite

the purpose of this blog, as i've mentioned before, is to document my/our process in becoming people who produce at least some of our own food, and thereby become more thoughtful and compassionate consumers.  we are so lucky to know people who have already been Totally Urban Farmers for awhile; they have been tending their chickens, collecting eggs, composting and growing beautiful back yard gardens, quietly and brilliantly doing all the TUF stuff i am trying to learn.  they are inspirational, and make me feel fantastic about our process and the world in general.  and we get to be friends with them!  it's amazing!

the party that we attended last friday was at our friends becky and darren's house in south austin.  they have a very nice back yard, which is home to 4 beautiful chickens and a large, well-developed vegetable garden. these folks both work full time and go to school, and still manage to successfully TUF it out!  i was so glad to chat with them about gardening and chicken-keeping.  they are founts of practical know-how, and their chickens look like models.

our other dear friends, cliff and julie, also attended the party.  julie, who is both a phenomenal gardener and a masterful cook, brought a creamy herb dip to the party that tasted as though it was made from the breastmilk of Mother Nature herself.  sharp and savory herbal flavors coursed through the cloudlike cream cheese base.  as i nearly died from dip-appreciation, julie said "yeah, i just threw all the herbs from the garden in there like 15 minutes before we got here..."  theirs is another back yard given to vegetable production and creative gardening, and they both work and go to school as well.  extreme TUFness!

i spoke with my friend emilie on the phone yesterday...she and her husband jordan are gearing up to get some more chickens, and they have a recently expanded vegetable and fruit garden.  she was telling me about their tomatoes and herbs and canteloupe and beans and squash, and i was simultaneously thrilling to their TUFness and fantasizing about my own garden that will happen someday soon.  we were talking about going in on chicken feed together and sharing chicken- and garden-sitting responsibilities so that we can still go on vacations.  that's not only TUFness around growing food; that is community building around food and life.  to me, that is a crucial aspect of Totally Urban Farming.

and these are just people i know and like and have been friends with for awhile, totally unrelated to TUFness.  i have heard of so many other people around town and even around the country and world who are growing backyard (or side yard, or rooftop, or median, or apartment) gardens, raising chickens, becoming more aware of the problems with mass food production and doing as much as they can in their corner of the planet to make it a better, healthier place.  our neighbor, with her front-yard vegetable garden and zucchini in the median.  my new friend who brought me home-made fresh strawberry lavender preserves the other day for no reason.  my old friend in denver who just planted fruit trees this season and who has been focused on the edible yard plants for some time now, and who just had a baby!  that random person on facebook who i rarely talk to but who just got some baby chicks.  the funny morning-show spot on how chicken keeping is a growing fad.  and if this is a fad, i am all over that bandwagon!

which brings me to the point of this post.  lots of people i know, lots of people i've heard of, many around my age and economic status, are in different phases of becoming Totally Urban Farmers.  they are reducing their reliance on cheap factory food and investing time and energy in growing and making their own food.  they are throwing away less stuff and recycling more stuff.  they are eating better and living on the planet better.  they are endlessly inspirational to me, and motivate me to get on with my own TUF process.  i don't mean to succumb to hyperbole, but:  is this a movement?  if there are many people doing it, and we are all moving together toward a common goal, isn't that a movement?

...and if it's about food, could it be simply called.........wait for it............


*waits a moment, looks around nervously.....*

dang, tough crowd.  thank you very much!  i'll be here all week!  tip your waitresses!

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