We can't do everything, our society has learned. Farmers grow our veggies, raise our livestock and collect our eggs. There are even people who kill for us. (How do you think you get your meat?) Artists move our spirits. Accountants organize our numbers.
But- It's over engineered - we outdid ourselves. We found ways to make MORE MORE MORE, gmo being the furthest perversion from our nature. It's all LESS LESS LESS. Diabetes and food allergies are everywhere. We messed up Mother Nature’s order. So, what do we expect?! Now this massive organic creation of such immense beauty is out of Mother Nature’s hands and in ours... we thought we could manage it better. Who did we think we were?!
At a certain point when you become conscious of your participation in such a sick system you may arrive where I have been (on occasion). Disgusted with yourself. Looking at friends who seem to be doing it better, or god, worse. You may mourn - get angry - depressed, feel futility… Sure go through it all - shed it off with some good cries and a holler, or wail or two.
But then, get inspired and remember you are part of a community, find your part that means something to you. Don't get overwhelmed in - "I didn't make my own pickles" or "I don't have a chicken coop" or, "I don't have cows to milk of my own".
If it's your calling to venture that way, GO! That is, if you have the sustainable means, and you actually wish to - as an experiment in life even, not a fixed destination - start a farm. Do some research (a lot of damn research) and go there- but for nearly all our real unique lives, that just isn't a reality to fit our emotional, family and personally unique needs. Don't suffer for that, realize your way...
Your brilliant part in humanity has many other gifts wrapped up in it - perhaps in sharing something that is exquisite and cherished by me - pure food and flavour - something virtually archeological, buried now, by the industrialized foods we've come to know as our "flavours". Archaeological, because we have been the agriculturalists and hunters and foragers- with our hands working with nature. Seek ingredients and traditions that grew their way up from centuries of listening to Nature, and answering her. You can share this with your community on your table! When you are shopping at the market, get the story of the variety of carrot or potato. Gather foods from the wild. This is our legacy.
Food conjures memories like nothing else. If you can source your foods direct from a great farmer with some well-purposed Terroir, and share it with another human being- you share our history- our race's memories. A tomato isn't just a tomato, when it's a good tomato. I get tears writing this. I think about my grandma's tomatoes, and her innocence in growing and sharing them on our plates- these sweet stunning tomatoes- once thought our birth right, now like gold by the pound in gourmet grocery stores. Heirloom varieties. Really, just think of that term...
I'm of this precariously poised generation- bridging between the analog and digital age. We learned to use a cell phone in our 20s- still of an age of knowing it's novelty not it's essentialness. I took my first photographs with celluloid film and worked in a darkroom. This is an opportunity. We still have roots, however frail, in tradition. Us 77's (and those years around us), let's get them re-established.
So to come back around to the start - don't get overwhelmed. As part of a community, maybe you are the best cook, or the one who has the urban chicken coop to share eggs from. Maybe buy a shared cow with friends and learn to use it all, nose-to-tail. Write a blog. Share. Build a fire in that sharing, share around it- share around your passion and your own nature.
Get as close to your food source as you can and watch your mind, health and heart change - about what goes in your mouth, of what becomes YOU.