11th Annual Fish, Farm, & Forest Tour! My little family, and a bunch of much, much older other people!
I do not have a problem with older people. Some of my best friends are senior citizens.* I do slightly resent a publicized “family-friendly” activity designed with about zero consideration for small children. The small children there – our Nels, and the sole-other young family P.’s two little ones – nevertheless had a good time together (in part because we moms missed some of the adult-activities to play outside on tractors etc).
The tour was great and opened my eyes to the almost 500 farms in our county. We visited an oyster farm, a cranberry bog (this was seriously interesting!), a ranch with a presentation on forest management and their sustainable forage farm paired with pulp industry operations (I had to miss this for abovementioned reasons), and a fish hatchery. My favorite was the oyster farm. Ironically (or probably not, I am not so good at identifying irony) even though I’ve lived here off and on for many years I learned more about oyster farming from an episode of “Dirty Jobs” than living alongside such endeavors. Saturday I learned a tiny bit more while other tour participants gobbled up grilled and smoked bivalves.
The tour was also a bit disturbing because many aspects were completely and unflichingly pro ag-business; independent farms (like the one we support) were not mentioned nor was there much mention of what I’d consider the future of food – local, decentralized ownership and smarter, less chemical- and process-intensive practices (such as the raw milk movement – although it’s always funny to me when we go back to principles quite established in human experience it’s called a “movement” or “trendy”)**.
As a bonus at one point one fellow got up and started talking logging history (gee, living here twenty-five years of my life I’ve never heard any before! P.S. we have entire MUSEUMS dedicated to this and in-county not one Native American museum I know of) and before long he was using strong language to condemn the environmental movement, which he said is completely controlling everything in forest and fishery managment. He got very upset talking about this lovely boss he’d had and the beautiful shiny log trucks that used to be in the now-empty lot. These fellows often speak in terms of decades – the time a logging business existed. I understand the pain that’s been lived in my community and I live and breathe this reality (and I completely loathe the over-simplified charicatures of residents in this area as knuckle-dragging rednecks – as I do worldviews of “progressives” who pretend they do not live off the backs of the US working class and the overseas slave class). Seventy years of a logging operation now gone, very sad, it really is. So is killing off wildlife species, and whatever happened to those Native cultures that lived here for not decades but – guess how long? No, guess. 10,000 years. I don’t second-guess nor criticize the anguish of those suffering our long-standing bottomless economy legacy – I only wish for a little more of that seasoning called Perspective.
So the trip was really awesome but it was also kind of the story of white guys just trampling and eating everything they see.
We saw some lovely mushrooms. This little one was about the size of a quarter.
We saw her brothers and sisters nearby – larger than dinnerplates, but with this classic toadstool shape. Nels and I were really into these big mushrooms.
The weather was that breathtaking misty shroud which turned into a soft rain.
More mushrooms: today’s lunch, the chanterelle (sautÃ©ed in butter and garlic), avocado, and (local raw milk aged) goat cheese sandwich. Awwww yeah.
Today I worked very hard on sewing (I hope to post awesome pictures very soon!), helped the new indie bookstore brick-and-mortar operation move some shelves, cooked for everyone which meant about five or six extra kids running in and out (food included crumpets with whipped cream and preserves and, for dinner, a lentil, sausage, rice, carrot, potato and spinach stew; it was entirely gratifying to see several children devour this with much gusto***), then went for a late-night spooky and dark run (so spooky I had to call Ralph and ask if he’d come escort me – like a total hero he did!).
Lovely fall times.
* This was a bad joke. I’m sorry. Read comment #1 & #5 for clarification. Thanks commenter lizzie for (indirectly) bringing it to my attention.
** There was however a lot of discussion of home gardens and the tour leader Don Tapio just about floored us with his knowledge on most every ag-product subject you could imagine.
*** “That’s the best thing you’ve ever made,” my daughter tells me just now as I type.