Well this is much more like it. Finally the unsightly ruts in the lawn caused by driving the tractor over it are covered up. The duck area, a total mud pit, is for now a pristine white expanse, and this farm is just a sight to behold: a gorgeous winter scene. Not a stick out of place can you see because everything is covered up.
With the long awaited arrival of snow, we are slowing down on the farm now, it must be said.
I think I will address this notion of “slowing down.” On a practical level it means I am not under very much pressure to get things done. The only hard deadline is the Saturday 4 a.m. wakeup for market, which is shocking enough. There is still plenty to do, it’s just that I can hang out with the baby for ages and it won’t mean I have to work for a week to catch up: I have all winter. Of course when March arrives and the snow starts to go, I’ll be reminded of all the things I had intended to do over the winter, and I’ll start running again. This is what I like to refer to as my perfectly acceptable work-life balance measured over the course of the entire year: theoretical farm work balances out actual farm work.
What really brings me to a slow boil, however slowed down I am, is when the assumption is made that because we host an event called Slow Food Cycle Sunday it means that we think people should stop walking so fast, or use a slow cooker, or chew their food more. And I can’t find anything on the Slow Food website about living with less stress, either. Nope. It’s not about that.
We host Slow Food Cycle Sunday because we think it is a good opportunity to tell another side of the food story that goes something like this: farmland is for farming, your food should come from a place like this, but it probably doesn’t, and biking is a good way to deal with eating too much.
According to me, a card-carrying member of the international organization, Slow Food is about wising up to the fact that most of the food story is fed to us by the organizations that profit by our food choices. As a farm business we are no different, but we offer this opportunity to come see for yourself and decide if you want it or not.
My worry is that when I hear someone extolling the virtues of “slowing down,” they are hoping to get something accomplished that would be much easier if people would just spend more time gazing about in wonder as opposed to casting a wary eye over meeting minutes and following the money trail. “Slowing down” sounds to me a lot like “please go bury your head in the sand.”
Slow Food has been hauling heads out of sand for many years now, and I wonder if a critical mass of sceptical consumers might be starting to cause palpitations at the board room level.
I myself find comfort gazing about in wonder, and this is a fine time of year to engage in that pursuit. However, it is not meant to be a way of life.
Anna Helmer wants to know exactly how many it would take.