Black Annis (annis39) wrote,
Black Annis
annis39

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Where to go from here . . .

So. Yes. I'm back again for my first update in a year. As always, I've been busy, and chosen to do things other than blog in my downtime. Not much has changed . . . I've got a year off from worrying about funding, since I've obtained a 2-year more-or-less administrative position, so that's nice. I haven't gotten any more work done on my dissertation, since last year was spent struggling under a 2-2 teaching load (that's two classes per semester, for those of you not up on academic lingo). I have, however, been establishing a pretty extensive local food network-- we now get almost all of our meat from local pasture-raised sources, and we're not going broke doing it. I've even tweaked the cats' eating habits onto a more natural track; they're now both transitioned to a prey-model diet (see http://www.rawfedcats.org/), and Buttercup, picky brat that she is, is even getting locally-raised rabbit, because she won't eat anything other than rabbit, and I refuse to buy the Chinese-raised rabbits that the local butcher carries. It's amazing the changes in the cats' fur and teeth (chewing raw bones takes away tartar), and while I can't say their shit don't stink, it sure stinks a lot less.

Anyways, this food thing is becoming more and more important, it seems. Anyone out there had time to read The Omnivore's Dilemma (Michael Pollan) or Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle? Do so if you're able. They're fascinating reads, if occasionally hyperbolic. Perhaps I like the two authors' takes because they agree with me and my food values, but I find it difficult to imagine that the creation of a healthy local food economy could ultimately be bad for anyone. It's certainly working well here in Rochester, where our family farms are managing to stay alive, and even the poorest folks can get fresh veggies so long as they can find a bus route that'll get them to the public market.

Oddly, at any rate, despite the PhD in medieval lit, the food stuff is really what I do, it seems. I talk about it, I read about it, I grow it, I preserve it, I help to butcher it. (Major accomplishment last Thanksgiving: aiding in the "harvesting" of our turkey. Rather profound event; both more and less disturbing than I'd imagined.) This summer, having gotten down freezing, jamming, canning, and fermenting, our goal is to learn to make cheese at home. It should be fun, and I think I'm going to post about it. So keep an eye out, if you're interested in food politics . . . it looks like this is going to turn into the Journal of the Urban Homesteader.
Tags: canning, eating local, food, food politics, pasture-raised, prey-model diet
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