Eating Vegetables Vol. 1 How Did We Get Here?

Posted by Amber Whittenberg on

 

Hello and Welcome to the first installation of Eating Vegetables. Eating Vegetables is both an intimate and political act. Who has access and why? Are there nutrients in that head of lettuce? What are you putting in your body and the bodies of those you love? Who is being effected? This is my place to talk about my experience with food, farming, family, community, cooking, food justice, and sustainability.

 

First Casual Farm to Table Dinner with link to RSVP $20-60 suggested donation, all are welcome! donations will be the pot for the next dinner. Thornton Place, walking distance from the light rail in Northgate.

 

Click Here for tickets

 

Date: Saturday MAY 18th, 2024

Time: 6pm-9pm

 

What's Growin' On?: Notes From the Farm

 

Spring 2024 is off to a nice start. It's my first season back on the farm since 2016 and I'm very eager to get more than a little dirt under my nails! I planted tulips and garlic last fall, There is no sign of the garlic, but the tulips are springing up out of the ground and headed to a subscription bag near you soon. One of the unique things about my family farm, is the materials we build it out of. Ya know all those big skyscrapers going up all over town? My dad is an iron worker for one of those companies and we use reclaimed building materials from those job sites.

 

Our little seeding greenhouse was made of leftover windows from one job, Our row markers are repurposed 18 inch rebar, and our collapsing tool shed has been reinforced with reclaimed iron beams. It's like the Wolverine farm around here with all the reclaimed iron and galvanized steel slowly being fused to its skeletal system! I am most excited about the few 

hundred feet of table beds my dad has constructed from those materials. 18 inches deep, and at waist height, they are the perfect growing space for fancy gourmet lettuce that needs extra special care and attention. With the first of the salad greens, tomatoes, kale, peppers and radish seeded both indoors and out, I am optimistic about the season ahead!

 

 

 

How did we get here?

 

7 years ago, in early March, on a beautiful early Spring day like today, I met Damon for lunch in the ID to talk about this business idea I had and in many ways, had already been working on for years. At the time, I thought it would take 2 maybe 3 years to get where we are today. 

 

For me, it all started years earlier with healthy food access. At the time, everyone around me was sick. My mother had been diagnosed with multiple terminal autoimmune conditions, my sisters and I also each were experiencing extensive health issues, in my extended working class and working poor community around me, there was so much sickness, so much pain, so little nutrients. To my eyes, what we put in our bodies was making us sick. 

 

Healthy food is expensive. How does one eat healthy when one is struggling and sometimes failing to pay rent? It is possible to eat clean and healthy on a budget, but it takes stability, which I did not have. Later as older college students raising a special needs child in a super commie town, my sister and I  were able to figure it out and I will write more in depth on that later; but the reality was; Prior to college and after, our access to healthy food was spotty at best and when we started Local Yokels, I was still subsisting on cigarettes and Taco Bell burritos about 3/4 of the time. For me, this business was very much so about my own access to healthy food and saving my own life before I developed my mothers condition. 

Of course, it wasn’t just about me. It was about opening up pathways for others like me. I didn’t want to just figure out access for myself, I wanted to actively participate in fixing our broken food system, and be able to realistically imagine a more equitable food system for all in our region. That was my goal with starting Local Yokels.

But one small unfunded business can’t fix a massive broken system on its own. So we started with what we could do. Today, we still have big dreams 20 years from being realized that we support with the little things we can do today. In many ways, running a small business is an endless list of little things and the only rule is just don’t give up. Solve those problems, complete those tasks one at a time. Do what you can do and keep going. So now that is the daily goal. Do what you can do and keep going. 

I look forward to sharing more with you next time, 

<3

Amber

 



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