Monday, September 18, 2006

The Place of Spinach

Well, as you know, don't eat your spinach this week. (More here.)

My husband went to Whole Foods this past weekend and came back with a 16-page booklet titled "Locally Grown" about the local farmers who grow Whole Foods' food. Maybe it was displayed a little more prominently to remind us of the faces behind our spinach and vegetables.

The brochure is quite beautiful. It's printed on recycled paper and features the rich colors of farmland and lovely photos of the earthy people who grow our food. Each team of farmers is highlighted and situated in the place where they live. (You can click through to their profiles and photos here.)

Richard de Wilde on Harmony Valley Farm in Viroqua, WI

James Welch and Joel Kelhma on Avalanche Organics in Viola, WI

Steve Pincus and Beth Kazmer on Tipi Produce farm in Evansville, WI

Jack Hedin and Rhys Williams on Featherstone Farm in Rushmore, MN

Martin and Atina Diffley on Gardens of Eagan in Eagan, MN

The Organic Valley Co-op in Viola, WI featuring the Shepard Family

Herb and Elizabeth Teichman on Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm in Eau Claire, MI

Chris Eckert in Eckert Orchards in Belleville, IL

Don and Anthony Cinzori on Cinzori Farms in Ceresco, MI

Lee and Laurie Arboreal on Eater's Guild in Bangor, MI

Bill Donahue on Donahue's Sunshine Farm in Collinsville, IL
These two events -- the spinach scare and happening upon the brochure -- coincided with my discovering the writer, Wendell Barry, who said:

Wherever they live, if they eat, people have agricultural responsibilities just as they have cultural repsonsibilities. Eating without knowledge is the same as eating without gratitude. What's the use in thanking God for food that has come at an unbearable expense to the world and other people? Every eater has a responsibility to find out where food comes from and what its real costs are, and then to do something to reduce the costs. All of us are now dependent on lots of products, the origin of which we don't know and can't learn.
Food for thought, indeed.

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