Or what to do when your parents want to each chicken from the grocery store.
I hadn't realized it until recently, but a large part of what I visualize when thinking about 'the farm' (would farmette be appropriate?) is packing up wicker hampers, piling them high with fresh bread, picturesque bundles of veggies, sun warmed berries, eggs, and a wonderfully large, free range, organic chicken to pop in the oven for dinner. A home grown feast, and I want to deliver one to each of those who are dear to me. While it will be fabulous to eat out of our own yard and not have to travel to the local fruit market 3+ times a week to keep the littles in carrots and apples, I really want to share the bounty with others (this is where I over estimate both my ability to grow food as well as process meat, then give away everything that did grow and end up buying ours from the farmer's market). But what do you do when those you want to share it with not want it (other than not share, obviously)?
Knowing where our food comes from, how it was raised (far more than humanely - and the fact that that label is a 'luxury' is really sad to me), and what it ate, is becoming increasing (and obsessively) more important to us. We (when I say 'we' this usually pertains to just me, but I like to pretend Mr. Pretties is half as mental as I am) assume that everyone else feels the same way. Well brace yourselves folks, they don't. And while this particular opinion isn't wrong, I find it particularly baffling when it's presented by my own parents. The people who (presumably) my genetic make up originated. We must be the same, right? If not your parents, than who? So when we were discussing the impending meat chickens that will arrive in the spring, and again late summer, and how wonderful it would be to eat our own happy brand of chicken, my dad pipes up about how he wont need any, he'll keep buying his at the grocery store. ................. Alright then... They also will not eat our chicken eggs. Whether it's because we keep a rooster and they are sure they're going to crack open an egg to find a chick, or because they're under the (false) impression that they are less sterile than those of the grocery variety, I'm not sure. Probably all of the above. I've come to discover that my parents are of the school of thought that while they know bads things happen at factory farms, and that the risk for contamination of commercial foods is higher, they don't want to know/think about it and would rather enjoy their piece of ignorance is bliss pie. Mind you, they will eat all of these things while dining at my house. Likely because they don't think about the fact that the cookies, quiche, and cakes they enjoy here contain our own eggs. And obviously they haven't come down with any cases of salmonella lately, or complained of half formed chickens in their piece of cake, but 10 to 1 if I pointed this out they would also be more conscious of what they're eating here and stop enjoying it, which I don't want.
But it's a funny realization all the same, when you come to the startling conclusion that not everyone is going to be a happy, or even willing, recipient of your home grown goods. It's even more startling when these are the people you were most excited to impart your gifts to. I feel like I have such a different mind set than those I know that it's becoming hard for me to relate appropriately to others. In my mind I'm thinking 'this will be great, this will be like giving them a FREE CSA membership to our little farm, with some bread, pies, preserves, fruits, veggies, meat and eggs, this'll be a total win, they must realize how spendy a CSA membership can be, what a great gift!' and in reality I'm receiving polite silence.
So this has been a good trip back to reality, much like any gift you give to someone, they simply may not enjoy it, appreciate it, or want it because it just isn't there thing. I know we have some people who will be beyond thrilled to receive such baskets, and I'll really enjoy supplying them, but I'll still be a little disappointed that my parents wont be one of them, I thought I'd found a wholesome way to show them how much I appreciate all they've done for us over the years, and now I'm back to the drawing board. I'm hoping, in time, and when they see how happily, and sanitarily things are run in our neck of the woods they'll come around.
Now I need to find a way to obtain fully grown fruit bushes. I knew that fruit is usually only born after two or three seasons, but I hadn't thought about how that related to me and my need to have fruit THIS year. Seeing as we rent, I'm always leary of investing in things that produce years down the road as I always feel I'm making an investment for someone else to enjoy. Usually I'm right. This time I hope that isn't the case as we would like to stay at this house for a very long time, unless we buy, but I would really like to be able to enjoy some of our own fruit this year, so we need to explore our options, we can't be the only ones lacking in patience ;)
So that's where we're at in the last couple of weeks before the 'big move' (please god don't let it be a blizzard), not everyone cares if their dinner was happy, and I want fruit damn it!!