Information Overload

03/20/2012

It’s been a busy week on the Ridge. It appears that spring has finally sprung. We’ve been enjoying the  unseasonably warm weather and a chance to get a jump start on the year’s farm activities.

We got our sign installed this week. We planted a few things in the garden and started cleaning up the flower beds. The mini daffodils are blooming and the tulips aren’t far behind. The woods are starting to green up and the finches are turning yellow again. It’s a great time of year!

            Maybe it’s a bit of spring fever and maybe it’s just information overload, but I sure didn’t feel like trying to come up with a topic for  this week’s article. Each week I try to link a portion of what we’re learning by attempting locavoria to my next article and this week my brain feels like your stomach at 2:00 pm on Thanksgiving Day-if I try to put one more thing in there, something is gonna pop!!

            If you have ever tried to research what you eat, the scenario goes something like this: don’t use vegetable oil-canola oil is safe; canola oil is not safe use olive oil; olive oil is okay but you REALLY should use coconut oil…Wait! No oil is safe, you should only use butter…BUT butter is an animal product and we shouldn’t eat animal products, they cause cancer. But it doesn’t end there; red meat causes heart disease, dairy causes arthritis, fish is full of mercury, and sugar feeds cancer. What about wheat? Enriched wheat, unbleached wheat, whole wheat, stone ground, organic… but shouldn’t we all be gluten-free?

            Then we have the diets: High Fat, Low Fat, High Carb, No Carb, The Maker’s Diet, The Hallelujah Diet, The Flat Belly Diet,  The South Beach Diet, Atkins, Weight Watchers, Raw Food, Juice…the list goes on and on. By the end of the week I was almost convinced to become a Vegan. Then my husband gives his stock answer, “But what do you do for protein?”

            By Wednesday, my head was reeling with facts, formulas and free advice. Late in the afternoon, my friend Jackie came to visit. She thought she was coming to check out my raised beds and try to decide what kind of garden she was going to plant this year. Little did she know, she was sent to encourage me and  help me get my focus back. As we sat on the front deck, listening to an irate phoebe,  I unloaded about the choices and information and my confusion. Jackie listened quietly and then said, “But that’s not what you are about.” That simple statement calmed my whirling mind and helped to to realize that too much information was too much. Jackie reminded me that our focus is our land and our goal is to teach and train people to live and eat locally. To grow your food if you can and preserve local food for the winter.

            One of the other encouraging things I bumped into this week is a book entitled This Organic Life by Jean Dye Gussow. A 80-something year old widow and nutrition educator, Mrs. Gussow lives in Piedmont, New York where she tends and eats from 12 raised beds and various pots and containers n her suburban homestead. She has been living this life for years and is a picture of health and happiness.

            Both of these ladies in their own way have helped me to stay on the path we have chosen. My husband and I realize that we are beginning to enjoy “real” food more and and are sadly disappointed with things that  resemble food-like substances.

            This weekend we hosted a second Gardening Basics seminar, the first was derailed by a freak snowstorm. We also included some seed starting information and demonstrated our seed growing rack. Next month we will be building a raised bed.

Until next week,

Paula


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