Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Pregnant Pause

After a long absence, I return to give you good tidings of great joy: Seth and I are pregnant! The baby's coming sometime around the end of September, and we are SO EXCITED. Absolutely thrilled. Here is me in the greenhouse back at Chris and Jonny's place eating spinach to get lots of iron. This picture was taken only weeks before marauding geese busted in and munched spinach to their hearts' delight. All I can say is that they had better all be pregnant. Meanwhile, I am puzzling over how a new baby, new farm, and hopefully a new house will all compatibilize themselves in our lives while I work 40 hours a week packing seed potatoes at Moose Tubers and 10 hours a week at the Belfast Co-op stocking (or stalking, as I like to imagine) produce. Moose Tubers will only go on for seven weeks, for which I am very grateful.

Anna's new workplace:

Other very exciting news is that Seth and Tyler, as Whiffletree, played a spectacularly successful contra dance at the American Legion Hall--hence the Bingo paraphernalia you may notice in the background--in Belfast about two weeks ago. For those of you not immersed in contra dance culture, a two-member band is quite uncommon and Whiffletree has met with much skepticism in the contra scene, but luckily they have weathered the oft-times cool receptions and succeeded in thoroughly amazing both dancers and dance callers. Below, please find some mug shots of the hot new boy band:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pig Politics

In response to those who miss the pig-slaughtering pictures, I apologize. The "Vegetarians Beware" entry was deleted in my absence due to complaints from disturbed readers, and the text is now lost in the ether of cyberspace and our memories.

This seems like a good opportunity to explore the politics of meat, which--if you have read Michael Pollan's articles and books OR watched Supersize Me or Food, Inc. OR let yourself be exposed to popular media of almost any kind--you will be familiar with. Huge corporations at whom we should be shocked simply because they haven't been brought down under anti-trust laws are constantly raising millions of meat animals in horrible conditions and mistreating hundreds of thousands of meat industry workers and flushing tons of pollutants into our environment. The public end of all this is a little skinless boneless piece of flesh on a styrofoam tray sealed in plastic wrap, stamped with a price and sell-by date. When the industry is exposed by writers and filmmakers painting gruesome images of what goes on in feedlots and slaughterhouses, the public (so to speak) eats it up. However, it seems that we as a society are so sensitized to these kinds of images that we can't always distinguish a wholesome and respectful death of an animal from a brutal, dangerous and toxic one.

I respect the perspective of our readers who felt saddened, upset, or frightened by the images of us doing in our three pigs. It is indeed a mixed emotional bag for us, as well--none of us would claim that it's an easy or gleeful task, and it is something that we take seriously and try to do well. So while some of us might struggle with a pig's demise, I feel it is important to offer these images as both contradiction and alternative to the agro-industrial meat system.

If any of you were hoping to follow the guidelines for brining and smoking ham or bacon, you can get in touch with Seth, master of the smoky touch, and entreat him to share his expertise. So, at risk but not with the intent of offending our gentle and kind readers, I will repost our piggy pictures.