Alienum phaedrum torquatos nec eu, vis detraxit periculis ex, nihil expetendis in mei. Mei an pericula euripidis, hinc partem.

Eater’s Almanac: Eat closer to home

Peter Maurin

Eater’s Almanac is our weekly newsletter for the Huss Project Farmer’s Market. You can receive a print copy each week at the market, which includes a recipe for seasonal vegetables!

It is in fact impossible 
for any culture 
to be sound and healthy 
without a proper regard 
for the soil, 
no matter 
how many urban dwellers 
think that their food 
comes from groceries 
and delicatessens 
or their milk from tin cans. 
This ignorance 
does not release them 
from a final dependence 
upon the farm. 

From “Regard for the Soil,” an easy essay by Peter Maurin (1887-1949) 

Well before microwaves and TV dinners, Catholic philosopher Peter Maurin was lifting up the dangers of an industrialized food system that distances eaters from the sources of our food. Today, many of us feel helpless without the low-wage laborers, massive equipment, and storage, distribution, and retail systems that lie between the meal on our plates and the soil the ingredients came from. Most recently, we witnessed the panic of empty store shelves at the beginning of the pandemic. 

But such helplessness and panic is avoidable! And the good news is that a more dependable food system for everyone doesn’t mean we all need to quit our jobs to become full-time farmers. We just need to learn to eat closer to home. When we do, we not only reap the benefits of good nutrition, but we also get to enjoy wonderful friendships with folks who raise everything from beefsteak tomatoes to beef cattle. Of course, growing a few of your own tomato plants in the back yard can’t be beat for pure summertime pleasure. 

We are fortunate to live in a rich agricultural region with many small farms producing a wide variety of vegetables, fruit, sweeteners, proteins, and so much more. Thank you for supporting some of these growers through the Huss Farmers Market. You can find many more listed in the 2021 River Country Food Guide (pick up a print copy at the market), and don’t forget to tell everyone you know about the great growers you discover! 

Kirstin Vander Giessen-Reitsma

Kirstin is a member of the *culture is not optional core community and is the Head Caretaker at GilChrist Retreat Center.