Kitsap Farm to Fork

A couple of farm girls, Diane Fish and Shannon Harkness, share their experiences with farming, cooking, local food, and building the Kitsap Foodshed.
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Defining Normal

February 22nd, 2012 by Shannon Harkness

There are some things that are “odd” about running a farm.  I couldn’t say they were weird, but just different….odd.  For instance, as I was vacuuming my child’s room the other day, pieces of straw littered her floor.  To me, it’s no biggie, probably just fell out of her sweatshirt or her shoe.

Here’s my point, to a suburban housewife this could cause quite an alarm!  If she were to discover it in October, the mystery would have been solved eventually by remembering that she had that cute little Martha Stewart harvest display on her porch that the kids were playing on.  You know the one that required way too much money a trip to that store in town where they have all of the cute farm-y stuff?  And now she has all of these “squares” of straw that she just doesn’t know what she is going to do with, composting farmer’s dream.  But no!  This is the dead of winter folks, not harvest time.  She quickly would have jumped to conclusions and ultimately she would have it pinned on a rat or varmint that has gotten into the house and tracked all of this filth in.  Que an exterminator.

Not in my house, straw and mud on the floor.  Completely normal.  And the vacuum is actually a permanent fixture in our living room and entryway that we use…

A LOT!

Chicken feet.  A two gallon bag of them in the freezer, in fact there’s more than one right next to the 20 lbs of lard that needs to be rendered.  Now, THAT would cause most to squirm.  I could get a shirt that reads, “I eat chicken’s feet”.  Really what I do with them is boil them down for stock, wonderful gelatinous and thick stock for soups and stews.  Would you believe that my kids use them as back-scratchers on processing day?  yep…farm punks.

Completely normal and delicious.  Not my kids, the feet.

Muddy boots, cases of fruits and vegetables, 5 gallon compost buckets, irrigation fittings, zip ties, pocket knifes, pliers, and work gloves on the counters, mason jars, duct tape, an outside refrigerator full of pickles…this is ALL completely normal here.

Now, just to back me up let me tell you what I have found in my farm girlfriends’ houses.  And mind you, it is a seasonal thing.  Fixtures change due to the time of year.  For instance, it is calving season and milking season for one of my farm girls.  No doubt, she is rounding up as many gallon jars as she can.  They are littering her kitchen and taking over the shelving in her pantry.  And how about that piece of latex tubing that hangs from her kitchen window, right over her sink?  Forget the cutsie stuff hanging in the windows, tubing it is!  And on her window seal…. never mind.  In another farm girl’s kitchen there is no doubt seed packets, soaking pea seeds, etc…it’s planting time!  And finally, I can only imagine what litters most farm girl’s kitchen tables right now…trays and trays of tiny vegetable seedlings.

All completely odd to most, but completely normal to a farm girl.  How odd is your house?

 

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A couple of farm girls share their experiences with farming, cooking, local food, and building the Kitsap Foodshed. Written by Diane Fish and Joy Garitone.

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