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Monday, June 2, 2008

food with thought behind it

from left to right, Champ, Ryan, Taylor and Brooklyn.  Champ is so named in Ryan's expectation of taking the regional championship at his local 4H judging, a couple of hours north of Waynorth.  the H's are explained in the 4H pledge.

"i pledge my HEAD to clearer thinking, my HEART to greater loyalty, my HANDS to greater service, my HEALTH to better living for my club, my community, my country and my world"

not a bad way to raise kids.

Ryan is one of my violin students. now a handsome and strapping young man of 15, we've been friends (excepting a brief lapse when i first made him use a metronome) since he was 5. He still doesn't like metronomes, but i think he's forgiven me.  He's recently also taken up the trombone and the bagpipes.  he looks very suave in his new kilt.  Taylor is my granddaughter, Brooklyn's friend.  the photo is from a visit to Ryan's family farm a few weeks ago, to see the lambs.  Champ was a bonus, just because Ry is so proud of him.  

at the time of the photo, Champ weighed in at something between 1100 and 1200 pounds.  so, i was thinking of the two of them this evening when, in search of locally produced protein, i attended our town's 4H sale.  imagine a slender 13-year-old girl, maybe 82 1/2 pounds, with teased, bleached hair and makeup on a face that look like she just stepped off a teen magazine photo shoot, in very tight designer jeans, firmly escorting the 950 pound black angus steer she had raised from its birth, around a ring liberally dolloped with fresh cowpies.  and the steer was getting away with nothing.  or a rail thin boy of 9 wrestling manfully with an even larger 'calf'.  the calf never got the better of him, but they both knew it was a near thing.  another of these 'babies took a flying leap, lifting his solid 6 foot tall date right off the ground with him.  

not that i was intimidated, but i bought a lamb.


Cicero Sings said...

I think 4H is a great program. I have a friend ... all 5 of her boys and 1 girl have all been involved and come out the better for it!

susan said...

Did you buy the lamb so you can eventually knit a cardigan? Except for 5 or 6 years I've always been a low level meat eater since I'm too lazy to be a proper vegetarian but I'm still squeamish about it.

gfid said...

susan - i confess the lamb went straight to the butcher. and lambs in back yards aren't allowed in town. realistically, it would be most difficult to be a vegetarian and eat locally this far north... protein would be restricted to eggs, dairy and very few grains.... and i'm celiac and don't handle carbs in large quantities very well, or cow's milk... i was vegan years ago, when my body could digest anything.

i'm not much of a knitter... the odd sock, occasionally even a pair. but i do have a lovely blanket sized weaving loom that i hope to dust off this fall and get some serious mileage from.... using, if i can get it, local wool from sheep and bison.

gfid said...

cicero - it's just so heartwarming to come across something so WHOLESOME these days, that whole families still participate in TOGETHER!!!

susan said...

You have something in common with Tibetan Buddhists since they have to be meat eaters too for the same reasons you mentioned.. with the difference being that they contend with elevation. Can you imagine living 11k feet up and the passes and the mountains are even taller? The trains they run from China are pressurized and boy, did I get off topic or what?

An old friend of mine studied weaving in Sweden for 7 years - a course that included growing flax and going through the entire process of making a damask table cloth and accessories. We shared a big loft apartment in Montreal where she had two small leClerc looms and a giant Eupoean one that had an 8' beam and no metal - all wood and string for heddles. She taught me to card, spin, dye (ooh with flowers too) and weave. Nice memories.

Granny said...

I don't like metronomes either.

Good luck with the lamb.

kate smudges said...

What a good photograph - 4H is an amazing programme for farm kids. Would that it were available to city kids too.

I'd have gone with the lamb too ... love it. Would eat more of it if there was a better supply here.

I've missed ya!

gfid said...

susan - seeing tibet is on my 'to do' list. i didn't know about the meat diet, though.... carnivorous Buddhists!? my loom was a gift from a friend on the west coast... there's a story to that, which i may tell when i get the loom set up and dusted off. my friend is also into natural dyes, spinning, etc. fascinating stuff. i think there's a story lurking in those memories of yours :o)

granny - repeat after me. "the metronome is my friend. the metronome is my friend. the..... " this is our mantra. a strong sense of beat and tempo is one of the best things a musician can bring to a jam session. the lamb is being cut and wrapped as we chat. i'm sharing him with friends.

kate - hey, busy lady! i've missed you too! i think if you have country connections you can do 4 H in the city. they don't just do critters, but it seems there have to be rural roots (couldn't resist the pun) to get it growing.

lindsaylobe said...

It’s amazing these young folk are taking control of 1000+lb animals and obviously enjoying the experience!! I also think it great to see a local community function in that manner; the motto and idea now over 100 years young!!

Best wishes

gfid said...

lindsay - i didn't know 4H had been around so long! makes me feel like a spring chicken!