some time ago, i coined the phrase ag hag to describe a certain friend of mine who could otherwise be described as a farmer groupie. now, i’ve been flushed out as a cook groupie on more than one occasion, but, as it turns out, maybe i’m more into dirt than dirty cooks. i’ve just discovered the new farm, an online (and paper?) publication put out by the rodale institute, a non-profit that supports regenerative farming. it’s a pretty awesome little magazine, made even more so by andy griffin of mariquita farm in watsonville, who contributes a journal of life on his farm. his wife julia, a very cool lady indeed, came to terra madre, and there’s a brief account of her experience here, as channeled through andy. these guys used to put out a beautiful quarterly, called root, but it folded some time ago. you should definitely check out andy’s excellent writing. the man is gifted.

after spending nearly all of my life in midwestern suburbia and major american metropolises, i — like so many others — have become so disassociated from the people who grow the food i eat. okay, i know you’lve probably gone down this road with me before, but listen, i’ve only now realized this on the most visceral level, and not just cerebrally/consciously, after finally meeting all these farmers. (ironic that we had to be transplanted thousands and thousands of miles away for this to happen.) going to the greenmarket in new york never really brought the possibility of a shared reality home to me. buying produce in new york city seems sort of exotic sometimes, in fact. and not at all a quotidian matter. it’s almost just another version of any other consumption that goes on in that city. (and plus, it costs about as much.)

farmers are fucking amazing people. maybe i do them a disservice by simplifying it so. i wish i could sing their praises from the rooftops. i promise i will try, one way or another. the fact that people like the griffins and the gerritsens exist is something we should be grateful for, every day, every time we raise a fork to our mouths. how is it possible that we forget them so easily?


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