On Cairncest Farm in Plainfield, two brothers, Edmund and Garth Brown, have resolved to eat only what they raise/grow/forage/hunt themselves for an entire year. Edible Finger Lakes is carrying biweekly updates from the Brown brothers as they embark on this food journey.
Food for a Year: November 1-17
The end of the year as been fairly anticlimactic. In fact, we have opted to end our little experiment early—Thanksgiving without proper stuffing or pie and the prospect of a frustratingly abstemious Christmas season just don’t seem worth it when we have already thoroughly experienced what raising all our own food is like.
Speaking for myself, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts here and on our own blog, I have grown somewhat frustrated with the whole thing. The first five months were so challenging that everything since has felt like something of a letdown, and since mid-summer I’ve mostly been stewing about how silly it is to not eat ketchup.
It says something about my limitations that what I lack holds so much more sway than appreciation for the abundance that has sustained me completely for the last 11 months, and has provided the bulk of my food in years past. In part this is a product of the current food environment; if everyone in my family and in my region was eating entirely or even mostly from the land, it would be much easier to forget all the little conveniences that I have been willfully doing without. It’s hard to open the fridge or the spice cabinet and choose not to use any lemon or cayenne month after month.
So my goal for the coming month is to try to appreciate everything I’ve been ignoring, and I hope that by allowing all the condiments and seasonings and other little things that have so preoccupied me I will be able to be thankful for all the meat and rutabagas. —Garth
Brothers Edmund and Garth Brown are owner-operators of Cairncrest Farm in Plainfield, New York. They produce and sell grass-fed beef and pastured pork. They blog about their 2015 homegrown challenge here.
Read the last Food for a Year post here.
Photos by Garth Brown