I took a day off work yesterday to attend Houston Food policy Workgroup’s quarterly meeting. They meet monthly to formulate and implement a strategy to bring real food to the citizens of the Houston area. It has been a real privilege of ours to make some really good friends at these events and these meeting drag some really talented farmers off their farms for an afternoon. This meeting was at a restaurant in Houston and was formed to discuss and address some of the issues that can arise shed farmers and restaurants meet. Typically in these sessions the farmers are very polite and don’t say much publicly, but the guests speak their mind. This was the case at the meeting yesterday. We heard how expensive it is to start a bar and restaurant, how they don’t have any time to buy better product from local farms , how slim their margins are and how many hours a restauranteur works. The farmers to their credit didn’t defend themselves with the same complaints (because starting a farm is expensive, takes long hours and we have little time to be off the farm to deliver to restaurants either), instead the farmers were polite and gracious saying very little. Almost. 2 hours of hashing out the obstacles and barriers to just why Houston can’t get real food I’d had enough. I on behalf of the optimist addressed the 100 or so people in the room and said lets not forget the blessing and opportunity that we have here in this great city. Millions of people and 10 or so farms to feed them all and all we can see are the problems?
In the past 2 days I have had the opposite experience of what was represented in that room. I am truly exhausted as we are still in the throws of lambing and bottle babies wait for no shepherd. 3 am feedings happen no matter what. Yet my spirits are higher than ever because of what I’ve seen. What my farmer eyes have seen is the spark in people’s eyes and the grin on children’s faces when they are meet with the amazing. The sight and touch of a 3 day old lamb can change things. Countenance , outlook and renew hope are just the surface changes but in the long run we are better of for remembering that joy is worth fighting for. This is what this farm means to me. Fighting daily to renew joy to our world in an honest wholesome and pure way