Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Page 123

Today I was tagged, or something like that, by Ed at The Deets. I've never been tagged before, and conceptually it sounds like those lame forwards circa 1998 where you had to fill in your favorite this and that and then forward the email to your 8 closest friends, but this is a pretty fun idea, and I'd expect nothing less from Ed! Plus, I'm not tagging anyone else. If anyone reading this who has a blog would like to be "tagged" by this, then consider yourself tagged.

Here are the instructions:

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people. (I'm not doing this part, lame)

I've been reading Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. It's an indictment on King Corn and even the industrial organic industry. Very eye-opening. I especially liked the part about Joel Salatin's grassfed farm, Polyface, and how that represents a model for the small farmer on how to make the farm sustainable. While sustainable is a word that is thrown around so much that it starts to lose meaning, Salatin seems to have found the essence of that concept.

OK, so enough about this amazing book. Time to follow the instructions:

  • We think of grass as soft and hospitable stuff, but once it's been dried in the sun and shredded by machines - once it's become hay - grass is sharp enough to draw blood and dusty enough to thicken lungs. I was covered in chaff, my forearms tattoed red with its pinpricks. The other - Joel Salatin, whose farm this was; his grown son, Daniel, and two helpers - had gone off to the barn for something, leaving me with a most welcome moment in the pasture to gather myself before we cranked up the bailer again.

I love that passage, because it reminds me of my summers spent helping my aunt and uncle on their farm in SE Minnesota. It was such a beautiful, if small, farm, deep in a valley with tall bluffs. I loved the farm, I loved driving the tractor, carrying stones, feeding the sheep. But I HATED baling hay. And I was always there to help with that. No matter how thick a shirt I wore, my city-slicker skin would be shredded to pieces by the time we were done baling that hay.

So thanks Deets! Your "tag" brought me down memory lane.

1 comment:

Ed Kohler said...

I hear that's a great book.

City slicker. Doesn't sitting at a desk typing make you tough?