Quack! Quack!

November 10 2015

Appreciate your food. It is, what you are.

Not just in the physical matter and makeup of the food. The political, social and environmental aspects are all being consumed and supported every time you take a bite.

Many people go through life with little to no thought about the food they are consuming. Who grew these things? Where did that come from? How was this grown? How did this get to me? If people asked these questions, and had genuine concern for them, we wouldn't be shipping pesticide laden spinach across the continent, when it can and is being grown organically just around the corner. To build strong local communities, we have to keep our money in them. Buy food grown locally to support local farmers.

I work as the garden manager for an organic farm which provides food year round through several means, including farmers markets and our CSA program. Community Supported Agriculture is exploding in popularity, which directly connects farmers to local consumers. Individuals or families purchase a 'share' in the farm in the spring for about $400, then they receive a box full of healthy, fresh, organic produce every week until the fall. This gives the farmer an initial income to purchase the seeds and hire labour to fulfill the demands of the growing season. And these demands are ever present. I urge all of you to volunteer at your local organic farm to get a taste for and an appreciation for how physically demanding this work is. It may be a form of heaven to be working outside all day surrounded by both wild and domestic animals and plants, but the amount of work is immense and relentless. Search for a CSA farm near you and buy a share, or go help out. You will learn lots, eat healthy food and your farmer will greatly appreciate it.

I've started a flock of Indian Runner Ducks. They are hilarious and beautiful ducks who stand vertical like a penguin. They are the best foragers of any duck or chicken, and can lay up to 300 eggs a year. They have the most colour variation of all ducks including; chocolate, white, silver, mallard, blue, black, apricot trout, fawn and others. I recommend them to anyone living in a rural area. An interesting fact is that all domestic ducks (aside from muscovy's) are descendants of the common mallard. This includes runners, pekin, cayuga, khaki campbell, welsh harlequin, rouen etc. I've got five runners so far, named Ayples and Banaynay, Cool Runnings, Robert Larmer, Pickled Pumpernickle, and Pamplemousse Chartreuse. I love them.

So please, think about the food you are eating. For our canadian thanksgiving, everything we ate came from the farm. Carrot, rutabaga, brussels sprouts, sweet potato, turkey and even pie pumpkins for the pie. Where did or will your food for thanksgiving come from? Who grew it? How was it grown? How did it get to me? We need to start asking and addressing these questions.

Email me if you can relate to any of the preceding, please!

Kyle McQueston
[email protected]
Kawartha Lakes, Ontario

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