Yours truly was featured with Matt Burch (Urban Agrarian) in an article for this month’s issue of Oklahoma Today magazine. What an honor! and how exciting to be featured in this magazine with so many of Oklahoma’s movers and shakers of sustainability. Actually……. it felt really weird. I loved the article don’t get me wrong, it was fantastic and the magazine this month is awesome! But….I mean lil’ ol’ me? I especially felt strange after reading an article in Tulsa World this morning written by Natalie Mikles; ‘Out on the farm’ where she features Rae and Lyle Blakley fifth generation farmers! This article reminded me of the footsteps I follow in. The foot prints in the sand that I try to keep in stride with.
I have no farming history at all. Before I moved to Oklahoma I knew nothing about farming, so I try to watch, listen and learn from people like Rae Blakley (Creek side plants and produce) and Debbie Shanks both long time farmer’s market vendors. There are many more I draw from too who have spent their entire lives farming who were taught by their parents. The article Natalie wrote was beautiful and I think a lot of times these real pioneers of farming get overlooked by the flashy new faces that aren’t yet warn by the sun of generations. The new faces of farming like me are acclimated to the media, marketing and technologies like face book, blogs and tweets we put ourselves right in your face. But from a hard core perspective here, we stand in the shadows of the ones who have come before us. They have paved the path for people like me. So here I sit looking at the photograph of my windblown face and sun cinched eyes. I’m simply a small piece in a very big puzzle trying to fit in to the best space that will fit me.
I realize that we all have a role to play. I just never want to overlook or under rate the farmers that I am trying to emanate. Seven years ago I decided after years of being a chef that the real stars in food are the farmers. In Seattle I was smitten with several farmers at my farmers market, to say I had a crush was not too far fetched, maybe enamored? Well, basically in love. But I didn’t want to marry them (good thing for the 78 year old egg lady) I wanted to BE them. I wanted to get as close as I could to food which has always been my most ravenous passion. They had it. They were closer to food than I was and I wanted to get as close to it as they were. I wanted to touch it feel it smell it cook it eat it. To grow it, that was the crème the raison d’être. I wanted not just the cake but the soil in which the wheat was grown in. Clearly perverse.
So thanks Natalie for your amazing reminder of the generations before me and keeping my crush alive.