Thursday, June 22, 2006

Day 14 - Natural Bridge to Buchanan ...on way to Troutville

OK. This is going to be a quick one, but my trusted friend demanded I post a blog everyday...which is impossible, but I'll try and do one as often as possible.

I have actually been writing extensively, but I frequently stop at these small town public libraries that don't have usb ports on their computers so I can't transfer my writing to a computer with internet. I've actually been quite suprised at how frequently I've been able to find wireless internet service. Even in some extraordinarily small towns they will have it. And lots of quirky restaurants have it now too. It's actually a great way to draw business because its one of the first things I ask when I arrive in town.

So I realize that I haven't posted that much yet about the farms I am visiting, but that is about to change. In the last couple of days I have really been exposed to some revolutionary thinking in the agricultural world, and I expect that it just might change the way you think about food.

I've also been hestitant to just throw my general thoughts out there before taking the time to refine them. I don't want to offer up revolutionary ideas in such a watered like way that they go in one ear and out the other.

I am beginning to feel very connected to food. I still stop and buy some trash along the road occassionaly, but I'm noticing some subtle changes. For one, I'm eating a lot more fruit, and every place that I go I try and find the most local variety available. Local is more important than organic. What is the point of organic apples from Venezuela. Shipped food is poorer quality food, and I'll go into detail on this point in the future.

Jefferson's cherries really did get into my head. I've also been reading more about our founding fathers. Benjamin Franklin, likewise, believed in the virtues of a farming lifestyle. He attributed a nation's wealth as coming from one of three sources. The first is outright robbery. Picture the Roman empire, and some of our earlier imperialistic endeavors. The second is commerce, which Franklin compared to cheating. He didn't go into the details, but we certainly live in a commercial society today. And thirdly, farming presents the only honest way to develop wealth, in that it is directly related to the seed you sow. It is a miracle of nature and a blessing by God that the Earth is made in such a way that by working to care and understand the land you can increase its bounty.

There was a respect that these great men had not only for the land, but for the men who made their living from it. Where has that respect gone....because it is certainly gone. Name for me a farmer that you respect and why. I hope that you can name ten, but you probably don't even know ten.

Well the Buchanan library has just turned off their lights and I have 15 miles yet to ride today.

The trip is starting to get interesting.

This entry was posted on 6/22/2006 5:43 PM

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