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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Baby Steps

After reading my old post on Wal-Mart I figured I should update everyone, as I've made great, okay decent, progress in buying local and making better purchasing decisions overall. And if you live in South Jersey, I'll tell you where I'm shopping and give you the links to hook you up.
First, I found a local butcher, Bringhurst Meats. You can see where they slaughter the animals from the counter where you purchase your meat. It's a small family place that's tucked back a windy road and has been since the 1930's. I can buy not only locally farmed meat, but grass-fed beef, rabbits, free-range chickens, goat meat and fresh bacon without nitrates. Plus, they buy animals from the local 4-H kids and then sell the meat. And, as expected, their products taste awesome.
Second, I started getting organic produce delivered weekly from Suburban Organics. The downside is that to supply people with organic produce year round, they ship produce from all over. Al Gore would pass out at the sight of the carbon footprint my organic pineapples and mangos leave behind. BUT, during the spring and summer I do get locally produced veggies AND they deliver organic milk too. So while I'm paying more for everything, it's worth it too me because it saves on all the running around, and when I pay top dollar for food, I use it up without waste. The kids will learn to eat this stuff before I grow it so our crops don't rot in the crisper. And finally, for all the bits of veggies that do get brown and gross before I turn then into one of my delicious home-cooked dinners, its simply a trip out to the compost pile. We've got a nice recycled pallet compost pile cooking out back and we're hoping to get some raised beds out front this spring.
It didn't take much searching to find these places so it's likely there's a co-op or butcher in your town too: why not have a look?
So, there have been some changes here and I'm feeling good about it all. It feels pretty good to read my earlier post and see that, wow, I could make some baby steps in the right direction. With a little more time, who knows what we might accomplish this year. Dare I be optimistic? I'll drink to that.

Bob Waldrop-Who I Hope to be When I Grow Up

Here is a link to a presentation by Bob Waldrop, of the Catholic Worker house in Oklahoma City. He spoke at Our Lady of the Annunciation Monastery at Clear Creek; a traditional Benedictine order with a growing community of Catholic agrarians popping up around it.
We briefly toyed with the idea of running away to Oklahoma during our dismal house search but decided against it; at least for now.
Waldrop runs a great Worker house, and his presence at Clear Creek shows that the values of the Catholic Worker Movement do not run contrary to traditional Catholic values. Just because some liberals hijacked Day as their mascot and twisted her message or used what suited their views du jour, the Catholic Worker Movement is just what it says-Catholic, to the core.
If I can create in my own way even half of the good that Waldrop does out his way, I'll be lucky.