Saturday, November 19, 2011

American Meat

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Just got in from a screening of the new film, American Meat. The film exposes the meat industry from the farmers' point of view - beginning with larger, confined animal operations and featuring Joel Salatin, the lunatic grass farmer.

The evening began with Chipotle burritos made with humanely raised meat and ended with a panel discussion of local farmers.  It was nice to see and talk with area growers, to hear their successes and challenges raising local, sustainable meat.  The film was nothing revolutionary for me, but I enjoyed the story nonetheless.  I particularly enjoyed hearing the story of American meat through the voices of the farmers, without the gruesome PETA footage meant to scare people away from eating meat.

Earlier today I toured the Pendleton Hill property for a third time - this time with my dad and brother in tow.  More eyes exposed more challenges than I had seen on previous visits, especially with the electrical wiring.  Nothing major, but certainly an additional cost.  Add that to the feeling that the owners may not be ready to negotiate a lower price that I could afford, and I left the farm feeling a little insecure.

Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose.

So the work continues.  I also had a chance this afternoon to tour Stonyledge Farm, an organic meat and vegetable farm also in North Stonington.  The owners of the farm are very sweet.  Their parents run a vegetable farm with a commercial kitchen and their sons are beginning a dairy also in North Stonington, so it's a true family business.  Building a community and gathering inspiration from neighbors - that is how you start a farm.

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