Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hello Goodbye

First of all just a quick side note to one of the comments on my last post. I welcome comments that may disagree with my point of view, but I will argue back, I would argue with a wall as my mom used to say! I may live in my own little "reality" and I like that just fine but I am not out of touch with Reality. I live with an Associated Press photojournalist and a teenager that is a comparative politics and current events junkie so reality smacks me in the face around here 24/7. The reality is that we are all taking it up the ass from Corporate America and getting screwed every way you look and I am just trying to make peace with that and buy some food from farmers that are working their asses off in 90 degree weather and selling me a bag full of squash for 70 cents that they should be able to charge a lot more for, but they have to know that none of us out there have a lot of money right now except for Assholes like those at BP that can take their F'ing day off to go sailing for God's sake! I'm really sick of the state of this country and this book I just read motivated me to go out and buy from those hard working people in my community that are growing good decent crops and what the Hell is wrong with that! NOW.......
I got a new slab roller! Thanks to my Raku students for taking my last class that allowed me to buy this!
Bye Bye to this pain in the butt way of rolling slabs!!!!!
and I have been making fun little pot holders with the loom my mom had as a kid. When we were in the Mts. I found a bag of loopers and thought it would be fun to make some. I'm using old Christmas ones that are burnt and sad because I just never go out with the thought of "hey, I'm going to buy pot holders today!" So I have some nice ones that I made with my own two hands, How's that for reality!!!! hahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!


Hollis Engley said...

Yeah, but what do you REALLY think, Tracey? I'm with you. We should do what we can and support those who try to support us all. Keep saying what you mean. (As if you wouldn't ... )

Michele said...

I can only agree with you wholeheartedly. I read that book this spring and it pretty much summed up the way I feel about food. We gave up meat years ago, because I cannot support the inhumane industry that produces it. And I used to be a small cattle producer and grew my own pigs and poultry for food. Food production, done right, is alot of work, and should be properly rewarded. We used to spend alot more of our money on food than we do now, and people should stop using price as an excuse. It's more effort, yes, but prioritize, people! Healthy food makes healthy people, and the torture of animals isn't good for anyone.
Didn't you love the turkey part in the book?
Oh, and I like your other outlooks on life also:)


Julie Whitmore Pottery said...

I am very ready for a rolling table too. Are you happy with yours? Any trouble rolling that large wheel?

Back to corporate food growers for a sec. did you know that Monsanto is trying to make the seeds from plants we buy at nurseries not germinate? yes, no more re seeding, just sterile seeds.

Ron said...

Yes Tracey I'm with Hollis, I don't think you need to pull your punches! Ha!! Great book and yes if you don't have a garden go the Farmer's market. We still eat a minimal amount of meat but what we do eat we buy from folks right here in the county. It's amazing! I love it. Ole Astro, can't access his blog by the way, he's in a league with many other people but if we do our part then things will change.
Glad you got a slab roller, you'll be making LOTS of houses now. Have fun.

Tracey Broome said...

Well, Hollis, you know I just can't keep quiet. I will support anyone's freedom to express their point of view, because as we all know too well, I will gladly share my opinion:)
Michele, I read the turkey sex chapter last night and laughed my head off! Thanks for your comments.
Julie, I like the slab roller very much for my purposes. If I were making very large platters or really large sculpture I would want a more heavy duty model, but for the slabs I need this is perfect. I had one lump of clay that has been sitting around for awhile and it was a little harder to get through the rollers, but as long as the clay was fairly soft, I had no trouble. I did hear about Monsanto, one of the evil evil companies in this country as far as I'm concerned. Sexless seeds, what fun is that?!
Ron, I made four houses today in about the time it usually takes me to pound out my clay and roll it with that dang rolling pin, so I AM a happy girl! I know for the most part I'm preaching to the choir, glad so many of us ARE supporting our local farmers and meat producers!!!!

ang said...

nice one hollis!!! my first morning chuckle that made me cry...anyhoo all i meant to say was nice slabby you'll have so much fun with that... :P

cookingwithgas said...

it keeps me coming back- I enjoy your honesty.
and Hollis just made me laugh!
I should just say ditto!
Hey- I started with that smae slab roller. I made a lot of pots with one of those until I was offered the one I have now.
And like you I buy local when I can and if i can't i suck it up and buy what I need. I try not to over buy and waste food.

John A said...

Hey Tracey - I have been enjoying checking in here for some time - thanks for all the interesting stuff you've posted. I'm glad you were moved to action by MP's book. Local food is part of what we all should be looking at- and if enough of us (and the ARE enough of us) do, then we will define what's reality, and it'd be about time.
Great that you got your slab roller -
have fun with it.

Anonymous said...

I've just recently (and thankfully) stumbled upon your blog and just wanted to say YOU GO GIRL! There is nothing wrong with wanting to do the right thing and reap the benefits of that with great health. I live in Canda just west of the Rocky Mountains and growing is a challenge but we do hit the weekly farmers' market and my husband has taken to planting vegetables in our yard like our neighbors plant marigolds...and I love it. (Your work is absolutely beautiful, too.)

Trish said...

Thank you!!!

and I know you will love you new slab roller. that is the one that I have...good fun!

Anonymous said...

光這幾句話就價值連城了,讀著讀著小弟的眼眶就濕了... .................................................................

Linda Starr said...

a slab roller, that will be fun.

Schnee said...

Hi Tracey,

The only caveat to buying local is if the particular fruit or vegetable would require lots of fertilizer to be grown in that location where it could be grown further away with a lot less fertilizer. I read a science story on carbon footprints the other day and it talked about a grocery food chain in the UK (Tesco) that is working toward labeling all its food with its carbon footprint info. Part of calculating that footprint would not only include how far the food traveled and by what mode of transportation, but also how much fertilizer and/or pesticide were used in growing, giving shoppers a more whole picture on how much energy was used to grow/make that item. The article is "Big Foot" by Michael Spector originally published in the New Yorker. I read it in an anthology called The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2009 Edition....which I highly recommend for the breadth of science articles, with several about climate change.

It gave an example where shipping over water was used. Shipping uses a sixtieth of the amount of the amount of carbon of air travel and doesn't require building highways. It was more "green" for New Yorkers to buy wine from Bordeux, France (shipped by sea) than from California (shipped by truck). There were also an example of apples coming from New Zealand, where little fertilizer is needed and yields are high and combining that with sea travel, had lower carbon footprints than some apples grown in the US or UK.

So I do hope that other stores take on what Tesco is attempting and calculate carbon footprints for food and make that info available to consumers.

I'm all about buying local and supporting local farmers...because I do do that. (And even growing my own veggies.) But this article just reminded me of the other factors we need to be aware of when choosing our foods. As always, life choices aren't always simple...darn it! :)

Tracey Broome said...

Hey new blog friends! Good to hear from you, I always love it when new people comment. Hey to my old friends too! The carbon footprint thoughts are interesting, there is so much we need to do to take care of things, recycling, buying local, carbon footprint, walk instead of ride..... it's exhausting to just think of it all, I know I don't do all I should but I try, we do recycle, and I am trying to be more attuned to cause and effect of my actions. Can't be lazy these days can you!? I'm no Mother Earth but I do love living here and would rather not have to go live on the Moon or something :)

Anonymous said...

well hello tracey... i miss a day on your blog and miss the fireworks. well, i'm with you on this one. sofia's been a vegetarian since birth and we've read "fast food nation" and seen "food, inc." but the book that blew us away the most was "the china study" by t. colin campbell... probably not as fun to read as b. kingsolver but totally rocked our world. i like the stats about saving oil by eating locally and although i don't have the exact #'s handy, if people didn't eat meat once a week, the savings on oil is even greater and we'd get the additional benefit of reduced methane in the atmosphere. bovine's contribution to the warming of the planet is enormous. all this said, what astro seems to be oblivious to is that these models that he apparently thinks are ridiculous will be thrust upon us in the future regardless of our opinions about them because the current model is not sustainable. i don't know how old he is but maybe he's old enough that he won't witness it and maybe i won't either (although i might) but i have a 5 year old and i'm not all warm and fuzzy about her prospects in regard to food, environment, etc. and subsequent generations may be able to curse their predecessors but unfortunately they won't be able to dig them up, bring them back to life and then punish them for their shortsightedness and arrogance. change now or change later. now it will be very difficult, later it will be disastrous. the corporatocracy is definitely one of the top problems we face.

Tracey Broome said...

Amen Jim! I for one have hope for the future, my daughter and her high school friends are brilliant and concerned and then comes your kid, I'm hoping that's light at the end of the tunnel I see!!!

astro said...

Tracey, there’s nothing wrong with supporting those who make and sell things locally, and if we can do it, we should. I don’t think that practice is a reality for most people these days.
Apparently Barbara Kingsolver (hereafter “BK”) and her readers imagine that most of America will just stroll one mile down the country lane to their local farm and buy all kinds of fabulous produce at a reasonable price, from the cheerful and wholesome farm family that lives on the farm. You know, Cal, his wife Betty, and their charming kids Tommy and Suzanne.
For most of America that farm never existed, or is gone, never to return.
Where I live, in Chicago, “local” produce is from Northern Wisconsin, or Michigan, about 350 miles away. And for millions more in cities across the country, it is the same, the local farm is located…nowhere local.
Despite this, I enrolled in a CSA this year, to supplement my garden vegetables. After the first CSA delivery arrived ( from Michigan,) I was quite surprised. We received head of romaine lettuce that was kind of small and scraggly, and when I cut it up for salads, half the inside was rotten. We also got about a dozen ribs of rhubarb, which was only about an inch across at the root end. Nothing spectacular. We also got asparagus, which was pretty nice, but not any better than I can buy from the produce market one mile from my house.
All in all, I am pretty disappointed with my effort to support “local” farmers. Frankly, I can drive to the produce market a mile from my house and get fantastic produce, and for a lot less than a CSA. If the quality of the CSA produce doesn’t improve, I won’t get more; I am not going to subsidize “local” farmers that produce sub-par vegetables.
I think the reality for most people is that they can’t afford a CSA, or organic produce, or gardens; especially if they have kids. They are more concerned with finding, keeping, or surviving their nine to five, and hoping that they will have health insurance tomorrow, if they have it now.
I also don’t think the average person can afford a weeks vacation in a beautiful mountain cabin, a new SUV, or a slab roller, should they have the luxury of being able to indulge in any kind of creative activity at all.
As far as BK is concerned, I couldn’t care less what she advocates in her books. She talks the talk, but why might this be so? Because BK has tons of money, that’s why. She can easily AFFORD to buy any type of food she wants, local, organic, imported, artisan. So can all the other people who tell most of Americans how to run their lives – Oprah, Martha Stewart, Rachel Ray, P. Allen Smith, et al. For them, having gardens, raising chickens, buying organic produce is nothing. They can afford to hire someone to do all that for them, then they can spend all their time advocating that all of America, regardless of economic circumstance, follow along.
BK, for one, probably has a nice (second or third) home in the country where a local farm MIGHT BE just down the road. Growing portion of American has never had, nor will ever have that.
Speaking of Corporate America, does Kingsolver have her books printed and published by small, LOCAL presses and houses in THIS country? A quick check at my local library reveals that her books are made in China. They are published by Harper, which is owned by News Corporation. News Corporation is a giant media conglomerate owned by average-joe, and friend-to-the-common-man, Rupert Murdoch.
How local are BKs efforts to have her books printed and published? Not very. Seems like it might be a little of “do as I say, not as I do.” Is she ever going to be a role model for me, or am I ever going to heed her “advice”? Not bloody likely.
I can support local folks because BK didn't think of that first.

astro said...

By the way, it's great that people can comment and discuss things on yer blog, as long-winded as some of us may be.

astro said...

I would like to retract a statement I made earlier about Kingsolver's books being printed in China. They are NOT printed in China, they are, in fact, printed in the Uited States.
I apologize to her and her readers for this error.

Liz said...

I am saddened that Astro has such a negative outlook, I am a single mom of two teens, supporting my kids on my own, by making pots and teaching somewhat Like you do. I work more than 9-5, Monday-Friday, and still manage to eat well, eat local, and get great produce, local cheese and I live where most people vacation. Music and art are a part of our lives, as much as breathing is. And we are not wealthy. Just conscious.

Tracey Broome said...

I'm right there with ya Liz!!!! you just have to pick what is important, food and family, that's about it!! and music and books and art :)

Terracotta-Lily said...

Just a quick note from England;
Althogh Tesco is up for putting it's carbon footprint on it's packaging it just boycotted a move to get a traffic light system put on food to tell consumers how much fat/salt/bad stuff is in it, so they aint that great. As a rule of thumb, don't trust big business.
But here, even in London, there are farmers markets, organic supermarkets and festivals for independent food sellers all over the place. We also go mental for allotments, dunno if you lot have anythiing similar, little plots of inner-city land you buy per annum to grow your own veg.
If you guys can't get good, healthy honest food, I'd say don't give up, try harder.