If you are trying to feign your way through the complex ecosystem of technology, it is essential to recruit a smart, young nephew to serve as your guide,

as Dante relied on Vergil to steer him through Purgatory. For without such, one resides on the sawed-off stump of technological bewilderment, as I nearly have the past three weeks. But my dear nephew kindly delved for me into the depths of: coding, programming, downloading, installing, uninstalling, re-installing, browsing, snipping, cookies, crackers, updating, searching, and outsourcing to rescue me from the purgatory of technological helplessness.

The problem was finally diagnosed to be my eight-year-old operating system, that is showing first signs of crippling fatigue. So a trip to Best Buy solved the problem, only to create another! The new operating system is hopelessly complex and un-intuitive, forcefully dispatching my fanny back to the stump of bewilderment. But, again, patient hand-holding from young, pliant minds is enabling me to creep back onto the technological stage. So, here we are.

All of this wandering in the colorless world of electronic abstraction has left this soul parched for visual impact, such as the soothing beauty of green landscape. Humans long for green landscape, stemming from origin on ancient savannas. The picture below reassures these senses.


As we claw our way back from technological darkness to ambulate over lush landscape and find ourselves at a table of soulful food, what observations arise? The first is we need both extremes of the spectrum - technology and soulful food. It is ironic to fathom how difficult it has become to produce and market real food without computers. The computer has indeed replaced the plowshare as a critical tool on our farm and many others.

On the other hand, technology is impermanent; it is always mutating and rendering itself obsolete. It is hard to gather a body of knowledge around a phenomenon that keeps disappearing. It doesn't feed the soul, in itself, so it is really just a tool within the greater scheme - not all that different from the faithful pipe-wrench.

Food, on the other hand, is timeless, arcing over the ages with grace and permanence. The preparation of food hasn't changed much since the advent of the iron-age, two thousand years ago. Its role within cultures is profound. Its capacity to transmit love is nearly unmatched. Its role as a basic need has been documented for millions of years. Its vital artistic expression attracts best efforts from all walks of life. It provides the backdrop for the most important conversations that occur within families - over meals and around the table. It creates connection across vast expanses and in intimate settings. It parts political oceans and spans chasms of despair. The preparation of food is a powerful force, unrivaled by many, whether it be over the open fires of Patagonia, the sauce pans of Paris, or the pressure-cookers of Bangalore.

Yet, in our current reality, this encompassing force can be suddenly rendered impotent by loss of supporting technology. So, the moral of the story might be: ...keep the essential nephew nearby and well-fed!

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday the 1st at the Winter Farmers' Market in Hyde Park at Clark Montessori.

Unfortunately, we have sold out of chickens for the season, and shortly will be inquiring as to how many you might want for the second half of the year. We thought the pastured chicken raised on the neighboring Mennonite farm was outstanding in taste and texture, and we look forward to providing several fold more in the year ahead.

We have just harvested our first lambs, and feel their taste and tenderness is even exceeding the year's past, presumably due to improving pastures. The lamb chops are bigger and better than ever.

We picked up a steer from the processor today, which has delivered the most marbled steaks and roasts we have seen to-date.

We feel the production side of our business is continually growing stronger. Yet, we have eight steers on-hand ready to be processed, without sufficient demand to justify doing so. We are holding them, waiting for demand to surface. So, we offer incentive for you to help us find new customers.

The incentive is this: find us $100 of new business and we will give you five pounds or $35 of ground beef. Have the referrals cite your name, and we will keep track and settle up with you when you hit the magic thresh-hold. Thank you in advance for helping us move to the next level. We can't do so without you. Word of mouth and referrals are the best advertising.

We also have product on-hand at Keegans Seafoood.

You may order on-line at:

http://grassrootsfoods.biz/on-line-purchasing, for delivery Wednesday February 11 at Pape & Bellecrest Avenues, in East Hyde Park.

With gratitude for the nephew and you,

Essentially yours,

Drausin & Susan www.grassrootsfood.biz