Yesterday we swapped, today we ate…homemade sourdough bread, fresh goat cheese, pear ginger butter, and homemade cultured butter…yep, all in one bite!!
I know, I should save all these goodies and slowly dool them out over the year, but hey, it feels like time to celebrate. Not just the food, but the efforts, the thought, the attention that when into all this bounty. Everyone who came this year put so much time into their offerings, and some serious creativity.
I am talking tinctures that have been steeping for months made from wild crafted herbs, cheese made from almonds, mushrooms gathered from the mountains, mustard made and labeled by homeschooled hands, homemade, frozen and indivdiually wrapped cinnamon buns that just need to be heated up on that special Sunday morning!!! I mean really, this was above and beyond anything I ever dreamed of when I was staring at my pile of green tomatoes wondering who, oh who might be willing to trade for something, anything!!
OK, I admit, I do have some amazing friends, but it is not just that. What amazed me the most is that all of the swappers stepped off the hamster wheel of consumer culture, stepped into their creative capacity, whipped up some magic and yes, gave it away!! All in the name of sharing. To give and receive comes so naturally to us human beings, we work so hard with our children on these fundamental human skills, and yet when I look around at most of the messages our culture is sending us, I see very little authentic generousity.
It’s mostly ‘get yours’ ‘every man for himself’ and ‘you gotta look out for your own’ which all negate all that we learn in kindergarden about ‘doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ There are many days that is feels hard parenting a child to share in a world that may later tell him otherwise. But yesterday, It felt so good to see reciprocity in action and to know that at least for today, we are setting a good example.
I just want to say thanks to these folks who came out on Sunday morning with their arms full of their precious handmade and home grown to share. We all left with boxes full as well, all mixed up with herbs, spices, seeds and fruits of other peoples labors of love. I am starting to see a tiny glimmer of new economies, new possibilities, new options. Sorry Whole Foods, I don’t see hand rendered beef tallow on your shelves!
After some of the sampling I had a brilliant idea…. to make a Santa Fe Harvest Swap Cook Book, but then I quickly realized, no I don’t want Lisa’s Mustard recipe, I want Lisa to make my Mustard, and Sarah to make my pepper jelly and Kyce to make my medicine and Becca my butter!!
I want us to nourish each other deeply and truly like we did yesterday. I want that for all of everyone and all of our children. I will do whatever it takes to make that happen, weather I put on more swaps, weave more webs, or construct more soap boxes….I see now my true passion is bringing our gifts, our talents, and our hearts together, because all this goodness needs to be shared and spread, onto a piece of Ty’s homemade bread!!
From early experiences Erin O’Neill learned that feeding your family and teaching your children are most worthy and sustainable goals. Erin has lived on a small plot in Northern New Mexico, that she and her family help nurture and bloom, for 13 years. She has focused her career on educational gardens at the Santa Fe Children’s Museum, Monte Del Sol Charter School and now at the Santa Fe Community College. Her love of gardening is her most cherished gift and she always delights in sharing it. Enjoy more of Erin’s writing and photography at Seeds & Stones.