Recently a group of fellow urbanites and I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Grassroots Farm in Hillsboro, Ohio for the weekend. Grassroots Farm is a grass-fed sustainable lamb, beef and poultry farm in Cynthiana, OH owned and worked by my good friend Sebastien Hue's mother Susan and her husband Drausin. As soon as Seb invited me to join him I was instantly at peace, daydreaming about spending time with my friends in honest country wearing old boots, cozy oversized sweaters, and no makeup. It was a chance to, in a sense, get back to basics. I wasn't concerned with fashion, just function. You all know how much I love working and living downtown, but sometimes its important to get outside of the everyday routine and just pause for a moment to enjoy this little thing called 'life.'
Now, when I say that visiting the farm was an opportunity for me to pause and breathe, believe me when I tell you that those of us visiting were the only ones who were stopping to smell the... smells. This was a farm hard at work, complete with sheep, cows, chickens, and some very impressive and helpful dogs. I learned so much about the delicate balance of water systems and wetlands, and the important responsibility we all have to the food we eat.
Speaking of food... The concept of farm to table isn't new to any of us, but when the distance from the farm to the table is roughly eleven feet, things are a little different. Everything we ate for dinner was sourced directly from the land we had been exploring all day. Mostly simple and straightforward ingredients, our meal tasted exactly the way it's supposed to; natural and delicious. It was a beautiful evening, all of us working together, bonding, and learning things about the food we were about to enjoy. For instance, Sebastien taught me the ins and outs of preparing and cooking deer liver. That's right, I had my hands all over the liver of a deer that had been alive only 8 hours earlier. Not the job I'd usually sign up for in the kitchen, but this was a special experience for me to better understand what it means to eat.
When it was time to head home, I took one more look over the fields, the cattle, the sheep, the dogs, and then my friends. I felt warm inside. I felt full. I felt just a little bit closer to understanding this little thing we call... “life.”