March 10, 2014 § 22 Comments
Yesterday the temperature never crawled out of the 20’s, but the sun was high and fierce, and despite the cold, and the storm that’s predicted for later this week, the intent of the season was clear as my shadow against the snow-white ground. Penny was giving a soil workshop around the kitchen table, so I fled the house with chainsaw in hand, bound for the copse of fir we’re clearing to make way for all manner of edible perennial plantings. The boys were off in the woods with the children of one of the workshop attendees; they’d taken along fire starting materials, bacon grease, a fry pan, and a thawed muskrat. “Come to our workshop! You’ll learn scads… and your kids can eat campfire fried muskrat!” How’s that for a marketing slogan?
Jimmy and Sara are in the midst of a rodeo of fresh cows and our current batch of piggies are fattening nicely on an endless stream of organic colostrum. This morning, as I was upending their morning ration into the trough, it occurred to me that we really ought come up with some sort of branded effort with our pork. You know, stick the word artisanal in there somewhere, along with Vermont and maybe sustainable, and then charge $7/pound hanging weight, which according to this article, is what the good folks over at Vermont Whey Fed Pigs are getting (this being the pricing option for “home cooks on a budget”). I guess that’s the new thing: Slap a fancy name on a commonplace practice – I mean hells bells, farmers have been raising hogs on waste dairy since the dawn of time – and build yourself a brand.
Here, I got a brand for ya: Ma and Pa Hewitt’s Absolutely-Not-Artisanal-But-Still-Pretty-Damn-Good-Milk-Fed-Pork. How’s that for a marketing slogan?
So I went and added a donate button to this site. Because I do not understand precisely how these things work, for a time it will appear at the bottom of my posts until I can cipher out how to get it linked in the sidebar.
I have added this link because I believe in generosity. Since we inhabit an economy that encourages stinginess and rewards accumulation, I have actually come to think of generosity as a form of activism. Maybe the most important form of activism. I believe I am generous in this space, and I ask for no compensation for the time and energy and experiences I share here.
I am still not asking for anything, but rather providing a medium for your generosity, if you so choose. If you don’t so choose, that is ok. I don’t want anyone to feel self-conscious about not contributing, and there are no additional perks for those who contribute. On the other hand, if you find value in the space, and if you have the means to express that value in moneyed terms, know that your generosity will be much appreciated.
If you so choose, but would like to send something analog, anything addressed to my name, Cabot, Vermont, 05647 will find me (you know those dark chocolate truffles with the hazelnut cream centers? Just sayin’…). For those of you who have already sent notes and gifts, thank you. They mean a lot.
Writing is my primary source of income. It is how I am able to provide my family all the things we are not able to provide for ourselves. As I have mentioned before, I am somewhat infatuated with the idea of being paid what my readers think my work is worth, rather than what my publisher thinks my work is worth. This is a very small step in that direction, not dissimilar to the by-donation soil workshop Penny led this weekend. Some people, who know far more about these sort of things than do I, have suggested I sell ads on this site. Indeed, I might now have enough traffic to attract ad dollars. But that is not what I want for this space, and therefore it will remain ad-free.
By-the-by, If I can figure it out, I’m going change the text on the button from “donate” to “generosity enabler.” How’s that for a marketing slogan?