My friend Sarah and I made a trip to KLD Farm this past January. Kenneth and Lucy Drinnon own and operate an 82+ acre farm in Petway, TN where they raise Angus cattle. Their beef has made many fine meals for the Panks! We had the best time getting to know one another. As Kenneth was showing us around his beautiful farm, Jenny patiently stood guard in the background. Everyone has a job on the farm, including Jenny. She is a guard donkey. She protects livestock from predators such as the cowardly coyote, fox and feral dogs. She will snarl those lips up and bite, kick and otherwise mame any creature that threatens the safety and well-being of her herd. She doesn’t require special feed. She is round-the-clock protection, without the use of snares or poison. As culture shifts to a more sustainable way of life, I bet Jenny has gotten a ”kick” out of our antics. If she could talk, she would probably laugh at us and remind us that nature had it right all along. Has the Farm-to-Table concept become a catch phrase in the culinary world? For some folks, maybe it is too overwhelming to think about. Is that catch phrase necessary? Hell yes! Farm-to-Table is much more than a catch phrase. It is a movement that hopefully will become a standard of living. It is only through continued dialogue, that we understand the big picture. I for one am very grateful for folks like Kenneth and Lucy Drinnon! They have a passion for the land AND our food supply. I come from a long line of farmers that gave a damn. And along the way, I have met many more champions of the local food movement and am excited to share their stories with you. Meanwhile, we can learn a few lessons from Jenny, the guard donkey, about choosing local.
Anything good takes a little time. Quick grits may take only 5 minutes, but when you taste the creamy, whole kernels of a stone ground grit from somewhere like Falls Mill you’ll kiss your microwave goodbye.
It may be easier to hop in the car for a run to the big box store. Lord knows, I have struggled with this one. However, our local farmers, artisans and purveyors count on our support to make this happen. You can find KLD most weekends at Nashville Farmer’s Market. You might consider joining a CSA for a bounty of produce, milk, eggs, etc. Corbin In The Dell is a great additional resource, especially for restaurants and chefs.
By supporting the local food movement, you are protecting the food chain for generations to come. More immediately, you will be more apt to serve whole foods that are damn tasty for your family, friends and customers. Like Jenny, you will be standing in guard of the Farm-to-Table Movement.