You know how last time I wrote you a letter, I was talking about how I felt I was coming out of a long shambly walk down a long dark tunnel. Now I am standing out in the light at the end of my tunnel blinking in the flash of an incredible sea change of social discourse.
Black Lives Matter. Hallelujah! A cry that needed a million voices to be heard. Shame on us.
I get that there is the fear of violence and more looting. And I understand that I am not an American so I don’t really have a right to speak. And I get that many people are afraid.
And I am not black. I trust the black people in my community to be telling it true. This many voices is a revelation and a movement of such significance: to ignore it or fear it or speak against the essence of their voices is arrogance. Dominance is the same as oppression and I reject the call to dominate my black neighbors. Instead I will feed them. Bread. Of course.
We will all do what we can. And as usual I fall squarely into Martha’s camp. Mary is out there fighting for her voice to be heard and acted on. I am Martha in the kitchen feeding her so she stays strong. Carrying my basket of bread behind her.
I was thinking of what to write to you, in my farm blog that seldom drifts into politics- though honestly this is not a political issue – this is an issue of humanity and a very American issue. And I live in America and cannot ignore these cries. But I was sitting on the step thinking – in a rare moment of stillness while the dough got to work, when Mr Flowers, using his broken leg as a crutch, raised up his tail feathers and shook them. Calling out.
Even balanced on one leg he lifted that weight. And his voice rung out across the farm. I did not think he would be able to do it – on one leg.
The sunrise this morning.
I am baking bread again today. I will bake over thirty loaves once I am done. I have two food pantrys’ attached to community centers- one a dance studio in Pilsen and one a community center in Englewood – that I want to befriend and support. Naturally I wish to feed the children. I will tell you more about that another time.
I am sending bread at this point but I am also designing a kit called ‘Bake your own Bread in a Box.’ Everything to make one loaf of bread – with a recipe. I will enable a button in the janiesmill.com website so anyone can buy these boxes and/or donate them and I will deliver them into the South Side every week. What do you think? This might be fun for the young people – to bake themselves a loaf of nutritious bread. The box will have enough flour, salt, and yeast to make one loaf. And a recipe. I hope they will invite me up to come and teach bread-making classes one day!
I am being encouraged to make a short utube vid to go along with the recipe. But I am still on the fence about that.
But I am not on the fence about answering this call from my black neighbors in any way I can.
The remaining four little pigs are growing well. Tima is on a diet in her own field because she keeps finding duck eggs and eating them. We have cut our second load of hay – it is cool and windy this morning- which is perfect for hay. Sheila is feeling her age. BooBoo moves the ducks into their night quarters every night- he is a great duck herder. The cows graze and the fields grow. The little chickens are in with the big flock now, their door will stay shut for two weeks so the little chickens learn where their new home is and will go back in to roost at night.
So far this summer there is no sign of either the skunks or bastard mink. I am on the alert though and every hole into the chook-house is blocked and checked.
The organic warthog wheat is growing!!
So the farm rolls on. And the flourmill rolls on and we are wide awake in the world. No more turning a blind eye. Eyes wide open now at the beginning of a brightly lit tunnel!
Thank you much for being where you are and who you are!
Lots of love