I have been obsessed lately with things that produce themselves. Right now, right this moment in my kitchen, I am brewing kombucha, fermenting 5 gallons of sauerkraut, and bulk fermenting more loaves of sourdough bread than is rational. That feels kind of crazy and completely out of the blue.
I think there are several reasons for this. First of all, it is not surprising at all that I am in love with processes that happen truly spontaneously. You see, one of my strongest traits is that I have a LOT of tools for making things happen. Many people who know me see me (for better and worse) as an agent of change... I make shit happen. It's is fun and empowering and has served me really well in my personal and professional life. It is also exhausting! And, ironically enough, my best and truest work as a human being happens when I simply don't have any tools left and I'm stripped down to my raw (and also pretty amazing) self. I get real and it's magical. It is a miracle that I can just let things happen; and whenever it happens, I. Love. It. And I am totally confident that this process is not, in any way, unique to me.
From the surprise party my girlfriends threw me for my birthday, to the 30 heads of cabbage I cut up (EVERYONE at the produce pick-up site could not imagine what I was doing with a case of cabbage!) and definitely to the flour and water that I left out on my counter (that my babysitter threw out one night as she was cleaning up the kitchen, so I started over :))--all of these things are happening IN SPITE of me. In fact, if I fucked with it at all, it would be destroyed. WHAT??! That is pretty exciting in my little world.
Another element that I have to agknowledge is the food fad of using fermented foods to heal your gut. As in, transforming your physical and physiological (and some say psychological!) health from the inside out. I've always been on board with the "you are what you eat" vein of thought... and sometimes I've been a gigantic bag of Cheetos. No shame. But using food to HEAL has intrigued me. Maybe even shook me to my core. And that's absolutely an intentional pun.
I believe that understanding and developing who we are at our CENTER, heals us. I'm a therapist for god's sake. And in the past several years, through the practice of yoga and a better understanding of how I believe the universe to work, I've taken that to many levels... through spirituality by surrounding myself with like-minded souls, through physical practice with my body, to the brain through meditation. But I never really considered the literal interpretation of healing from the inside out by creating and eating really specific foods, and certainly not rotting ones. This is definitely a newly-aquired taste. Maybe I'm on a quest.
I think it's my way of not only handling, but maybe even embracing, this turned-upside-down transition that our family has undergone since embarking on Black Market Farm. In so many ways, it's such a natural and organic evolution of our life philosophies. Anyone who has experience with animals and livestock knows that there's a LOT that is out of your control. Hell, I think my first encounter with that was parenting, right? In trying to create simple, natural food, there are a lot of complications. We are still in the process of creating a symbiotic relationship, and so is my fermenting food.
And we are making progress. ALL the pigs now snuggle together with that HUGE mama and her babies, and several hens now roost on the sow's back and ride outside with her (literally piggy-back) every morning. When they all wandered down the road last week in search of a new mud wallow, Matt found them tucked back into their barn taking a nap that afternoon. Which is lucky because an 800-pound pig goes where she damn well pleases and herding her back into her pasture isn't something we attempt.
I am blown away by how much in our current life is best left by providing the most conducive environment and just allowing "it" to do it's thing. Our animals, this business, parenting our children, heck, even this blog that I am writing right now! That is terrifying, but also liberating. I think my life's work is to create the closest-to-ideal setting for the alchemy to happen and just let that shit do it's thing. And I have a hunch I'm not alone.