Editor’s Note: We are pleased to announce that we’re growing. We’ll be introducing new guest contributors throughout the weeks to come. First up, Brass Snuggles, aka Erika, blogger at Our DIY Life. I’m very excited to bring her aboard; I met her through my new job and I think her point of view and day-to-day family food adventures is a perfect fit. Welcome Erika! -Chris
Christina wanted me to introduce myself and explain a bit about me and what I’m all about. So here goes…
I’m Erika and reside in Ballston Spa with my 6 year old son, and my husband. I have a blog, Our DIY Life, where I document some of the projects we do. I started the blog in 2009 when we moved into our house and decided to become more self-sufficient. The stuff we make and do usually revolves around food, knitting, crocheting, sewing, gardening, and home repairs.
We hope to someday run a farm and other food businesses supported by our farm. In the meantime, we grow on our small patch of land and learn things one at a time.
Also, we love food. A lot.
Growing up with an Italian mother I think I was destined to revere food. At family gatherings we were not allowed to start eating until at least one relative had properly photographed the feast. My mom and I still share recipes and cookbooks and talk about our latest cooking and baking creations.
It wasn’t until 2 years ago, shortly after we moved out to NY, that I cared about local food. For a long time I’ve been into eating healthy, organic food, but never contemplated local food or regional food systems. Like many, this journey started with a weekly trip to the Farmers’ Market. Now you can often find me working at the market for Kilpatrick Family Farm, Funky Fresh Foods or Saratoga Suds N’ Stuff.
A huge portion of what we eat comes from the market. We get veg from KFF, fruit from Saratoga Apple, eggs from Brookside Farm, cheese and yogurt from Argyle Cheese Farmer, honey from Rick of Ballston Lake Apiaries, and meat from the various vendors. In addition to what we procure at the market, we also get raw milk from Willowmarsh Farm.
I cannot express how much I love getting my food in this manner. It has changed the way I look at everything. My passion has flooded every area of my life and because local food has had such an impact on me, I try my best to promote it and fight for it any way I can.
What is special about food, is that it is the great uniter. Wherever you live, whatever you believe, however you vote….you eat. Everyone needs food. It doesn’t matter if you eat super healthy all the time or hardly ever, if you aren’t putting some fuel into your body then you are in trouble. People can argue everything under the sun but you can’t argue against eating.
I’m also amazed how removed most people are from their food in this country. I’m not knocking people for this, it’s just a bit surprising since only 100 years ago this wasn’t the case. Getting to talk with people at the market, or seeing the cows on the hill when I get my milk makes me feel really great. You don’t get a big smile across your face when you grab a gallon of milk at Stewart’s, that’s for sure.
We are also at a very precarious point in the history of the world with regards to food. The consensus of many is that over the next few decades, things will need to become hyper-local for people to be able to thrive. People will need to regain skills and knowledge that have been lost in the past few generations. I really love learning all of it and I enjoy teaching it to others.
It’s all very simple really, we’ve just been led to believe that it’s a pain in the rear and better suited for others to deal with. But eating your own jam on your own bread is truly a wonderful experience.