I always knew that knitting has a strong influence on me, and so does the internet. They have entwined for me lately in a way that makes me feel like a true child of the 21st Century.
1. I borrowed The Knitter's Book of Wool by Clara Parkes from our local library. This is a wonderful book that includes a list of sheep breeds and their wool characteristics, among many other informative things. This led me to a google search for "Jacob Wool Yarn", because I am intrigued by the thought of a lavender sheep. (I do realize that Lavender Jacob sheep are probably not actually lavender, but it's fun to imagine them that way.) My Googling led me to...
2. Localharvest.org which is sort of like Etsy for farm items. They have a page where you can search farm-fresh and handspun yarns, fleeces, and other fibery goodness, and you can buy it right from the actual farmer who raised it. In some cases, you even get a photo of the sheep that your yarn came from. In addition to the yarn and fibers, the site has many other headings, including "CSA." Further research on Community Supported Agriculture made me very excited to sign up for our share of produce from a local farm. It's organic, it's fresh (well it will be...right now it is still seeds.) and grown right here in Colorado. I was so psyched about signing up for the CSA that I posted a status update on Facebook.
3. One of my Friends suggested that I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. This book was inspiring to me, a memoir about how a family ate only locally grown or locally produced food for a year. I found myself wondering, as I read it, what would it be like to quit my job, and move to a farm and grow some tomatoes and potatoes. I never knew there were so many different varieties of veggies in this world, and I found it incredibly interesting to read of the local-food experience.
I feel kind of horrified that some of our food animals are unrecognizable compared to their ancestors of long ago, and the idea of genetically modified grains and adding hormones to our meat and dairy scares me for the future health of our children. This book made me feel good about my decision to join the CSA.
4. Another Facebook friend (who, incidentally I met on the Knitty board) suggested that I get Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison, due to it's extensive and encylclopedic information on all different sorts of fresh vegetables and fruits. So I bought it, and now for the past 3 days my children and I have eaten freshly prepared vegetarian meals, and they don't even seem to miss meat. I am not becoming a vegetarian, I still love my meat, but now that it feels important to eat locally produced, grass-fed meat, we will be eating less meat. So tonight, Creamy Tomato Soup and cheese toast, with Cherry-Berry Crisp for dessert. (We won't mention the fact that the crisp is going to be served with CoolWhip. I'm sure there are some local non-dairy-cows that made it...)
And all this awareness and interest in locally produced food stemmed from a Knitting book. My farm-fresh, locally produced yarn will be delivered soon. I'll be sure to show you pictures.