Friday, August 20, 2010

More on that cheese

We were gone for seven weeks. Six of them we spent, as we have come to do, down the road from my mother-in-law about six miles outside Clayton, New York. It’s incredibly beautiful there, but the gourmet/organic/locavore culture has yet to arrive.

In the middle of our time, we dropped down to Amherst, MA for a week.

The Farmer’s Market there could make you weep for joy: artfully displayed berries, lettuces, sunflowers. Every booth staffed by a thin, tanned New Englander, some liberal arts graduate turned farmer.

I bought a little container of goat cheese for us to take on a picnic. The label said “Healing the earth through organic farming.” That took it a bit too far even for me and I had to laugh. I mean, I know we were in the Happy Valley—I love the happy valley—but the outrageous navel-gazing arrogance of suggesting that a tiny little goat cheese operation was “healing the earth”!

Then, two days later, we pulled out of town and headed back up to Clayton.  On the way to the highway, we passed farmstand after farmstand. We planned to get some corn to bring back for dinner but, with a long drive ahead, it seemed better to wait until we got closer to the River.

It was too late before we remembered that Central New York just doesn’t have that farmstand culture. We had missed our shot at corn. There would certainly be no more organic goat cheese until our next visit to the Happy Valley (or the Union Square Greenmarket). Suddenly, the farm’s slogan didn’t seem so inflated. We laughed at ourselves, wishing a few more people upstate were interested in healing the earth.

No comments: