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Maybe I Should Have Been an Innkeeper

We just had another great class at the barn - a whole animal butchery event featuring goat this time - and I felt inspired by the people who attended. After I cut out the loin chops, Beth seared them off and had the group taste them. As she walked through the group, I heard "Wow, this is really good" or a variation on that theme several times. 

Getting serious about goat in our most recent class.

Having the people who raise goat taste it in a well prepared dish for the first time is awesome. I love to help people understand and enjoy what they are growing and eating--food is such an important part of who we are and how we interact with others.

It is also important for getting goat into the local diet, as it is one of the most sustainable foods we can grow in this environment. But if the people raising the goats don't eat goat, why would anyone else? I am working to change that soon.

In addition to the classes, the thing I find I am enjoying more and more--more than I thought I would--is hosting people spending the night at the farm, in our barn and, before it was built, as Harvest Host guests. Often, we also enjoy meals with these guests as there are few food options in the area.

The result is that Beth and I are meeting, greeting and cooking for professors, artists, engineers, foodies, aggies and even a Canadian (gasp!). This past weekend for example, we hosted a retired Spanish teacher and her husband, a man I will label as "a Creative"--a man who has done everything from cabinet making and drafting house plans, to designing chandeliers and applying gold leaf in Las Vegas hotels (for real).

This kind of interaction was actually a goal for us as soon as we began running the farm.  We left a fairly diverse community in San Francisco, and so to settle in to this culturally monochrome Iowa scene was challenging. In order to survive our own ennui, we made it our goal to meet new people with interesting stories. It's one of the things that gets me out of bed in the morning.   

Fixing fence, even in the most beautiful place on Earth..

I see it as an opportunity to show people just how great our little spot in creation is. To take people out to the farm, to show off our goats and cattle, to talk with them about working toward sustainability and generally hold forth on things that I love. With most visitors, Beth and I are preaching to the choir, but every now and then, we get someone who has another perspective, challenging us to talk about this place we love with someone who sees it differently. 

Yet all of these conversations spark inspiration, and get new ideas ricocheting around in my brain. They make me want to learn how to do something new (maybe I should learn cabinet making?), or to try something that will add flavor, texture and depth to our little Inn in southeast Iowa.

Today, I'm thinking dry cured sausages might be good.

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