Nagoonberry

This world. This place. This life.

Local Eggs from Tranquility Heights

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One of my goals on 43 Things is “Buy local eggs.” When Brady, our Australian Cattle Dog, was taking regular herding lessons in Wasilla, we had a source of flavorful, farm-fresh eggs.  Every Saturday morning I loaded Brady, myself, and our “empties” in the car, and several hours later I arrived back home with a tired pup, an exhausted me, and a few dozen eggs.

The local egg-producer in Girdwood is very small-scale, and doesn’t produce enough eggs to supply my fridge regularly.

On my last trip to Natural Pantry, I decided to explore the sign that said, “Local Eggs.”  My investigation led me to what was, hands down, the most beautiful egg carton I’ve ever seen.

The eggs are from the Tranquility Heights Farm in Palmer, from chickens raised by a member of the “Wolverine Farm” family.  I know it’s irrational, but just holding the carton made me feel more tranquil.

The locavore movement often brings together people with wildly disparate world views.  In this case, a non-theistic, gay Unitarian bought eggs from a farm whose blog shouts, “Four Generations Growing Food for God’s Glory.”

At the height of the culture wars, everyone thought that boycotts were the solution.  Spot a homophobe?  Boycott their business.  Disney perceived as gay-friendly?  If you’re a Christian, you won’t go to Disneyland.

Now something has shifted.  Both sides are shifting from a separatist stance to one of engagement.  Instead of boycotts, left and right are beginning to use strategies such as conversation and relationship.

I’m not sure how this shift began.  In my case, having a neutral issue (sustainable food) that both left and right care about has encouraged my transition from confrontation to conversation.  I’m pretty sure I could have a rip-roaring argument with the farmer who sells pork at the Anchorage Farmers’ Market.  But I want to buy a half-hog from him, so I practice restraint about our differences, and connect with him on common ground.

One of the rallying cries of the locavore movement is, “Know your farmer.” I will probably keep looking for a reliable source of local eggs, but not because the farmer at Tranquility Heights has a different perspective.  I have questions for her.  I want to know how she raises her chickens, and what she thinks about organic feed, and what breed of chickens she raises.  I want to know her, and be known by her.  I want us to learn to trust each other, and we can’t do that as long as our relationship is mediated by the refrigerated section at Natural Pantry.

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7 thoughts on “Local Eggs from Tranquility Heights

  1. Tranquility’s eggs are great!

    Natural Pantry is owned by a Mormon family. But I do the vast majority of my grocery shopping there.

    I can’t agree with you more about conversation instead of confrontation. And I’m finding myself as tired by the anger & namecalling from the left — “my” side — as from the right. I think ideological division might serve someone or something — but probably not us or our communities.

    • I don’t know if you remember this, but at the testimony last summer Sheila Selkregg asked one of the evangelical ministers if he would be willing to engage in the ongoing dialogue his “side” was insisting needed to occur (rather than passing the the ordinance). The minister (I think he was from City Church) agreed that he would be willing. I wonder if that’s still true now that the pressure’s off.

  2. The pressure will come up again. Sooner than most people guess. So… such conversations should start sooner, rather than later.

    • Last summer I envisioned something called “Turtle Tables” (as in the tortoise & the hare), where people with different perspectives met for potlucks and conversation. Maybe the wind is moving through this idea again.

  3. Does your comment form work properly? Or, if you could shoot me an email, so I can shoot you an email back….

  4. Pingback: Shapes With Doors « nagoonberry

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