Welcome back to the LocalHarvest newsletter.
Last summer I started making cheese at home. It's nothing fancy, just a little
two-step soft cheese, but I absolutely love having it around. It goes well with
many foods, is light and tasty, and because it is made of goat's milk, is easy
to digest. But the level at which I am into this cheese goes beyond all that. I
finally realized that making cheese is deeply satisfying because I had
previously put it in the category of things that have to be bought at a store.
Learning to make this one simple cheese turned me into a producer, which made
me feel more active, more resourceful, and more capable.
Long ago the American farmer and philosopher, Wendell Berry, wrote about the
societal cost of our collective case of "cheap energy mind." This is the
mindset that believes that the world can supply our every material want without
consequence. It has driven myriad aspects of public policy for the last sixty
years and brought us things like disposable electronics, Land Rovers, and
agribusiness as we know it. Cheap energy mind maintains that making things you
could buy is a waste of time. We live in a society steeped in this belief, so
even small steps in the direction of self-sufficiency amount to acts of both
creativity and resistance to the pull of the norm.
Any time we decide to let our innate curiosity loose, we participate more
deeply in the world - how do you make cheese anyway? How about bread, or beer?
We experience this deeper engagement, I believe, as a sense of being more fully
alive. Making things is good medicine both for ourselves and for the world. For
now more than ever, the world needs all of us to be vibrantly alive.
Homemade cheese anyone? My recipe is below.
Until next time, take good care and eat well.