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Lumbersexuals, Tattoos & Zombies

By   /  February 9, 2015  /  1 Comment

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1) Farmers versus Zombies

The only thing worse than Fat Elvis is Fat Zombie Elvis!

The only thing worse than Fat Elvis is Fat Zombie Elvis!

During a zombie apocalypse, two life-skills are immediately paramount: the ability to wield heavy, blunt objects, and the means to procure food. Suffice to say, when New York becomes a mosh pit of living dead, “Proficient with Microsoft Word” suddenly loses its pizzaz on the ol’ curriculum vitae.

Farmers, almost by definition, are especially adapted to survive a zombie apocalypse. After an entire season of hoeing, shoveling and driving t-posts with six pound sledges, farmers have been known to unwind by reorganizing their root cellars. From carrots to cattle to kohlrabi, farmers can grow it, preserve and—if need be—defend it. So who’re you gonna pick in a zombie fight: a farmer armed with a splitting maul, or a champion gamer who’s admittedly “pretty awesome” at Resident Evil 2?

Relax, climate change conspiracy theorists. The entire “Dust Bowl Thingie” was cooked up by the Liberal Media

Relax, climate change conspiracy theorists. The entire “Dust Bowl Thingie” was cooked up by the Liberal Media

But moving on to more practical matters, here’s a pop quiz. Which is more likely: a mass resurrection of flesh-eating corpses, or a catastrophic drought? For those who answered “Necromanced flesh-eating cadavers,” I’d like to draw your attention to the frightening phenomenon called The Drought Of 2012 (my take on it, HERE). Too ‘science fictiony’ for you? Okay, how about the Great Dustbowl of the 1930’s, where entire farms entire states blew away over the course of a decade?

Fail to prepare, and prepare to fail. More than their muscles, sustainable farmers use their brains. That’s right… their Big, Juicy BRAAAAAAAINNNNNNS. Preppers, forgive me. But I’m placing my bets on a hoe over a crossbow.But moving on to more practical matters, here’s a pop quiz. Which is more likely: a mass resurrection of flesh-eating corpses, or a catastrophic drought? For those who answered “Necromanced flesh-eating cadavers,” I’d like to draw your attention to the frightening phenomenon called The Drought Of 2012 (my take on it, HERE). Too ‘science fictiony’ for you? Okay, how about the Great Dustbowl of the 1930’s, where entire farms entire states blew away over the course of a decade?

2) Growing food is the new outsourcing

Remember those hilarious days of ‘outsourcing,’ when we shipped jobs, services and intellectual capital overseas? To paraphrase an American president, it was all about the economy, stupid. LOLz, what a hoot! [Pauses to wipe tears of laughter off keyboard].

The 80s were such a confusing time. Aside from outsourced vocals, there was a lot of crotch-grabbing going on. A LOT.

The 80s were such a confusing time. Aside from outsourced vocals, there was a lot of crotch-grabbing going on. A LOT.

While we’re Moonwalking down memory lane, remember how we used to get polio, believe the world was flat, and wear leg warmers? Hill-Larry-Us. (Full disclosure: On more than one occasion in 1989, I cabbage patched to Milli Vanilli’s Blame It On The Rain).

But time passes. We learn from history, or are destined to repeat it. So, pop quiz #2: what country now owns the largest pork company in America? If you answered ‘Umm…America, right?’ then try again: In 2013, Smithfield Foods, far and away our country’s largest pork producer, was bought by China. To quote a chief executive, the deal creates “a leading global animal protein enterprise.” How poetic.

So what’s the pig deal? Allow this fact to sink in. Presently, 1 out of every 4 pigs in America is owned by China. Rather puts the ‘oinks’ in zoinks.

Xūn ròu is ‘bacon’ in Mandarin. Nothing against China, but I prefer keeping a closer eye on my sausage. The bottom line? If you’re craving local pork chops, then get thee to a piggery, and preferably one run by a sustainable farmer.

3) Farmer Tans are the new tattoo

Yeah, awesome at spelling!

Yeah, awesome at spelling!

There’s nothing that says “Gosh I miss 2009, that’s when I sipped my first PBR,” quite like a tattoo. Sorry duder, but that was then; these days, farmer tans are the hot new tat.

Remember how chicks used to dig scars? Inexplicably, tattoos somehow replaced them. It started about fifteen years ago, when anyone with two hundred bucks and a penchant for Celtic crosses got an immediate Advance-To-Cool card. I can’t prove it, but I suspect it’s all linked to the Great Urban Flip-Flop Revival of 2008.

Good things, as we know, must come to an end. Time to trade in that barb-wired bicep for some real barbwire, Punky Bro-ster. Grab a seed catalogue, spin a little Tattoo You, and for goodness sake… Start. It. Up.

Your author, with his trusty Stihl 441.

Your author, with his trusty Stihl 441.

4) Real Lumbersexuals… bring the sexual lumber

Wood management is a big deal on sustainable farms. Get the point? Bonafide.

5) People gotta eat

Another quiz. Which one is not like the other one:

a) Did you watch Dancing With The Stars last night?
b) Dude, when does the new Assassin’s Creed come out?
c) Have you eaten food today?

The answer is “c”.

6) Because Math

For all you Logic Junkies out there, I’ve taken the liberty of organizing the final reason into an simple equation, and solving it for you.

(Zombie + Tattoo)United States Congress/(Justin Timberlake—Justin Bieber) + (Red Bull x Five Hour Energy)/Jumbo Bucket of Buffalo Hot Wings = # Of Lobbyists You Can Cram In a Phonebooth Sustainable Farming Opportunities

Even a high schooler knows that you can’t argue with math… or for that matter, a math teacher. Someday soon, however, these very high schoolers will need jobs, food, and their parents’ basements. I can’t vouch for the basements, but those jobs and food will have to come from somewhere.

Look. I know it sounds absolutely crazy, but we need food. Yeah, crazy… until the zombie pigs outsource all our buffalo wings. So let’s start a serious effort at promoting agriculture as a viable career path, and get more youth involved with farming. After all, lest we forget, summer vacation exists solely because of agriculture.

Save Summer! Hmm. I think I just came up with reason number 7.

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About the author

Forrest Pritchard is a professional farmer and writer, holding degrees in English and Geology from the College of William and Mary. His farm Smith Meadows was one of the first “grass finished” farms in the country, and has sold at leading farmers’ markets in Washington DC for more than fifteen years. His book Gaining Ground, A Story of Farmers’ Markets, Local Food and Saving the Family Farm (Click HERE) was named a Top Read by The Washington Post and NPR. Forrest’s new book The Farmer In Your Kitchen: A Celebration Of Extraordinary Farms And Local Flavors is slated for release in Fall 2015, from the award-winning press The Experiment.

1 Comment

  1. Chip Hines says:

    Forrest, great article. Explaining the nitty gritty that must be understood.

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