My maternal grandfather was born into a peasant farmer family in Brittany, France in the 1920s. For the most part, his family lived and consumed within the limits of the land surrounding their village. 65 years after my grandfather’s birth, however, his daughter was raising my brothers and me in a large U.S. city. As you can imagine, we did not consume within the limits of our neighborhood, our city, or even our country.
Though my siblings and I were fortunate to have parents skilled in the kitchen, we knew nothing about working the land and were naïve to the intricacies of the ever more powerful global food system that brought food to our table.
I started this blog and website in order to question the disappearance of agricultural and culinary traditions in the span of the generation between my grandfather and me. To understand these changes, I must address changes our food systems have gone through in the recent past (for example, shifts in agricultural practices and growth of urban centers) and the challenges our food systems currently present us with (such as food waste, difficulties in affordable access to good and responsibly grown food, and the parallel existence of hunger, malnutrition and overconsumption).
While addressing the difficulties in reverting to a sustainable food system are important, I also want to highlight the heroes helping us transition. Hence why, since 2012, I have sought out growers and stewards with whom I have planted vegetables, picked oranges, canned fresh tomatoes and celebrated new urban gardens. So, this site is also about producing good food and the people who do it.
Over all, then, The Farmer’s Grandchild documents my attempts at becoming closer to my food – its origins, its history, its properties and the systems it’s a part of.
By all means, if you have information or a related project to share, please contact me.