The art of giving is the gift of a lifetime
Recently, I had the opportunity to travel with the FarmHer team as they embarked on their "GROW" tour, visiting North Carolina, West Virginia and Ohio. The opportunities I've been given to speak with high school and college-aged young ladies have been the most fulfilling experiences I've encountered since deciding to start a food blog and share a bit about pig farming.
Sitting with these bright, talented young ladies during the breaks of the conference and learning about their successes and challenges made me pause to ask, "Who is there for you?" Most of the answers from the attendees were simple, like family and friends. However, there was one college senior in particular who had an answer that really struck a chord with me.
She took the time to break her life up into segments and identify each individual who lifted her up or supported her in some fashion. She set up every story and described the uplifting people in her life in such detail that I felt like I knew each one of them. I wished more of the young women in the room possessed what this girl did: confidence, trust and generosity in, and for, people.
She had a pathway to each of her trusted supporters carved out, but not only did she accept their support, she gave hers in return. I don't think a person can give enough in this short life we live. The art of taking is easy, but the art of giving is the gift of a lifetime, and it poured out of this powerful, strong young lady with each breath she took.
In agriculture, the average farmer's age continues to rise while the people who purchase our products become further removed from farming. We desperately need every voice we can have contributing to the conversations between farmers and those with questions about the production of food, fiber and fuel.
I encourage you to "be a friend" in agriculture who gladly welcomes more voices to the conversation, not a part of the microscopic minority who tries to silence the voices we do have. There are many people who fear how their food is produced, thanks to food documentaries and fear-mongering marketing tactics. By inviting more diverse voices of agriculture to the food and farming conversation, rather than denying people the opportunity to speak up, we can continue to move the dialogue forward in a positive way.
If you happen to find yourself "under my wing," where there's plenty of room, just know there will always be an abundance of good food.
Pulled Pork Gyros
Makes 8 generous gyros
For the pork:
3 lbs. pork shoulder roast
4 teaspoons Greek seasoning, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, divided
2 teaspoons oregano flakes
Juice of one small lemon
1 tablespoon honey
• Cover the pork roast with 1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) of the Greek seasoning and place into slow cooker.
• Combine 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the red wine vinegar, pour over roast. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or until pork shreds easily.
• Shred pork into larger pieces and remove excess fat.
• Return to pan juices and add remaining Greek seasoning, olive oil and red wine vinegar, as well as oregano flakes, lemon juice, and honey. Toss to coat.
For the tzatziki sauce:
1 cucumber (English seedless or hothouse variety with thin skin)
1 ½ cups sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (or 2 teaspoons dried dill weed)
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
• Grate cucumber and squeeze excess liquid out with paper towels.
• Place in a mixing bowl. Add sour cream and dill. Smash minced garlic and salt together with the back of a knife to turn into a paste.
• Add to mixture along with black pepper.
• Stir well, cover and refrigerate until serving.
1 large or two small tomatoes, sliced
1 small red onion, sliced
½ head Iceberg lettuce, cut into large shreds
8 pita rounds, warmed
• Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place dressing-topped shredded pork on a sheet pan, bake for 10 minutes until caramelized.
• Place pita round on a plate; add a layer of tzatziki sauce, pulled pork, tomatoes, onions and lettuce.
• Fold over, wrap with foil if desired. Serve immediately.