Thinking back to a few weeks ago when I traded my pocket knife for a fishing rod and got to go on an incredible adventure with amazing people on a tuna boat. Now that I’m finally not swaying back and forth and have been on dry land for a while (that damn water is no joke) I’ve had some time to reflect more and more on what the Local Thirty means to me. I think I’m finding my “why” which has shifted a bit since I started. When I began really exploring where my food comes from, I started to realize that this is not so much about the ingredients for me anymore. It’s about these people (most often strangers) and how little pieces of their world make up mine.
When I was on that tuna boat, I had never felt more out of my comfort zone. But I really wanted to learn the process of how one of my favorite seafood items ends up on my dinner plate. Not only did I get a front row glimpse into the process, but I learned a lot about how these fishermen live and what their day to day life looks like. These guys are pros and risk their lives everyday and push through long hours of intense focus, and unpredictable conditions to bring ethical food from our local waters to peoples plates. It was a privileged to get to be on board with them and experience one of the most thrilling moments of my life– reeling in my first ever tuna from the wild waters of the Pacific Ocean. And yes– after you catch your first tuna, you celebrate with a Coors Banquet Beer. Was that beer local? No. But in that moment, it didn’t matter.
Two weeks ago, Taylor and I ventured over for dinner with our friends Tim and Keely and their son Jack. We enjoyed burgers and beer and got to know a little bit more about the Jefferies Ranch. Tim and Keely have been our neighboring venders at the farmers market for over 6 years now and getting to see them at the ranch, in their element, was so darn special. They told stories about growing up out there, raising a family, and running the business.
We got to help with chores and see this beautiful part of our region that until now, seemed so foreign to me. I want to remember these moments, and these little collisions of two different worlds coming together. So I started to think about finding a way to document these overwhelming, raw, life experiences that I’m having that I don’t ever want to forget and think might resonate with other folks too.
I have some buddies who make documentary films for a living, but I was nervous to approach them about it. Would my little experiment, something so near and dear to my heart, be a story they were interested in telling? As it turns out, it is. And so here we are, on this month long journey together to make a little film. We’re really excited and we don’t totally know where it’s going and that’s a little scary, but we’re in it together and there’s so much to look forward too. Heck, we’ve already crossed the Columbia River Bar together and I’m stoked to see what’s around the next bend. So stay tuned as we venture out to meet more growers and producers that make up our tiny corner of the world.
Thank you Modoc Stories for helping me tell my story. We’ll continue to post glimpses into the documentary film this fall and we’ll have a final little film ready for release before the holidays. I hope you all enjoy this adventure.
you are amazing!
What I find interesting about your story is how personal food can become – a concept I’d never considered until reading this post. Except when I had a yard full of fruit trees, and a small vegetable garden, food for me has always been impersonal. Food will most likely remain that way for me because I am old, no longer as adventurous as you are, and because I live in the desert (which I would not trade for anything).
Thanks so much, Andrea, for sharing your wild adventures into the world of local food. It’s so important that take back our food culture, honor the hard working people who fill our plates and get our nutritional dollars out of the hands of giant food conglomerates that create ever scarier food in brightly colored boxes and bags. Our personal strategy is to have a productive garden & orchard, support farmers markets, share our bounty with neighbors and shop the perimeter of grocery stores. We’re all in this with you and are so appreciative of your heart, soul and adventuresome spirit!
I may have said this before and if so it bears repeating. You are amazing, inpirational beyond words, and so humble. I look forward to your work(s) in progress, always.
I am SO EXCITED to see the final documentary!!!
This is so exciting! Can’t wait to see the completed film.
This is everything! I am more than excited for this film. Thank you for all that you do and I know this film will change many people’s perspectives. Continued support for all you do
Excellent! I work with a Richmond Environmental Film Festival committee and would love to keep in touch about your progress with the film. LBartenstein2@gmail.com – thanks so much!!
Really looking forward to seeing the final film! I love your attitude, and I cook your recipes all the time over here in my little corner of Scotland, UK! x