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Hoosier Musings on the Road to Emmaus

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Hutterites and fine dining

I love farm stands. This time of year, they crop up everywhere back in the midwest-- some farmer who has a surplus of corn/beans/etc., parks his or her truck along the side of the road, opens the tailgate, and waits for hungry customers to stop. It's delightful, and a source of some of the best and freshest produce ever.

Around here, however, I hadn't seen any such thing-- until last week, when I was delighted to spot a temporary farm stand set up on my way home. It belonged to a young Hutterite man, up from the colony in Ryegate.

Coming from Indiana, I am more familiar with other Anabaptist traditions: the Amish and Mennonites. The Hutterites are another branch of this faith tradition-- in many ways bearing a marked resemblance to their cousins, but with discernable differences as well. The biggest distinction to an outsider is that they live communally, in colonies. If you're interested, you can learn more here.

This smiling conversationalist had a number of things to offer: Fresh veggies, canned produce... and chickens. His colony raises poultry, and sells both meat and eggs. They are not "certified organic," because they do not jump through the hoops required for such; but that's the way they farm. The chickens, for example, are treated humanely, not fed hormones or antibiotics, etc.

So, I bought a passel of veggies, and a few of the aforementioned chickens; and last night, oh, did we eat well! Roasted chicken on the grill (recipe follows), mashed potatoes, steamed fresh green beans... and cold watermelon for dessert.

Thank you, my Hutterite brother. Through your good work, we had a feast!


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