Paw Paw

Human + Humane

PawPaw and his milk truck. (Jolie Vue Farms)

PawPaw and his milk truck. (Jolie Vue Farms)

I was blessed to know a gentle soul named Floyd Maurice Carver, my grandfather. PawPaw was a dairy and vegetable farmer who understood that the community of life on earth was not for the benefit of humans alone but instead included the whole family of living things wherever they might be found, on or in the the ground, in the air, in the water. His 60 Jersey cows each had a name and he and his lifetime assistant, Lucius, addressed them by that name. So when he and Lucius decided it was time to retire, PawPaw sold his "girls" to one of the big milk companies. The day came when the owners-to-be showed up at Fair View Dairy to claim their new milkers. (Fair View and Jolie Vue are the same name in different languages.)

PawPaw told Lucius to oversee the loading; he would stay in the house, unable to watch the departure of his old friends who had served him so well for so long. It was a sad day for both of them. But the sadness was interrupted when Lucius came bursting into the farmhouse - "Mr. Floyd, Mr. Floyd, they're whipping our cows!" Sadness quickly turned to anger as PawPaw and Lucius rushed to the loading pens, grabbed the whip from the whipper and gave him a taste of his own medicine. "You will treat my cows with dignity or you will answer to me".  Then he and Lucius saw to the gentle loading of his girls onto the trailer of Big Milk. It is said that they both wept softly as the truck pulled away forever. Mammam watched through the screen door as well, and is the reporter of this day. An era had come to a close at Fair View Dairy, but it was a day that ended humanely.

Can we call ourselves human if we do not live humanely? Mother Earth brings us sustenance everyday. Let's be sure that we accept those gifts respectfully and sustainably.

Respectfully yours,

Glen B.
Jolie Vue Farms

Values

We have spent space in several newsletters discussing the value added in the nutrients of grass-based meats and eggs. But the story is bigger than that. What we do at JVF is cleaning the environment and as these methods spread, they will have a significant effect across our American landscape. How’s that? It’s best explained through my grandfather’s story. He homesteaded with my grandmother outside of Lake Charles and established a dairy and vegetable farm known as “Fair View” (if you translate that into French, it is “Jolie Vue”, so now you know the genesis of our farm’s name). Fair View was an integrated farm, rotating the land between vegetable plots and grazing Jersey cows. Paw Paw brooked no middle men, milking his cows and delivering their milk, cream and butter directly to his customers in Lake Charles. Vegetables were sold to the local grocers. Chickens, ducks and pigs knew nothing about cages or pens. Dogs kept the predator population in check and cats did the same with mice and snakes. Nary a man-made chemical or artificial entered the farm’s gate. It was a healthy, self-sustaining environment that contributed to the good health of the larger environment in which it operated. We have modeled ourselves after Fair View in every way possible.

There They Go Again

Paw Paw had to deal with the government and its well-intentioned but often misguided regulators as we do (that “misguided” part has only gotten worse in our day). The last straw for him was the pasteurization mandate. He knew that heating the milk was going to take it out of its natural balance and destroy good bacteria for the sake of killing bad bacteria that had never been found in his milk in the first place. So the cost of pasteurization equipment was the last straw for him and he closed the dairy after 35 years of delivering good, health-giving food to the local population. Fair View is now a residential subdivision where many of my cousins reside on “farmettes”.

The government is at it again (but don’t worry, we will not concede!) They are offering new dietary guidelines. Is there anything in their history to suggest we should listen to them considering the poor health of our nation following their fallacious suggestions of the past. They now suggest that we eat less beef for “environmental reasons”. Please tell me they’re not serious! 
But they are. Here’s their logic, and I am not making this up. Cows and other 4-legged herbivores turn grass into red meat. That’s pretty miraculous in itself. In the process, they belch methane. Methane is one of the ozone-effecting gases. So in its ignorantly simplistic view of the world, the gov concludes that cows must be bad. Are they just trying to save some credibility after getting beef so wrong since the 60’s? Who knows.

But here are the facts: our grasslands are the greatest carbon trappers on the planet, ridding the atmosphere of much more ozone depleting gases than the miniscule amounts of methane emitted by herbivores. Grasslands will not thrive without the beneficial effects of grazing animals, be that the buffalo the deer or the cow (by the way, they don’t mention that the U.S. cow herd does not now and has never reached the anywhere near the numbers of the old buffalo herds. Seems like we were pretty healthy when the buffalo roamed the Plains). And what if we got rid of cattle altogether, or even reduced their numbers by half? Would purses, shoes, belts, and car seats then be replaced by vinyl or some other chemical plant produced material?

What would that add to our greenhouse gases. And if they want to go after agriculture, why don’t they reduce monocultural farming which scalped the grasslands and poured chemical all over our surface, into the waterways and the atmosphere? There’s a reason that the Ag companies are exempt from the EPA. They would have to shut down vegetable farming as we know it of they were subject to the same regulations as everybody else.

So ignore your government while improving your health and your environment. The government’s agenda is different and has nothing to do with either. Maddening but true.

Everything is better with butter

“With enough butter, anything is good.”
— Julia Child

It was a glorious day when Honi saw the June 23rd issue of Time magazine on the newsstand shelf. It’s simple title: EAT BUTTER. Subtitled: Scientists labeled fat the enemy. Why they were wrong. Wow. Someone finally summoned the courage to expose the diet police for their erroneous but long-insisted upon mandate that fat must be eliminated from our diet. It seemed such a simple theorem: fat must make us fat. Fat must clog our arteries. So simple that it instead was merely simplistic, and entirely wrong. Time’s writer did nothing but review existing science, all of which says that sugars and carbs are the primary villain with chemically-altered fats and oils (think margarine and hydrogenated oils) running in second place.

There are so many quotable passages in the piece that trying to state them all here would make for a 20 page newsletter. So let me leave you with this one from Dr. David Ludwig and leave the rest to your perusal: “Americans were told to cut back on fat to lose weight and prevent heart disease. There’s an overwhelmingly strong case to be made for the opposite.”

Eat unadultered meat in a diverse diet which includes complex carbs. In all cases, make sure it is Real Food not manufactured food. Your food will not only taste better and satisfy you with fewer calories, it will be medicine for your body and mind. And remember my grandmother of Fair View Dairy. Her daily breakfast was 8 ounces of pure, unpasteurized Jersey cream. Born in the late 1800's, she “only” lived to age 93, all faculties functioning. (Paw Paw, who brought her the glass of cream as he prepared to deliver his dairy to the residents of Lake Charles, was not so fortunate. He died 4 years younger).

Viva la fat !!

My Food Heritage (make it yours too)

Some of you have heard this before, but I am of the belief that it should be repeated often because it says so much about the importance of Real Food in our lives. My maternal grandparents were dairy and vegetable farmers in South Louisiana. Paw Paw delivered fresh milk, cream and butter to his customers every morning but his last duty each morning before leaving was to wake Mammy with a large glass of Jersey cream (the richest cream in the world). That was her daily breakfast, and probably his though I never asked him. The rest of the meal-day consisted of yard eggs, grass-fed beef, free range pork and chicken and lots of vegetables. Fruits consisted of melons, pears and figs. Fair View Dairy was organic before it was cool. The family of 7 was sustained almost entirely from the farm.

Mind you, these were people who were born in the late 1800's when the average life span was about 48 years. Mammy died with all of her faculties at age 94. Paw Paw was not so lucky, living only until age 89.

By the way, were they fat? No. Nor were they skinny. They were of perfect weights. As an interesting aside, Mammy was no farmer herself - that was left to Paw Paw and the 2 sons. She and the 3 daughters were politicos and social organizers. Started the first soup kitchen in the Depression and built the first Catholic Church in Westlake on land she convinced a Methodist friend to donate. So it wasn’t manual farm labor that kept her and her daughters trim, fit and pretty. It was just the good food.

Go back a century earlier. Thomas Jefferson ate the same way. He lived well into his 80's and was still composing letters when he died. Look at the French. Heaviest consumers of fats and oils in the western world, but great believers in fresh unadulterated food and diversity on each plate. They live a lot longer than we Americans.

What’s the second point here? Stop omitting things from your diet and start today by adding them!

What more do you need to know about food?