I first encountered grok as a verb so I was really surprised to meet Grok on my first trip to MDA! In case you don’t know, grokking is a concept created by Robert Heinlein in Stranger In a Strange Land that means to understand so thoroughly that it becomes part of you and you become part of it. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I grok Grok! I share the same reality with all of the Primal folks that share my reality. That sense of belonging to something special and perpetuating it fit right in with the Primal picnic challenge. I’m fortunate enough to have friends that are always willing to lend a hand, so when I told them I needed help to win a cow, they stepped right up to the plate.
My family is in that stage of life where our schedule is not our own. With involved children and 2 full time jobs, there is very little time for unstructured activities. Like other families in this stage, when we do have free time we are cleaning, grocery shopping or running errands.
Our Grokfeast preparations started early on Saturday with a trip to the Sioux Falls Farmer’s Market to get all of the vegetables fresh from local farmers. The 4 chickens also joined the party early as we began brining them at the Zahasky house on Saturday.
On Sunday we congregated at the Esser’s at 2pm so we could begin preparing and cooking together as a community. Our Grokfeast lasted 7 hours! To kick it off we prepared the food between the indoor kitchen and the outdoor kitchen (a dug-in-the-ground fire pit we created in the back yard of the downtown-dwelling Esser family.) Half of the adults started in the kitchen cutting all the fresh veggies to prepare the sides with and the older kids were outside playing on the rope hanging from the tree while the little ones played in the dirt! As a group we also had a game of freeze tag and backyard Frisbee. Ropes, dirt, tag… what a way to get this Primal Party started!
For one of our activities we all built the fire pit and fire so we could cook the meat over an open flame. The kids and adults hauled bricks and worked as a team to build up the fire pit.
Our family lives in Highland County Virginia in one of the least populated counties east of the Mississippi River with a population of 2,321. We live on the Jackson River on acreage that provides us with a plethora of Primal foods that we grow, hunt and gather. We provide 90% of our own food which includes grass fed beef, pork, venison, and trout. Our garden is a great producer of all the vegetables one can imagine as well as a fruit orchard that includes 10 varieties of apples, 3 varieties of pears, concord grapes, peaches, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, walnuts, butternuts and more. We “put up” this wonderful harvest by either canning or freezing. Most recently we have purchased a greenhouse and 4 IBC containers to install an aquaponic system. We intend to raise tilapia and shrimp as well as grow fruits and vegetables. No more weeding! This project will be completed by spring.
Mid-September in the heart of Washington Wine Country is the perfect setting for a Grokfeast. With our neighbors, best friends and a passel of kids, we celebrated our Grokfeast 1396-style.
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