What do a TV star and a hippie farmer have in common?


When you write a story for a magazine, there are always so many things you can’t get into—there’s never enough room to squeeze it all in (although should the New Yorker come calling, I’m set). It can make an editor resort to drastic measures.

A stop at Marin Sun Farms butcher shop in Pt. Reyes,
just one stop on a trip for my latest story.
Photo by Stefanie Michejda

So what I really wanted to include was this: One of the highlights of the Tyler Florence cover story for this August’s Eat + Drink issue was meeting Mickey Murch, the farmer at Gospel Flat farm in Bolinas. Call me crazy, but after spending the large part of an afternoon with both Tyler and Mickey, I started to see similarities. While Tyler is trying to inspire his audience to pick up that pan and cook his simple recipes using fresh ingredients (it’s no shtick, I’m now convinced), Mickey is really doing the same thing (albeit through the use of a mobile teaching kitchen that he’s building out of an old rusty boat and intends to haul with a tractor “all the way to New York City”).

The other similarity is their medium is not dissimilar either. After doing a little Google research on Mickey, a relatively recent graduate of Reed, I discovered that he’s posted numerous “I Eat Local” videos that he’s done on getting back to the land—from a rather artful and rhythmically meditative one on harvesting vegetables (make sure to keep the sound up for this one) to the viewer-discretion-advised slaughtering of a pig. Personally, I recommend watching the latter if you can handle it. It’s a good reminder how far that shrink-wrapped pork chop has come and how much we should honor it. Makes you want to order a lot more vegetables and take it easy on the meat. Here is the link. See what you think.

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