When we first moved to this off-grid community in the jungles of Hawaii, a lot of people introduced themselves by way of diet. We happened to move right next door to raw meat community –it wasn’t called paleo then. Little by little we were introduced to other neighborhood diets including: locavore, fruitarian, slow food, organic and raw vegan. Even some of the kids who came to stay on our farm had these diets. Truly, 12 years ago, I didn’t know what a vegan was.
Both my husband and I were raised as omnivores. Though, since we lived in So. Florida, we did catch and eat a lot of seafood and were somewhat locavores (even though that term wasn’t coined until 2005). We also had an organic vegetable garden in our backyard. I used to say, we had the largest organic farm in East Boca–knowing that no one in East Boca would dare have anything so plebeian as a vegetable garden. No one was eating organic food then either.
One year, I had too many cherry tomato plants and put some in the front yard well camouflaged in our flourishing berm. One night, our neighbor, snuck over and picked them by the light of her flashlight. She later confessed to a salad emergency.
I would often place my garden’s abundance in a basket hanging from my carambola tree near the sidewalk. Once a woman passed by with a baby in a stroller and asked me if I had any of those delicious peppers left since there were none in the basket. My yard had now become a reason to leave the house and take a stroll.
There was a time period when people would qualify their food with the word organic. It’s organic milk, organic strawberries, or simply do you want something to eat…it’s organic?
During the last decade, we would let anyone and their diet stay on our farm. I truly have nothing against anyone’s diet. I simply choose not to let certain diets on my farm for various reasons. Often, I like the person well enough to let them stay regardless. I will say, I have never met a vegetarian who also didn’t like to eat meat occasionally. One could call that diet opportunivore.
Usually, the raw vegans stay strict to their diets which excludes any animal products even honey. In my experience, raw vegans have to eat several of the same meals a day to keep up their energy levels. I’m sure in a raw vegan community that works just fine. On my farm, however, when second and third breakfasts are served little in the way of work gets done.
I’ve never had a fruitarian on the farm. I envision them eating all my rare tropical fruit before it goes to market.
Even though, I truly loved my paleo neighbors, living with a paleo dieter has created a few problems on the farm. The last raw meat-eater we had on our farm would announce his dinner to everyone before he sat down to eat. Proudly, he would say, “I’m going to eat my raw, beef heart!” Many of the kids, not having forgotten Pizza Hut yet, would first gasp in horror and then have a gazillion questions about eating raw meat. Before I knew it, they were trying raw, ground beef appetizers and asking me to buy raw hamburger for them at the store.
I feel that since other farms in my area can be raw vegan or paleo only, I too can have a label. Truly, the only dieter I will exclusively turn away on my farm is the I-won’t-eat-that-and-I’ll-tell-you-why dieter. A boravore, if you like. I’m really okay with a no or yes to my offers of food.
I’ve learned a lot about diets over the years. Currently, we try to eat food from our farm. What we grow in the way of vegetables and fruits and what is provided to us in the care of animals. We eat organically and non-processed food. Making everything from scratch is time-consuming but it does taste better than anything I’ve ever eaten. Plus, we know what’s in it. I guess we could be called slow food-organic-locavores.
People who leave our farm, have a hard time readjusting to store-bought items such as milk and cheese. I would have a hard time going back to Boca Raton, FL, to visit. My first question would be, “what can I eat?”