St. Anthony's Foundation

Monday on The Forum, Michael Krasney talked with a group of professionals working in the field of feeding the hungry as part of National Hunger Awareness Day, which was the following day. One was a gentleman from St. Anthony's Foundation farm in Petaluma, a 315 acre organic dairy, farm and recovery ranch. I grew up in Petaluma and have always been aware of St. Anthony's rolling green fields and long barns on Valley Ford Road. A family member has chaired 12-stop meetings there. But I didn't know the ranch was organic. Not that I would have cared six months ago. Yesterday I nearly began cheering at my desk.

St. Anthony's is milking hundreds of black and white cows twice a day with the milk being sold to Clover Stornetta, a locally owned and operated dairy processing plant. You've seen the billboards, Clo the Cow, Out Standing In Her Field. According to their website Clo has gone organic too. Where have I been?

St. Anthony's also has a one acre organic garden that not only feeds the folks on the ranch but the extra food goes to their dining room in the city and to local free food programs. And they have methane burners for energy. They are doing it all.

Equally as good, if not more so, a group of men are being graced with the opportunity to recover from drugs and alcohol in one of the most bucolic neighborhoods I know with cows and cabbages to feed their courage.

The radio program offered a slew of statics regarding people going hungry all around us. More people than I would have thought possible. But the program wasn't only looking at the problem. The people repeatedly talked of what is working, where more assitance is needed, where people are stepping up. There were moments of inspiration.

A program on hunger was a round about way of being reminded of a local food source but that's where the careening comes in. I rarely get anywhere in a straight line. The cute guy and I have added a new source for cheese and yogurt, butter and cottage cheese to our list of local foods. Thanks Clo. And when thinking about where they come from I will remember the men at St. Anthony's Foundation Farm making it one day at a time, a good reminder for me too.

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