This one is going to go in a bit of a circle, so strap in and just hang on for a bit:
The sister sent us some pictures of us when we were kids, and we saw a shot of our grandfather. A real character, that one. He was a hero on his high school football team, spent World War II on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific, married the love of his life, raised two daughters, four grandchildren, and lived to see a handful of great-grandchildren. An electrician by trade, he spent many early mornings and afternoons rooting around in the fields of our family farm. There were certain seasons when you couldn’t kiss him goodnight. He would routinely pull an onion out of the ground, shake off the dirt, peel back a layer or two, and eat the darned thing like an apple. For realsies.
We often found ourselves bouncing around the back of his pickup down a rutted country road. With the sun in our eyes and the wind in our faces we’d be jerked to one side or another as he would suddenly veer off of the side of the road and screech to a halt. Somewhere, deep in a hillside, he had spotted a bramble of blackberries, and off we went with deep buckets to fill. We’d all head back to the house with our treasure; bodies painted purple like Violet Beauregardes.
Here’s the thing: Our grandfather worked with his hands, and ate stuff right out of the ground, fresh from the bush, or pulled from the tree. He scrubbed vigorously each morning and before sitting down for supper, and he was never sick. Never.
Not a day in his life.
When you head through the produce section of your local mega-grocery, take a moment and marvel at the bounty before you. Perfect stacks of perfect apples and bright orange oranges and sweetly round melons. Realize, of course, that these fruits and vegetables are grown, not to be nutritious, but to be shelf-stable and look good under the florescent lights of the mega-mart. Produce is graded based on size and shape and color.
Check this out: 90% of all of the Grade A commercial potatoes grown in America meet their deep-fried demise underneath the golden arches of our favorite burger chain. That’s a fact.
But we’re lucky in one respect: While we’ve become more prone to infectious disease due to increased use of chemicals and antibiotics in our food system, we’re a pretty healthy nation. We learned a lesson from our grandfather and are pretty meticulous about washing up when we get ready to prepare your food or pop something into our mouths. It’s the easiest way to prevent disease.
Here’s another fact: One of the dirtiest things in your home is your bottle of hand sanitizer.
And now the important one for today: The number one cause of death in children under five around the world is disease that could be prevented with proper sanitation and hygiene. We can’t suddenly fix their food supply or eliminate the problems with their drinking water, but we can do something today to help them with their hygiene. And it’s simple – give them some soap.
This is where we come in. Everyone has bars of soap under their sink. Some are there on purpose, and some are forgotten gifts from relatives who had no clue of your aversion to lilac. And then there’s the pile of wrapped hotel soaps, sure to be used one day, but not one soon. We’re collecting all of these soaps and donating them to Clean the World. They take clean, wrapped, unused soaps and distribute them to areas where washing one’s hands is a luxury. They also partner with chains like Marriott, who donate slightly used soaps. Clean the World is able to sanitize about 90% of them, wrap them up, and then send them out. You can donate your life-giving gift of soap at either Urban Farmhouse, and we’ll get it to Clean the World.
We’re also donating through Soapbox Soaps. They donate one bar to a child in need for every bar sold. So when you buy a Soapbox Soap at The Urban Farmhouse, it will help to clean some dirty little hands somewhere else.
That’s enough for now. Wash up. It’s almost time for supper.