A couple of weeks ago, I had lunch with three of my closest friends from my undergraduate days at Penn State. While we’ve pursued different career paths and family situations, we’ve managed to reconnect for an annual summer lunch date.
This year, Cindy and I drove to Trish’s house and then carpooled to Claudia’s house in northern Cumberland County. Claudia had not only offered to host the gathering but also to make us lunch.  Claudia was the Home Economics and Consumer Science teacher at a very large high school for all but 40 years. This gal knows how to cook.
We had a wonderful time together but what really impressed me was how beautiful their homes and their yards and gardens were. Now I’m talking “garden tour” quality landscaping and plantings.  It’s obvious they’ve worked hard on these projects. I’m not jealous per se of what they have but, the current state of my lawns can best be described as weeds and puppy poop.
With my joint replacements and all the farm work, I can easily justify why the lawn isn’t renovated and the beds all need another round of mulch. But, in reality, it is all about where I chose to spend my time. With a farm, the options are endless.
You do what you value. The word order is particular and is very accurate to how we are.
We do what we value.
If you value exercise, then you exercise. We might say or think we value something, but we don’t do it, so we don’t value it. If you “value” exercise but would rather binge Netflix and eat potato chips on the couch all day, then you value something else.
Folks say they want a strong local food system with farmers markets, locally owned and operated restaurants, on-farm stores, and a variety of local foods, products and services. But if they only shop at the grocery store, eat only in chain restaurants, and don’t first consider purchasing local or sustainable products, then what do they really value?
I admit to shopping at a grocery store, eating at Chick-Fil-A , and only getting to the local farmers market a few times this year. But hey, we are part of the local food system and we support a variety of local businesses wherever we can.
If you want to know what someone values, look at what they do, not what they say.
Think about what you “value.” Then compare it to what you actually do.