I woke early to the sound of gunshot – CRACK CRACK! Then – POP! – from the other side of the house.

It was barely dawn. I popped open the iPhone and it said 6:37 am, and “freezing rain”.

Really? We’re goose hunting in the dark, icy rain?


The gun thing around here is pervasive. They’re everywhere. I’m not startled anymore to see men with shotguns walking along the road. Yes, it’s a rural county, and certainly, the local culture is deeply rooted in the land and in local food. Waterfowl, deer, fishing and trapping. Next month, Dorchester County celebrates the great outdoors with a giant muskrat festival culminating in skinning competitions and a beauty contest. Really. And after five years, I’m still not sure I’m ready to see it. Oh, I love the idea, but each year, even though it’s on my calendar, I never seem to get in the car to go.


Intellectually, I’m all over this local food thing, believe in eating from our own foodshed, supporting local fisheries and local agriculture. I’ve been involved forever, helping build gardens on vacant land in cities, even sitting in the USDA’s first food security conferences way back in the early 1990s, when people were just starting to talk about CSAs and GMOs and urban food deserts. I’ve sat in combines with local farmers and climbed aboard Chesapeake deadrises at o-dark-thirty to go for the day’s catch.

But I’m a product of suburban American culture, and even though I have a master gardener certificate and raised beds in my yard, I only take personal responsibility for a tiny fraction of the food I eat. Yes, I sautéed greens from the garden this week and ate some oysters from the creek, but my frig is mostly filled with cheese from God knows where and vegetables from the other side of the nation and South America. I still like those frozen industrial black bean burgers you can buy in big bags at Sam’s Club, even though I hate Sam’s Club.

And the idea of watching how fast someone can skin a muskrat…

…oh, dear.

What a confusing contradiction!

I’m so full of it.


At least somebody’s eating locally tonight.


~ by kbosin on January 10, 2014.

8 Responses to “BAM!”

  1. You need to view “Muskrat Lovely” from Independent Lens before you go to the festival in Dorchester County:

  2. The Muskrat Producers Association really needs to work on better marketing… They should start with re-branding the product – maybe call it “water bunny”.

  3. I know that Crisfield has a crab picking contest and crowns a Miss Crustacean every year. What’s the muskrat beauty title– Miss Muskrat?

  4. So funny. City girls not 4-Hers, you and me. I am Ok with letting other people go ahead and do that thang. I’ll eat it if you cook it.

  5. Kathy, I also heard all those gunshots. It was a nasty day outside. Ice covered my deck. I do not know how the hunters walked to their destination nor how they even could stand up.
    I have been to the Outdoor Show. It is rather interesting, local crafts, etc., but I could not watch the muskrat skinning nor purchase one to eat in the kitchen at the school….gray meat. I did not like the smell of them cooking. My mother used to cook them for my dad for breakfast. He was a small man but he would eat anything. I cannot bring myself to even taste it and I was born here.

  6. Woke today to the same, this time,though, illegal hunters on the pond behind our home. Anne

    Sent from my iPad


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