Martha! Martha! Martha! Love her or dislike her (sorry, I don't use the word "hate"), she knows her stuff and definitely has made a living off her attention to detail - perhaps to the point of obsession - and the importance of self-sufficiency.
Why all this talk about Martha? Well, yes, I am a fan (and thus feel comfortable addressing her by her first name), but I also had the day off from the farm today and Martha's show was filming from her home in Katonah, N.Y. To say it is a beautiful place is an understatement; her estate and its grounds are immaculately manicured and pruned and puts most other houses to shame. She has endless numbers of gardens, botanical, edible and otherwise. Her meticulously kept lawns and hedges - from prominent landscapers and nurseries, no less - are a site that the average homeowner and middle class American can only dream. And, to make me even more envious, Martha is a firm believer in organic, eco-friendly methods to gardening and landscaping. Even her livestock enjoy homeopathic treatments!
Viewers who don't quite share the same appreciation for Martha as I do may hold some resentment toward her, but she does deserve some kudos for knowing how to grow her own food, cook with local ingredients and can! What a life.
On the show, she and some of her fellow rich friends harvested from the garden and local chefs canned pickles with her, cooked with local beef - not a favorite part of the show, but nonetheless better than factory farm alternatives. How she manages to remain free from dirt amazes me; grim probably fears her.
Sure, her lifestyle and attitude can be seen as pretentious and borderline OCD. Sometimes it becomes a little too much even for me (need I mention a Halloween episode in which Martha painstakingly made little ghosts with lollipops, tissues and perfectly cut string...?) Nonetheless, I really respect Martha for her ability to make domesticity and self-sufficiency admirable, and, yes, perfection look so damn easy. And, if she can't make or create it herself, she always gives a shout-out to the local businesses, growers and experts who sustain themselves off their craft.
It's still all about supporting local economies, even when you're a big name domestic diva.