Well, this past Saturday was certainly a big day for us – first market of the season!  We want to thank everyone for coming out.  It was great to see so many of you after a long winter.  I hope you enjoy your syrup and wild leeks.  We will be back regularly on Saturdays (10am – 3pm) until Strawberry season, when we will resume our Wednesday-Saturday routine (10am-5pm).

I also heard that there was something going on in England last Saturday as well???

It looks like it was worth watching – rare to see such civic pomp in our utilitarian world today.  I suppose I should remember that he is all of our King too, after all.  It’s easy to forget, but we remain ruled by the Crown – just have a look at your money, or run into trouble with the law and you’ll be reminded. 

Whatever you make of the British royal family: a worthy tradition, a scandalous waste, history’s greatest villains, the ultimate tabloid celebrities, or perhaps even shapeshifting reptilian space aliens, despite all of the changes in our world there remains, at least vestigially, symbolically a King.

I’m personally rather agnostic on the monarchy.  I’ve never really questioned or celebrated it, it’s something to me that has just always been – and perhaps, should be… To quote C.S. Lewis, of Narnia fame:

Where men are forbidden to honour a king, they honour millionaires, athletes, or film stars instead; even famous prostitutes or gangsters. For spiritual nature, like bodily nature, will be served; deny it food and it will gobble poison.

Although the former Prince of Wales has largely been portrayed as a sort of doofus over the course of my lifetime, if you look past the tabloid headlines, you will find that he’s actually a rather thoughtful guy.  One of his passions has been the preservation of traditional British architectural styles: watch him here amusingly go off on the banal modernization of the London and Birmingham skylines…

So strongly does Chuck feel about this, that he put his (limitless) money where his royal mouth is and went and constructed a human scaled, traditionally built town from scratch: it’s called Poundbury, and resembles some of the finer parts of our own old King’s-town; and like Kingston to Canada, is consistently named amongst the “Best Places to Live” in the UK.

The classic, austere and practical embodiment of the stiff upper lip also comes out in His Highness’ wardrobe.  He’s become known over the decades for wearing a very limited and well cared for selection of clothing (I find this quite endearing).   A “green fashion” icon, the man’s worn the same shoes and coat for 40 years!  I wish I could be so easy on clothes…

But perhaps most relevant to our communication, I’d like to point out that the new King has been a longtime supporter of small-scale farming.  It’s not the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of Global Elites, but the 74 year old feels so strongly about sustainable agriculture that he even has his own model farm, Highgrove, in the Cotswolds, where they practise biodynamic farming and preserve rare genetics.  Above and beyond the LARPing, in 1990 Chas established the organic food line Duchy Originals and with the proceeds, gives out countless scholarships and bursaries to educate the next generation on the land.  All the while, he’s consistently come out swinging for the British family farm.

So why does King Charles the Third feel this way?  Ultimately his passion for these matters comes from what appears to be a genuine concern for the well being of his subjects; but it is not only because traditional building materials, wholesome food and a pleasing city and landscape are nice.  As much as I hate to agree with a reptilian shapeshifter, his thinking on the matter is more profound: that the handing over of basic matters like food and shelter to technocrats and financiers has ultimately generated an alienation from the natural order, which actually harms our dignity as human beings.

In his own words:

In this way, the loss of Tradition cuts to the very core of our being since it conditions that which we can “know” and “be”. For Modernism, by its unrelenting emphasis on the quantitative view of reality, limits and distorts the true nature of the Real and our perception of it. Whilst it has enabled us to know much that has been of material benefit, it also prevents us from knowing that which I would like to refer to as the knowledge of the Heart; that which enables us to be fully human.

Morgan suggested last week, “Hey you should write something about how Prince Charles likes farming” which sent me down this little rabbithole, and I was surprised at what I found down there. 

I think that a lot of us bristle at the notion of having a King because we experience such a distinct lack of leadership in every layer of our world today: a real dearth of vision and direction, we just keep hurtling forward… but towards what?  And so although our style of business is quite at odds with today’s institutions, it sort of tickles that the thoroughly neutered monarch of what was once the world’s greatest empire would get a kick out of what we’re doing here at Salt of the Earth – and I’m even more glad that you do too! Thank you for working with our family.

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