I'm laughing outside, but inside I'm crying. The infamous yuppie kitchen outfitter, Williams-Sonoma, is heading into backyards and offering a new "agrarian" line of products to include a spiffy, pre-fab abode for one's flock of laying hens.
I don't know what I think about this. I live in the suburbs, and so, of course, I'm drawn to these rustic-looking gadgets. I get a lot of catalogs from seed companies and garden supply companies, and I always love flipping through the pages and looking at how put-together everything is. So neat and tidy.
And, then, I go out into my own yard that's not neat or tidy or remotely put together, and I dream about those catalog pictures.
I also know that, even if I had the money to spend on those high-end products, once I brought them home and put them to real use, they would cease to be the picturesque displays one sees in catalogs. The fact of my life is that life is messy.
According to this article about Williams-Sonoma's new line of products, the line the company is feeding the public has to do with a desire to help families who are concerned about where their food comes from (i.e. locavores) and to help families who want to embrace this healthy lifestyle.
Personally, I think they're a little late in the game to be launching this line of products. It's something they should have done four years ago, and while I applaud their stated goal, I know, for them, it's a ploy to sell a product - just another follow-the-money scheme by a company that's watched its sales plummet as fewer and fewer people are able to afford the luxury of spiffy kitchen gadgets.
And, actually, it irritates me a little, because when companies, like this, jump on the bandwagon, it kind of does support the supposition that the local foods movement is elitist - which it's not.
I'm all for anyone who wants to grow his/her own food, and if something like this will get them started - more power to 'em. My thinking, though, is that Williams-Sonoma is shooting itself in the proverbial foot, because the local foods movement goes hand-in-hand with a very strong movement toward simplifying one's life, i.e. voluntary austerity ... which means that those folks who are attracted to the Williams-Sonoma designer chicken coop will soon realize that buying those high-end dishes and gadgets is ridiculous, and they'll stop shopping for shiny, new stuff, and end up at the thrift store looking for their neighbors' Williams-Sonoma cast-offs.
Better would have been for Williams-Sonoma to develop a marketing campaign to show locavores how much better all of that local food would taste when prepared using Williams-Sonoma cookware ;).