Tuesday, November 20, 2012

"participate in food production"

{this is the best I could do}

9. Grow something and eat it. Tomatoes maybe? Basil? Both? Mmmmmm caprese salad. (note to self: mould on cheese does not count)

One of my goals before I turn thirty was to eat something I grew. I once read an essay by Wendell Berry that encouraged the practice of growing at least a little of one’s own food. Like most Canadians I am normally only involved in the consumption part of the agriculture supply chain. As a result I think we run the risk of feeling artificially separated from the source of our food. Wendell Berry is way (WAY) more articulate on the subject so check out his essay for a more eloquent synopsis of my motivation for this particular goal.

Since I have no garden to speak of and the opposite of a green thumb I thought that caprese salad would be a good place to start. The plan was to grow basil and a few tomatoes, how hard could that be? As it turns out, pretty hard.

First my basil was eaten up by what I can only imagine were very hungry earwigs (way less cute than their caterpillar counterparts). Then my cherry tomatoes exploded as I waited for them to ripen perfectly (they actually exploded – for real). No tomatoes, no basil, no caprese.

I felt dejected for several months.

Then last week I revisited my list and surveyed my options. They were slim. I had some gnarly looking chives that I once saw my neighbours’ cat nibbling and some woody thyme. Then Nicholetta posted a recipe for roasted cauliflower soup on her blog – it called for one of my two viable ingredients – thyme (she didn’t specify that it should be woody, but I doubted it mattered much). 

So, there it is, roasted cauliflower and thyme soup. Something I grew myself.

I know it is a stretch.

Wendell Berry would be disgusted I am quite sure of it.

At least it is a start? Last year I grew nothing that I ate. Baby steps.

Next year I will try to up the ante and disqualify herbs from my challenge – what is the easiest thing in the world to grow? A potato? I was born on PEI…



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