I found this the other day on Facebook, and haven’t been able to find a source for the graphic itself. (The quote, though, is by Jules Dervaes of Urban Homestead, which is kind of Teh Awesome, if you’re interested in all things home grown.)
Normally, today would be all about a recipe.
And next week, we’ll be back to Simple Weekend Cooking. (I have one for y’all, I just haven’t had a chance to cook-test it yet, and while I trust the source, I’m all about the making of the thing first.)
This week, catch-up week, though — I’m not really cooking today, per se. Made some muffins, but that’s more baking than cooking.
I’m putting seeds into dirt instead.
Last year, I got a plot at our new community garden. I’ve always had delusions of being a gardener someday — one of those people who could wave a magic stick over the ground and make broccoli appear as if by magic – but the reality of the thing is…well…I’m kind of brown-thumbed. As in, I can kill anything at twenty paces brown. Crops fail in my presence. I love my plants to death with overwatering or fertilizing or just hugging them too much. Whatever it is — I’m more of a farmer’s market patron than producer.
Then came last year. I’m not sure what changed. Maybe I turned 40 and my latent green thumbs went all un-dormant or something. Maybe I just finally had soil that didn’t suck. I’m not sure. Regardless of the reason, I put one tomato plant and four jalapeno plants in the ground, along with some lettuce seeds that I fully thought had no shot of germinating, and even a green pepper plant, just for kicks.
By the end of the season, I had enough for five gallons of salsa. Green peppers. Giant BAGS of salad fixins. Did I mention five gallons of oven-roasted salsa, where the only thing I had to buy was garlic? (Mine didn’t grow, but I started it late in the season.)
I was MAGIC. I MADE FOOD. From DIRT.
Fast forward to this year.
This quest for a simpler, more connected and passionate life has had a couple of unexpected side effects. I quit doing quite a few dumb things already. (With a long list of Dumb still to go, but life’s a process.) I’m more active, and don’t spend days on end in this same computer chair, trying to remember what the sun feels like. I’m reconnecting with the processes of everyday life and appreciating them more. (Even laundry’s an adventure if you pay attention.)
And most importantly, I’m learning. Learning not only the esoteric type stuff that you’d assume, but oddly enough, more about the world.
And folks, I’m learning about food. And it’s not pretty. (And how many sentences can I start with the word “and”..?)
This week, I’m going to share some of that with you.
I’m going to warn you now: some of it is controversial. Some of it is hypey and paranoid and, frankly, disgusting. (Meat glue and pink slime? The ubiquitous “they” want us to eat this stuff and like it?)
While a large part of my yearlong quest here is intended to dive deep into passionate enjoyment of all the simple things the world has to offer, learning more about the industrial/commercial food system that literally feeds us has been a bit that has not only stressed me out, but made me WAY more focused on taking that brown thumb of mine and forcing it to turn green by whatever means necessary.
Really, when you think about it — what can be more joy-inducing than being intimately connected with what goes into your body? (All dirty puns aside.) By the end of this week, I’m hoping that you’ll not only be outraged and a little afraid (I was.), but also energized and determined to stick your hands in some dirt — or to support local people who do.
Are you already a gardener or aspiring gardener?
I joined a site called My Folia a few years ago that, even as a free user (which I’ve always been) lets you track what you’re planting and how it does. (If you look at my gardens, they’ve all been abysmal failures until last year, even. It’s kind of funny and kind of sad, all wrapped up into one.) It’s kind of gardener-geek paradise, really. Come on by and try ‘er out, even if you’re not quite sure yet what you’ll be planting, or where.
And we’ve got some good gardening discussions going on over in the forums, too, if that’s more your speed. (I’m an organization geek, so tracking sites make me all squee-ey.)
So instead of cooking, today, I’m putting seeds in dirt.
There’s 8 weeks left until our last frost date, and this year, I’m looking at a double-plot in the community garden and a bunch of heirloom variety seeds (unpatented types) so I can save and trade with other foodmakers.
What are you doing today?