Monday, May 31, 2010

200 B.C. same old same old....

"One thing is sure: the earth is more cultivated and developed now than ever before; there is more farming but fewer forests, swamps are drying up and cities are springing up on an unprecedented scale. We have become a burden to our planet. Resources are becoming scarce and soon nature will not longer be able to satisfy our needs."
Quintus Septimus Tertullianus
200 B.C.

This quote comes out of the last chapter in Peter Pringle's Food Inc. A book giving both sides of genetically modified food. Kind of interesting when you look at the date. When we only see what is in our own vision it is hard to comprehend anything else. I always wonder what do I believe that is real and what do I believe that is not?

Wishing you more questions than answers,

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Do the farmers market experiment

Last night for dinner we had fresh asparagus. I can't believe I'm saying this but the asparagus was melt in your mouth heavenly! As a kid growing up in Colorado, we would go pick wild asparagus from the lake bank over by my grandpa's house. I hated asparagus- loved picking it- hated eating it. It's amazing what your taste buds do as you get older. Thinking asparagus is heavenly would have been like thinking going to the dentist was a treat. Things sure have changed!
Last night's asparagus came from our local farmers market. May is a month to celebrate the return of our farmers markets and farmers. The local honey, fresh baked bread, beautiful bouquets of flowers, fresh picked in the morning veggies: pea vines, mustard greens, tender baby broccoli, red leaf lettuce, mustard greens, baby garlic, onions, asparagus . So much local abundance waiting to come home for dinner.
This summer I invite you to do a little experiment. Spend some time at a normal grocery store or discount store. Just listen, smell, look and notice- what do you see and how do you feel? What are your fellow shoppers doing? Now go directly to your local farmers market and conduct the same research. I think you will be amazed at the differences.
When I did this experiment, I spent a morning at the farmers market as a volunteer, afterwords I had to stop by a discount store and pick up something. My senses were shocked. Inside the store I found shinny floors, clanking carts, florescent lights, advertisements and folks looking a bit sad and lost. In contrast, the morning at the farmers market, I had been surrounded by flowers, popcorn popping, families strolling and laughing, sunshine, fresh air, fresh food, local growers visiting with customers and lots of contented, happy looking faces.
It was truly an ah ha moment. This spring, summer and fall go shopping and support our local markets. You will be helping local farmers and in return you will get a slice of life. If you are not sure when or where to find these markets not to worry, I found this little web site with all the details. It will also give you the local harvest schedule.
I can't say as a kid this asparagus would have been better than the wild we cut, learning to love fresh asparagus just takes time, but I'm sure I would have enjoyed shopping at the farmers market more than the grocery store.
Happy fresh and local shopping,

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The fresh documentary

This morning I'm preparing for this afternoon's documentary party. The movie we'll see is called "The Fresh Movie". It's about sustainable agriculture. As you probably know by now, I come from an agricultural background. My degree is even agriculturally bases- Agricultural Business. Both grandparents were dairy farmers, we raised beef cattle, my Aunt Velma still has some dry land wheat. I guess you could say agriculture is in my blood and long before I even knew what organic was I was organic.

This morning I was visiting with my dad about composting, my upcoming movie and his organic background. He was explaining how his parents farmed organically. They practiced crop rotation: barely, alfalfa and then corn. They used the manure from their cows for fertilizer. Close by were huge flocks of black birds they relied on as their pesticide. My dad and grandma were the herbicide-at the end of a hoe! This was normal life not some new discovery.

My aunt Velma has had a compost bin out back much of her life. At our house we raised our own cattle, had a huge garden and one summer had 40 chickens- but that is a story all in itself. We fed our kitchen scraps to the cows. I remember watching Princess S and Mable wallering a corn cob in their mouths and then spitting our the cob when it was stripped of corn.

This afternoon, a few of my friends and I will gather in my living room to watch and then discuss this movie. A movie like this is most defiantly a thought and discussion provoking movie. I don't really like watching something like this by myself. Too many thoughts get in my head. It's great to have time and friends to mull over the movie while eating fresh strawberries, homemade scones and real whipped cream.

I hope both the food and movie are good I haven't previewed my new scone recipe or the movie.

Wishing all a happy May,

If you can't learn with your friends who can you learn with??