Often, fresh nutritional food is spoken of as "fresh from the garden". I want to bring to your attention that there's food in "them there woods". On one of our trips to France, I have a fond memory of going out looking for chestnut trees on the side of the road with my husband, Chef Roland, and his parents. It was a wonderful experience for all of us and a great reason to go for an outing. They are in their late 80's and you could tell they really enjoyed being our guides to a choice spot and that they were able to "pass down" part of their food culture to me, their American daughter-in-law who had never harvested chestnuts in the wild. It was beyond a Kodak moment. After we located and gleened the chestnuts from a quaint country French farm road, we took them home where Chef Roland's mother cooked up a scrumptious chestnut soup for part of our evening meal. That experience beat out anything else France had to offer! Since I've not been diligent to post anything for the holidays, I will make this my contribution because ,really, it's about family and memories. So, I've posted a link for a nice chestnut recipe. Unfortunately, they are a little expensive in the store. However, you can contact the Missouri Department of conservation and purchase a bundle of chestnut trees for a nominal cost and start your own chestnut orchard!!
Merry Christmas & Bon Appetit!
Yahoo!! Spring has sprung and, regardless of ticks and poisen ivey, I'm there!! Unfortunately, we had to sell our tractor last year that would have been able to turn over the spot where I would like to put our garden. And, it's been a bit wet. So we are late getting our ground prepared for it's new inhabitants. Chef Roland is a very good mechanic so, he has the privilege of working over an old rototiller we have to see if he can get it running. He's a diligent guy and I'm sure he will not give up until he has conquered that machine. Hopefully, we will be turning the soil over next weekend! (Rather, I should say, I will be wrestling with that thing in hopes of getting some seed into the ground.)
I have managed to get some flower seeds and roots into the soil, hoping to attract the many birds and butterflies that we have visit our place. I like keeping the critters happy and the pop of color is always nice during the growing season.
I really believe that spring is the season of hope and I do want to encourage and lift up by the articles that I post on our website. The age we live in seems a far cry from what we wish it would be. I know alot of us are wondering what direction history is taking us. I do believe that I would be negligent if I did not stop and take this opportunity to encourage you in becoming more responsible and involved in your personal food production. I'm sure there are alot of uncertainties for many of us and there are many of us who are blessed to go about our daily life without much difficulties. However, given the seemingly increasing instability of world economics and how they affect us ultimately through the global food market, I believe we must, at least, give some thought to the possibility that the food products we consume, could become more scarce or increasingly unaffordable, even to those with a more stable income.
With that said, I would like to post a link to a report that, I believe, gives a clear overview of world politics and how they do play a role in what you pay for food products and how those food products are becoming less available in the global food market. Please take a moment, even if you aren't too concerned with these issues, and read over the report before you dismiss it as not possible. If, after you read the article, you believe that there is a significant level of truth to the article, I would again like to encourage you to go out and invest whatever monies you can, even if it is just a few dollars and purchase seed to grow food for yourself. Many of us do not have a garden space available so, I would direct you to do an internet search on the subject of "container" gardening or "urban" gardening. You would be suprised what you can grow in a windowsill or on a balcony/patio. Also, don't be overly concerned about bug control or fertilizers. If you grow native plants they are very hardy. They and "heirloom" seeds reproduce themselves and you need to know that "hybrid" seeds DO NOT reproduce themselves. This is important to know because if food should be difficult to obtain, purchased seed will also be difficult to acquire.
You can do an internet search to find common items in your own home that are just as good (and better) than chemicals that are commonly advertised as necessities for gardening. I, myself, look for household tricks (such as diluted soapy water) and use implements like an old knife to garden with. I am, by no means, a gardener. In fact, this is really the first time in my life I've really made an effort to get some gardening done. Mine is small at this time but it is something and I am learning as I go. A good bug catcher I discovered that my family in France uses is empty soda bottles that have the "funnel" top cut off and inverted back into the bottle. They rig them up so that they can hang them in their fruit trees with a little sugar water in the bottom. The flies/bugs are attracted, go inside the container and can't seem to manage their way back out. I tried that last year, for the first time, and it helped to keep my persimmon fruit from having eggs laid in them.
Another direction I have been pursuing is to search out native plants that are, in fact, edible and nutritious. It's something I do for fun and as a hobby, at this time, and, who knows, maybe that information might come in handy should I get lost in the woods. :) I read that the new baby pine needle tips are extremely high in vitamin C and you can make tea out of them. Fun stuff to know. Did you know that the purple fruit and "leaves" of a prickly pear cactus are edible?? The fruit makes excellent jelly.
Another interesting way that you can become more involved in your own personal food production is to research and learn to "can" your own food at home. There are several techniques to process and preserve food and if you should come across a good deal in the store or famers' market, or your neighbor gifts you with some of the bounty of their own food production, you will able to "keep it back" for months to come. Food preservation is a good way to stretch your dollars in the food market.
Fine dinning, going out to our favorite restaurants to enjoy well made food with family and friends, and trying our own hand at culinary creations is always a true joy and blessing and I pray you have many. Always take a moment to consider helping out your local food banks and discover what types of food/garden programs are in your area. Get involved and "play" with your food!!
Here is the link: http://www.offthegridnews.com/otgNCurrent/Food_Shock.pdf
When Roland and I met, I was one of those people who opened the box or can and warmed up the family meal. After our marriage in 2005, I truely began to appreciate what food is really about, not only that it can taste very good, and be nutritious, but that it can be a celebration of who you are and the people that you share it with.