Friday, August 31, 2012

What gardeners need

Yesterday I stopped by Imwalle Gardens, the farm stand in my neighborhood, the business for more than a century of four generations of Imwalles .   I buy produce and plant starts there.   But yesterday I bought only fruit - two kinds of local apples and a crane melon.

I commented to the family member who waited on me - in the form of what I thought was a rhetorical question - that I was buying only fruit, because if you have a vegetable garden with tomatoes, beans and squash, what else to you need?

His response:   Friends.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

First Big Glean

We harvested the demonstration food gardens at Cornerstone on Highway 121.   119 lbs.!
The complex is well worth a visit to see all the gardens - some useful and some frivolous, but all beautiful.

September will be whole grains month

so I'm feeling sorry for all these folks who don't eat any grains at all.  

I've just been exploring the Oldways website, something I'd missed somehow, and found this offer a day for September

A couple of questions arise.
Why is there no diet pyramid for northern Europeans?   Surely there are traditional ways of eating from which we could benefit?   More small oily fish and rye bread for me.

And why do people keep calling quinoa and its cousins grains?  They aren't, though they do fill that niche in the diet.  But so does taro (poi) and I don't hear anyone promoting that - except among native Hawaiians.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Is August 15 the degree of food?

Julia Child would have been 100 today.   It's always interested me that she and I shared a birthday. Makes me think about an astrology book I had once that assigned a meaning to every one of the days in the year.   Surely August 15 is food?
I chatted with niece Pam today, we sang happy birthday to one another,  and we talked about what is growing in our gardens and what we made with it for lunch and dinner!

The symposium remembering Julia at my alma mater will be closer to what would have been my mother's 100th birthday, in September.   (My mother was another great inspiration for my life in the kitchen.)  Brava to the Radcliffe Institute for streaming more of its fora.  Here's the bumpf:
And the keynote is by another 1968 grad, Laura Shapiro.

And I'm not going to tell anyone how many times I have watched this:

Sonoma Valley Gleaning Project Launch

Our first meeting of gleaners and organizers on Monday evening held a lot of promise.   I might have wished for another half dozen people, but those we had have all kinds of tentacles into the wider community:  sustainability and relocalization groups, gardeners and food preservers, local politics.   Stay tuned.

Very sweet potatoes

It didn't take genetic engineering or charities doling out vitamin pills for children in Mozambique and Uganda to get more Vitamin A in their diets.   It just took introducing a tasty crop similar to one people already grew and ate - orange fleshed sweet potatoes as opposed to pale ones - and working the women's networks with a fun campaign (theatre and song) to promote it.

The results are truly remarkable.  Two thirds of the households targeted adopted OFSP.

It all made me think about my tree collard - another good source of Vitamin A that's easy to grow in mild climates and provides a continuous supply of greens under tough conditions.  

Golden rice was never necessary, except in the minds of some bio-engineers with messianic longings.   How often the best solution is the simplest and the closest.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Let the gleans begin

It seems strange that the title of this blog finally has a solid referent.   Last Thursday I picked up bags of gravenstein apples from a backyard in Temelec and took them to the Teen Center in the Springs - the first actual traffic in produce for the Sonoma Valley Gleaning Project.   We are having our orientation for gleaners Monday evening, August 13 at 7:00 p.m. at Trinity Church in Sonoma. Woo-hoo!

BTW - the Valley of the Moon Teen Center is a great place.   Very responsive to the needs and interests of the youth it serves.   They have a small commercial kitchen, and a young woman, with a little help from the boys who were at the center that afternoon, was making brownies on contract for the Impact 100 luncheon the next day.   The baking program is called "Lovin' Oven".   They may do a preserving workshop this fall, and I hope there is a way we can hook up interest at Trinity with the Teen Center.