That photo up there is last year’s peaches. They were as delicious as they were beautiful. I wrote an essay about them entitled Peaches and Prosciutto. It and another entitled Growing Tomatoes are posted here.
What those essays speak to is the revelations that growing my own food has given me as a cook and a humble human being who is now more grateful for her daily bread. There are those who have no food and in our culture of Too Much it is hard to believe. But growing a garden has opened my eyes to the fragile balance of bounty and barren. It has connected me to the effort and ingredients that make up a single morsel of nourishment – morsels that previously would lay to waste in my refrigerator as a result of buying too much or simply forgetting it was there.
It’s changed the way I cook as I let what I have, oh so locally, inform what I cook. Funny how my garden has eased an age old anxiety of mine. As much as I love to cook I’ve always hated the grocery store. With food out my doorstep I am super motivated to work with what I’ve got if it will save me a trip.
I see everything differently now. Recently, on an outing with friends, we were cooking dinner and preparing fresh asparagus stalks for the meal. One of the cooks took off quite a bit of the stalks and deposited them in the trash. We were actually staying on a guest farm and the asparagus was fresh from the field. “We could have used more of that stalk” I thought to myself. Then I looked around the kitchen, “What, no compost pale?”
They say Italians don’t waste anything. That is the way I am headed. I still let even my cherished home grown vegetables go past their expiration date but, even then, they go right back into the loop.
Keeping horses is work. More work than I anticipated and more than my husband and I can handle sometimes. But they give so much to this little plot of land. Their manure makes just about perfect compost and with a little guidance their grazing only helps the earth, with agitation and fertilization.
So today is the first day of my blog. Something I’ve thought about for a long time but I just didn’t want to join the ranks of those who talk about their belly buttons….you know what I mean.
I’m inviting you on this journey with me. I’ll share with you my successes and failures. And, hopefully inspire you to grow and cook. The smallest pot of herbs or even sprouts grown on your counter can add a new dimension to the enjoyment of this necessity of life.