Monday, October 5, 2009

Independence Days Week #23

The weather was cold and rainy all week long. The forecast for the weekend called for more of the same and that's certainly how Saturday dawned, but by the time I got to the farmer's market around mid-morning, it was quite mild and the sun was making a strong effort to push through the clouds. As soon as I got home and dropped off my purchases I headed right back out again to the garden.

Biking along my usual route, noticing the fall colours, the sky, the sun and shadow, I felt touched by grace and filled with joy. It was a real gift of a day. I hadn't realised that my long absence from the garden because of the weather had left me somewhat aimless and wanting. Until that moment I hadn't realised how much meaning and purpose I derive from my small and humble efforts to work with the earth. I was struck by a deep sense of privilege to be able to do so and wished for everyone a similar experience. We should all have the honour to be more connected and responsible for the source of our food. And for all the people in the world who are burdened and toiling under back breaking effort to produce food, may my meager actions go some small way toward creating a more balanced and just world.

Plant something:
- mung bean sprouts
- garlic (My plan was to plant garlic later this month, but it worked out that I had the opportunity to plant some on the weekend. I hope to plant more in a few weeks.)

Harvest something:
- mung bean sprouts (Growing sprouts is so rewarding. You can 'plant' and 'harvest' them in mere days!)
- 5lbs of foraged acorns (The ADGMD found these acorns for me and spent about a half an hour collecting them. He's such an awesome dude! Sadly, I'm afraid I won't be able to use them. They were collected from a traffic island, surrounded by very busy roads- no doubt why there were so many as no sane squirrel would cross that death trap. The island itself is below street level and I can imagine all the years of pollutants and heavy metals washing into the green space, being taken up by the trees and into the acorns. I'm sad. I really wanted to make acorn flour.)
- 7oz of chard
- dandelions

Preserve something:
- wanted to start another batch of sauerkraut, but it'll have to wait 'till this week

Waste not:
- made flax bread from scratch
- drying corn silk
- returned milk bottles and egg cartons for reuse

Want not:

- movies and book from the library
- 2nd hand canning jars, pot holders, sweater, ointment/salve pots
- salvaged vase from the ADGMD

Preparation and Storage:

- replenished bulk rice, mung beans, popcorn
- reading The Herbal Medicine-Maker's Handbook
- did yoga 3 times last week (I'm going to start including a health and well being component to the prep and store category from now on. I think taking responsibility for one's health and wellness is an essential aspect of preparing for a post-peak oil, climate changed, financially unstable world. Also, I've been slacking off on my yoga practice lately and am slightly less active as I slow down for fall and winter and I'm hoping that this will help keep me on track.)

Build community food systems:
- the usual local food from the farmer's market

Eat the food:
- mung bean sprout and cucumber salad with oil and cilantro vinegar
- tatsoi sauteed with garlic and onions
- pickles and tomato garnish for local veg burgers
- pasta with tatsoi and chard, tomato sauce

I'm adding a sub-category here: Use the medicine
- I was feeling a little under the weather last week with a thick feeling in my throat and a heaviness in my chest so I made myself a cup of hot red wine with two tablespoons of my my elderberry in brandy tincture and a tablespoon of my mallow flower honey. I curled up under a wool blanket on the couch. Within minutes I was toasty warm from head to toe and feeling rather pleasant. The next morning all symptoms were gone, but for good measure I repeated the treatment again the next night. I took a few tablespoons of my mallow flower syrup as well. When medicine tastes and feels so good, it only makes sense!

(Follow all the other people doing the challenge over at Casaubon's Book.)


wendyytb said...

Oh, Amber! If I become ill this winter, you will be getting a call! Somehow your suggestions sound really yummy! (Not that I want to get sick!)

Great post! Thanks!

Amber said...

This kind of medicine almost makes me look forward to not feeling well!

Is that a tickle in my throat? Better take some syrup.

Oh, I just coughed! Better make myself a 'medicinal' hot toddy. :)

sally said...

Greetings, Amber, and what a fine blog here! It is great to read about your projects and thoughts. I am so happy to make the acquaintance of such a decidedly un-stuffy compatriot.

Amber said...

Hi Sally! It was lovely to meet you and the others at last week's lunch and be in a room full of such inspiring and dedicated people.
All the best!