“To recover an intuitive sense of what will be in season throughout the year, picture a season of foods unfolding as if from one single plant. Take a minute to study this creation — an imaginary plant that bears over the course of one growing season a cornucopia of all the different vegetable products we can harvest. We’ll call it a vegetannual. Picture its life passing before your eyes like a time-lapse film: first, in the cool early spring, shoots poke up out of the ground. Small leaves appear, then bigger leaves. As the plant grows up into the sunshine and the days grow longer, flower buds will appear, followed by small green fruits. Under midsummer’s warm sun, the fruits grow larger, riper, and more colorful. As days shorten into the autumn, these mature into hard-shelled fruits with appreciable seeds inside. Finally, as the days grow cool, the vegetannual may hoard the sugars its leaves have made, pulling them down into a storage unit of some kind: a tuber, bulb, or root.” – An excerpt from Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life.
Farm A – Week 8
The turnips were a lovely surprise, I see some more pickles in my future! I’m so happy that we’re moving away from the leaves of spring and into ‘fruit’ season, as Barbara Kingsolver might say. Have you read this book? I’m only four chapters in and I’m obsessed. She has such a fluid way of conveying the intricacies of our food system; examining it in both a micro (local) and macro (global) sense, which the Anthropologist in me loves. This book should be a requirement for anyone who eats. It forces you to come to terms with how ludicrous our industrialized food system has become. Over the last century we’ve moved away from quality food, and most people don’t even realize that. Kingsolver reminds me why I’m so passionate about this topic.
She and her husband also throw in random fun facts. Two favorites that I remembered and had an easy enough time flipping back to:
“The Seed Savers’ Yearbook makes available to its members the seeds of about twice as many vegetable varieties as are offered by all U.S. and Canadian mail-order seed catalogs combined.” Seed saving is immensely important and it’s one of BigAg’s toughest hurdles. How can they completely control the food supply when awesome folks like this exist?
“Food transport has become a bizarre and profitable economic equation that’s no longer really about feeding anyone: in our own nation we export 1.1 million tons of potatoes, while we also import 1.4 million tons.” The amount of fossil fuels used in this ridiculous endeavour hurts my soul. What is the point of this?!?
Isn’t it funny that BigAg constantly throws in our face that their goal is to feed the world? How GM produce will allow us to make food available to those currently going hungry? Following many before me, I call bullshit. For SO many reasons. Although I have not run the numbers myself, I would bet that we already produce more than enough food globally to feed the entire world population and then some. And we all know BigAg could give two f*cks about feeding people who can’t pay. It’s about profit, not about feeding people. This book was published in 2006 and I’m sure the numbers have only gotten worse.
Americans waste a ridiculous amount of food; some of it doesn’t even make it to the grocery store. Perfectly good food, tossed because it’s ugly and there isn’t a cost efficient way to get that food into the hands of the millions of American citizens who live in food-insecure situations. Food waste is so prevalent that even late night TV comedians are talking about it.
Anyway, let’s get back to this past week’s share… Can you believe that this is a HALF-share? As summer goes on more food means more food prep, which can be daunting. I suppose I’m fortunate to have hungry friends. I’m heading out of town on Friday and will be getting both shares this week. Have you ever flown with vegetables? What about an excessive amount of vegetables? Can I bring all my food on (or under) the plane? So many damn questions! In the past I have brought various food items through security to avoid the ridiculously high airport prices, but never in this quantity. I would like to assume that it would be fine seeing as the majority of the food in your local grocery store makes a comparable – if not more lengthy – journey. I’m going to do some research and if possible I will be bringing many goodies back to New York with me.
Next week I will be celebrating the marriage of a dear friend and spending copious amounts of time with my family – I can’t wait! As of today I’ve used up nearly all of the veggies from my fridge, this batch included. Thursday should be interesting as I will be scrambling to pack, food prep, and still get some sleep since I’m working half a day on Friday. But who knows if sleep will happen, I have a bad case of pre-trip anticipation/anxiety. I hope to post while I’m in NY, we shall see!