Friday, August 14, 2009

Gardening & Good Food

“He who works land will have abundant food “- Proverbs 12:11

True that!
This week it not about the greater esoteric wholeness of the psyche as it intersects with the sustainable systems of planet earth… No, this week’s blog is about gardening and good food.

We don’t have a big garden this year as it was planted late, Hawaii kept us away for a chunk of spring, so planting was an afterthought. I threw in some pre-sprouted pony-packs and added horse manure as token plant food. True to form, a great abundance of food is streaming forth from the garden.

There are tomatoes of every shape and size, tender mutant yard-long string beans which are delicious with everything, especially tomatoes. Tonight’s dinner was an amazing mix of rainbow peppers, young zucchini, tomatoes and garlic sooo fresh there is no paper to peel, just dice and sauté. It was all cooked in olive oil, seasoned with Moroccan saffron and finished with a sheep milk Romano. All the vegetables came out of the garden maybe a half hour before dinner. The flavors were wildly vibrant, and I eat a lot of veggies but fresh produce at its peak of ripeness is another level of flavor.

The bad news is that my immediate neighbors and family all have larger and more productive gardens than mine, so I can’t pass my excess produce off to them. The good news is I got some ripe passion fruit from my brother-in-law this week which was divine, before that there were the tubs of strawberries they were downloading. Yum! Just a note; growing is addictive. More than a few of my friends started growing pot as an affordable source of self-medication then graduated onto fresh produce. I guess it’s true, the first one’s free.

Wendell Berry wrote: “One of the most important resources that the garden makes available for use is the gardener’s own body. A garden gives the body the dignity of working in its own support. It is a way of rejoining the human race.”

My favorite 2 year old buddy, Emerson, was here yesterday. He was having a great time feeding the koi, petting frogs, (one finger only, gently,) hunting for cats, (who were hiding) and picking tomatoes and peppers. Emerson threw himself into harvesting with a glee that everyone should have with gathering their food. It was as if we were on an Easter-egg hunt but for tomatoes, he reveled in the gathering and even tasted some, (mixed review) then moved onto the peppers. Em proudly insisted on carrying the bag which had began to drag under the weight. He seemed to like the feel of his body’s strain against the bounty he had gathered. It was a far cry from sitting in a shopping cart and having his mom put food in the basket. I think that Emerson in his 2 year old wisdom would heartily agree not only to the dignity of working in the garden but of the pure joy…

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