friday--reflections on the food supply
Friday, December 28, 2012
things are leveling out after the peak around Christmas. all the partying and crazy food is over with. most of the decorations are put away--a few more to go. The Christmas train is the big project--and that will take several hours to dismantle and pack away. good news is, we will reorganize and consolidate as we do that, so it will be neater and more orderly next year.
today the Christmas tree goes back in the box, the vaccuum comes out and the workroom gets a going over so i can start painting soon. i think i will work on mosaic first--i have a huge firescreen half done in the basement and it is taking up so much room--i need to complete it and get it installed in the little house that functions as my shop.
then i can get some birdhouses done quickly and get in my winter work groove.
also looking over the wealth of seed catalogs that are coming in the mail. looking forward to growing food again--we took a long hiatus and concentrated on flowers, but its time to get back to it. i thought i would go through all of them last night--but i only made it through the johnny's selected seed catalog and my brain was overwhelmed. will take on another one today or tonight. there is one catalog that still hasn't arrived yet that i am waiting for.
we are looking hard at heirloom and open pollinated varieties in an effort to diminish the profile of GMO (Genetically modified organisms) that we consume. the jury is very much out on GMOs, but the idea concerns me. mostly i worry that gene pool diversity will be lost if people grow these GMO crops to the exclusion of other varieties. so in our individual small way we can perpetuate non GMO lines by growing them in our gardens. as far as the health impact of GMO--i have no idea. but it just seems better safe than sorry.
my friend, ben, is taking a class in college right now about food ethics and sustainability and stuff. typically of ben, he is crazy about the concept and filled with enthusiasm for following its precepts to the letter. he was devastated that after several months of being "clean" a very busy day and extreme fatigue from not eating coerced him into the drive up lane at mcdonalds. i had to smile at him--he is young and extremely idealistic--it takes some time to learn that its the total picture that matters--not the little stray marks and boo boos that happen in the making of it. but i learned a lot in our conversation--and vowed to look more carefully at what i buy in the store and where it comes from. i usually shy away from non-american grown just because i am uncertain of their pesticide practices. but its more than that--it takes a lot of fuel and resources to get red raspberries from venezuela to the grocery store in february--only to have a lot of them be discarded because no one will pay the price for them. its much easier now to find out where our produce comes from--and i will pay closer attention from now on, and work on developing my own garden so i don't have to go too far afield to get what i want. that will involve re-learning food preservation as well--and i am looking forward to that too.
this morning i ordered a cheese making kit--figured i need to start this learning curve in kindergarten, so i got a basic set that will guide me from the soft to the hard cheeses in a logical progression. my goal for next year is "bees and cheese" and this will start me on the "cheese" part of the equation. the idea of bees is a little more intimidating, but friend, marianne, always the adventuress, is interested too--so i figure we can join forces and invade the local beekeepers association to get started. one of the mail carriers in town is a beekeeper too, and i like her a lot, so i may broach the subject with her. a lot of "beeks" look for places to site hives, and i have flowers aplenty, so i am hoping that if they want to bring a hive here i can look over their shoulders and learn. last year we had a very large group of bees that came to one of our water gardens for water, so i am thinking we may have a wild hive nearby. but i don't know how to go about locating it, or how to tansfer the wild bees into a hive structure (its supposed to be the best way to go about starting a hive--take wild bees and give them a new home. native bees usually have resistance or tolerance to local diseases and problems). so i have a lot of new things ahead of me--and oh yeah, did i mention i want to paint the living room and redecorate the kitchen.
winter is going to fly by!