How Does Your Garden Grow Neo?
Office of Citizen
Rest in Peace,
eating well and health insurance reform
Submitted by Susan Miller on Sun, 09/13/2009 - 11:43.
Michael Pollan makes the connection between big insurance and big agriculture. He's good at it - drawing us the picture that is. Here's his roadmap to healthcare reform in the US:
Yesterday I spent the better part of the day in the kitchen cooking. I had an abundance of harvest both from my garden and the farm's "family holdback" produce I had carried home over the past two weeks. I had to take all that fresh produce and prepare it for eating over the next few weeks and months.
Last weekend - summer squash blanched and prepared for freezing - summer onions chopped and packaged for the freezer, mizuna pesto prepared for stuffing tomatoes and for sandwich spread for the weekend trip to Detroit, first modest corn harvested - steamed and eaten with no added anything - delicious! Who knew you could grow any corn on 6 hours of sun a day?
This weekend - cook those amazing beets and research recipes for future prep (maybe today), roasted roma tomato sauce with onions, thyme, marjoram and basil, colcannon with kale, onions and parsley, pesto genovese, pumpkin pie (the pumpkin volunteered from last year's compost and produced 5 perfect pie pumpkins). But the big event was when my South Indian roommate taught me how to make what she calls "gojju". It is a sort of spicy sweet sauce (would we call it Heinz 57 or A-1?) as a condiment for everything. Oil, dried red chillies, black mustard seed, cumin seed, tomatoes blanched, skinned and pureed, asfoteida, tamarind, jaggery and cook till it thickens - Wow! Yes, only the red chillies and tomatoes are local, but I told her that long after she has moved to Shillong, I'll be making this sauce. We do have Indian grocers here and it was a great way to use up some of those tomatoes.
Today I plan to check out the pears that are ripening on the pear tree on the corner of Washington and Lee Roads and perhaps make a pear/almond upside-down cake. OK, again, not all ingredients are local, but it is fun to make use of the bounty that our local food shed is offering right now. The dog is exhausted from the hours spent at attention in the kitchen yesterday.
Here are some pictures of the kitchen adventure:
Roma tomatoes and siskyou onions with olive oil, thyme and marjoram sprigs just roasted.
Pureeing the tomatoes for the gojju sauce.
Pumpkin pie and two more pumpkins to make two more pies...
How that pie looked a few weeks ago. The pumpkins were snuggled into the tomato forest and grew alongside 15 or so lbs of potatoes, more lettuce than I could eat, radishes (harvested and consumed months ago), amazing beets, mustard, bush beans that continue to "put out".
The herbs came from my tiny herb spiral.
It is amazing what one can do with compost, under $5 worth of seeds and some sun and rain. I only watered this garden 5 times!!!
As Wendell Berry has said, farming/gardening is an act of civil disobedience. I'm down with that. I have also been able to share the harvest with my neighbor - one pumpkin is growing on his side of the fence and I weekly place a pint of cherry tomatoes in his milk door/mailbox. Is it good fences make good neighbors or good gardens make good neighbors? A couple of years ago, with plenty of incredulity, he supplied me with his mowed leaves and grass to help me kill the grass on my front lawn. I would guess that the cherry tomatoes and the beans I deposited a couple of days ago make the shade garden in the front yard more palatable.
In any case, Pollan points out with regard to health insurance reform:
"As things stand, the health care industry finds it more profitable to treat chronic diseases than to prevent them. There’s more money in amputating the limbs of diabetics than in counseling them on diet and exercise."
So while we ponder that, here's another thought forwarded to me by a friend: (this is more in my ongoing "make 'em sick, make 'em well series")
Will the opportunity corridor be drumming up even more business for the CCF cardiologists? Maybe we should consider, instead of a noisy road, a calm garden corridor? I mean isn't this predicated on so much vacant land in that forgotten area? Based on what I can grow in my shady, tiny backyard, what would be more healthy and cost efficient for Cleveland, more roads to maintain or more kitchen gardens?
OK, enough thoughts for today - back to the kitchen and the yard.
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