Thursday, September 1, 2011

Times of Plenty

A Recent Haul From the Garden
It is pretty common knowledge that most animals fatten up in the fall in preparation for times with little food in the winter.  It just so happens that there is plenty for them to eat throughout the summer and into the fall.  Our human ancestors followed the same cycles before refrigeration, food storage, and food preservation became accessible.  They took advantage of the plentiful food around them when they could.  

Well, right now food is plentiful for myself and my family.  Our garden is bursting with tomatoes, tomatilloes, green beans, cabbage, kale, peppers, and collard greens.  The same is happening at farmers markets and even grocery stores.  There is an abundance of fresh produce available at very good prices.  

Between our garden and what can come inexpensively elsewhere, we have a lot of quality food to deal with.  I hate to waste anything so we have been spending time picking, cleaning, and preparing what we have available.  When I do this I constantly think that not too long ago this is just what people did on a daily basis to survive.  It isn't hard labor but it requires time on your feet and patience.  There is no fast way to wash and trim 30 collard or kale green leaves by hand.  Then comes the cooking and preserving for the winter.  Our freezer is filling up with prepared greens and sauces.  There is also the blueberries and strawberries we picked earlier in the summer.  Although not recently, I have caught and cleaned deer and fish to freeze for the future.  This also is a tedious task.

I take pride in the fact that I have food in my freezer that I am largely responsible for.  From growing, to harvest, to cooking.  I also now realize that life used to revolve around the pursuit of nourishing food.  This lead to a daily activity level that most people don't come close to today.  So my hobby of gardening and my passion for feeding myself and my family with quality food has turned into a form of exercise I would have never considered.



MAS said...

Fermentation to the rescue? :)

Chuck said...

Yes, I have some cabbage just begging to be sauerkraut. I am going to try your cortido recipe.