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Planning Ahead

July 10th, 2010

Many of your have probably heard about the Slow Food Movement. This movement was started: to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world. Growing your own food is a great way to learn to be more mindful of what you eat. Sometimes I wonder how a grocery store can sell a tomato for only 99 cents a pound when I know what goes into growing them.

I was thinking about slow food earlier this week, when I planted some sage in the garden. My main reason for planting sage was to season our Thanksgiving meal in late November, four and a half months from now. Sure I could buy some sage at the grocery store to season my stuffing and turkey, but I know this will be much tastier. I’ll certainly enjoy the sage in the stuffing more, knowing that I started it from tiny seeds, nurtured the plant, harvested and dried it, all well before Thanksgiving. Not to mention the celery and onions used in the stuffing will be homegrown, the bread with be homemade, and the turkey will be pastured on a local farm! A Slow Food Thanksgiving will be enjoyed with my family!

Has growing food helped you become more mindful of food?
Do you appreciate food more knowing what goes into it?

19 Comments to “Planning Ahead”
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mark mile, Susy Morris. Susy Morris said: Planning Ahead #herbs #sage #slowfood […]

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  2. pam on July 10, 2010 at 8:07 am

    My sage is huge! And speaking of sage, I just saw a recipe for a sage infused apple cider vinegar that i am thinking about trying.

    Reply to pam's comment

    • Susy on July 10, 2010 at 11:45 am

      That sounds wonderful, I love both sage and ACV!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. Susanne on July 10, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Growing has definitely made me become more mindful of seasonal and regional aspects of food. I just signed up a “vegetable subscription” with a company which deliveres food boxes to city inhabitants. These boxes contain organic food only, mostly from local farms. As I won’t be able to grow enough food on my balcony to sustain myself (and not everything I’d like to eat either), I chose this way to have tastier and fresher products and to learn to be more seasonal in cooking, too.

    You’d expect me to know more about it as I grew up in a rural region with my grandmother’s kitchen garden. But she never really knew how to handle it organically, didn’t bother to teach us (e. g. me and my two sisters) the little knowledge she had in gardening – she even suppressed our attempts to create our own little spots within the garden. The same applied to cooking.

    Thus I kind of started from scratch when I nurtured my first balcony tomato, back in 90s…

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  4. Miranda on July 10, 2010 at 9:39 am

    So awesome: our huge sage bush (hybrid number 4) is one of our favorite herbs in the garden. We started it from a 4 inch pot from the local organic nursery and it is now bigger than me! or would be if i didn’t hack it back every spring after it flowers. There’s nothing like the aroma of fresh sage roasting with your turkey in the oven. On a humorous note, i’m allergic to sage – so the first hour or so of roasting with fresh sage in the oven causes me to itch and sneeze repeatedly! Thank goodness i can enjoy the flavor without sneezing!
    I have really felt more connected to the seasons since starting my vegetable gardens. I’m craving fresh salads right now, but sadly lettuce is a winter vegetable here, so i must get over that craving.

    Reply to Miranda's comment

    • Susy on July 10, 2010 at 11:46 am

      That’s too funny that you’re allergic. I think I’m allergic to lavender. I brought a bouquet in the house and was sneezy & stuffy for a few days.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Marlyn on July 10, 2010 at 5:28 pm

        Sage and lavender are two of my favorite plants! Thankfully I am not allergic! I pick the flowers to decorate as well as using the leaves for cooking. We also use lavender flowers to flavor ice cream.

        to Marlyn's comment

  5. Dave on July 10, 2010 at 9:51 am

    I do appreciate what goes into the food much more after growing it. I also appreciate the cost savings, the fresh food, and knowing exactly what goes on my plants (nothing). The fact that it all comes from our hard work makes it extra special.

    Reply to Dave's comment

  6. Amy on July 10, 2010 at 10:55 am

    I like the idea of having to wait for that first strawberry or tomato or whatever it is I’m waiting on…..We live in such an impatient society…..Where immediate gratification is king……We don’t care if our tomatoes from the grocery taste like styrofoam or that the chemicals used on our strawberries are toxic……And I guess we are paying for it with such a huge rise in illnesses……Our fast track lives, demands and ways are killing us…..My garden slows me down and refuses to be rushed……The first taste of the strawberry, raspberry or tomato is sublime……and well worth the wait….in my humble opinion….

    Reply to Amy's comment

    • Susy on July 10, 2010 at 11:47 am

      I completely agree. And I sure do appreciate a fresh strawberry picked ripe off the plant rather than ones from the grocery. I’ll gladly enjoy them only a few weeks each June because they’re so much tastier & healthier!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  7. MAYBELLINE on July 10, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    I’ve always appreciated food. I believe growing my own has made me more mindful of preserving the harvest and not wasting anything.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

  8. Mrs. Mac on July 10, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    I cringe when buying a food item that I can grow in my backyard. It takes a few years to get the gardening/preserving in sinc to have a year round supply. When driving the back road to town, I see the herd of cattle grazing at a local farm, then the farm kids riding the tractor and cutting the hay .. it’s a good sight to see the beef we purchase.

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  9. Marlyn on July 10, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    I think I was always mindful about food and its seasonality — I grew up that way. I took a bit of hiatus from that thinking/way of living while I pursued a career first in NYC, then SF, and finally LA.

    Once we settled here, even before I gave up the career, an early priority was to start a food garden. Memories of homegrown tomatoes are quite an inspiration. I love having fresh herbs year round. We can also have lettuce and spinach almost year round — though it gets hot here I have some low, shady places that stay cool.

    I love working in the garden and watching my children learn about where food comes from. I also love watching them enjoy the fruits of our labors!

    Reply to Marlyn's comment

  10. Tracy on July 10, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    I grow food for my family for so many reasons. It is better for us and the planet and it not only nourishes our bodies but is so good for the soul as well.

    I grew up with a vegetable garden but if the produce didn’t look as good as the shop bought varieties, it was thrown away. Nothing was ever out of season because you could buy summer from the shop even in winter. Since I have been married and have control over what is on our table, we don’t eat fresh tomatoes in winter but enjoy our harvest in season when it is at its best.

    Reply to Tracy's comment

  11. Dan on July 11, 2010 at 12:26 am

    I was picking up some corn at a farm stand last year and overheard a couple taking about the corn. The lady was wonder how many cobs grow on a plant and the guy replied that he thought 10. If people only knew the space and energy that goes into what they eat.

    Reply to Dan's comment

  12. Rose on July 11, 2010 at 4:17 am

    Where I live, in not-the-best part of this village, we’ve had snow and ice the past two years. Now, people in this area of the Uk do not know how to deal with snow or ice, and the county sold off its plows and salt-spreaders as they said we didn’t need them. There’s only one public service bus that comes up this way, and the past two years, they haven’t been able to get up the hill, so this entire portion of the village – already filled with low income families on tight budgets – were cut off from the stores. The stores themselves were running very low on food as none of the supply trucks could navigate the icy paths to get into town. No one was prepared, and things were getting ugly. Our entire town (which is not small or all that isolated, really) was three days away from having no food in its huge supermarket chain shops.

    That’s a rather scary thing, really…

    We have no allotments in this area, and I have put forth an initiative for us to have a community garden, to show low-income people how to grow and preserve their own food. There’s been a lot of interest so far, and I honestly think in our very trying economic times, being able to grow food is going to make or break some families. The thing is, allotments are often rather daunting so we’re having to divide things up in raised beds, much smaller to manage, make it child-safe for single mums with toddlers, and basically have to teach people why food from scratch is so worthwhile – even though they can buy frozen food at Iceland for 99p, and their kids have grown up drinking ribena and eating McDs and little else.

    I’ve now gathered up mates of mine and we go to pick your owns on a regular basis; we’ve traded planting tips, hand over surplus to each other, share out and help out. We’ve realised that we have to take care of ourselves, because if we don’t who will? what happens if we’re snowed in again? So far, we’re doing well I think.

    It’s a bit of an uphill struggle, really, but it’s so very important. I planted sage this year as well to keep on hand for winter, and blimey, it’s really taking off! I now have sage fresh, some to dry, and plenty to share with friends, in return for some of their own produce. It’s a good system and it means we’ll be more prepared this winter.

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  13. Jo Pattinson on July 11, 2010 at 8:13 am

    I was lucky enough to be brought up on a smallholding – chickens, goats, a veg patch – eating seasonally was normal, economical. The memories of eating just-picked peas from the pod, sun ripened strawberries and the smell of tomatoes in the greenhouse never left and it was inevitable I would end up with my own veg patch when I (eventually) grew up.

    My Mum was a primary school teacher, she set up a school veg patch and integrated it into different subjects on the school curriculum – something I think all schools should be able to do – plant the seed at an early age…

    As for sage, fantastic plant whether you cook with it or not – I sowed some last year and it’s been prolific. The frosted leaves look great in winter and this summer the flowers have been gorgeous and adored by bees and butterflies.

    Reply to Jo Pattinson's comment

  14. Sandy on July 11, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    What I’ve noticed from growing our own food is the joy of picking something in the morning and eating it for lunch or dinner.

    Also, I’ve noticed it a lot in my niece/nephew when they realize how things grow. My nephew who is 9 is really interested in where things come from and it has helped him get over his dislike of veggie/fruits


    Reply to Sandy's comment

  15. Jackie on July 14, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Agreed! Growing some of my own food has taught me a lot about appreciating all the effort (and magic!) that goes into it. Our homegrown food almost always tastes better than store bought. Our blessing before dinner now includes thanks for the individuals plants and occasional animals that we have been given for nourishment.

    The only downside that I can see is that eating at mid-range restaurants is really tough because I usually don’t think the food is as good as what we have at home…

    Reply to Jackie's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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