Friday, October 20, 2017

Growing food, cooking food, food waste, and other modern conundrums

I love growing vegetables, among my other gardening passions.  There's nothing not to like about harvesting delicious vegetables and herbs from the garden straight to your kitchen.  But, you need to willing to prep and cook these vegetables to enjoy them.  It's not necessarily easy and it's often time-consuming.

I'm willing to do it for my two-person household, as long as I'm not too much over an hour prepping and cooking at a stretch.  Vegetables take prep, for sure, but they're my favorites.  I eat a small amount of cooked vegetables at breakfast, and more for lunch and dinner. And happily, my hubby will eat plenty of them, too. He's actually rather protein-averse, so easy to push veggies and grains on his plate.

At a regional "Food Waste Summit" today, I've learned a lot more about our food waste problem in this country than I ever realized.

I'm pretty keen, as a daughter of parents who grew up with Depression Era parents, on being frugal and careful around food. My mom, not a devoted cook, taught me how to cut up a chicken, and chicken bones were always turned into broth.  She'd learned that from her mom.

I never throw away edible food, we eat our leftovers, anything green is composted, yada, yada.  Our fresh veggie diet is oriented around what is in my garden and at the community garden where I volunteer.  Ugh, greens again, I often think, in my four-season vegetable garden.

But clearly there's a bigger picture out there, too.

Harvested greens from Southside Community Garden
Many American families throw away (edible food) worth about $1500 a year. Yikes.  The edible produce, etc. that can be diverted from the waste stream back to food banks is considerable. The prepared food that can be donated to homeless shelters and soup kitchens -- that's also huge.

I volunteer in a community garden where our harvests go to the local community.  Great.

But we clearly need to rethink our food systems in this country to reduce food waste. There are lots of opportunities.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Fall light and temperatures

It's delightful to be home now, to the wonderful shift of fall light, as the sun dips to the south, bringing light in our front windows in late afternoon.

In summer, the sun moves directly over the house; in fall and winter, the sun's light is angled, so we have light throughout the day in the kitchen and main room and in the front of the house.

And this week, temperatures are actually going to be fall-like, and perhaps help me adjust to what time of the year this really is --  having traveling to Kauai and Vancouver in late September and early October has just added to my internal seasonal confusion, preceded by a cool August and September in Western North Carolina.

Of course, in the hurry to get dinner cooked, after a wonderful loop walking through downtown, I don't have a photo, and can't find one from previous posts (what could I have labelled a fall sunset view out the front window?)

Here's a beautiful winter sunset in the mountains instead.  Something to look forward to.


Sunday, October 8, 2017

Writing is art

I've returned to thinking about writing as my primary creative activity. Perhaps I'll get back to watercolor. Maybe.  I'll be probably sticking with gardening and writing.

I have a natural dye-printing class on Thursday, inspired by a wonderful scarf that I acquired at one of our tailgate markets --the creator of the one I bought will be the instructor.

But I keep coming back to writing as a primary medium (as I tap this on my iPad keyboard) in a curious way of thinking.

Gardening has been a significant expression of creativity over the years - that's been a interesting evolution in its own right, but perhaps more narrative writing is yet to come.

This small snippet from the (much longer) Emily Carr University's Writing Manifesto (in Vancouver) says it right.

Friday, October 6, 2017

A lovely community garden

On our last day in Vancouver, we ventured into the 4th St. corridor, towards UBC and the Anthropology Museum.

Bumbling off 4th St., I came upon a delightful community garden, largely flowers, built along an old railway line, now turning into greenway.

It's so refreshing in a massive urban environment, to come upon gardened spaces, even in a city like Vancouver that has incredible seawall walkways/bikeways along most every inch of their shoreline.

A wonderful urban park

Stanley Park, at the edge of central Vancouver, is a venerable space, designated in the late 1800's on space that was home to First Nations people. (There were still people living in the park through the 1950's, I think I'm remembering right, but the park lands now include second-growth temperate rain forest, gardens, and a spectacular perimeter seawall around the entire peninsula).

We walked around the seawall a couple of days ago, but returned to visit some of the interior trails. A destination amid the wonderful forest was Beaver Lake.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

View from Cambie Bridge

Even though the full moon isn't until Saturday, it's luminous right now in the Vancouver sky.

Views from the Cambie Bridge this evening were spectacular.
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