Saturday, March 14, 2020

Almost Spring

I'm reading 'The Hidden Reality' by Brian Greene, and 'The Night Country' by Melissa Albert.  Both of them are just gorgeous books physically - metallic inks, iridescent covers... it is a treat for the sense to pick them up as well as to read the words.

Speaking of senses, I spoke about synesthesia with someone today and realized it is just so hard to explain it!  It would be comparing picking up this book and rubbing your fingers over the textured cover with the way German milk chocolate melts in your mouth, mixed with brass trumpets and cymbals and the feel of cold blue velvet crushing under your fingertips.  But how to you explain the ability to combine those ideas into a shared experience with someone?  I mentioned the movie Ratatouille, where Remy is telling his brother Emil about the combination of flavors in cooking being like light and sound and bumpy vs sharp blobs merging into one different thing... that is about the best I can explain it.  I feel very specific combinations often - one thing suggests two others etc.. but sometimes it really is completely indescribable.
 cabbage plants starting to get their second set of leaves .. I am wondering if they need fertilizer or if it is just the light levels... they are not progressing as fast as usual since their last stage

Also discussed that a lot of people are going to be trying to self-isolate and grow their own food and so forth after this virus scare.  It might be even more than that - we might go 'back to the land' etc as a society.  I don't know.  It takes time and resources and skills - and for me, the biggest part of that is Time.  You don't just step into a self-sustaining lifestyle.  It builds up over time, each thing in its season, learning as you go.  And at the very best, you have people living near each other who each are good generalists abut also specialists in their own things, herbs, wool, soap, meat animals, wild game... every single person can't have all the tools and knowledge and structure in place for everything at all times...

A garden doesn't begin to produce food until it has been planted at least a month.  Even radishes and kale and lettuce take about that long, and you need to keep resowing seed to keep the harvest coming.  If after a month you get distracted, and go elsewhere, the harvest goes unused.  If you can't wait a month before you need the supplies - you will have to find other things to do to meet your needs.  Corn and beans and tomatoes take time and planning as well.  And then there is preserving the harvest, and collecting enough good seed to plant for the next year.

People can start to learn the skills of planting seeds, hunting and fishing and recycling/repurposing things but during a health scare is not the time to expect instant results from it.  It is going to take continual gradual work to build up a life that is sustainable.  Even if you buy full grown chickens and cows and goats so forth, it takes time to get the skills to trust and produce food from those items.  Chickens lay eggs, goats give milk after having kids, etc.  It also takes fencing, housing, feed for the animals (where will that come if the feed store isn't accessible?) and favorable weather - starting each thing at the right time of year for it - not frozen or baking temperatures.  Your animals and gardens need water, as well.  There is just so much to think about in preparing.

Esme and I have been using recycled containers for a few weeks now to plant seeds to start for the garden.  It is more fun for her than just having pots available - because once she eats a yogurt, or I finish a bottle of tea I make it into a pot - and then it is 'what should go in THIS one?'  She planted lemon basil in hers today, and I planted marigolds in mine.  That way the container gets a second life, even though they don't recycle plastic at our center.

Mark had to take a picture of me making a liverwurst sandwih the other day, because he still can't believe people actually eat the stuff at all.  It's a Minnesota thing, and I only get the craving once in a while. We are making roasted pork loin tonight with potatoes and rolls - and got the idea for each of us to create our own spice rub.  I crushed fennel seeds and mixed it with garlic and onion powder and pepper for mine.  Mark used his 'dragon spice' ginger rub on his, as always.  Esme asked for onion powder and pepper for hers (and I threw some garlic in too because the onion powder is so strong I didn't want to use so much of it.)  We each get a different flavor experience in the same meal.  That's pretty neat!

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