Seedling Report & depths of frustration

I now have 15 Kentucky bean seedlings coming up, 3 itty bitty basil seedlings are starting to raise their heads as are several courgettes (zucchini) and early gem corn. Still no sign of capsicum or coriander. Tomorrow I think I’ll transplant a few of the tomato seedlings into pots and put the string up for the beans to climb. I purchased a few organic bok choi seedlings which I now need to find some pots for.

zucchini seedlings

I went into a supermarket yesterday for the first time in months and I hated it, it freaked me out. There were rows and rows of fruit and vegetables, some forced to grow out of season so they could be labeled “grown in NZ” but many many many of them imported from overseas. It got extremely anxious about purchasing anything, aside from that fact that it wasn’t organic, the way it’s grown or shipped, the carbon miles involved in getting it to the supermarket, it just made me so frustrated with the world. I hate that we think we can have fresh tomatoes all year round, that if I want a cucumber I can pop into a supermarket at any time of year and there it is. We’ve lost our ability to cook to the seasons, I’ve been finding it extremely difficult to purchase a cookbook that caters to delicious seasonal cooking. I love cooking, I love picking up a recipe book and going “I’ll make…. this one” and simply grabbing all the ingredients and off I go, but when you are only purchasing organic vegetables, there is a hugely limited variety of things during winter, and basically the entire thing can just feel likes it too much and not worth the effort.

It’s because if this feeling of just giving up that I’m grateful that I have Craig around. When I came home from my shopping trip, rather then saying “yeah it’s too hard, don’t stress about it and buy what you want, when you want” he went through with me the items I had ended up purchasing from the supermarket, working out with me what we could do ourselves in the future and what we could do with out. I became inspired all over again about growing my own food, organic, seasonal and fresh. I made us a fish curry for dinner and looked at the herbs and spices, this time only the coriander seeds were from my own harvest, but I could see how easy it would be to produce all those things myself. I enjoyed the image of me popping down to the beach or a river and fishing and I felt much more at peace with the world again.


2 responses

  1. Hello Tracey

    I came upon your blog through the Homesteading Webloggers thingy (as I am an erstwhile member too) and I thought I should pipe up about the eating-local thing.

    We’ve gone about homesteading in a somewhat different manner than yourselves: we just bought a farm and charged ahead. Our trajectory has become one of more and more independence, like yourselves. It takes time, and lots of it. But one thing I know, now that I am on about Year 6 of intensive food preservation, is you need to approach cooking in the exact opposite way as that you probably learned. In other words, you first look at what’s in the larder and THEN you craft a meal. What’s fresh, I ask myself, what needs to be used up. Cookbooks then become sources of variance, not sources of recipes themselves. No cookbook can truly become a source for exactly what I have on hand.

    Once I figured that out, and didn’t beat myself up that I didn’t have the courgettes, say, that a tempting recipe called for, I felt really liberated AND felt like I was doing what was right, what was called for. So that is what “eating in season” means to me: going with the glut for your gut!

    But grocery stores? They give me hives.

    Keep up the good work!

    El at Fastgrowtheweeds

  2. Hi El, thanks for that response it has made me feel better. It would be nice to get away from my cookbooks as the be-all and end-all of my cooking. I think once I can do as you suggest: look at what I have then only turn to the books for inspiration – I will then feel a lot more like I am in control of my kitchen and that I have actually cooked dinner rather then followed instructions.

    It’s amazing the feeling one gets when they can prepare a meal full of ingredients they have grown and picked themselves.

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