I have been quite busy since I last wrote, but I did most of the necessary reading for now. I don’t think there are any other conventional crops that I can grow other than radishes, so I will begin the double-digging process in my backyard garden and just grow that. I will weed, clear out, and inspect the city plot garden, and grow radishes there as well. Planting tiny seeds an inch apart in such large gardens will take a great deal of precision and patience, which I must prepare myself for. In going through the weblog on foraging, which is luckily of the same relative climate and geography, I found that there are quite a lot of opportunities left, with plants that have been slowly growing and around, like lambsquarters and dandelion greens, while there are some that are likely ripening now, like acorns and walnuts. It would be amazing and seemingly simple to harvest and grind acorns into flour to use as a substitute for cornmeal. I believe we have a walnut tree in our backyard, which is ironic because it is a problem for gardens, but while I didn’t garden, it is one of the few things ripening now.
I have come to some interesting realizations recently about food in general. It occurred to me that instead of complicating my time cooking and preparing, I could eat simple things, maybe sprinkling some herbs and flavorings. In our culture it is considered proper to eat an apple straight, but not a green pepper or tomato. Lately for snacks and sides, I’ve been simply eating a tomato and some lettuce, or sticking all the ingredients of a sandwich in a bag, and eating them separately. This is much more simple, equally tasty and cost effective, while when one considers the effort that goes into various food products that the consumer doesn’t bear, it is tremendously simpler. For example, milk and cheese, as much as I love them, should be considered nonessential, as it takes a tremendous amount of energy and work to produce, and one can get the nutrients in simpler ways. Eating things that are as close to being unprepared and simply flavored is the way to go. Of course it’s not a problem to cook something more extravagant once in a while, but for the vast majority of the time, it would be ideal to rely and thrive on simple and good-tasting food.
I am logging everything I eat, making notes, and improving this process as I go. I need to find the cheapest, easiest, best-tasting, raw, local, and organic recipes and ingredients. I’m starting with some simple baking, and moving towards everything else. For breakfast and snacks, I want have bread I baked, and fruits and vegetables. For dinner, soups, salads, stir fries, tortillas. As I move towards a life of growing the food I eat, it will also be easier to eat things that are off the vine, out of the ground, or stored. Eventually I want to be able to reduce my dollar food costs to little or nothing, and have an abundance of what I need growing and stored around me. I’ll keep updates of my eating experiments as well as my growing and gathering experiments as I go.