Sunday, February 20, 2011

Food In The Belly, Food For The Soul

I write about food a lot. Food is something I devote much of my time to, as well as a significant part of our income. Food excites me, challenges me and inspires me (and sometimes defeats me). Much of our weekends are taken up with the growth, preparation, cooking and celebration of food (and by that I mean eating).

Every society has a food culture of some sort. Countries are known for their cuisine; the particular ingredients and cooking methods they employ, the rhythms and routines around meal preparation, the colour and bustle of marketplaces around the world. Early trade was centred around foods, and what was commonplace for some cultures was exotic and sought after to others. Nomadic communities based their movement around the availability of particular seasonal foods.

I believe that, by and large, Western society has lost its food culture. And we miss it, by god, do we miss it. We spend millions annually on the business of food; fine dining restaurants, specialty food stores, cooking schools, food festivals. I believe that, as we have evolved, this disconnection from food and its production that we have created has left our society feeling somewhat... hollow. We make up for it by spending more millions traveling to other cultures to experience their food culture... and when we try to recreate it with our Western tastes, we adulterate and compromise the essence of the food. Food culture is, and should be, entrenched in the soils it was raised up from.

Anyway, I was determined to write a lighter post than the last two, so I wanted to share with you some of ways we try to recreate a connection with the earth and its edible gifts in our space. These are photos from this weekend, a lovely, productive two days of pottering around the house and garden, feeding our bellies and feeding our souls.

Breakfast: fruit and honey damper with the last of my apricot sauce

Our harvest on Saturday

More bottled tomatoes - a pantry staple

Our little garden gnome, Eden

The bed we planted this weekend - tomatoes and rhubarb

Orange and date chutney simmering away - a sweet, spicy smell

Finished product - three more jars for the pantry

The beginnings of beer bottling

A clean, mucked out chook pen - and our reward!


  1. It's my dream to grow my own food so I can teach my son that food comes from the earth, not from the supermarket.

  2. I want to know whereabouts you're living that you can plant tomatoes now! I've got green tomatoes on bushes, but the frosts are starting now (GRRR!) and I'm not sure anything is going to ripen on the bushes. Actually, I'm not sure any of my summer crop is going to make it, after Tassie's god awful summer.

    Love that you're getting eggs, my chooks have gone broody again and it's driving me mad. No more babies!

  3. Frost already!!! I live in country WA.... it has been high 30s/over 40 for days now... our challenge is keeping the plants from wilting... we won't get frost til probably end of May/early June or maybe even longer.
    Broody chooks.... god bless 'em! We stopped getting eggs for a couple of weeks during a particularly nasty hot spell but now we get 2-3 a day, out of three laying hens and one bantam who teases us with the occasional egg. My ducks will start laying soon... brilliant eggs for baking with!


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