"When are you going to start hunting more Ro?" one of the little ones asked. My response was clear. There is no need to hunt as much in summer, simply because it's this time in the yearly cycle of practiculture, when nature helps us out so much. All this fine weather delivers prolific produce from the garden. It's the time of year when you check on the patch daily for any signs of development. You eye over a plant, hoping to spot a new set of open flowers, a bulging red tomato or a crisp pea. Anything that signals food. What an amazing system it is! You place seeds in the soil, they do the rest for you. It makes so much sense that it seems laughable! And I giggle sometimes with childish/madman excitement with the state of the garden. Sometimes I'll shake my head and mumble "look at this, I did this" (followed by my crazy laugh). Rows and rows of vegetables, all in existence because I planted the seeds. Those tiny little seeds! They look so inanimate. So nothing, however they possess secret information and power needed to grow a plant. Its mind boggling! In fact it freaks me out as much as when I try to contemplate the cosmos. My mind starts having an anxiety attack within an anxiety attack. I'm amazed I haven't soiled myself yet.
Think about it. This is fuel for our bodies. It's fuel that harnesses the energy from the sun, turns it into a different kind of energy then gives us food in order to spread its seed, then some of the seed remains so it can do the whole process the following year. Look at a pumpkin seed for example. A seed that is hard to the touch. It has a unique shape like no other. Potentially you can eat the pumpkin seed, you get a little energy and nutrient value from just that. But like many other edible seeds you can plant it and get even more nutrient value! Inside that shell, that membrane of seediness is the blueprint for future food. Fuck me, my brain hurts.
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think of these things when I did most of my shopping down the isles. But now, jeebers! It's what keeps me up at night. I spend nights thinking of how bloody beautiful, how astonishing the whole system of nature is. And to think, to consider that we had nothing to do with it. It just invented itself. Life just trucks along, with or with out us. Phenomenal.
It's pretty ace when you cook a meal from this produce you've been lucky enough to be able to grow. It's not a chore, it's a pleasure to grow it and then eat it. And when that plate of food steams in front of you, waiting for your drooling mouth to masticate it, your brain doesn't think at all about the cosmos, the complexity of nature. Instead it diverts attention to the pure joy of eating. I'm getting goosebumps writing this. My eyes may even discharge a salty fluid. I could never successfully write how I feel about this process, and how much it's changed my life for the better. My god, for the smell of that fresh summer basil. That's enough to make a grown man cry with joy.
Saying that though, I must admit I've been enjoying the veg from our veg box scheme. It fills the gaps I have in my patch. For example I tend not to grow kale over summer, purely because its one of the rare veg that can withstand the hash winter here. I figure I may as well grow summer veg in summer, winter veg in winter. Lately though, I have enjoyed the odd bunch of in the veg box. Kale crisps with paprika and sea salt. Hipster delish! I went the extra step and added some Avocado oil from Barham Avocados, seemed to take it up a notch. They didn't last long, especially paired with a cool brew to wash down the crisps.
These little food moments keep me happy. This system makes sense. If I could show you all how rad it is, I would. Maybe one day I might find a format to present it to you. I wish everyone could experience this radness.