Ah, my apologies for being late! Due to unforeseen but lovely circumstances, we went out to dinner with friends the last couple of days, so I had to postpone our One Local Summer dinner until today. It was worth the wait, though (for us at least).

  • Simply salad

photo of salad for Onel Local Summer # 3 - (c) Katrien Vander Straeten

Very simple:

  1. lettuce purchased at Drumlin Farm (where I will soon be working as an agricultural volunteer!), in Lincoln, Mass (17.9 miles as my car drives)
  2. tomatoes bought at Brookline Farmer’s Market (a 5-minute walk) from Dick’s Market Garden in Lunenburg, Mass (50.9 miles as their truck drives)
  3. garlic and herb goat cheese bought at Brookline Farmer’s Market from Capri from Westfield Farm in Hubbardston, Mass (64 miles as their truck drives)
  • Sirloin steak

photo of NY sirloin steak (cooked) for One Local Summer #3 (c) Katrien Vander Straeten

The steak this time was again excellent and excellently cooked too, by DH. We get small pieces, this one was a little under a quarter of a pound, for the two of us. It’s all we need, really, or rather: a luxury even in such a “small” portion (“small” by American standards). We appreciate it all the more because it doesn’t seem to go on endlessly, like it does in many restaurants. It’s also darn expensive.

  1. NY sirloin bought at the Farmer’s Market from River Rock Farm in Brimfield, MA (63 miles)
  2. salt, pepper: not local
  3. butter was bought at Whole Foods but still local – though not in-state: it was Kate’s Butter from Old Orchard Beach in Maine (still only 100 miles away!)
  • Side dish: squash and bell pepper

Photo of squash and bell pepper dish for One Local Summer, #3 (c) Katrien Vander Straeten

This was simple again but lovely and very refreshing on this hoy and humid summer’s day.

  1. bell peppers from Drumlin Farm (where I will soon be working as an agricultural volunteer!), in Lincoln, Mass (17.9 miles as my car drives)
  2. summer squash from the same place
  3. garlic bought at Farmer’s Market and were trucked there from the fields of the Enterprise Farm, in Whately, Mass (111 miles, as the truck drives – less than 100 miles as the crow flies)
  4. red onions bought at Brookline Farmer’s Market from Dick’s Market Garden in Lunenburg, Mass (50.9 miles as their truck drives)
  5. salt, pepper not local
  6. butter: Kate’s (100 miles)
  • Side dish: Swiss chard with tomatoes

photo of chard and tomatoes for One Local Summer #3 (c) Katrien Vander Straeten

Another simple and quickly prepared dish. 

  1. tomatoes from Farmer’s Market from Dick’s Market Garden in Lunenburg, Mass (50.9 miles as their truck drives)
  2. red onions bought at Farmer’s Market from Dick’s Market Garden in Lunenburg, Mass (50.9 miles as their truck drives)
  3. garlic at Farmer’s Market from Enterprise Farm, in Whately, Mass (111 miles, as the truck drives)
  4. salt, pepper not local
  5. butter: Kate’s (100 miles)
  • Dessert

I guess you can see a pattern now, with the desserts: they are always just one or two ingredients. The fruits in summer are just so fresh and sweet, I don’t think they need any elaboration with sugars or flours.  Also, as you may have guessed, I am not much of a baker. I’m going to do something about that soon. But for now:

photo of blueberries for One Local Summer #3 (c) Katrien Vander Straeten

  1. Blueberries bought at our Farmer’s Market from Enterprise Farm, in Whately, Mass (111 miles, as the truck drives)
  • How is it going?

Good, great! We’re not starving, quite the contrary. But I can’t wait for the potato harvest! I try to stick to the local eating more of the week, and potatoes – my staple, my favorite, the only thing I can cook in so many different and all of them delicious ways – is one of the crops I’ve avoided buying non-locally. I guess because they are so heavy and take up so much space on the trucks/trains/planes that would have to cart them over to my local store.

I popped by the Blue Heron Organic Farm in Lincoln (right around the corner from Drumlin) and they promised potatoes next week! At all the farmstands at the Farmer’s Market, however, the farmers laughed at my impatience and said I’ll have to wait another month, if not longer. That’s interesting. I’ll be sure to go by Blue Heron and check out their harvest!

color photograph of dinner OLS 2 (c) Katrien Vander Straeten

It’s only week 2 of One Local Summer – which now has its own website! – and I already feel the impact of seasonal eating: no more asparagus, and no potatoes and onions yet. But there are still heaps of leafy greens in their prime, juicy young garlic and garlic scapes, and the newly arrived raspberries.

This week’s local dinner consisted of:

  • Salad: squash, tomato, cucumber and goat cheese

color photograph of cucumber-tomatoe-squash salad (c) Katrien Vander Straeten

  1. the cucumber, squash and garlic scapes were bought at the Brookline Farmer’s Market (walked there) and were trucked there from the fields of the Enterprise Farm, in Whately, Mass (111 miles, as the truck drives – less than 100 miles as the crow flies)
  2. cilantro from my potted herb garden (0 miles)
  3. garlic and herb goat cheese are Capri from Westfield Farm in Hubbardston, Mass (64 miles as the truck drives)
  • Staple: focaccia

color photograph of focacio (c) Katrien Vander Straeten

The focaccia was bought at the Farmer’s Market from Clear Flour Bread, but it was made with non-local ingredients.

  •  Veggies: collard, kale and zucchini

color photograph of collard, kale, zucchini (c) Katrien Vander Straeten

  1. the kale, collard greens, zucchini, garlic and garlic scapes were also bought at my Farmer’s Market and also at the farmstand (my favorite) of Enterprise Farm, in Whately, Mass (111 truck miles)
  2. the tomatoes are hydroponics bought at Whole Foods, but nevertheless local: from Water Fresh Harvest in Hopkinton, Mass (33 miles)
  3. herbs (oregano, cilantro, dill) from the herb garden (0 miles)
  4. butter was bought at Whole Foods but still local – though not in-state: it was Kate’s Butter from Old Orchard Beach in Maine (still only 100 miles away!)
  5. salt and pepper not local
  •  Meat: chuck eye steak

color photograph of steak (c) Katrien Vander Straeten

Yes, there was meat, and I ate it! Though my husband cooked it, really well too. It is naturally raised and 12-28 days aged beef. Wow, was it good.

It was my first meat in over a year. I thought hard about my reasons for not eating meat, and I decided that humanely, naturally and locally raised meat falls outside of those reasons. I’ll write more about this later.

  1. steak bought at the Farmer’s Market from River Rock Farm in Brimfield, MA (63 miles)
  2. butter: Kate’s (100 miles)
  3. salt and pepper not local
  • Dessert: strawberries and raspberries

color photograph of strawberries and raspberries (c) Katrien Vander Straeten

  1. the strawberries were bought at Allandale Farm (3.5 miles from my house – we drove) and are “very local,” though the shopkeeper couldn’t quite say wherefrom exactly
  2. raspberries are from Enterprise Farm in Whately (111 miles)
  •  How did I do?

I did better than last week, if I may say so myself!

I broke out of my old Farmer’s Market mold, which used to cover only veggies, fruits and herbs. This time I also got meat and goat cheese, two food items I will now no longer buy at Whole Foods. Did I tell you how very very good that goat cheese was? Wait, let me show you again:

color photograph of goat cheese cucumber squash tomato salad (c) Katrien Vander Straeten

Over the weekend we visited Allandale Farm – the even more local alternative to the Farmer’s Market – but their offering isn’t very large yet. Will go back there later, though.

I bought some ingredients for this meal at Whole Foods. I am not against shopping there – indeed, it’s a necessity for many non-food and dry-foods items – and I made sure I got their local produce and butter. Still, another point of eating locally (for me) is to buy as directly as possible from the farmer, so that he/she gets the biggest share of the food-dollar. Our Farmer’s Market doesn’t offer butter, but I could investigate a more direct local source of it. As for the tomatoes: they’ll be at the Market soon.

  • Grains, pasta, rice, corn, and beans?

I’ve been following other One Local Summer participants and grains, pasta, rice, corn and beans seem to be the Achilles heel of Local Eating in many parts of the States.

I was happy to see, in Liz’s posting about her garden, that she is growing corn, for cornmeal. But what about bread, and pasta? Is it possible for a homesteader to grow enough wheat, let’s say, for his/her family? I haven’t seen (m)any online homesteaders do it…

And what about beans and rice, here in the North East?

  • Next week

Yoghurt! I’m going to “grow” my own yoghurt!

  • Food Photography

It’s an art! Who knew? The shopping and the cooking and the eating were fun – that is one of the rules of One Local Summer – but the photographing not so.

  • Dinner 

 This was our dinner tonight, for the first edition of One Local Summer:

our dinner for One Local Summer - first edition (c) Katrien Vander Straeten

I’m a vegetarian and since I was the one cooking, it was a vegetarian meal.

We’re in Brookline, Mass, a suburb of Boston, and we have a fantastic Farmer’s Market on Thursdays. Which I duly visited to purchase tonight’s ingredients:

I usually buy from the same farm stand, a small organic farm near Northhampton, Mass, which is 101 miles away – yes: exaclty 101 miles! Less as the crow flies, but then we’re counting truck miles, not crow miles… From them I got:

  1. Swiss chard
  2. Asparagus
  3. Garlic
  4. Garlic scapes

From another stand, a Low Spray farm, the location of which I didn’t find out, but it’s within Massachusetts – let’s say, also 101 miles:

  1. Tomatoes (greenhouse)

From my potted herb garden, that is, 0 – zilch – nada miles:

  1. Herbs (sage, taragon, Italian basil, thyme, oregano)

And from the Clear Flour Bread in Allston, which is 2 miles away (I’ll call them tomorrow to ask where they get their flour from – cf. UPDATE below):

  1. A buckwheat walnut loaf

The great unknowns but almost certainly not local are:

  1. Butter: I cooked everything in butter, thinking our usual olive oil probably comes from even further away!
  2. Salt
  3. Pepper

To my horror, I found out that certain ingredients that are very common in my kitchen – potatoes, onions, and mushrooms – aren’t in season yet, or simply not available. This turned out to be a blessing, really, because the chard tasted much nicer without the onions. I am very grateful for the juicy and oh so soft new garlic, though!

  • Dessert

strawberries for dessert for One Local Summer first edition

These also came from the organic farm near Northhampton in Mass – 101 miles away. They were so deliciously sweet and juicy that I bought two pounds of them: $5 a pound because they were closing up and they were the last ones: a bit bruised, but no less tasty!

At first I was thinking of making a cake or some such with them (with King Arthur Flour) and some local eggs, and butter and sugar… sigh. I just needed to pop one into my mouth to realize they are delicious by themselves! So that’s how we had them.

  • How did I do?

So how did I do, as a “locavore” (Liz’s and Kingsolver’s word)?

Not so well, in my opinion. I still don’t know where many of my ingredients come from, and at the Market itself wasn’t assertive or present enough to ask. 

Finding out that that organic farm, that I get 90% of my groceries from at the Market, is 101 miles away was a shocker.  (Is it fair to count those 101 only once for the produce I got from there? They all came in one and the same truck….)

The point being, we have many farms much more local, many of which offer CSA’s. More importantly, Brookline itself – my own town – has a farm: Allandale Farm, which calls itself “Boston’s Last Working Farm,” whose crops are Certified Naturally Grown using organic methods. They have their own farm stand – a beautiful one, too.

For our next One Local Summer meal, I’ll go shopping there. Need to get those miles down!

  • A word of thanks 

For Matt (Fat Guy on a Little Bike) for letting us late-comers join in anyway!

  •  UPDATE

I called Clear Flour Bread the ingredients of their lovely buckwheat walnut are for the most part from the midwest. Only the organic buckwheat is somewhat local: it is milled and grown in Westport, NY (about 200 miles from here).

Photograph of small farm on river bend

  • Dreaming

We are dreaming about moving to a new place. For us that means selling this one and buying another one of approximately the same price, which means that, if we want to move, we need to move out- out of Brookline.

We’re currently in a 1050 sq.f. basement apartment in a condominium. We adore our cozy little pad, but we miss direct sunlight and a view of the sky! Bumping up against short-sighted condo-rules and residents, and the constant feeling of being walked-all-over (by our heavy-footed, insomniac upstairs neighbor) are wearing on us.

We love Brookline too, especially our “Corner”, but we can’t afford to move into a house around here, let alone one with land. Just moving up a floor will exhaust the budget. And to be honest, I get way too uspet about the incessant, false orchestra of air conditioners and leaf blowers in these crowded burbs.

If we move out far enough, we could even buy a 1500 sq.f. house on an acre of land for the price for which we could sell our little basement. That sounds like a good deal!

  • Land and house for a child

We’re looking for a sizable plot because we want to grow our own vegetables – preferably permaculture style – and keep some animals, like chickens and goats and bees. We won’t complain if the lot is partially wooded as well.

As for the house, we would like a little bit more living space – 1500 sq.f. would be perfect – because we want one another’s in-laws (isn’t that a nice way of putting it?) to come visit for longer stretches of time. After traversing a wide-open space of at least 1,000 miles, and in most cases 3,000 miles, to visit us, they get cabin-feverish in our cramped and dark quarters. And we relish the thought of having friends, any well-wishers, staying over.

As I wrote in an earlier entry, our daughter Amie plays a large role in this plan. She is forcing us to more thoughtfulness, accountability, and action. Because, one of these days, she is going to ask: Why? And: What did you do? I dread that day, and I dream of it with a passion. And I want to be ready. But most of all, I want her to be ready.

  • A natural child

I want Amie to grow up in a more natural environment, one in which she will know what a goat is, and even how to milk it. One in which we can let her run around butt-naked, if she so pleases. And lift a log and marvel at the world underneath.

If she fits into a place that wears life and death on its sleeve: the slow geography of the land, the biology of the tree, the quickness of an insect, the poetry of a field… if she can learn about these through immersion and hands-on, face-to-face encounters… will her understanding of the world and herself be richer? I think so.

If she feels at home in the natural world with its examples of wholesomeness and self-sufficiency, calm and beauty, and occasional disaster… if it makes her aware of her own freedom and responsibility as a human… will she become a kinder, more flexible, happier person? I believe so.

Who will contradict me? (Go ahead, you will only make me stronger.)

  • A child in a community

Of course, bringing our daughter into nature is a necessary (in my eyes), but not sufficient condition for a child’s happiness. Nature won’t do the parenting for us! But our case of the “nuclear family” is extreme:  Amie has never met our nearest relatives, who live 1000 miles away. We have friends who have her and our best interest at heart, but circumstances conspire against us meeting more often. I guess Amie counts her group at daycare as her “extended family”.

This is not the best that we can do. Especially because, soon, the free and frolicking life of daycare will be replaced by the formal setting of school (I am still considering home-un-schooling, at least part time). I don’t know of any kid who calls his class his “family”.

Can we be it? Two people, the same age and with (more or less) the same interests and routines? Two people who, at the end of the day, would like to rest a bit?

Amie needs more diverse company, a more miscellaneous family. Siblings would be nice (an older sibling especially), but let’s add another layer of community: family and friends who come, not to visit, but to stay and be at home with us. Another layer of wisdom: if grandparents want to put their minds out to graze (i.e., retire), they can do so in our pasture! Another layer of communication: adult conversation, discussion of complex things, mature problem solving. Another layer of character and doing things: all the many different ways in which each of us experiences joy and grief. And another layer of time: the more people in a community, the more time there is between them, for them.

Hence, the bigger house. Not too much bigger: we don’t want to avoid one another! And when there is need for space, there will be outside, in the peace and silence of a garden and a wood.

  • A happy child for a grim future

I believe that, in the future, these two aspects – nature and community – will be essential to survival. I am one of those people who have a grim view of the future, but who also believe that we each have to do our bit to make it a little less grim.

By “grim,” I should add, I don’t mean “poor” in the current sense of no oil, no “freedom” to consume cheap and unhealthy junk, no “leisure” and world-travel, and – my goodness! – the necessity of physical labor! I believe that we can turn all of these “crises” into opportunities for more wholesome lives in a better society. No, my “grim” refers to the fact that the majority of us will not see it that way, that there will be helplessness, chaos, famine and violence due to ill-preparedness and ill-will.

In such an environment, I want to inject some hope, namely my daughter. She can be a teacher of the skills needed to grow food and take care of animals and build shelters and tools, a safe-keeper of the rational will to manage natural resources responsibly, and a model of hard work with enthusiasm, purpose and fulfillment. She can show, by the example of her own life, that life in a “poorer” world can be richer.

I know! That’s a lot. And she’s not yet two. And she may not want to. But I’m going to give her the chance, and the time.

  • Priority no.1: grow food

Growing one’s own food, because due to the rise in oil prices as it gets scarcer, most food will be too expensive, and there won’t be enough local food for all – so that will go up in price too. The idea is to grow enough food for ourselves as a family, to build up to more for friends and neighbors, and to lay the foundation for the poosibility of a larger food production, in case more need it. “Enough for all” should be the goal.

  • So let’s do it already!

Sigh. 

I wrote about this in May. In fact, that old entry begins exactly like this one! What’s keeping us?

It’s not a risk – I would never call it a risk. Remaining where we are, in place as well as in life: that’s a risk, a sure one.

Sure, there will be times when I will complain about the crops failing, the water bill being higher than expected, that pesky goat… when I may wish it all to kingdom come! But at least those will be particular grievances that I can pinpoint, voice, and then set out to solve. That’s not what I can say about this dulled, vague life, in which our needs and grievances are manufactured by advertisement and “what our neighbor does”.

But I find the entrapment of our conventional lives to be tight-fitting, not easily shaken off: financial security, immigration issues, anxiety about good schooling… And then there is character: if you’re one to always over-prepare, you’re never ready, especially in a situation where you can never be prepared enough… And, oh, let’s not forget that there are two decision-makers (more, if you count the mortgage-people, and the government, etc., but mainly the two of us), and we’re not exactly on the same wavelength, cruising at the same speed…

So we’re working on it. I guess that’s what this blog is turning out to be: a record of our progress or lack thereof, and a public scrutiny to keep us honest.

photograph of Caillou crushed by pumpkin (c) Katrien Vander Straeten

(another victim of spilled food)

I’m in a quandary. Amie is 22 months old now and eats by herself, with a metal teaspoon and from a small glas bowl – we’ve done away with most of the plastics. She is pretty good at scooping up her food and getting it into her mouth. Still, often some food gets away.

Then it falls on the floor and is wasted.

We’re talking about 1/5 of the dry foods, like pasta shells and rice, and less of her cheerios with milk. She spills almost none of wet foods, like yogurt and pudding, because they stick to the spoon more.

I want to urge her to eat more carefully and spill less, but is she ready, motor-skill-wise? I don’t want to criticize her feeding skills and berate her for wasting food if she is physically not capable yet of doing a better job.

So how – and at what age – did/do you deal with this problem?

Photograph of small farm on river bend

  • The world outside

Sometimes I wish I never had to leave the house – even though “the house” is a small and light-deficient, though blissfully cool, basement apartment.

“Leaving” means going out into the din of air conditioners and leaf blowers (see yesterday’s post). It means walking past shop after shops selling plastic junk, $800 strollers.

It means sitting in Peet’s Coffee shop and observing  a woman grab at least 30 paper napkins, drop 10 of them on the floor, then on her way throw the 15 napkins she didn’t use into the trash. I’ve got one sticker for you, lady!

TCFT sticker (c) Pete Kazanjy at http://thesecomefromtrees.blogspot.com/

It means seeing three homeless people walk by, their belongings in plastic bags.

It means peering at a photograph in the Boston Globe, of about ten men in snow white kurtas, their beards and hair neatly trimmed, standing around a life-size doll of Salman Rushdie, barely alight yet on the ground. It means peering at their faces and knowing something of what they feel and think and see, but seeking something else. A knowledge, an understanding, but of what? I don’t know. I can’t find it.

  • Going to pieces

“Going outside” now also means going onto the internet. It means reading this post on Casaubon’s Book and getting a lump in my throat (again). It is titled “We Simply May Not Have Time to Wait for the Technology Fairy”, and refers to this dire new report about climate change.

Sharon, who runs Casaubon’s Book, writes:

As far as I can tell, there is no better plan than this. Build soil. Plant trees. Grow food. Make Do. Do Without. Give what you can to others. Fix your mistakes. Cut your emissions to the bone, and then cut them some more. And every time it hurts (and it will sometimes), close your eyes and imagine your nieces and nephews or your children or grandchildren or your friend’s beloved children grown to womanhood and manhood in a world where there is food and peace and water. And then imagine them without. And ask yourself “What else don’t I need so I can bring about a decent future.”

That’s powerful writing. 

  • Despair – action – hope

Its first effect was that it made me berate myself. I lost track of that house with the acre of land, I stopped pursuing the volunteer position at a nearby farm, I stopped reading the books that matter, I got complacent, I was writing about leaf blowers, and concentrating too exclusively on my potboiler, which is one big piece of (fun) silliness…

It throws me into despair: is it useless, is it too late?

But then it galvanizes me. Ecological despair and hope for something better are not opposites, as long as there is action in between. Yes, there will be chaos, misery, and death. But at least there will still be something, and we can work to make that something a little less chaotic, less miserable, less deadly.

Action needs a guide and a spur, and there are many out there: personalities, exemplary lives, their books, etc. But I am a writer, so besides observing and learning from these heroes, I need to write my own manifest.

At first it will be for personal use, but once I have developed it – not in the least by living it – I want it to be a statement to friends, family and everyone else who wants and needs it. 

Here is my work in progress, just begun, never-ending:

  • Manifest

What do I have to do?

Preserve, not things,

But skills to make things

And skills to make the tools to make things

And the resources to make things

And the skills to preserve these resources

 

What do I have to build?

Soil, forests

strength, skill

community, hope

 

What do I have to learn?

Learn again what is necessary, what is not

And how to give and receive it

And how to live again with others

closely, in a natural, necessary bond

 

What should I leave behind?

What is not necessary

 

What is necessary?

Love and work, first of all

Beauty and rest, second

Community and hope, always.

Will these – just these – stand up?

They will.

Like a rock.

 

  • Something more 

It needs something more, the really tough part:

What am I doing?

1. I am educating myself

2. I am making sustainable changes to my lifestyle

3. I am building the foundation for a better future

This should be more specific, of course.

  1. Re-read and (today hopefully) review Coperthwaite’s A Handmade Life. Pursue again the volunteer position at the Farm.

  2. HERE AND NOW list.

  3. Investigate further the possibility of buying/leasing… that 1 acre.

 This Manifest will live on a page of its own.

 

Photograph of potter herbs lined up (c) K. Vander Straeten

This Thursday was our first Farmer’s Market of the new season. Though the weather was grey and rather freakishly cold, it was a great pleasure to say “welcome back” to the farmers.

And what a bounty there was already! I got red chard, mustard greens, many bunches of spinach, and lots of herbs. All for less than they would have cost at Whole Foods, and fresh and local, of course.

The herbs I got were live and already well enough established to be harvested.

  1. Greek oregano
  2. English thyme
  3. Basil (5 kinds)
  4. Taragon (didn’t get that last year)
  5. Rosemary
  6. Sage

I repotted them in the scorching 2 o’clock sun on Friday, and now they’re all lined up on the wall that hugs the steps and entrance to our front door. We are blessed with our own entrance, which as of noon gets full sun in summer. 

I plan to get some more herbs – cilantro, perhaps – at next week’s Farmer’s Market, and some (wild) flowers that I will put into the soil behind the wall.

I also plan to try out the Terracycle Worm Poop fertilizer, if it looks like the herbs need it.

Bookcover of Gaia’s Garden, by Toby Hemenway 

Just published a review on Suite101.com of Gaia’s Garden, the book that led me to Holmgren’s Permaculture. I  tremendously enjoyed reading Hemenway’s book and I hope the review does it justice.

I also hope that, once we have some land, I can put the permaculture way of gardening into practice. I might have to revisit the review at that point.

We found a house for sale, quite a whiles west of Boston but close to the commuter rail, that we might go and take a look at. It’s 1500 sq.f. (too big, really, but maybe we could close some of it off during winter) and 0.95 acres of land. With that plural, “0.95 acres” sounds like it is more than “1 acre”. We can’t afford it, really… but it would be so sweet.

… six kinds of basil! Six!

They’re in clay pots perched on the ledge that surrounds our basement entrance.

Sounds gloomy? No: they’re in the sun! They’re soaking up the sun and soon we will harvest some of that energy for ourselves.

I plan to get more herbs (last year we successfully grew basil, cilantro, rosemary, thyme and dill). They each have to fit in a smallish container, preferably two or three plants a pot. All together they have to fit on the ledge, which is the only space that we can (sort of) claim for growing our own plants, and the only place where the sun directly shines.

I’d like to get a cherry tomato plant as well… any other suggestions?

I also got out the “bug jar”, the clear glass jar we use for catching bugs in our house. I caught a large spider yesterday morning and Amie and I watched it crawl around for a while. Then I released it by shaking it out of the jar into the grass. Amie later said: “Mama threw the spider away”.

I got to know about the Simply in Season Cookbook (Mennonite Herald Press) via a review for Groovy Green by Liz Deane (of Pocket Farm fame). Her review focuses on the ecological and geopolitical background of food and food production. Mine focuses on the cookbook aspect of the book. Go read her review, and mine!

Bon appetit!