Wash Before Eating

16 Oct

A vegetable patch has always been a romantic notion for us. The loveliness of brushing the dirt off vegetables, bushels of red apples, sunshine, blue skies and smiles…all of these things wrapped up and neatly deposited on our clean white plates.

A few months ago, my dad constructed raised beds behind our family restaurant and carefully planted lettuce, radish, spinach and scallion seeds.  He chose to use no pest control of any kind, chemical or holistic…just let the vegetables do what they do.  We’ve been eagerly waiting for the day we could have garden fresh salads.

Finally, fresh cut garden salad days have arrived! Armed with scissors and a bowl, we snip off the bright green leaves. And while we expected to wash the vegetables before eating them on our white plates, we didn’t expect how carefully we’d have to wash them.

It turns out that (obviously!) puffy green caterpillars love our lettuce too. There are also small black eggs and some little green bugs that call the creases of our spinach leaves their home. Washing the greens takes a bit of time and allows for some thinking…

Of course, there are bugs on this food, it’s grown in dirt and nourished by nature. When I buy green stuff from the store, it’s so clean! How does it get so clean? And just because there are no crawly things on it, doesn’t mean there’s nothing on it. How, oh how, as a human have I become so disconnected from the thing that keeps me alive? Of course, we could concoct a pest control plan that doesn’t harm the environment. But that’s not really the point. The point is there’s so much to learn about eating from our backyard.

Lettuce washing and pondering has helped us decide to put on our thinking caps together–as a mother and daughter team–and learn about food…how do it locally, healthily, with some spice and with some adventure.  This blog will be a place where we dig in and explore sustainability, recipes, restaurants and learn from the world around us.A photo of us in our garden

So grab your most colorful scarf, let your hair blow in the breeze and let’s learn about real food, local food and cooking food together! (I’m sure we’ll find some hungry caterpillars along the way.)

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2 Responses to “Wash Before Eating”

  1. Lindsay November 28, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    This is such a fascinating blog! Thank you so much for all the time and energy you’ve put into it thus far; I look forward to following your adventures! Just this past weekend I printed off some research about starting my own garden in the spring, and this has truly inspired me!

    • realocalcooking November 28, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

      Thanks so much!
      I hope you write about your gardening adventures. It would be fun to hear about what others are planning, planting and harvesting. So much to learn! :)

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