Roots roasted until brown and crispy. The greens tossed with olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper in a salad. The remaining dandelion greens thrown in with white mushrooms and fresh spinach in a saute.
Finally, I got the chance to harvest the first of the spring dandelions. This year I am embracing our earthly pantry, and discovering food growing in my own front yard. And appreciating what’s available seasonally.
Though spring was on a brief hiatus for the past three days, as temperatures plummeted from the 60s and 70s to barely making it past 35 degrees. I was able, before the snow started again, yes, it snowed for three days, to find early dandelions and discovered more spring food coming to life in the region.
For the next couple weeks we’ll have ramps, which are wild onions. Dandelions will blossom soon for tea, salads, and spinach is becoming plentiful at our CSA and farmers market.
An appreciation of what nature offers me and becoming closer to our Earth is what I am discovering this year. It’s so simple to go the grocery store and grab whatever food you need. But to know what it feels like to harvest from your front yard, garden, or talk to your farmer, is something spiritual. Doing so, it’s easy to feel a connection to people, plant life, and most importantly to our home. The Earth.
Part of seasonal eating is dreaming about the availability of the next crop. The anticipation makes you feel alive, when you actually get the fruit it’s a warm, empowering feeling. I want to create with it, share, and nourish myself with the seasons’ finest.
You know you can buy strawberries or blueberries at the big-box grocery store 24/7/365. But to me the fruit never tastes quite as good as getting it at a roadside stand. Or better yet, picking it yourself. Tasting the bright sunshine in each bite, fresh spring rain. I can see the soul of the Earth in the beautiful colors of the produce.
Today, falling out of sync with nature and ourselves is quite easily done. And it’s important to remember a couple of generations ago there was no super market, farm to table was the only option.
Foods were seasonal, and foods had meaning to people. Our great-grandparents were mindful of the passage of seasons and of the foods that were presented. The variety of foods gave time meaning. Slaughtering a spring lamb, early greens, strawberry season, peaches, the apple harvest, all were indicators of the seasons.
Our food system, presently, is based on convenience. Most people neither grow, nor harvest their own food. So today, food has lost meaning, the pleasure of being involved in your food stops at the check-out counter.
But meaning is not lost. Go to a farmers market, meet a farmer, shake her hand. Plant a seed, or two, or three. Watch it grow. Grow with them. Know your planet, your home. And most importantly know yourself, and that you care enough to know where your food is coming from.
I’d like to know how you source your food. Feel free to tell about it.