Island day memories….the ice was like a floor of jagged glass, surrounding the island. Here and there open pools of water, which was good so the swans and ducks could fish as if nature cared enough to create what was needed for her special creatures. There I would be, looking at mountains of ice while pouring through heirloom seed catalogues. A bit like living in Antarctica wishing for open ground so you can plant. I knew this is part of living in a place where there are seasons and I do love being in a shifting weather system but I miss putting my hands in dirt. As wonderful as Florida and California are year round, there is something to living through seasonal changes. I think I would go a little bit bonkers living in Paradise everyday and is paradise an impetus for motivation….I don’t think so. Besides, I like cold weather. If I could garden in 40 degree weather that would be heaven…and of course, there wouldn’t be any mosquitoes. But back to ordering my seeds.
Going through my seed catalogs, there seems to be a renewed interest in organics and heirlooms. Once a given in our culture now seems to be a specialty. I am hoping that this sends a message that many of us are interested in healthy choices rather than the easy way out which is to just eat what is in front of us without thinking what it is, how it was grown and where it came from. To date there are close to 30 countries that have banned Genetic Modified Foods including: Italy, Austria, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Portugal, Greece, Spain, Switzerland, Norway, Egypt, Algeria, Brazil, Paraguay, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, India and though, not a country, Hawaii. It is encouraging that these countries have had long range vision and understand that saving a little bit of money is not worth the state of our health which is a trade many are willing to make until they get sick and then understand that there is nothing more important than their health.
“Living on an island, being in the middle of nature while gardening has taught me that there are principles of nature.”
The principles, lessons or maybe even wisdom reveals itself while preparing the soil, choosing and planting the seeds, watching and watering and finally harvesting. I have come to understand that I am one with a magical cosmos that works on a multi-layered system of energetics. When watching a seedling break through the soil, there is a fundamental understanding that I am a partner with Mother Earth. But what does that actually mean? This is an ongoing lesson but so far, I know that I am a caretaker of the air, water, plants and animals as they are part of the complete eco-system. The Native Americans thought of the Elements, Plants and Animals as their brothers and sisters. I have to agree. To know this sets up a new awareness, a new responsibility.
“The responsibility is daunting really. To co-exist with nature, to honor our children by giving them longevity due to the health of the earth, to implant everyone that we meet with a love for nature, to remember that life is precious, to understand that nature was here first, and to never forget that we are not the owners of land, but merely it’s guardian is a huge task. No matter how much we have paid for our “property,” it really isn’t ours. How can you own the earth?”
The job or responsibility seems singular. I can’t make anyone do anything. No one really cares about my opinion as they are too busy forming theirs and in most cases, it seems to me humans are unwilling to change their beliefs until something catastrophic happens. But every day I can take steps to make life better. I can be more self-disciplined in the smaller details of my life, renouncing anything that doesn’t work for the environment i.e. pesticides, plastic, toxic fertilizers, weed killers and whenever I can, vote against anything that may include irreversible destruction of the foundation of our existence.
I try to set aside time to be with the world rather than use the world, never forgetting that I am part of the eco-system. It is a struggle to not be extravagant and just consume what is needed. I have to constantly remind myself to be aware of what we produce and consume locally, which may help to end decadence and luxury. The action of responsibility can stimulate self-reliance and the sovereignty of local community within the limits of the health and “remaining” resources of a permitting planet.
Maybe, I will continue to be reminded while looking at a sunset, or climbing a mountain or just sitting on my porch looking into a star filled sky. As I move through this incredible time, watching the planet’s cyclic nature, I might want to continue to ask myself, “How can I help? What can I do to make this world a better place?” Whether I am struggling or not, there should be one constant thought and that is that we are all brothers and sisters – cells in the same divine body celebrating the diversity of all cultures and people and faiths, with a goal to live in unity respecting our differences. While I begin to wear this suit of generosity, compassion and humanness I have to include Mother Earth, who is not a raw material or a financial commodity. She is my mother. I am here to re-establish a harmonious and responsible co-created life with her. In the solitude of a quiet mind, the same thoughts always return, “Be respectful of every living thing, be a participant and finally to know that like my human mother, I cannot buy, sell or forget my benevolent earth mother.”
From My Garden To Yours…….
Crockpot Pork Roast and Kale
3 lb. boneless pork loin roast, trimmed of fat
2 cloves garlic, minced 1
/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 tsp. dried tarragon leaves or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped tarragon
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
6 c. chopped kale
1-1/2 cups broth or water
- Whisk together garlic, mustard, tarragon, thyme, sea salt, and pepper.
- Spread mixture over the pork roast and place in bottom of large crockpot.
- Arrange kale around the roast.
- Pour broth or water over kale.
- Cook on low 8 – 9 hours until roast is done.
Fennel Pecan Salad
This recipe comes from the Body Ecology Diet website. The Body Ecology Diet is one of a handful of healing diets aimed at healing the digestive tract for total, lasting health.
1/2 cup cold pressed, unfiltered olive oil
1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans *
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 drops of Liquid Stevia Concentrate or 3 pitted dates or 1 Tbsp. raisins
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 bulbs fennel, sliced thinly
1/4 cup fennel fronds, chopped
1 organic apple, cut into matchstick slices
1 tablespoon of roughly chopped pecans
- Place all dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Prepare salad ingredients. Toss everything in a large salad bowl except the tablespoon of pecans.
- Pour dressing over salad, toss, and serve. Sprinkle servings with remaining chopped pecans.
*I prefer to use crispy pecans soaked and prepared according to Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. If you do not have time or care to make these, lightly toast your pecans in a small pan over medium heat until they start to give off a pleasant smell.
Kale Fish Patties
2 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. ghee or butter
1 pound soul, flounder, or other white fish (could also be made with salmon)
10 – 12 oz. kale
1/2 c. minced onion
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
4 large eggs
more ghee for sauteing
- Place water and ghee/butter into a large skillet or saute pan. Heat until ghee is melted. Place fish in the pan, cover, and simmer 6 -10 minutes until flakey. This will depend greatly on the thickness of your fish filets.
- While fish is poaching, place kale in a vegetable steamer or saute pan with 1/2 c. water. Steam kale until tender. When done, drain and chop finely.
- When fish is done, drain and place in a large mixing bowl using a fork to break it into small flakes.
- Add chopped kale, minced onion, sea salt, and black pepper. Mix well.
- Whisk eggs in a separate bowl until well blended.
- Pour eggs into fish/kale mixture and mix well.
- Over medium heat, melt some ghee – about 2 Tbsp. – in a large saute skillet. Form patties and place gently in the skillet. Saute until well browned on one side. Gently turn the patties and continue sauteing until the second side is well browned.
- Remove patties onto a paper towel lined plate. Continue cooking remaining patties.
- These are a bit delicate but very tasty. They can be served immediately or frozen and eaten over time.