Monday, June 09, 2008
Eating Good in My Neighborhood
25 days ago, I took the time to throw a couple handfuls of spinach seeds into my backyard dirt. Today, fresh, bright green spinach abounds. I sauntered out to the garden, pulled up a few handfuls, washed off the dirt and then savored the way the flavor of freshly picked spinach actually bursts in your mouth. Even in the pouring rain, I was pulling on my galoshes to work my way through the mud to get to my spinach. The Mister looked at me like I was crazy, until I served the spinach to him. Handfuls of spinach, throw in some grape tomatoes, a sprinkle of basil, a slosh of EVOO. THEN he understood why I would be going out there in wind, rain and thunder--it is heaven on a platter.
Shortly after I planted my garden, a friend/neighbor stood on my back deck, inspecting our garden beds. Scrunching up her nose, she disdainfully remarked about how she just couldn't spare so much time for a hobby of playing around in the mud. Hobby? Playing? Girlfriend, I'm feeding my family here. While she went out this weekend and spent big bucks at the Pick and Save for nutritionally-devoid iceberg lettuce grown on another planet and wrapped in non-recyclable plastic wrap, I spent pennies to her dollars on a few packets of organic, heirloom seeds which grew a nutritionally, environmentally, ecologically and palatably (is that even a word?) superior green. Who's laughing now, sister?
Seriously, though, since when did we become so afraid of a little dirt? For generations upon generations, we humans have grown and eaten our own food straight from the dirt. Not until recently have we decided to process our food to the point where it isn't even food.
I probably should have been born several generations ago, when no one would have turned up their noses at me for gardening, thought I was crazy for canning or a glutton for punishment because we bake our own bread. Why is it so strange to want to follow in God's original plan for living? I don't recall there being a Mickey D's in Eden.
I realize that I'm standing up here on my nutritional soapbox. The Mister will read this and then say, "Maybe you want to edit this a bit, babe. You're probably going to offend some people who like to eat at McDonald's or who don't want to garden." He's saying it out of kind concern, because he knows how many comments I already get about the homeschool, about the adoption, about the gardening. He probably is scared someone is going to push me over the edge.
But here's the thing. I feel quite passionately about my gardening, my carbon footprint, and my concerted effort to put as much great nutrition as possible into my family's bodies. And I won't be making any apologies for that. And I don't expect any of you to apologize to me if you eat at McDonald's or feel that God wants us to eat at the Golden Arches since he created the man who invented it.
I think far too often I have the 'edit' button turned on inside my brain, and I edit opinions out of my posts before I even type them. I'm going to make a concerted effort to turn that 'edit' button to 'off.' For several reasons. I realize that the blogs I like the most are all written by highly passionate, motivated individuals who don't get a hoot as to who agrees with them. I want this blog to accurately reflect my years spent mothering my family, and that includes choices I make for them based on my own passionate beliefs regarding their wellbeing. And I read a great post by my friend Marta about each person's 'rarity,' (see 'Stumbling on Happiness' blog) and I do not want my rarity to in any way reflect the definition of sycophant.