A New Food History (the Garden Food Movement!)

20170917_154719Why is it so hard to eat healthy?  I often have wondered this.  I believe it is because as Americans we do not have our own food culture.  If we were from India we would crave curries and lentils and coconut.  If we were Japanese we would crave the tastes of sea weed and fresh vegetables.  We would crave the tastes of our genetic history, of fresh, local produce.  For someone like me, whose family has been in this country for over four hundred years (seriously, according to Ancestry.com no one in my family has come over since the 1700’s!) I have McDonalds and meatloaf to hold dear.  Monsanto lives here.  If it doesn’t have artificial flavors then it isn’t savory or sustaining enough.  It is just bland.  We crave the tastes of our youth!  American tacos, and steak, and canned vegetables!  Just kidding, I never crave canned vegetables.  But I can tell you that the folks that frequent the farmers markets have no clue what vegetables are local.

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Sure, we have regional specialties; fried chicken in the south, and clam chowder in the east, and we have adopted the cuisines of every other nation.  But we haven’t a clue about our own food history because a lot of times folks were just starving.  People of the world just started eating every animal in sight.  We have a genetic disposition for fear of starving or not having enough.

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People that come to America are always surprised at what our serving sizes look like.  One meal at a restaurant could feed a whole family!

That is why it is hard to eat healthy.  We don’t know what that looks like.

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We don’t have our own food history.  We have let big companies take over our food system.  But can we rewire our brains to crave certain foods?  Is it too late to simplify our palates?  I wonder.

It seems to me that a plate full of whole grains; farro, buckwheat, rice, barley, rye, topped with in-season vegetables of varying colors, and topped with a savory sauce of some sort; tomato based or smoked cashew or asian or red chile, would be amazing at every meal.  Inevitably we start craving restaurant food.  It is never as good as what we make at home yet there must be artificial ingredients and flavorings that our bodies crave.  Like it’s the taste of home, or something.

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The gardening season is coming up and I intend to retrain our taste buds!  We are now on a rather strict budget (time to practice what I preach) and we will not be gallivanting around restaurants anymore.  Eating whole grains, vegetables, fruit, seeds, legumes, and nuts help us to avoid the more expensive, processed, nutritionally deplete foods and save A LOT on the grocery bill.  Pastas (homemade or not), homemade sourdough, whole grains, fresh, sauteed, or roasted vegetables from the gardens or market, fresh fruits, roasted nuts as toppings for meals, or made into sauces, or eaten as snacks, seeds added to delicious, crisp salads, and beans and other legumes seasoned and added to meals.  We will create our own food history.  The Garden Food Movement!  Not a diet, but a lifestyle.  The new food history of America.  One household at a time…

All of the above dishes are plant based.  It’s time we take back our health and our food.

Searching for Homesteads and Farms Across America (selling everything one owns and hitting the road Farmgirl style)

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We have shed quite a few tears.  Ran through every possible scenario.  Worried about our daughters and our granddaughter.  Worried about our cats.  Felt tremendous loss.  We thought when we moved here that we had found our dream homestead.  Years of writing about it, practicing for it, praying for it led us here.  We thought we would stay here for a very long time.  I foolishly planted trees, spent double on seeds to make a farm that could sustain itself along with the classes.  We have been promoting, connecting, making this work.  In one moment it can all be gone and we are left with…not much.  This was really crushing, if truth be told, and I suspect anyone can understand this.  Especially if you have been following my writings for awhile.  But, in the end we have to move forward.  I know folks that have lost spouses.  Lost children.  Lost their true self.  We just lost a lot of money and a dream.  Dreams can be rebuilt.

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You never know.  I moved somewhere colder than where I lived before even, the plants haven’t even germinated yet, the classes aren’t filling up as much as I needed, Elsa, my goat didn’t work out, and my other goat, Isabelle actually belongs to Jill.  I told her if she found herself in a place that she could have goats again she could have her beloved goat back.  Jill found a place.  So, perhaps the universe is actually doing me a favor by speeding the failure along.  Or detour, whatever you want to call it!

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Moving is expensive.  We want to purchase a shed and turn it into the Hacienda I wrote about.  But right now it is too late in the season and winter would kill us.  No matter which option that I posted yesterday that we chose we would have to sell nearly all of our possessions to get the money.  We will do the Tiny House thing in the spring if all goes as planned.  Which it never does, but humor me!  In the meantime, we know in our hearts the answer.  Plus, I had a dream about it last night!

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We will sell all our possessions save for a starter box with just enough to make a 200 hundred square foot house home.  The girls are trying to find a place to rent.  Not easy, but I still trust doors will open.  We are trying to find different folks to take one or two cats for us.  I cannot give them up.  I just want them babysat till I get back!  We’ll get the truck running good and head out after the Celtic Festival, July 19th.  Our first stop, Illinois.  On to New York, Virginia, then south and around.  Be here for the holidays then head west and north then back in time to settle down.

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Doug and I will be visiting and meeting people, pen pals, friends.  I will be writing about farms and homesteads across America.  Finding ourselves, ourselves as a couple.  You know how hard Doug and I work, for years we have been non-stop raising a family, working our businesses, our homestead, and now we can rest for a bit and see all the colors and people and life in this great country of ours.

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How you can help?  Can anyone host us (farm or not) for a few days to a week?  If you have a farm or simple homestead, can we come write about it?  Does anyone want to meet us?  Does anyone want an herbal class?

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We are having a mega sale here.  We have homesteading items, furniture, antiques, housewares, clothes, everything that would be in a little homestead built over years of love and hope.  My phone number is 303-617-3370 to schedule a showing (early bird gets the worm) or Saturday morning, June 14th we’ll have an open house 9-1.

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Thank you for all of your responses and for reaching out to us with hugs and support.  I hope you will continue to follow us on our journey!  Next week we’ll be back to be back to homesteading. I have mushrooms to show you, and a delicious recipe to give you, and much more!

The photos are from our hiking trip the other day.  A good walk is a always a good way to think clearly.

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