Posts Tagged ‘Jamie’s Food Revolution’

Wonderous Nature

Baby Asparagus

Growing up, I didn’t have much access to gardens, other than the occasional tomato plant that my mom would keep in her front yard, desperately trying to coax a few succulent red orbs out of the tiny patch allotted on her front step.  Like me, she didn’t have much of a green thumb, so more often than not the plants ended up shrivelling and dying instead.  For years I was convinced I had a black thumb because I killed so many houseplants, but once I started vegetable gardening, I finally found my niche.

As such, I (like most young urbanites, I imagine) have very little in the way of a frame of reference when it comes to what plants should look like when they grow.  I may have laughed astonishingly when they showed those children on Jamie’s Food Revolution who didn’t know the difference between potatoes, tomatoes, etc, but it didn’t occur to me until recently how hypocritical that was.

Last year when I grew artichokes on the roof, I had no idea what the plants would look like once they flourished.  Years ago when I first started gardening I wasn’t sure what seeds were a 1:1 ratio to their edible growth, and which ones would grow into bushes.  Carrots, beets, artichokes and potatoes were all in the past planted without the knowledge of whether I was going to produce a meagre or bountiful harvest because I just didn’t understand gardening.  The moral of the story here is that everyone can be ignorant about something occasionally, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re dumb.  As someone who grew up in the city, and mostly in apartments to boot, I just never had access to outdoor spaces where I would ever be exposed to living, growing things, so how could I know better?

Which is why when I decided to order asparagus crowns from Vesey’s back in January, I had no clue how many would suffice for our garden on the roof.  Compound that with the fact that I didn’t even know whether a crown would produce 1 stalk of asparagus or 20, and you’ll understand why I opted to purchase 12 crowns.  Amazing even to me, but in 29 years I had never seen a real, live asparagus plant in person before.  Of course, I’d heard all about how they grew like weeds so I was prepared for rapid shoots, yet I still didn’t expect what came next.

As you can see from the photo above, each crown is producing stalks which in turn are diverging into numerous branches.  Honestly, I never knew.  And I’d bet good money that scads of other city dwellers would feel the same way too (if they weren’t worried about how stupid they might sound, that is).

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It’s Michael Pollan’s World, We Just Live In It

Generally speaking, I’m an avid supporter of Michael Pollan.  He’s charming in that I-look-just-like-scrawny-vegan-Moby kind of way.

Ironically though, it seems there has come a point when even I am all Pollan-ed out.

I’ve read The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defence Of Food… who hasn’t, nowadays?  And I’ve seen Food Inc, King Corn, Death On A Factory Farm and others of their ilk that deal with the myriad problems affecting our global food systems.  But when I was browsing at the bookstore this past Christmas, I saw the latest tome in the Pollan repertoire, the slim and succinctly titled Food Rules.  To be frank, after thumbing through the pages I couldn’t bring myself to buy it for exactly 3 reasons;

1) It really struck me as “Food – For Dummies,” or rather a distilled version of his previous 2 books

2) I’m not keen on ideas once you start labelling them as “rules” because my inner anarchist says no, not to mention it makes it sound like some kind of slapdash lose-10-pounds-quick diet plan

3) It would be preaching to the choir since I try to maintain a diet centred around real food already, anyway

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