This year was such a terrible growing year owing to the drought that gripped our area along with so many others. Now the frost warnings have now started in this region so the food that was growing had to be harvested and brought in. I have picked off all the peppers, squash, tomatoes and cut down the basil and swiss chard. I got bags of food even though the season was not great owing I believe to the late rains. Oddly, the melons did not produce a single fruit, but now… too late, the plants have loads of small round beginnings. I guess if the frost does not hit then perhaps I will get something of them in the Indian Summer. The food is now in Hamilton with me, all safely hand processed and tucked away in my root cellar and freezer. Tonight I am going to caramelize the immature squash and onion then throw in some green tomatoes and stir this into some buckwheat pasta for supper. Use up what did not mature. Should be sweet and sour and hopefully interesting.
Between the rounds of cooking that went on yesterday I caught up on a lot of reading and news. Among the items that I found interesting was a blog out of Tennessee called Dreaming Smaller in which a young man who has had a catastrophic injury shares his plans and concerns about downsizing their home (for he and his family). The land is where his family home, long ago burned out was situated. In the long grass there hides a copperhead snake nesting site, so you never know when one of them will wiggle out of the grass and bite… These bites hurt a lot, he assures, but are rarely fatal… (!!!) With this said, I know I am not the only Canadian who finds the idea of living near a poison snake pretty darn scary. On a chance cafe meeting a young Australian tourist told me “Canadians have a weird national obsessive fear of poison snakes, every single one of you asks about them.” With this in mind, I thought you might also like to check his site out.
Among the usual tragic news of accidents and shootings, the news out of Canada that I find most shocking and disgusting is the story of the “Peas Garden“. This small garden was started on May 1, 2012 in Queen’s Park and maintained in all summer by about a hundred volunteers. The food was intended for low income persons and the community was to have a harvesting party on September 29th, but on the eve of the harvest, the City Parks Director Richard Ubbens sent City Employees to rip it up and sod it over. This was done without warning the group. The food was all destroyed, the heirloom plants plucked. The opportunity for food bank users to have this healthy locally grown food was callously removed. This in a year which anyone connected to growing food will know was not ideal. This in a time when food banks cannot keep up, this story really sickens me! There is nothing, and I mean nothing that enrages me more than wastefulness and mean spiritedness toward the disadvantaged.
Food for thought… When did Canada get so turned upside down?