Hurricane Irene brought summer to a swift halt. I am surprised more by the damage that I notice now, than immediately following the storm. Salt damage has left the evergreen trees brown and the deciduous trees without their leaves. It seems we have been robbed of the fall colors. While I admit, our colors are not as vibrant as some places in New England, I have come to love the subtle hues of purple, red, and gold.
So we are all out of whack - and so it seems is my home life. We got two piglets this week, which is at least 16 weeks later than we usually do. Normally this time of year, we are planning for a slaughter. Instead, I find myself worried about the chill and how to keep these young pigs draft free and dry.
Back in April, Chris Fischer was heading off island to pick up some Berkshire piglets and I thought $150 a pig was too expensive, thinking I would find cheaper pigs! ME, who thinks we need to move away from cheap food, was too cheap to buy pigs at $150! And so we (mostly my husband Rich) have paid the price all summer by hauling compost and kitchen scraps all over Chilmark to feed other peoples pigs. I’ve gotten to know Chris Fischer’s pigs intimately and several times thought I would end up in his pig pen - I was sure I would pitch myself over the stone wall as I unloaded the buckets of slop. We have such an overload of food scraps that life without pigs would make it impossible to manage the trash. Now we have small pigs and they can’t possibly eat all the food we generate daily, so we still have a scrap abundance quandary. Perhaps it is time to get a back hoe and a large compost pile?
My husband Rich is our recycle trash guy. We recycle everything from our Kitchen Porch kitchen, and while it seems like an easy job, I have come to appreciate his endless skills around his trips to the dump. Imagine feeding 150+ people a day and the amount of boxes and plastic containers that come to our kitchen daily. I am vowing that my winter project will be to look at the volumes of products we go through and see if I can get them in bigger shipments that would consist of less waste in packaging.
Please consider joining John and I this October for our Metabolic Bootcamp. John is an engaging lecturer on topics including weight loss, detoxification, and chronic disease treatment and prevention. John is also a passionate mountain climber who reached the top of Mt. Everest last year as part of a two-man team - we will be taking some fast pace hikes through trails on Martha’s Vineyard. We will explore the essential elements of a science-based detoxification diet, including critical nutrients that support toxin removal. The program will include organic, raw foods and learning how to create a kitchen of detoxifying foods. Receive $125 discount off the cost of the workshop if you register before October 1st!
As I think about winter, I get excited about preserving. I believe in having power over my food supply and being able to seek a more sustainable life. While recycling is one way, nothing satisfies the soul like a stocked larder. When we grow our own food, we have this opportunity to connect with the food we grow – even more so when we preserve it for the coming months. This time of year, there is a gleaning project that happens twice per week at our local Morning Glory Farm. To be a gleaner, you need to hook yourself up with a nonprofit (school, church, elderly center) and come and glean for that nonprofit, and you may keep some for yourself. An article about gleaning was featured in Martha’s Vineyard Patch: Local Veggies Served Up Daily – You can visit Island Grown Initiative for more information about getting involved in the gleaning program.
Try Something New: Turn Your Produce into Preserves
This is the way to eat food with little nutrient loss. You’ll be eating locally grown veggies even in the coldest of months, What pride we have in the dead of winter when we bring out the oven roasted tomatoes or frozen blueberries and remember the day we took the time to preserve them. For me, the joy is in taking the time. I never seem to have enough time and preserving brings me simple pleasures and food that is nutrient dense.
I encourage everyone to take the time this fall to preserve something. I promise rewards beyond the shelf of goodies to be treasured in months ahead.