When I lived in the hustle and bustle of Sydney, I read a beautiful non-fiction book, as part of the
book club I attended, called “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver. This book told the story of a city-family who made a ‘green-change’. They were sick of industrial society, and living off processed food, so they decided to move to a farm in the country to grow their own produce or shop so close to home, that they knew the person who grew it. This took me back to my upbringing in rural Weegena, Tasmania, and I yearned to move back home one day where sustainable living could be more possible. If you’re a lover of earth-produced foods and sustainable living, you’ll love Kingsolver’s book. It’s not just a story of their first year of life on a farm, but also includes seasonal recipes and tips on growing plant food, rearing animals, and preserving excess produce, and is also an inspiration to live a more natural, self-sufficient life.
Although I’m far from being Barbara (if only!) I do love the satisfaction that comes from growing veggies, and having a little herb garden and orchard. I also love to head to the farmers market to buy produce directly from the farmers, and buy grass-fed meat in bulk from local farms. While my own home-grown produce isn’t extraordinary in quantity, I do try to buy extra fruits and veggies in bulk when they are in season, to pop in the freezer or to bottle or to make chutneys or sauces for later use. Not only do I save money when I purchase foods that are in season, but the nutritional quality is always far better. Seasonal eating also helps to combat health symptoms that often arise during specific seasons. For example, we’re in autumn now, and often skin can start to dry out and crack and peel, you might be feeling fatigued with the change from daylight savings and shortening of days, and you may also be more susceptible to bacterial and viral outbreaks. Autumn foods – such as asian greens, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, fennel, ginger, silver beet, apples, pears and rhubarb – can help hydrate, cleanse and build up immunity, and thus assist us during the autumn months.
If you have an excess of autumn foods, or are buying local seasonal foods in bulk to save money and to use during the season, preserving them is a great way to keep them lasting for longer, and to always have them on hand. On Saturday (6 May, 1-3pm), we have experienced preserver, Nancy Preston from It’s Only Natural 2 Preserve, joining us at our Happy Biome Studio to teach us safe and healthy methods for preserving foods. This Saturday we will be learning how to preserve acidic foods such as fruits using a water bath method. Then on Sat 27 May 1-4pm we’ll be looking at preserving low acidic foods such as vegetables, meats and meals using a pressure canning method. Each workshop is $50 and bookings are essential via firstname.lastname@example.org There are only a few days left to book in for the first part of these preserving workshops, so don’t delay in getting in contact with Nancy as she needs to know numbers ASAP. Hopefully you can make it!