"The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves." - Bill Mollison
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Red Shiso - A Plant Worth Growing
Each year we try to grow a few new varieties of edible plants with the hope that we will find something that proves to be a valuable asset to our food garden. We have been surprised at how many of these "experimental" plants have found a permanent, sometimes prominent, place in our gardens. Take tomatillos and amaranth for example, two plants that 10 years ago I did not even know existed and today would not consider being without. Amaranth leaves find their way into stir frys, salads, kimchi, the list goes on. Tomatillos comprise a large portion of the salsa we make each year and are easily canned or frozen for future use. Suffice to say, we have found quite a few useful herbs, berries, and vegetables that seem to thrive in our gardens, all of which at one point in time were very much "new to us."
This experimenting with different plants is one of the things that helps keep the whole gardening and food self-sufficiency endevour fresh and exciting. One of the new plants that we grew this year was called Red Shiso (perilla). This beautiful maroon colored herb has a multitude of culinary, medicinal, and other uses that you can read all about at http://www.apinchof.com/shiso1119.htm. With its strong cuminesc like flavor I am hoping to use it as a colorful addition to our kimchi next year. I was going to dry the leaves off this year's plants but unfortunately frost took them from us before I had a chance. We did enjoy it's strong flavor in many a stir fry throughout the late summer months though.
This picture was taken in mid August, the leaves turned much darker as the cooler months arrived.
This September 29th photo shows the much darker leaves
Weary of the world and its illogical ways my wife and I have chosen a path towards self-reliance in all aspects of our lives. Our main focus is on growing and gathering our own food. We hope to use this blog as an avenue to share with and learn from others with similar interests.
The Good Life (click↓)
"To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves." M. Gandhi
"Deep inside everyone of us is a call to the wild. Much of the impatience, discontent or violence around us is due to a lack of opportunity to reconnect with where we came from. For sanity and generosity of spirit, we should be able to witness nature at its unceasing, rejuvenating work." - Abdul Kareem
"As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness." - Justice William O. Douglas
First They Came For My Seed..▼
Who Controls Your Food?
"Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine" - Thoreau
Even while I dreamed I prayed that what I saw was only fear and no foretelling, for I saw the last known landscape destroyed for the sake of the objective, the soil bludgeoned, the rock blasted. Those who had wanted to go home would never get there now.
I visited the offices where for the sake of the objective the planners planned at blank desks set in rows. I visited the loud factories where the machines were made that would drive ever forward toward the objective. I saw the forest reduced to stumps and gullies; I saw the poisoned river, the mountain cast into the valley; I came to the city that nobody recognized because it looked like every other city. I saw the passages worn by the unnumbered footfalls of those whose eyes were fixed upon the objective.
Their passing had obliterated the graves and the monuments of those who had died in pursuit of the objective and who had long ago forever been forgotten, according to the inevitable rule that those who have forgotten forget that they have forgotten. Men, women, and children now pursued the objective as if nobody ever had pursued it before.
The races and the sexes now intermingled perfectly in pursuit of the objective. The once-enslaved, the once-oppressed were now free to sell themselves to the highest bidder and to enter the best paying prisonsin pursuit of the objective, which was the destruction of all enemies, which was the destruction of all obstacles, which was the destruction of all objects, which was to clear the way to victory, which was to clear the way to promotion, to salvation, to progress, to the completed sale, to the signature on the contract, which was to clear the way to self-realization, to self-creation, from which nobody who ever wanted to go homewould ever get there now, for every remembered place had been displaced; the signposts had been bent to the ground and covered over.
Every place had been displaced, every love unloved, every vow unsworn, every word unmeant to make way for the passage of the crowd of the individuated, the autonomous, the self-actuated, the homeless with their many eyes opened toward the objective which they did not yet perceive in the far distance, having never known where they were going, having never known where they came from.