Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Premature garlic evacution

Being impetuous and sometimes carless I decided to harvest the garlic early, in fact what proved to be about a month too early.  Perhaps this years rain had something to do with this, I remembered harvesting my garlic in May last year and I wanted to use the bed for our summer garden.

Green stalks had just began to turn brown and flop sideways in a convincing manner; a sign from Mother Nature that it was pleading to be plucked out, braided and dried to be turned to delicious savory additions to our daily meals.

Digging carefully around each cluster, feeling anticipatory excitement like finding buried treasures, each one a different shape and hue of violet.

I discovered violet garlic on our trip to Provence last summer it is a milder tasting garlic with a violet hue to be less acidic tasting.

With one foot on the wooden edge of the bed I braced myself and pulled.
Beautiful, aromatic and sadly a bit premature.  

Braided and cleaned of soil I lay the little fragrant clumps out to dry noting their soft and damp quality, convincing myself that they would dry out.  I left them to dry out on a table in the fresh air checking they were not becoming little savory delights for our woodland creatures.

A month later,  the garlic has now dried and is a gigantic stinky clump that will sustain us in to the late Autumn, unless I continue to give them away...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

World Oceans Day

Ok, I'm a bit behind due to jury duties yesterday. June 8th is/was officially World Oceans Day.  With people like David Rothschild weighing in on Treehugger.com http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/06/today-is-a-starting-point-david-d-rothschilds-thoughts-on-world-oceans-day.php

from his journey on the Plastiki; a boat made of 12,000 plastic bottles and powered by wind, solar and water. Rothschild  is the handsome Expedition Leader of the crew of extremely gorgeous young capable  men and women  who are  sailing from San Francisco to Sydney on the Plastiki as a commentary about ocean debris.  (Imagine a Vanity Fair casting by Bruce Weber) His blog http://www.theplastiki.com is a fun and interesting read.

In the area where the Plastiki will be traveling is a huge garbage patch also known as the Pacific Gyre a huge swirling mass of plastics which is said to be approximately the size of Texas, but I have also read closer to the size of North America. Floating in the Pacific between San Francisco and Hawaii it contains  about 3.5 million tons of trash which includes, shoes, plastic bags, water bottles,toothbrushes and.. oh, the list goes on.   The garbage which comes from  partially from ships, but mostly from land is trapped in the currents of the North Pacifc gyre which creates a vortex and the garbage pretty much remains.

How does this affect us?  The plastics release PCB's and pesticides in to the ocean, fish and seabirds mistake the garbage for food killing them and their offspring, pollutants accumulate in the tissues of marine organisms and make their way up the food chain, eventually making their way in to the foods we consume.

The Gulf Oil spill, which has been front and center in the news since it happened last month has had devastating effects on those living in the gulf. Not only economic impact, but  environmental impacts are just beginning to surface. Just last year the Grey Albatross was removed from the endangered species list, and scientist are now finding the nesting birds covered in oil, unable to relocate their nests, this could seriously impact the babies survival rates.

Sorry for all the terrible news, but..Don't distress!!  There are things you can do.  According to the site Planet Green they give seven actions you can take with out leaving homehttp://planetgreen.discovery.com/travel-outdoors/today-is-world-oceans-day-7-actions-you-can-take-without-leaving-home.html

This summer when you go to the beach,lake or wherever you are remember to be a good steward of our earth.  Pick up 10 extra pieces of trash when you leave.