It's early June and we have welcomed a long awaited abundance of veg, fruit and herbs into the garden after a quiet winter season! Today I came away with baby carrots (& tops), leeks, broad beans, baby leaf salad, chives, basil, fennel, parsley, oregano and handful upon handful of juicy strawberries!
This year is my second year of growing veg as part of a small market garden, and despite years of learning ahead of me, it's exciting to know that I already have the skills needed to be growing my own veg going forward! I've managed to connect the dots between my studies around the nutritional value of food for health, experimenting and enjoying the process of preparing meals, to now also being a part of the very beginning of that cycle involving; seed sowing, nurturing and harvesting the plants. It adds a whole other level of appreciation and joy to food!
One day I would like to be able to say that all if not most of my meals are locally grown and sourced - using only that which is seasonal and native to my area. It surely makes sense that, before we had endless availability and access to all and every kind of food, our local food sources were able to provide us with all the nutrition we needed to be healthy!
For now, I do my best to base my meals around what's available seasonally through what I grow in the garden. This has meant that my meals are very varied with an opportunity to explore and create new recipes, become more intuitive when cooking and enjoy the process with much more curiosity and satisfaction. I still include the luxury of seeds and grains sourced further a field, enjoying in balance and moderation. With more exploration I plan to find more locally sourced foods to swap in with.
So what did I prepare with my June harvest?
There's so much more to where our food comes from and how it's grown. Something we can easily forget when food shopping in a supermarket. To grow one's own veg is not a possibility for everyone, however, what we can all do is start to get to know the story behind what we buy. When we then go to prepare our food - it need not be seen as a chore or something we just chuck together without thought. It can be fun, educational and a way of sharing positive nourishment with those we are cooking for - or importantly for our own health. Furthermore, eating our meals over the course of the day is not just done for structure or habit. It's a time where we can really enjoy the sensory experience provided through good food, a time to be mindful, and when with others, to be grateful, to share and find connection.
Bottom line, with more thought and appreciation, there's so much enjoyment and nourishment to be found in the process of gathering/ buying food, to preparing a meal and finally to sitting down and eating that meal!