Sunday, May 23, 2010

1st Harvest

While I can certainly understand that the average person is less inclined than myself to attempt back flips at the sight of a radish; allow me to briefly explain my level of excitement. This tiny red globe, born from seed, spent a mere five weeks nestled in the dirt before reaching its potential, but mentally I planted those seeds months prior.

Two weekends in October, six friends, gourmet fare, and conversation thoroughly lubricated by a consistent flow of alcohol, resulted in an obvious, albeit astonishing, revelation. Everything has changed; well more specifically our perception of everything has changed. Perhaps experience has made us a little smarter, a little slower to judge, a little more receptive to opinions we would have previously dismissed as not in line with our own. Or perhaps the realities of the recession have forced us to realign our priorities, while the visible aging of our parents has enhanced a sense of our own mortality. But regardless of the source, the resultant is the same, a desire to leave a lasting legacy, regardless of its size and somehow fulfill our social responsibility.

Although equally likely lies the scenario that these revealing verbal exchanges were nothing more than a bunch of overeducated, financially privileged, late 20-somethings waxing poetic about problems that they do not now, nor are they likely to experience in the future.

Yet without paying much regard to the previous sentence and potentially blindly ignoring the potential hubris involved, a theme emerged: Sustainability.

And not the overused, holier than thou, altruistic image most commonly associated with the word in modern times, but sustainability in the sense that a genuine effort will be made to sustain my physical and mental self, the relationships in my life, and the greater community through a re-evaluation of the food system in general. Minimizing waste, by using the entire product, whether plant or animal, sourcing humanely raised and organic ingredients, and to the limits that my Brooklyn fire escape will allow….growing my own food. And probably most importantly talking about it….not everyone has a compost pile of their own, but simple decisions, like buying organic over conventionally raised products helps in it’s own little way to protect the environment and the world at large. I believe that there is very little we can do to the earth, that with ample time, it cannot successfully repair. However, whether the planet keeps humanity around for that process.... is still up for debate.

I ate the radishes with nothing but a spread of butter, and sautéed the greens in olive oil with salt and pepper.

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