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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September’s Horizon

What’s coming down the pike this September morning? It’s an early observation from an advanced copy of a book (not out for distribution) called ‘Uprisings', written by two Canadian authors, Sarah Simpson & Heather McLeod. Here's a sneak peek at why I decided to review it. It is a hands-on guide to the community grain revolution, something we (Greg and I) don’t know too much about.

Just in these first few chapters I spotted several interesting facts about milled grain, which is ground between stones versus the commercial flours we purchase, which are processed using steel rollers. While this read is still not for distribution, I’ll only share an excerpt reiterating what this blog is often about – experiencing your own food source by digging in the dirt and planting seeds. I highly encourage being true stewards of your land, even if it’s a tiny piece of soil in containers on an urban rooftop or supporting the local farmers within your region. 

But back to the book as these Canadian authors state it best. “Asking questions about where exactly our food comes from and how it’s produced takes time. Many of us don’t even know what questions to ask. We aren’t the agrarians and homesteaders who settled North America, who knew how to milk a cow or plant corn by the time they were ten. We’re not only ignorant of what farming used to look like – we don’t even know what mainstream agriculture looks like today. Many North Americans still picture idyllic red barns and silos, cows grazing grass and rows of diverse vegetables being weeded by a grizzled farmer with a hoe. The truth is, the vast majority of food we eat is not from this imaginary farm.” 

The authors continue on with this personal challenge I often toss out to you throughout the growing season. “We can learn a lot about our food by playing in our own garden. In fact, if you’ve lost your passion for food in the process of learning about industrial agriculture, growing edible plants is one of the best ways to rekindle your love affair with food.”

As September rolls in, look at your food with a fresh perspective. One of the best things I heard over this Labor Day weekend was my cousin’s young daughter saying ‘She wants to be a farmer.’ Let’s hope it’s not just the red barn she fell in love with but seeing our earth producing loads of edible plants and getting introduced to some of the local farmers from what can still be claimed as a small agricultural New England town.

© Images by Ann Bilowz
Top image - Our peach tree in full blossom earlier this season
Bottom image – Peaches harvested this weekend

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)