For so long I told my husband, “I just want to teach people how to grow food and cook it.” Never thinking that I could make that my actual reality, but here I am doing just that! Through my nutrition and culinary training, I learned the importance of eating the highest quality food you can get. To me that is food that is organically grown as close to home as possible. For me and many others this is growing some of our own food. In reality it would be very challenging to grow ALL of your own food, but we can all grow SOME of our own food.
A part of of teaching people to grow some of their own food is also teaching them to eat seasonally. Eating seasonally has many benefits, including varying your food intake throughout the year. This allows varying nutrients to be consumed in different quantities through out the year. Food naturally has more nutrients when just picked/harvested versus traveling days to get to market and then however long it takes to be made into meal. Eating seasonally lets you take advantage of farmers markets and helps you get to know your farmers. You can support farmers markets even further by joining their CSA. (Community Supported Agriculture) I have to say there is nothing like ______ than one picked fresh. (You can fill in the blank with pretty much any vegetable, fruit or herb.) Learning to eat seasonally also means you will learn what can be growing in your garden during that time of year.
Another aspect of teaching people how to grow food and cook it is helping them master cooking techniques based on what’s in season. You can really learn the art of grilling during the summer months when it is so hot that you don’t want to use your oven or stove. Learning to roast vegetables in the cooler months of autumn and winter can bring a warmth to the house. Throughout the seasons you have a chance to practice different techniques on different foods. You also have the option of learning to dehydrate or preserve food whether you have a large garden or not. If you do not have the growing space to preserve or dehydrate a lot of food for the cold months of winter and during the “hungry gap”, (when there is little or no fresh produce from gardens), you can stock up of food at a local farmers market or grocery store and use that.
The relationship that grows with nature through growing your own food and cooking it from scratch is so wonderful. There is a greater appreciation for all things in nature because you see just what it takes for something to come to life and thrive. You may fall in love with the tastes of freshly picked grown or foraged food and have a hard time eating anything that isn’t in season. It truly becomes a way of life. In growing your own food and cooking it, there is a greater sense of food freedom and security. A wise women, who has taught me a lot, once said that they are a collector of wisdom. That is what you are doing when you learn to grow your own food and cook it. You are gaining wisdom and knowledge that can come in handy when things are off in the world. These are activities you can do alone or in community. They are skills you can pass down from generation to generation leaving a positive mark in the world for future generations.
I am so thankful that my simple want of teaching people how to grow food and cook it has come to fruition. I can just pinch myself sometimes thinking about what it is that I get to do. If you need help starting your own garden or want to learn how to cook from scratch, please reach out to me, I would love to help you! Now more than ever it is the time to learn these important skills.