The food year is like a battery: it gets charged in summer and we in the high latitudes need to live off that charge over winter. Over the last few decades we’ve been living off the sun in the Carboniferous instead, but now that fossil charge is running low, and we need to look at the ways in which we used to do this, and improve on them.
Patrick Whitefield, in his wonderful book The Earth care manual, argues that we would do well to get more of our nutrition from trees. And I can see why: my vigorous apple tree takes about a day of maintenance and harvest a year and produces roughly as much food as my vegetable garden, in which I spend about a day a week. (I admit this is not a fair comparison, amongst others because the apple tree wouldn’t have produced from year 1, but this should make less than a factor 2 difference.)
In late October my tomato plants died, so I was left with lots of green tomatoes. Since I’m trying to reduce my sugar consumption, and thus didn’t want to make chutney, I decided to try lacto fermentation. Lacto fermentation is most well known from Sauerkraut (using cabbage), but it’s also possible to use other vegetables. It’s very easy. You cut the tomatoes in slices, fill a glass jar to 2/3, dissolve 1.5% by weight of salt in enough water to just cover the tomatoes, optionally put a little oil on top (to limit the diffusion of oxygen), cover with a plastic bag and fill the bag with water. Wait at least a month before eating.
By the end of April the weather has warmed up enough that the apples go off, but there is still at least a month to go before the strawberries and raspberries are ripe. This also happens with the vegetables and is known as the hunger gap. One way to fill the hunger gap is with a pressure cooker. Please don’t recycle your glass pots with metal lids; give them to me.
The Power of Just Doing Stuff - new Transition book out next week - *Promotional video of the new Transition book by Rob Hopkins which will be published next week * *The Power of Just Doing Stuff* has its official launch ...
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