Friday, June 20, 2008

Empty Handed

Sometimes when we try new things we are pleasantly surprised. Sometimes we aren't. Trying new things requires risk and risk means the possibility of failure. As I watch my garden not grow, I realize that I'm facing that possibility of failure. The risk I took when trying something new.

Honestly? It's depressing. I used to amble out to my garden in the mornings with a cup of coffee (now herbal tea), energized and excited to see what new things were happening. Now I make myself go out there around noon, dreading seeing the frozen plants, still the same size as when I put them in over a month ago. Sigh.

This isn't a year that I wanted this to happen. This is a "gardening when it counts" year. This year when tomatoes are tainted with salmonella, no doubt from sloppy farming practices. This year when food prices are skyrocketing. Usually at this point, I'm looking at the empty shelves and jars in my basement with something like satisfaction, knowing that they fed us all winter and will be full to feed us for the next. Knowing I've wrung every ounce of production out of my garden that it was able to deliver to me. This year feels very empty. Even if my garden starts producing, I'll know that it wasn't all it could be.

Right now, a few jars of pizza sauce loiter on the shelves, waiting to get used up. Not sure how much company they'll get by the fall. So we're savoring the last of last year's garden, holding up empty and hopeful hands...hoping the garden snaps back and gives enough to fill the empty shelves.

Since we are trialling beans--and beans haven't been one of the foods that the Hobbits have been clamoring to eat--I'm on the lookout for ways to stealth them into the food supply. More guerrilla nutrition at work. This is made with garbanzo beans, sprouted, cooked, then blended down and fermented for a couple of days with a bit of sourdough starter.

Grainless Pizza Crust

1 cup sprouted bean paste
1/2 cup dried potato flakes
1/4 cup tapioca starch flour
1 egg
2 T olive oil
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp guar gum

Mix all ingredients into a bowl until incorporated. Spread out on a pizza stone with a bowl scraper to the desired thickness (we tend to like crispier crusts). Bake in a 350* oven for 15-20 minutes. Remove and top with pizza sauce and other desired toppings. Return to a 450* oven and bake for another 10 minutes or until toppings are browned as desired.

...And at last I comprehended
With my stupid mind and dull,
That GOD could not pour HIS riches
Into hands already full.

Martha Snell Nicholson


domestic deconstructor said...

I love this. just love it. this is my inspiration to not be lazy. We only have the unfermented cow milk allergy for one and an unfermented soy sensitivity for another at our house, so I don't have to be as vigilant and therefore tend to get lazy. I've been working on the intensive gardening as well. grow baby, grow! I've got my cans out and organized, I'm ready to harvest already! haha.

Anonymous said...

Okay, so I admit...I've been stalking you. For years. Native-Nutrition, GFCFNN, homeschooling and square foot gardening groups...and now your blog :-) Anyway, I feel like I'm several years behind you, food allergy-wise, gardening-wise, and E3-wise, and I was wondering what your failed gardening experiment was. You know, just so I know what to expect in a couple of years. :-) Thanks for E3-ing and sharing.

Loztnausten said... go! LKM how your garden grows this year! :)

LOL, Anonymous! You're welcome to follow...just be careful where you step. ;)

My failed experiment was the molasses kombucha and tons of leaves in my garden. It might have worked, had my garden not been covered with the greenhouse. Not enough moisture (ie rain/snow) to decompose the stuff in a timely fashion and the energy in the garden seems to be focused on finishing the decomposition instead of nurturing my plants. I've been goosing things with fish emulsion and it looks like my year won't be a *total* waste, even though it won't be as productive as it might have been. I'm consoling myself with the thought that *next* year will probably be a bumper crop. And so we learn...

Anonymous said...

I am relieved to know that your garden will produce some of your much needed staple tomatoes.