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Patch to Table Weekly – Edition 4

What I'm up to and interested in

Why grass fed beef is the most vegan item in the supermarket

Whatever your view on eating animals - this is a great article written by Andrew French - Why grass fed beef is the most vegan item in the supermarket. The argument is that annual crops (grains, vegetables, beans, rice) have a greater impact on wildlife than perennial agriculture - based on trees, shrubs and livestock.

"I have to conclude that cultivating the cornfield is the most murderous of all activities"

Andrew French argues that the real problem is society's disconnect with what it takes to grow food and the fact that all life consumes life in order to survive. And the solution is a greater respect for the life that resides in all things by choosing to live and eat more consciously. This means eating whole foods (minimal processing) and eating locally to create a relationship with the food we put into our mouths every day.

On top of eating locally, I would add growing and producing your own food. You can't replace hands on experience (especially for kids) and the unique perspectives that come from it:

  • An appreciation of the 'energy' that goes into fruit and vegetables which makes you think twice before wasting food.
  • An appreciation of the sacrifice made by the animals we eat (such as chickens) that do have personalities and do feel pain.
  • An appreciation of the seasons which dictate the food available at different times of the year
  • An appreciation of what real food tastes like and the different between freshly picked, local and organic food compared to conventionally grown food. Tomatoes from the supermarket are worlds apart from the taste and smell of a freshly picked tomato, grown in your backyard.
  • An appreciation of the range of heritage varieties that aren’t selected for their size or their shelf life. Heritage varieties are often much more tasty, nutritious, colourful and interesting.

From the Vegetable Patch

Composted chicken litter makes growing stuff so easy

This week I topped up my raised garden beds with composted mulch from my coop, which I then planted with tomatoes and zucchinis. With such good soil, the zucchinis and tomatoes are looking healthy, green and disease free. And I'm using my chicken proof raised garden beds which keep the chickens from digging them up. 

You will often here people complain that chickens and 'food' gardens don't go together. I completely disagree, I think chickens are the key for lazy (smart) gardeners.

Sure, chickens can be destructive and messy. The trick is to harness that energy as free labour and as free source of fertiliser. Not to mention the fresh eggs they provide.

To the Kitchen Table

Buddha Bowls - Sensational simplicity with whole-foods

If you haven't tried a Buddha Bowl already, you're missing out. Ok, well really it's just a trendy name for a salad... but they really are more than that. They are colourful bowls of whole-food goodness, with vegetables and protein covered in a tasty dressing. 

And it's a simple formula that you can change based on what's in your fridge and what's in season from your garden. For me, it's a reminder that tasty food doesn't have to be complicated.

Here is a delicious Buddha Bowl recipe with golden crispy veggie fritters.

I have also been playing with some Buddha Bowl recipes and will be posting some of my own recipes soon.

Oh - and if your interested to understand where the name and idea behind "Buddha Bowls" came from, here is an article on "How the Buddha Bowl got its name"

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