Remolacha! Beets!

In Guatemala I remember one time seeing a poster for a band called Remolacha Beets. I always thought that was so clever. In Spanish, Remolacha means Beets, like the vegetable, but you know, beats like rhythm? Anyway, I always liked it.

Here are some pictures of my Mom and her friend, Trisha, pickling beets. Trisha has an incredible garden. I always remember visiting the garden, and being scolded for my overzealous raspberry picking (I picked a bunch that really could’ve stayed on the bush to ripen for more time). Since then, I’ve tried to be a more careful and deliberate berry picker. At our community garden here in Providence there are some raspberry bushes, but I’ve been using all my human restraint to wait, let the pinks ones ripen to a deeper red and only pick one if it’s really ready (i.e. – I’ve had about 4 raspberries this year.)

Trisha and the Beet Patch

Beet Greens!

Gorgeous Beet Salad

Fran's Beety Hands!

Pickled Beets

I just finished reading Barbara Kingsolver’s book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle which chronicles a year in which her family aims to eat mostly local and mostly food they grow themselves. I was skeptical at first, but it’s actually a really enjoyable book to read. I’m still skeptical about the whole foodie movement. In her acknowledgements she thanks her dear friends, Tanya and Wendell Berry (for Pete’s sake!) along with Michael Pollen, Deborah Madison, and Alice Waters (jeeeeez!). It’s hard not to wonder if this whole local food movement is too driven/overly driven by a bunch of writer friends with gorgeous farms in Virginia and beautiful kitchens in the Bay Area. I think the values and concepts they’re promoting are great, I just have to question the accessibility of all these choices to most people in this country. Kingsolver acknowledges this and addresses it at points throughout her book, but always as some sort of side note or after thought. It’s just complicated, I guess. We all knew that already. Even if it is cheaper to buy and preserve a big quantity of local tomatoes in the summer time, and then not buy tomatoes (that have travelled 1000’s of miles) in the winter time at the super market, can most families afford the upfront money or more realistically the upfront time to make that all happen? Perhaps, if we all cut back on our television/computer/movie time and really committed ourselves, many of us could do it. I guess the next question is if people really care deeply enough? About land? about climate? about local economies? about small farmers? about seed gene diversity? about food security? about their  family’s health? It seems like the answer should be yes, but, it’s still complicated. Thoughts?

-klc

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