Saturday, August 16, 2014
what you dig is what you eat
Welcome aboard the serendipity express.
Yesterday, I had a post in draft stage, but I bumped it in favor of my black dog of summer piece. As luck would have it, my blogger pal Al beat me to the punch. In a way.
Al and Stew live just outside of San Miguel de Allende in one of the most beautiful spreads I have seen in Mexico. You met them two years ago in peace center.
On Thursday, Al posted an essay about the abundant produce they are harvesting from their garden. Locavores, eat your heart out. "Lemon cucumbers, a couple of types of squash, five or six kinds of tomatoes, including three heirloom varieties, along with various types of beets, radishes, carrots and a seemingly endless cavalcade of different lettuces plus Swiss chard and kale."
It is enough to turn a guy to thoughts of vegetarianism. Well, with a bit of chicken thrown in here and there. Here on the beach, chicken is considered a vegetable. Just like bacon.
By the way, if the term "locavore" is new to you, you are undoubtedly not one of America's elite foodies. A locavore is a person who will only eat food grown within 100 miles of the dining table. The type of person who would vote socialist, as long as it did not adversely impact their 401K plan.
When my niece worked in a foo-foo produce shop in Bend, Oregon, a local woman brought a hand of bananas to her at the checkout counter and asked if the bananas were locally grown. You do not need to know much more about locavores than that.
I suppose I am one, though. At least when it comes to fruits and vegetables. Almost all of the vegetarian fare we eat here in Melaque is grown on our narrow flood plain between the ocean and he mountains. Easily within 100 miles of my casa. And that has its benefits and costs. We get great-tasting vegetables -- with the notable exception of tomatoes.
The tomato dilemma has prodded me to find a solution. The most obvious is to grow my own. And that would be great if it were not for the deadly tobacco blight that tends to turn most tomato plants into a back goo overnight. Or the army of leaf-cutter ants that have an almost pregnant-obsession with potted plants. Or the fact that I am away from my place for longer periods of time than any farmer in good conscience could ever be.
So, I have no vegetable garden.
I do have a compost pile, though. Well, it is a vegetable and fruit dumping ground. I seldom tend it as a compost pile should be tended. Not regularly, at least.
A recent trip to the compost pile convinced me that it may be time to take a stab at emulating Al and Stew. The first thing I noticed was a vine of some sort. Squash, I assumed. Whatever it was, the next day it was gone. The victim of my nemesis the ants.
The most unusual volunteer was a stalk of corn. Not a Kansas stalk, mind you. It looked more like a Rhode Island size. But there it was. Unplanted. Untended. And with an ear forming.
I have no idea how it got there. I certainly did not put out seed. And the only corn that has gone in the pile was of the cob variety. Boiled corn does not babies make.
As far as I am concerned, it was a mystical sign that it is time for Mexpatriate to put down roots. Buy a dog. Plant a garden. And fight the leaf cutter ants on a daily basis -- rather than on my infrequent visits.
Chicomecoatl, the Aztec goddess of fertility and corn, just might smile on my efforts. Though, I am not certain I would like the Orozco version hanging around my garden.