Sunday, November 14, 2010

Markets and Neoprene

So I have decided that neoprene gloves are one of the greatest inventions ever, when applied to vegetable cleaning/prep in the winter. After a day and a half of reducing my hands to useless clumps, submerging them in very cold water scrubbing the beets, carrots and parsnips, I remembered that I had once owned a pair of neoprene paddling gloves. Of course, I have no idea where my original pair ended up, so I had to buy a new pair, for $18 at MEC. The best under $20 purchase I have made all year, I think. Since then, I can gleefully wash anything, rain or shine, for as long as it takes, with absolutely warm and dextrous hands. So very good! I would say it has also drastically increased my prepping efficiency.

So the gloves were good, cause it's let me get stuff prepped more comfortably, for the winter farmers markets I have been attending the last couple of weekends! I am thankful for the opportunity to get into the market cycle, as it is extremely difficult in the summer, with limited space, and lot's of people trying to hawk their wares. But, thankfully, I was able to get a stall at the Vancouver winter market and the New Westminster winter market, which should hopefully make it easier to get into the summer markets. The markets are fun, especially when we bring strange and wonderful plants, like scorzonera, and sunchokes, and whole dandelion, root and frizzed out tops, and aloe vera. It is like an immediate question/conversation starter, which inevitably leads to me regaling people with great tales of the nutritional wonder, and delicacy of these rare and underrepresented veggies. I suppose I might be a bit of a champion for the neglected crops of our supermarket era. If a market is so super, why can't you find sunchokes in them? Sunchokes are super nutritious, extremely versatile in terms of preparation (I am making sunchoke Kraut right now), and very suitable starch for people with diabetes. Furthermore, they are a dependable/hardy crop, native to north america. People get so excited over sunchokes at the market, yet I defy you to find them in 99% of grocery stores.

And the "lowly" dandelion, how it is abused! Dug and poisoned out of peoples worthless lawns, when they could be making a curative tea or soup with the roots and leaves. Or they could dry the roots, grind them into a powder and store the powder, to be added to smoothies as a strengthener of one's constitution.

So while some might think I am just trying to hawk weeds on them, they would do well to rethink what it is they are eating, and what they are wasting their money on. The bounty of the earth's free medicine is great, regardless of where you live, all you need to do is google it!!

Here are a few pics, of some of the quinoa by the rising of a full moon, the resident barn owl, some of our very tasty and sustaining squash, and tim threshing the quinoa, and the finished product.

More pics and posts soon... now that the thick grey mist and drizzle has settled in, I have a bit more time for contemplation and composition.

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