(These notes and the commentaries that follow are a Facebook project based on Barbara Kingsolver's book "ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE A Year of Food Life." Each week a project member writes a response based on one chapter of the book. Together we read and talk our way through a year in the life of Kingsolver and her family. This response was authored by Lezlie Antoncich and is prompted by Chapter Three, "Spring Forward.")
Chapter 3--Hierloom Seeds
In my younger days I picked co-op veggies and then canned tomatoes with a baby in my backpack and my two-year old son coloring at the kitchen table. Overseas we took all 5 kids out to glean apples and almonds left from the harvest--for free. I had no way of preserving them, so Eat Lots/Eat fast and share-share-share!
Lezlie Antoncich and her brood gleaning almonds near Tiberias, Israel
Lezlie with her Isreali "sabra look" thinking about apple fritters, apple pancakes, apple pie, apple butter, applethauthe.
By the time we returned from Israel and #6 was born, I had fallen captive to "convenience & discount packaging." We had been warned about the "spirit of busy-ness" that had engulfed America. Now we were held hostage to it. Help . . .
For a moment, let's focus on the "Indestructable Fruits & Veggies." What a sad breed! In our pampered life styles, we have unknowingly asked for it's creation. Mega-businesses have herded us like animals to slaughter thru the blinders and gates of "Time-Saving." They successfully control how we grow and what we eat. Sadly, the menu is un-fulfilling and grossly lacking in all attributes. Today's dog and cat food have more flavor and nutritional value than most processed foods for people. In our lack of taking the time "because we are too busy with life" we have surrendered our heritage of farming and gardening to the Agribusiness Monster, who is all too happy to take over. We spend more time carting our kids to events than teaching them the arts of cooking. I am guilty as well.
But there is a break in the clouds . . . Spring thaw is here . . . Wake up Time . . . a movement is underfoot and rising! People are tired of few choices and cardboard flavors. Seed Saver's Exchange and others like you, people with real food to share, and the knowledge of that real food. . . . We Welcome You! A global interest is picking up speed.
Precious seeds are handed down thru generations, like folklore, protected from corporate genocide. A new breed of dealers is trading these precious commodities worth more than gold - in pursuit of survival. A black market for a green world?
For our own good we need to slow down and take back the rewards that come with fresh chemically-free, locally grown food wherever and whenever we can. We are 21st century creatures with a global palate, living in overgrown cities. Change isn't easy, and guilt isn't necessary. This is no longer the Garden of Eden, but there's plenty we can do to change the sad ending . . .
one seed at a time.