nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘eating local

Blackberry picking

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On Monday we drove from our cabin down to the lake (on our newly-mowed road) and picked a bowl of wild blackberries. The brambles were brutal and we came away with several scratches between us. But we picked berries to the tremolo of the loon on the lake and will enjoy a ‘blackberry buckle’ later this week. Blackberry buckle is made by adding sugar and water to the berries and covering with spoonfuls of dumpling mix. The dumplings cook in the steam of the simmering berries.

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

September 4, 2018 at 7:23 pm

How high can I climb?

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Not that high. But I will have to figure out how to get those beans. I planted what I thought were yellow-wax beans on my deck. And they turned out to be yellow pole beans. I threw a couple of weighted strings into the maple and of course the beans climbed.

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All my best, Jane

Written by jane tims

August 13, 2018 at 7:00 am

Indoor garden

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My harvest of romaine lettuce from my AeroGarden today. Poppy seed dressing and lunch is served!

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All my best

Jane

Written by jane tims

August 10, 2018 at 12:00 pm

Growing and gathering – Spring salad

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I make a new batch of sprouts weekly. This week’s crop was something I haven’t tried to grow before … pea shoots. I sprouted the peas in my 8 X 10 Sproutmaster from Sprout People.

https://sproutpeople.org/sproutmaster-8×10-tray-sprouter/

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Pea shoots sprout sooner if they are soaked in water first. I let mine sprout with just the rinse water.

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For me, a twice daily water rinse and careful draining is key to growing the best sprouts. I know pea shoots can grow quite tall with a vermiculite base and some propping at the sides but I was content to just let them peak above the sides of my sprouter.

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To prepare the pea shoots, I washed them well and harvested them with scissors.

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Then I added a chopped onion, chopped celery, chives from the garden and a sprig of mint. Just plain mayonnaise for a dressing. Yum!

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My husband shook his head and said (as a joke) I would have to survive the Apocalypse all by myself.

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

May 30, 2016 at 7:26 am

Buying Local

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The weekend before last, I attended WordsFall (a yearly event of the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick) in Sackville, a town in eastern New Brunswick.  I read at the open mic session, enjoyed listening to the work of the other readers at the session, and attended two Saturday workshops.

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When I visit Sackville, I am always encouraged by the atmosphere of community that prevails. For a small town, they have a lot to offer. My favorite places are the campus of Mount Allison University, the Sackville Waterfowl Park especially its birdlife and boardwalks, the Cackling Goose Market with its delicious sandwiches and gluten-free products, and the landscape of the salt marsh.

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Brochure for the Town of Sackville, New Brunswick

Brochure for the Town of Sackville, New Brunswick

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While I was at the workshop, I picked up a brochure about Sackville. The painting on the front of the pamphlet is by Mary Scobie, ‘Sackville Market Day’ (Oil on canvas, 24″ by 48″) http://www.maryscobie.com . As our winter approaches, it is great to remember the fresh and local produce available in summer.

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The Sackville Farmers Market is one of the oldest in the province and operates year-round.

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Do you attend a farmers’ market and is it open during the winter months?

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Copyright 2015 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

November 27, 2015 at 7:19 am

bringing nature into the town

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rows of trees

rows of trees and flowers along la Place de la Mairie in Saint-Hilaire-la-Palud (image from Street View)

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Day 12 1 map

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Day 12 map

map showing distance travelled (map from Google Maps)

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On my virtual bike trip on April 3, the images made me think about how we bring nature into our cities and towns (or allow it to stay!).  Sometimes, the only bit of nature is a stray weed, growing in a crack in the pavement…

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Day 12 u

streetscape in Grande Rue, Saint-Hilaire-la-Palud – actually, there is lots of greenery in other parts of the town (image from Street View)

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Sometimes, property owners try to leave trees, only to have them toppled – perhaps a wind storm blew through Saint-Hilaire-la-Palud …

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Day 12 l

toppled tree (image from Street View)

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Sometimes people bring the country into the town – all part of eating local …

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Day 12 r

this is the first time I have seen chickens in a yard in a town on my virtual bike tour (image from Street View)

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Of course, I have seen a lot of vegetable gardens in France, planted in every available corner …

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vegetable garden

vegetable garden in Saint-Hilaire-la-Palud (image from Street View)

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Best View: a small yard overflowing with greenery in Saint-Hilaire-la Palud…

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'green garden'

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Copyright  Jane Tims  2013

growing and gathering – a sense of place

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The theme of eating local foods has its essence in the idea of ‘place’.  The book ‘The 100 Mile Diet – A Year of Local Eating’ by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon (2007), introduced many to the idea of eating foods grown within a certain radius of home.  Eating local is also place-based in terms of the settings we associate with local foods – the woods, the blueberry field, the home garden, the local farm, the roadside stand, and, of course, the farmers market are all places associated with obtaining food from local sources.

‘Place’ is a complex topic.  Most of my poems about ‘growing and gathering’ include at least a little information about the ‘place’ where foods are found.  Some poems, however, are specifically about ‘place’, and I want to group these together in my manuscript.

The poems I will include under the theme of ‘place’ will be focused on habitat, landscape, local food traditions, and the people-based concept of ‘home’.

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1.  the ‘place’ where plants grow

Plants, of course, depend on their habitat to live.  The ideal ‘place’ for a plant is determined by the availability of moisture, light and nutrients.  These factors are, in part, the result of climate, soil type, slope, exposure, and interactions with other plants and animals.  In my collection, I have poems about the habitat of seaside plants, the need for water in landscapes where water is scarce, and why woodland plants often bloom in the early spring, when light is most available.

2.  plants shape their surroundings and their landscape

Plants create habitat, modifying the regimes of moisture, light and nutrients in a local space.  Plants also help to create the broader landscape.  I have poems about how ripening apples change the space under an apple tree, how large and small-scale characteristics affect the value of a property, and how plants contribute to the way landscape appears.

3.  ‘place-based’ food traditions

As a result of the interaction between wild life and the landscape, people have access to different kinds of foods and develop area-specific wild food traditions.  In New Brunswick, fiddleheads of the Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia Struthiopteris (L.) Todaro) are abundant in the spring, along the banks of rivers and wetlands, and many New Brunswickers consider a feed of cooked fiddleheads to be a rite of spring.  In Newfoundland, a relative of the blackberry, the Bakeapple (Rubus Chamaemorus L.), is common in the bogs and barrens.  Children often stand beside the road, their arms out-stretched, to sell their bottles of yellow Bakeapples packed in water.  I have poems about these two local foods as well as others about traditional local foods.

4.  ‘place’ as a metaphor for home

Plants and their ‘place’ can be a metaphor for the relationships between humans and the spaces where they are raised, or where they live.  ‘Place’ may imply ‘home’ and ideas of belonging or familiarity.  Several of my poems are about this aspect of ‘place’.

As I am working on the theme of ‘place’, a song by the 1990’s band Toad the Wet Sprocket is going around in my head:

‘…show me your home
Not the place where you live
But the place where you belong…’

Toad the Wet Sprocket, ‘Something to Say’, Fear, 1991

Exploring the theme of ‘place’ with you has helped me to organise my poems, to revise them, and to understand that I still have a few poems to write toward my manuscript.  I am so grateful for this blog and for all my readers!

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landscape

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a veil draped across bones of the earth

pointed tents supported by forest

settles in pockets, lichens and moss

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beneath the cloth is texture, the way

I know life on the land, fast or slow,

near or far, through clear eyes or through tears

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to know form follows function –  practice

repeated, detailed observation

see the sweep of a field of brambles

also the berries, also the thorns

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Published as ‘landscape’ on www.nichepoetryandprose.wordpress.com September 3, 2011

Revised

©  Jane Tims  2012

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