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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Beating Meat Fatigue, Sprouting Experiments, Gardening, Wildcrafting

In the great wheel of food experiments that I cycle through year after year like the fickle hipster I am (fermenting - hunting - wildcrafting - gardening - curing - etc.) one thing I haven't done in a while is sprouting.  There's a reason for this:  I generally strive for paleo, even if I'm pretty loose with it, and most of the seeds I know how to sprout are legumes.  In addition, when I went through my "sprouted wheat phase" I found that it didn't really improve my wheat tolerance (I can often handle einkorn wheat, but even that is probably because it's too prohibitively expensive to buy a lot of it!).  As I mentioned earlier, I'm having some really bad meat fatigue, meaning I get really sick of eating meat really fast.  It's not that it makes me sick--it doesn't, as far as I know--but I ate so much of it at PSG that it's hard for me to eat it.

There are some exceptions.  I don't get fatigued of bacon, jerky, or other of those super addictive and hyperpalatable cured meats.  And I certainly eat meat.  Actually, today was a good example of the meat fatigue, because I made ribs in the slow cooker and only was able to eat about two thirds what I normally would.  Then I went and ate a bunch of fruit, because I desperately wanted it after.

So I have a little sprouting operation going on on the kitchen counter that's going pretty well.  The first thing I started was lentils, my favorite sprout because they're just so damn easy and delicious.  I also am sprouting some of the same beans I prepared dry the other day, some kamut variety wheat, brown mustard seeds, and wild rice.  The lentils I started two days ago and they're already well germinated, while the red beans are starting to grow roots.  The mustard has some roots growing (since I just got them from my spice jar I won't be too surprised if they fail).  The wild rice and kamut I'm not super optimistic about, but go big or go home.  I started those two today.  The kamut is very old, so it may very well just not work, and wild rice has a habit of breaking and therefore dying.

I may sprout some sunflower seeds if I can find them raw, and maybe some quinoa and chia (chia is difficult but, again, go big or go home).

I don't know how I'm going to eat them quite yet.  I love eating raw sprouted lentils and will probably mostly make little microgreen salads with them and mustard sprouts.  Note:  Due to some disease worries it's generally considered best practice to cook these, but in all transparency, I almost never do.

Some gardening stuff... I think I mentioned that I had a few tomatoes reseed from last year, so there are plants that I didn't even need to do shit with just growing there.  They have started growing fruits, and I'm fairly sure they're cherry tomatoes!  I did plant three varieties of tomatoes in that bed, though, so who the hell knows what's going to grow or if they cross-pollinated or what.

I have two raised garden beds with quite mixed results.  One has the world's tiniest watermelon plant (it started growing its secondary leaves early and I've pretty much lost hope it will be productive).  There's also a tiny tomato plant, some lettuce, some carrots, and some radishes that might not reach their full potential.  The other raised bed also is having some malfunctions, but I am pleased to say that it will at least grow something.  This is a three sisters bed, it has a couple varieties of corn that will be tied together, a couple varieties of beans, and zucchini surrounding it.  The zucchini is fruiting.  The corn is growing fairly well for backyard corn.  The beans are also growing.  Since I got some of this in the ground a little late, I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but at least I'll have zucchini.  There are some pots I planted garlic in that are doing well.

I picked some raspberries today.  The birds got all the cherries, but I actually got to eat some this year.  I have more mint than I can possibly eat, and more rhubarb than I would eat either.  The grape plants are growing great, although obviously it's too early to grow grapes.

The wildcrafting is going pretty good.  I got another big bunch of purslane today, although it was raining so I didn't go out near my workplace to find anything else.  So far I've found pineapple weed (wild chamomile), rocket, red clover, wild carrot, maple, ginkgo, bull thistle, chicory, burdock, mullein, curled dock, plantain, and a number of other things.  I haven't picked all of them, but I see them along the road.  I may go wildcrafting when I go fishing, which should be soon now that the local park with fishing piers finally has an opening to get into it; last year there was so much road construction it was impossible to get in.

Finally, tomorrow I'm going to pick up a bike from my parents' house.  I was looking to buy a bike new (with Amazon Prime I could get one for literally like $75 new) but it didn't sit right with me considering my PSG-driven spurt of motivation for reduction of consumer pleasures (we'll see how long that lasts).  So I looked at some thrift stores and then it dawned on me my parents probably have some of our old bikes in their basement.  I texted my mom and she said that my uncle's old bike is there and that it looks pretty good.  So I'm going to go check that out tomorrow, see if it looks like it's in good shape or needs some repairs, take it home, and that's that.  I'd like to fix it up with storage so I can go shopping with it (my friend Ben has a bike with huge buckets on it, I may just ask him about it).  The thing is, where I live it's just shy of too far to walk to most places, but on a bike it would be a not-very-difficult task to go pretty much anywhere I need to go other than work.  The numerous trips I take with my car to the grocery store, the movie theater, and a number of restaurants are pretty frivolous, and it would be great exercise.

Also, I am admittedly doing it because I saw some ridiculous meme being posted that argued that bikes are an inefficient form of transportation, one of the many results of a trend where people take discussion of access to green or otherwise socially aware acts and rather than just have a nuanced discussion about that access they warp it into some bullshit about bikes being eco-unfriendly or some shit.  And it'll help me hatch eggs in Pokemon Go, so...

Alright, that's about enough for now.  Happy trails!
-- Jackson