Monday, January 30, 2012

A Little Walk

A few days ago, we went on a little walk at the edge of our neighborhood.  You drive to the end of the paved road, drive past the last house, out onto some government land and over look a valley from the joshua tree littered foothills.  It's spectacular at sunset.  Here are a few photos.
A dying yucca in the orange sunset.

There are trails forged all over these desert foothills.

A Joshua tree standing in front of foothills along the northeast side of Big Bear Mountain.

Last spring this Yucca plant sent up the giant shoot you see covered in white flowers.
It is now dying and it's offspring surround it, preparing for the spring when they too will sprout a veritable tree of white flowers.

Dead California Buckwheat overlooking a view toward Lucerne Valley.

The remnants of a Cholla Cactus.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Upon Dwelling on Eating Locally Grown

I am thinking about striving to eat as much food grown on my own land as possible.  And I am realizing that things that are staples in our diet just wouldn't happen if it wasn't for imported or ultra processed foods, such as:

vanilla (which in the orchid family and requires lots of humidity and very controlled temperatures)
coffee (all I know is that it isn't grown in the US, and there has to be a reason for that)
imitation parmesean cheese (hey, it's a staple around here)
hot chocolate powder
chocolate anything
vegetable oil (on my own, I would just be living with butter instead of oil)
olive oil (I could press my own olives, but that is SOOO MUCH WORK to get just a bit of oil, from growing the olives, harvesting, pressing, and I'm pretty sure the olives are cooked/fermented/something first)
lard (is this seriously just animal fat?  how do they get it's so white and strange?)

in short - I would really enjoy doing the 'we're only eating what we have here on our land' for one year with the kids, I think it would make a truly amazing homeschooling year.  But man, my food life would be so different if it weren't for so many of those imported foods.  Can you imagine cheese being a rare treat?  Or, in thinking about how much butter and oil I use in cooking, how many hours of butter churning would that translate to in a week?