I was asked by my fellow fair foodie and inspiring blogger, Sharon from FlavourCrusader to write a post for the upcoming Local Harvest Challenge. The challenge takes place over one week (Sunday 3 April – Saturday 9 April) where we take on the goal of intentionally reclaiming our food choices and decreasing the degrees of separation between us and food. So check it out and take up the challenge…find resources near you and put into practice the art of eating locally, sustainably, supporting local and organic farmers and businesses, and discovering the face behind your food. The below picture and post is reflecting upon local food from my backyard. Have a Happy Easter guys :: Jem x
What involves zero food miles, has tons of physical and mental health benefits, improves food security, provides maximum nutrition, hours of entertainment, tastes yummy and is ridiculously cheap? It’s an old school thing called growing your own food and this is how I eat local. Sounds too good to be true but it is. This photo provides a small but pretty snap shot of my backyard ecosystem. Nasturtiums are forever present in my garden, I let them go feral and have their way around other plants (happens to be strawberries here). They are a great example of a smarter-than-average plant that I regularly harvest.
Being a lazy gardener who practices permaculture, I try to grow food that provides multiple functions to improve the health of my garden and my own health. Firstly, nasturtium flowers and leaves are peppery and damn tasty with seed pods that can be treated and eaten like capers. The flowers are a beautiful addition to absolutely anything. Nasturtiums are high in Vitamin C, contain flavonoids and boast anti fungal properties. They also calm me down when I look at them. I went to the effort of only planting these herbs once in my garden (about a hundred years ago) and because they self-seed, I have never needed to plant them since. Most importantly, nasturtiums attract all kinds of beneficial insects, pollinators and repel the nasty ones. I feel bad but sometimes I use them as a sacrificial plants. All in the name of eating local from my backyard.