Saturday, 28 January 2012

24 Jan: Tuesday: FOOD FORESTS and vege chili

The morning started with muesli and a new version of smoothie, which Molly and I mixed and matched:
the spinach smoothie

Morning: Weeding the tree barrier at the back of the house

Then we had and introduction to Jo's Food Forest Guilds.  She is trying out several of them, but we were focusing on just one.  It contained a Macadamia nut tree with boysenberries, comfrey and various other flowers, herbs etc.  We weeded it,re-training the boysenberry plants, and then we sharked around the comfrey.  We removed the temporary and not very rabbit-proofe screen fence.  Jo did a “chop and drop” with some of the plants.
Food Forest Guild before our work

Food Forest Guild after

after...from another angle.  In real life  it is really beautiful
As it grew warmer in the morning, we headed into the shade for some cordwood stripping.  More like cordwood whispering.  I love finding the place where the log will give up its bark.  I took a picture on a former blog of the Cordwood Building book...Rex has some serious plans..
Is the the belly of one of the kunekune pigs? is a piece of soon-to-be totally naked cordwood, in the middle of having its bark peeled.  The knotty whorls of tiny twigs leave their mark.

The bark, giving way easily when peeled properly...
Lunch time.  Lunch was gorgeous, and all raw: Mexican pate, pesto, bread, beetroot burger with “catsup” on a bed of greens, nicely plated.

Lunch, nicely plated
After lunch Molly and I did a marathon of pre-cooking for dinner, and clean-up, with Molly doing the heavy lifting.  There was no “chili powder” in the house, so I made it from the available spices: Cumin, oregano, coriander, pepper of a few kinds.  The sauce base was soaked sundried tomatoes with a few dates thrown in to cut it. Something similar to a pinto bean was soaked and had been cooked in the morning.  The vege base: onions, colored bell peppers, celery, cabbage, a huge zucchini, garlic.  Cooked and left sitting to let the flavors blend.

Molly made a lemon dessert, and also did most of the clean up.

Molly managing the sesame topping on the lemon dessert

Vege chili in progress

I then practiced ukelele and did some internet work (finished booking a room on Waiheke Island, searched for a cheap Vitamix online).  Meanwhile Molly gave Jacques a Reiki treatment.
Then more cordwood stripping for afternoon work, and back inside to finish dinner.

And dinner was lovely—vegetarian chili with raw spiraled courgette pasta, salad, and a raw dessert of lemon dates and nuts, topped with sesame seeds.

Molly cordwood "whispering"  Please note the mammoth piece of bark she is managing to peel in one piece.

Jo smiles at our gorgeous dinner

I didn't get a picture of the dessert before it was partially devoured...
Rex had his music group, so the rest of us watched a DVD about Food Forests, starring Geoff Lawton, an Australian.  Here is a YouTube taste of what the DVD was like:

The DVD began a a lecture about the pattern structure of any forest—climax trees, intermedeate trees, shrubs, herbaceous layers (weed), climibing plants, ground cover and root plants. He adapted this pattern in nature using permaculture principles to produce a self-sustaining, low-work forest.

The film showed a real Food Forest being planted, then after 6 weeks, 6 months, and 4 years.  Geoff then showed  a Food Forest that had been abandoned for 6 years—and was producing huge amounts of fruit, as well as fabulous soil.… 

What an inspiration...I find myself inspired and totally jazzed.  The abundance and the simplicity of this idea is a real change in perspective for me.

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