Monday, July 20, 2009

On the Menu at Bruce's Restaurant.

Behold the winter magnolias.

I have a new word to describe the indescribable. And that word is Bruce. Bruce is "Nature, The car park Fairy, where I go when I meditate, the Divine, The unknowable, the mechanics behind serendipity and synchronicity, the thing or place I feel most connected to when I feel connected and the giver of presents (presence) when I feel more present.

SO it follows that my joyful commitment to growing our food and seeking out wild foods and being a seasonal eater is all about dining at Bruce's all you can eat, cook your own open all hours (and seasons) buffet restaurant. The next logical step would be that I am therefore continually out to lunch. And I am not sure that many folks would dispute this proposition.

Anyhoo, this all brings us to lunch. And what did we have for lunch today? Mr Duckherder had a freshly picked salad (three types of lettuce, baby English spinach, rocket, Italian parsley in a home grown garlic and lemon with local olive oil dressing) and a left over chop from a sheep that lived and died less than 2 hours down the road, while I had my famous SUPER SOUP. Again (see previous post) but this time made with freshly picked nettles and parsley instead of English Spinach. Oh, and a nice crunchy piece of toast.

I haven't prattled on about the joys of nettles this year, because my garden hasn't produced them in the same quantities as last year. This is both good and bad. Good because a profusion of nettle is generally associated with soil that has a bit of "indigestion" from too much raw or uncomposted organic matter. SO this year, my soil balance is a little better than last year. Bad because I miss out on my favourite winter green. Good because luckily, Anne and Robs plot has a PROFUSION of nettles and I am sure they wont mind me pinching some. (Ok, well lots)

Last words:

"This is what Nature (Bruce) is serving now, so now is the time to eat it" Quote from an old man out gathering wild foods in a French winter, taken from Eliot Colemans "Four Season Harvest.
That is all.


Jacqui said...

I'm with you on Bruce. I mentioned the parking faerie to M. once and he looked at me quizzically, expecting something to be pulled out of the glove box. I had to explain... :)

The Duck Herder said...

hee hee. I don't keep her (Bruce) in the glove box, but she always seems to turn up when I need her most!

claudia said...

Came here from Down-To-Earth. I was cruising through her posts and she mentioned you. I love this!
Bruce is a perfect word to "describe the indescribable".
I am yearning to move forward with the simple life, the healthy life the not so stressed out life. I think I will follow your words as well as those of a few others who are following their own paths to the simple, comfortable, healthy. (If you don't mind)

zed42 said...

Hey Duck Herder, I've just read your blog from beginning to the current post (strange I know, but I hate just starting reading them from the newest post - like starting a book in the middle). I thought I'd let you know you've inspired me to try growing some of vegies myself :-) I'm thinking of starting with spinach in a pot (I'm in a rental townhouse so my options are a bit limited) and I'm in Canberra too, so any advice would be appreciated!

Anonymous said...

What an apt quote, wouldn't you have loved to be the person foraging in France when a wise old man said that to you? Me too. And Bruce is very well named too, makes perfect sense to me!

The Duck Herder said...

hello people! hello new people!
Thanks for saying nice things about my blog.

Zed42 - my only advise for growing veggies in pots is to start with the best quality potting mix you can afford, and regularly add some sort of nutrient to the water - things like charlie carp plus a tiny ammount of seasol are excellent. If you don't want to buy charlie carp, try disolved worm castings or compost tea if you have those things handy. Top dress with gypsum (if your potting mix is compost based) or dolomite if it is sand based (or a little of both if you are unsure)at least each autumn. I will try and take some photos of my seedlings in pots if you would like.

OH, and the other best advise I can give you is if you use town water rather than rain water- it is best to keep the watering can filled so that by the time you use it, the chlorine has had a chance to blow off (evaporate). Plants need benificial bacteria and fungi and tiny fellas living in the soil and on their roots to be really healthy, and chlorine is specially designed to kill microbiology - and in a pot, once the biology is killed off it is hard for it to come back because the soil is isolated in the pot. Sounds weird, but it is true!

Hoorray for growing your own food - even if it is just some chives or parsley or lettuce or spinnach....! Well done.