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my january has been beautifully green.  tucker and i visited market yesterday morning to have our spirits calmed (or mine at least) with the sight of green in january.  green mizuna, green cilantro, green kale, green lettuces (with a little bit of red) and green asian greens.  the smiling faces with the greens were troy and holly bundled from head to toe braving the bite of the year’s first month.  saturday, jerusalem artichokes (or sunchokes) became a part of my life.  they are little perennial roots that act as bulbs sending up flowers each year.  sunchokes grow into ten foot sunflowers, break down, and leave you with roots that are harvested much like potatoes.  they are extremely crisp and reminiscent of a waterchesnut or jicama.  i fell in love and spent the morning munching away at the little roots and dreaming of meals i could make with them- holly’s sister’s favorite way to eat the sunchokes is in mashed potatoes, completely doable, and tucker suggested stir fry.  so far they have made it onto several salads and into the hands of nearly everyone i have come across since yesterday morning.  along with the sunchokes, i took home a bag of mixed greens that made me want to dance.  ironically, the organic blend troy bagged up for our little house is far cheaper than the lettuce mixes you can get in the store by more than half, and it came from right down the road.  and if that isn’t enough of an incentive to get the lettuce at market, there is the flavor- incredible.  i am determined to never buy a bag of lettuce at the store again.

come january the past few years, i have picked up “animal, vegetable, miracle” and proceeded to lose myself in its pages and corresponding daydreams.  what would it look like to grow a garden twice the size we need and feed another family?  what heritage breeds of turkeys are endangered of going extinct and could i start my own breeding herd?  and then there are the inevitable lists i will write twelve or thirteen times in the upcoming months of seeds to sow in the garden, when to sow them, and any other fragment of information in any way related to the food system.  my life exists from this point until october as a series of little lists i may never look at again and a set of goals i get closer to accomplishing each year.

for lunch today, i pulled out a bag of pesto i made this summer when i faced off with our enormous basil plants, and we had september sun in our kitchen.  for dinner, i took the coveted greens from holly, added sunchokes, roasted sweet potatoes from our garden this past summer, and prepared chicken (that i purchased in bulk then separated out into individual meals before freezing).  lastly, i grabbed some thyme from the front yard- one of the miracle plants that somehow always has something to share- and prepared a warm vinaigrette.  to accompany the salad was a sausage wild rice (that was made at thanksgiving in a large batch and frozen to be pulled at random) and caraway rye bread that wasn’t finished baking until after dinner, so it was more like dessert.

my dreams, both waking and sleeping, are of food and how i can produce enough harvest to feed our little two person family all of next winter, as well as bombarding the neighbors with tomatoes and squash during the months the sun is neverending.  i am happy.

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