A Instagram page on food philosophy and affordable health through real food, developed into a series of zines by the same name.
Where Do Bananas Come From?
EAT SHIT & DIE
Chicken of Tomorrow
Come thru come thru come thru! Everyone's invited, tell ya friends, lets make a really dope city wide potluck! There will be a drum circle, an open mic, 2 live bands, a ton of food, and I'll be making tortillas all night!
First Friday, October 6th at The Anderson @ VCU. 907 1/2 W Franklin. 5:00 - 9:00 pm. #therichmondcookbook
447. Went to feed my #sourdough starter on day 7 and it was ready to bake!! So here's the how to for making sourdough bread. If you have any questions or if you want some starter feel free to message me and come scoop some. (Swipe left)
Traded #beansprouts for fresh #bread today. Cause why can't food be free? Both made with skill and love. Share life, share love.
I'm schemin. #peoplesfreefoodprogram
446. So I really been on my #sprouts game (see post 444 for some learning). Here's a timeline of my #lentil sprouts. 5 days in the making.
Day 1, you soak them overnight. Then the next 4 days you wash them twice a day and allow to drain. They're super good raw, and I'm sure dank cooked too. Just haven't gotten there yet.
But this little, 20 scoop of lentils sprouts to be a whole container of food! And it's something I can do in the dead of winter for some fresh living foods at my finger tips.
And best of all, this simple labor of love has led @amusingmaria to generous offer to barter with me! She's gonna whip up some homemade rolls and I'm going to share some mung beans I've been sprouting. IMAGINE what our world could look like so easily if we still made and shared food like this. 🙏🏽
Wow the internet. I received this picture and thank you from Lu from northern Germany this morning! From the page Lu felt encouraged and able to grab from the bounty the earth provides that the people ignore.
Thank you Lu and everyone that hits me with direct questions. I love the conversation, I love sharing what I know.
There's no question too big or small, I promise you I will go innnnn and give you every bit I know. And if I don't know, I'm pretty good at finding out. So please ask away.
And based on this I'm also putting together a lecture/talk I'll be having in Richmond at the end of September. Just trying to spark some conversation and consideration. Keep your eyes peeled.
I love you all. Encourage someone today.
444. The second thing I did when I got back from PR was make #sprouts (first was rocket stove, post 439) because this was something else I saw a number of farmers doing. You can sprout just about any seed, not that they all are edible, but that is a everlasting availability of fresh food. And it's so cheap it's unreal.
So I'm sure there's a lot of y'all who have had sprouts (probably in pho), but for anyone who hasn't, they are thin and crispy (watermelon crispy, not chip crispy) and don't taste like much. They can be cooked up, stir fried, or eaten raw. And because of this they have gotten popular in US food culture.
Bean sprouts have famously been used throughout Asia, but sprouts have really been used around the world forever. It's one of the simplest ways to feed yourself.
Sprouts have also famously saved sailors on long voyages as Vitamin C levels diminish and scurvy (a debilitating disease) takes over. Sprouts are pretty high in Vitamin C and are readily storable, making them an easy medicine.
But despite their recent thrust into the US food world as being health savior, they don't actually boast a ton more nutrients than the original seed, but they are still benefiting.
Let me explain: as the seed sprouts, chemicals that protected the seed from sprouting break down, those chemicals also protected the seed from breaking down in your body, hopefully allowing it to make it through your body to your poop. This means we aren't getting all the nutrition we could be getting.
So sprouting releases some more nutrition, some nutrients more than others, but not dramatically. What you are doing, though, is bringing the seed to life.
In the sense of the millions of micronutrients (protein, iron, etc are macronutrients), you are bringing them to life from a dried up seed. You are putting fresh life into your body, something that we do way less now than ever before. In that sense, sprouts are crucial. And since they are cheap and easy, why not?
Again, you can sprout any seed. Beans, wheat, rice, lentils, sunflower seeds, even tomato and pepper seeds (these are slightly poisonous though). And the process is dumb easy.
The how to is below:
Simple math: a shorter/less dense #apple tree is able to use more energy towards making fruit, and a 10 foot tree is easier to harvest than a 20 foot tree. You want to channel the energy/water/resources that the roots are sending up to the leaves, and in doing so you can control the way the tree grows. But always do so sparingly and mindfully. Growing food is a skill, growing food well is an art.
442. Showed pops how to preserve his #jalapeno harvest today by making it into medicine (yes jalapeños are actually red, the green ones are unripe). Imagine a tonic made of 2 of the strongest antibiotics that humans know of, and it's so tasty you can put it on almost any meal - this is hot sauce.
When all your harvest comes in at once, especially in the case of peppers, you have to preserve them. You can dry them (this can include smoking - a chipotle is a smoked, dried jalapeño), you can pickle them, or you can preserve them in something like oil or vinegar (both keep water and air from rotting the peppers). In this case, I wanted to extract the water, oils, flavor, heat, and health, from the peppers and preserve it in vinegar to be used throughout the year.
If you blend up the jalapeños with vinegar, garlic, and sugar, you get sriracha. But since dad doesn't love the thick #hotsauce, I wanted to make him something closer to Tabasco (which is made of Tabasco peppers, almost any chili pepper has a hot sauce to go with it).
So to do so, we blended up the harvest with salt and garlic, and then let it sit in vinegar and oil all day. Then just strain out the chunks and you have straight up antibiotic juice. So delicious and so fresh, unlike anything you can buy. This will last easily until next year if he doesn't eat it all before then.
The point is, you might have heard that medicine is food and food is medicine, but I really mean that. Treat your condiments like your medicine cabinet and staying healthy with come as easily as staying full.
And all this harvest is only from two plants!!
441. #Beet #sprouts coming up. Here's the best way to sprout your seeds, within my current understanding of growing food. I say that because it often changes as I learn more, but this is what I learned from the farmers I've been working with this year.
Whenever possible, start your seeds straight in the ground. Yes we've gotten very good at making plants transplantable. And it makes growing plants a breeze, especially when the roots morph to the shape of the cup and it's little more than dropping a cup in the ground to transplant. Or those disposable plant cups and whatnot.
But when you put the seed straight into the wild, it gets hardier. But your chance the seedling will survive will be lower, but really this should be looked at as "your seeds will be more subjected to natural selection," which is a good thing.
When the seed first sprouts and tiny roots start to grab hold of what's around it, the first thought is water. Immediately those roots start their life journey of stretching towards water. And since a plant wants to stay balanced (same amount of mass above ground as below ground) the longer roots that develop from outdoor planting vs planting in a pot, mean for a taller, bushier plant.
Or a dead plant (if you don't get enough water to it when it's young), which is a good thing in my book. Because a dead plant is better than a sick plant.
When you baby a plant, giving it store bought soil and artificial nutrition, it will have a much more likely chance to struggle outside. It will face more fungi, insects, and infections - it will be sick. And you will have to cope or you'll be inviting epidemics to your crops. This is why people continue to buy more and more chemicals all the time. But using a pot as a starter is convenient.
So sprouts don't actually need sunlight to sprout. When you sprout beans (to eat) you actually don't want them to get too hot, or two dry. So the best tip I learned about sprouting plants is to cover them.
Soak the soil and then cover the spot with cardboard, or anything really pretty opaque and lightweight.
What it does is keeps the soil moist while keeping the spot cool in the day and warm at night. Continued below.
440. I also came home to this beaut. Very thankful to all the friends that came through to water everything 🙏🏽. #Cantaloupe, and most #melons, need a ton of water at 3 times in its life. The sprout, the start of the vine, and early fruit production. Really this applies to most fruit producing plants, but melons especially, since they are mostly big balls of water.
So watermelons, you might not expect, originate in the deserts of Africa. It makes sense now why they got the name water-melon, they gather up the stuff and hold it in a tough skin waiting for someone to break it open.
Side note - for this reason you should add sand to your soil when you're growing melons, to recreate the drainage that the melon prefers.
But so at the infant stage, and the plant is first setting it's roots, it needs a lot of water to encourage the roots to strengthen. At the stage where it's starting to mature, making the vines, or stem and branches, it needs a lot of water to help the plant to make more and stronger cells. And when as the fruit starts growing, it needs a lot of water, because the fruit mostly is water.
However, this does not mean you want to be watering a lot always. Ever had a melon that tasted like nothing? That's cause too much water. They wanted a big eye catching fruit, they didn't care about flavor (or the environment). To achieve sweet fruit, you have to starve the plant a bit. (I love all of nature's metaphors). As it notices a drought, it will tighten up, sending energy (and sugars) to the fruit (the next generation).
This is best timed for just after the plant has gotten maybe a foot long (or tall), when the plant flowers, and the week leading up to harvest.
This does not be drought your plant to death, it means give it just enough to survive, no excess. This gets tricky as you also are timing with Mother Nature, and this is where that passed down knowledge of old farmers gets important. Growing stuff is easy, growing stuff well is a skilled science and art that I'm practicing a little more every day.