Supplant the Modern World

This is the slide presentation Frances offered at the Northeast Permaculture Convergence in Southeast Mass. two weekends ago.

Exploring the rationale & strategic development behind the creation of a replicable pilot project, now growing in Philadeplphia, called a ‘Cultural Engine’, the model is shared & analyzed.  Following will be a discussion on & around the subject of cultural ecosystemic succession. Woven in will be a description of living systems architecture.

Supplant the Modern World — Cultural Engines (slideshow)

Community Supported Kitchen Menu — Week 4

Week Four:   

Birsin:  Last week, we prepared red lentils in an Indian style.  This week, we taste how the Eritreans prepare the same cuisine staple.  Eritrea is small East African nation with a long Red Sea coastline.  The people of Eritrea most recently have struggled for independence from the nations of Italy & Ethiopia — (& the cuisine of Eritrea whispers of each).  Birsin is prepared with a flavor-base of onions & tomatoes, then mixed with a pungent garlic, ginger & ‘berbere’ spice paste, called ‘delek’, before finishing into a stew with curry powder.  Traditionally, birsin is served with sourdough pancakes called ‘injera’.  Any sourdough is lovely.  Rice works too.  Or, water it down for a larger serving of a more liquid-y soup.
Soca:  A wonderful snack or meal from Southern Italy, these chick pea flour pancakes contain only bean flour, salt, pepper, oil, onion, & herbs.  They are wonderful as is, warmed in the toaster, or broiled with pizza toppings.
Spelt-Berry Sauté:  Spelt is a more ancient relative of wheat.  This is significant because it remains more wild, & easier to digest — & on the growing side, requires far less fertilizer.  Here, it is paired with the Italian trinity of aromatics (onion, celery, carrot — garlic, goes without saying) & tomato paste, offering a lovely complex carbohydrate side dish to any protein-rich food.  It may also be added late to soups to provide a greater depth of flavor & texture.

Community Supported Kitchen Menu — Weeks 1 – 3

Menu: Weeks One through Three:   

Featured ingredient:  Sesame  (Sesamum indium) 
Sesame is thought to be oldest oilseed crop in the world — it has been under human cultivation for at least 5,000 years.  Its nutritive & medicinal values are vast & varied — proteins, fats, antioxidants, minerals; resiliency, potency, toothaches, skin care, & more.  The seeds & oil are incredibly stable, due to the high levels of anti-oxidants — & the protein content is about 25% by weight.  It rocks growing in weather like we’ve been having — hot hot hot — it’s known to succeed through incredible droughts where many other crops might fail or not grow at all.  Sesame is a resilience crop for humanity.  It grows at the edge of deserts.  It has wild ancestors in Sub-Saharan Africa, & is thought to have been brought under cultivation in India.  So, in the food-is-medicine spirit of the earth, we eat sesame to coax our roots to grow deeper, feel the heat of its origins, & to sustain us in even the harshest conditions.
Week One

Gomasio:  This is a Japanese condiment made from toasted sesame seeds, blended with sea salt & seaweed.  It is rich with sea minerals, complete salts, & all that sesame contains.  Use it wherever added-salt might be called for — popcorn, soups, toast, etc. — to add richness, depth of flavor, & increased nutritive value.

Week Two

Sesame Hummus:  Hummus is a shared word between Arabic & Hebrew that names the garbanzo bean.  Hummus in many forms & guises will be gracing the CSK menu throughout the season.  Last week’s sesame hummus contained sesame in three forms — in seeds, in paste (tahini), & in oil.  I hope you enjoyed.
Sunflower Za’tar:  Za’tar is a spice-mixture — & a staple in the diet of peoples across the Eastern Mediterranean.  Most classically eaten adorning pita bread, or simply floating in olive oil (for dipping), it generally contains sesame seeds, a green desert herb (called za’tar or thyme or..), & sumac — a lemony spice that adds its red color & sour flavor to the mix.  This version uses thyme & is cut with ground sunflower seeds to add richness & body — such that it even may be spooned straight from the jar.
Week Three

Greens Hummus:  This is one of my favorite hummus variations.  Instead of raw garlic, the garlic is first sautéed in a panful of hearty greens (swiss chard, here).  I hope you enjoy it as mush as i do.

Red Lentil Daal:  ‘Daal’ comes from a Sanskrit root word (the ancient language of the yogis & Hindis) meaning ‘to split’.  It refers to process of splitting pulses in the drying process before turning them, typically, into hearty vegetarian stews.  This dish is a staple of my diet, & a versatile vehicle to carry myriad flavors.  Spices, herbs & vegetables are infused into oil or ghee — here coconut oil — before being added to simply-prepared, turmeric-steeped lentils & sea salt.  

Sesame Dessert:
Sesame, Carob, Mint, Rose, & Honey.  A deep ‘welcome’ from my plant- & family-ancestries (the Mints & the Roses), sweetened by the bees, & rooted in the traditions of the Eastern Mediterranean.