the Warrington garden plot with Jo Ruby Voyager, scenes from the homestead, & nutrient accumulation from the city







(did you know that a home address in Philly entitles one to up to 30 gallons of compost, twice a week, from the city organics recycling facility?)


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.