Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning!

For those who know me, you may be visualizing me chasing dust bunnies and cobwebs about my home.  But, I ask you, to stop and think about what I am really passionate about: (certainly not a spotlessly clean house!) yes, health and food!

I am spring cleaning the winter veggies out of my life.  If I have to eat one more bite of cabbage, rutabaga, turnip, winter radish, celeriac - see where I am going? - I may just lose my mind.  I would rather go without vegetables; yes, you read that correctly, than eat one more winter vegetable.

OK, about my beloved beets, they do not get spring cleaned out of my house. I still adore them.  For spring eating, grate up and add tender dandelion greens, nettle tops, and wild leeks.  I eat the "wild" foods raw.  Yes, even the nettle tops.  I do fine chop the nettles and chew them well.  I slather it all with one of my homemade herb dressings, sprinkle with sheep's milk feta and chopped walnuts. Yummy, spring liver cleanse delight!  (No, it is not just the veggie bins getting cleaned out in this house!)  I also add a few chick peas to this, if I want to make it my well rounded meal.

Now for those other dastardly root veggies and cabbage.  I am forever grateful to the local farmers that grow them. But quite frankly, I am sick of them.  My taste buds and tummy yearn for the produce bounty of spring and summer.  The wild things tide me over until farm stands are offering asparagus, peas, spinach, baby greens, tiny radishes...

So, what to do with those sorely unwanted winter veggies?  Out comes my metal cheese grater.  That's correct, I spend 1/2 hour or so, grating up what is left in my veggie bins.  I then will promptly place them, with gratitude and blessings, into the compost pile. Your heard me, the compost pile!  I do not think of this as throwing out, wasting food.  The grated veggies will compost down, go into my little garden bed, and nourish the veggies I grow nest year.  Reduced, re-used, and recycled right back into my food chain.

Got chickens?  Good, let them eat the unwanted winter veggies that are your spring cleaning victims.  Chickens eat. Chickens poop.  The nutrients in the grated veggies will be in the eggs they produce and their meat, if they are meat chickens.  Put their manure into your garden and voila, those "recycled" veggies will come back to you in many different forms!

Or, you can juice the root veggies and cabbage (I have never juiced a squash. Has anyone experienced this?) and enjoy a liver cleansing concoction.  Then throw the left over vegetable fiber into the compost.

That's it for now, time to find the cheese grater!

3 Days Later....I haul out the cheese graters and pile up the root veggies.  Intention is to get Jake, Eli, and Joe in on the grating action.  I get an immediate: "are you crazy (no, I am not going to defend myself on that one!), we are going to hand grate all those?  Why not use your food processor?"  So, I confess, out came the food processor and the grating was finished in 12 minutes.  The results are in the picture above, just before I used the pitch fork to turn it all.

Movement Magic & Health and Healing Hints (A 2 for 1 deal today!)

Bothered by low back pain?  Pay attention to your posture while sitting and standing.  Hold your shoulders up and back, the head of your upper arm bone.  Press the shoulder blades forward, like you are trying to touch the bottom corner of the blade (your scapula, see diagram below) forward to your inner rib cage.  This lifts your chest up and politely asks your abdominal muscles to do some spinal support work.  No more sagging vertebrae!

Practice this posture while standing, walking, vacuuming, doing the dishes, etc. and you will notice that the work of keeping your body erect is more evenly distributed along your whole torso.  this takes the strain off of your lower back.  You will also strengthen support structures which will make this whole process easier and becomes second nature over time.

Sitting, same thing, just add a little pelvic power.  If your hips and pelvis are slightly elevated about your thighs, your back is in a better sitting position for good posture and spinal support.  Your thighs will be angled slightly downward.  This is just opposite of what happens when we sit in an Adirondack chair, just to throw in a visual.

Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Mother's Day everyone, Paula

PS  Looking for a "connected" summer experience for your kids, ages 8-13?    www.deeprootfarm.wordpress.com