Let us SPRING into action
This week as I watch the trees come into blossom, I celebrate Spring and new growth. This time of year always makes me feel energised, as I watch plants and trees come to life. Each day I notice a new tree in bloom, new buds appearing on stems and flowers emerging from clumps of green. I am reminded of the many times my grandmother and grandfather would take me on a tour of their garden and show me the new growth on their plants. I realise now what they were teaching me. After a period of rest and being dormant, comes new life.
I believe in life we all go through moments of rest and states of dormancy. Sometimes we come out of it in a positive way, and other times we remain in this static state for a long time. Some may never come out of this state. I think what my grandparents were trying to tell me, that no matter what the plants endured over the winter months, they still were able to survive and grow strong when the right elements were feeding it: sun, water, good soil and love.
On Thursday I spent the whole day in the kitchen making an abundance of baked goods: chocolate and beetroot cake, honey and date cake, carrot cake, muesli cookies, lavender biscuits and sweet potato brownies. I realised all these baked goods contain a product which comes from the garden: sweet potatoes, dates, carrots, beetroot, fruit and lavender. While I still focus on the reduced refined sugar content, I seem to follow a theme of using nature’s products.
A friend helped me to photograph my baked goods. I was given some advice about finishing my products and that if I want my products to sell, I would need to work on my presentation. While this feedback hurts a little, I realise the honesty in this comment. I struggle however with the notion of things having to look perfect in order to sell. One of my values is around reducing food waste. We are confronted by imperfection in nature every day, a wonky tree, a clump of green that doesn’t produce flowers, leaves with rust marks. These plants still exist and grow. I feel the same about food. Too often supermarkets throw away produce because it doesn’t fit the rules for sale. Any gardener will know that not all produce grows the same. I think this makes me realise, I don’t strive for perfection in that things need to look good, it’s what’s inside that counts (you’ll notice, I often forget to brush my hair before leaving the house!)
So maybe, I’m trying to change the way we see our food. Sure, it needs to look appetising, but sometimes the things that are good for us, don’t look good and are not appealing. An iced cake shouldn’t have to look perfect, should it?
When my grandmother walked me along her row of broad bean plants, she would point out the ones with stunted growth along with the ones that would be grand and tasty. We still ate them all, they all tasted delicious.