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Good Food Un-Earthed: A Project in Eating Wholesome, Vegetarian Food – Sustainably


August 23, 2017 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ living la vida local!,stories,Uncategorized


nastursium

by Aimee Hoffman, founder Good Food Un-Earthed

When I came off the ferry in Argentia from Nova Scotia in 2012, it quickly became apparent to me that accessing real, whole plant-based foods was going to be a bit of a challenge. There were (and still are) some limitations for myself – the high cost of living (including food), and the accessibility of fresh food, especially since I don’t drive.planter boxes

Now, five years later,  my partner and I get to grow vegetables and berries in boxes in the backyard; we forage for berries, dandelion greens, plantain, sorrel, sea rocket, pineapple weed, and more.  We collect seaweed and save coffee grounds and fallen leaves to mix in with kitchen scraps for compost.  We get bulk dry foods.  This summer, I teamed up with  Bite-Sized Farm to get more locally grown fresh vegetables.

This year is my third year growing my own.  Fortunately, my partner took to the project with gusto, and we now have six vegetables boxes, a few pots, and two fish boxes. We are growing snap peas, carrots, turnip greens, lettuce, arugula, spinach, beets, coriander, parsley, dill, potatoes, onions, parsnips, garlic, rhubarb, raspberries, strawberries, oregano, tarragon, sage, mint, cabbages and cabbage greens, nasturtiums and calendula. Everything is edible in the garden.

nastursium

I managed to achieve eating around 85% local, plant-based food this summer, and I hope to improve that with each year. Newfoundland’s winter is the biggest challenge, but since  root vegetables grow quite well here, I think I can get a good base of starchy vegetables to sustain me and go from there.

Good Food Un-Earthed came about thanks to the encouragement of friends of mine in Chicago. It has been developing for the past four years, and initially became an outlet for me to share my passion for healthy vegetarian food. Now, it includes Backyard Garden Projects from 2016 and 2017, along with some food creations made of foraged edibles such as dandelion flower cornbread and sea rocket vegan pesto.

Before coming to Newfoundland, I had been traveling and working in kitchens and gardens around the world. I learned a lot about sustainability, foraging, gardening, composting, recycling, and the health benefits of whole, plant-based foods in particular. So, when I arrived here, I decided to learn all about the wild edibles, and to continue to live a sustainable life. I was helped by Peter Scott’s books, and Beverly Gray’s The Boreal Herbal.

I firmly believe that food, real food, should be a human right, and not depend on money. Hopefully, one day this will become true. In the meantime, Good Food Un-Earthed is my way of freely sharing photos of meals, with listed ingredients, to show that making healthy, wholesome food doesn’t require fancy, unrecognizable ingredients, or cost an arm and a leg, or depend on heavily processed supermarket products. There are a few recipes, but the idea is to inspire. Everyone can be their own creative chef. Let the food speak to you.

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Growing your own food, foraging, and cooking all takes time, patience, and effort. However, the rewards are beyond measure.  I do not know of a better way to get to know Newfoundland than through the remarkable plant life, spending the summer out in the sun, hands in the soil, and eating food that gives energy without weighing you down.

I was so excited when I got to pick blueberries for the first time. I grew up on packaged foods in the midwestern United States, and berries were expensive, sold in small plastic boxes. Blueberries were fat, but they tasted bland. We are so fortunate to have so many types of berries that grow wild here, free for the picking! And, oh my goodness, blueberries here can taste tart, sweet, or smooth depending on where they’ve been growing. Besides blueberries, there are bakeapples, crowberries, partridgeberries, raspberries, blackberries, chew berries, cranberries, marsh berries, chuckley pears, strawberries, cracker berries, wild raisins, dogberries; and other edibles, including Labrador Tea with its fuzzy orange undersides, moose moss, sorrel (sweeties), wild chamomile (pineapple weed), dock, nettle, Japanese knotweed, sea rocket, beach peas, alder buds, spruce tips, red clover, rose hips and petals, fireweed, and the gorgeous dandelion.

For more inspiration, have a look at my blog: www.facebook.com/goodfoodunearthed, or www.goodfoodunearthed.tumblr.com

aimee hoffman

 

Aimee Hoffman is a Newfoundlander-by-choice and the blogger behind Good Food Un-Earthed, a vegetarian food blog based for the most part in Newfoundland.  Her focus is to be more sustainable using wild edibles, locally grown produce, and bulk items.