A few years ago, I quit farming in the high desert and moved to “where food grows” in California. It made sense. I’m not a green thumb. I throw seeds and plants in the ground and whatever doesn’t die, survives. I am a scrappy permaculturist in the purest sense. This fact leaves me still purchasing food because I honestly don’t spend all that much time foraging like I should. (FOR NOW-always the highest of hopes)
Buying food had me reading packages and labels. I found that many of the products I brought into my home all came from one small area.
A little spot between the “Northern Central Valley” and “Southern NorCal”.
Being lucky enough and idle enough (and it is often luck to have leisure time) to be able to even ponder where my food comes from and the impact it has on the world around me, (among other factors) it became more important to me to change my location. I wanted to have food security and lower my carbon footprint. I wanted to live where “food grows, water flows and the sun shines”. I wanted to be near people who cared about food sovereignty & organic living. I wanted to learn from people who could grow things better than me. I moved to West Sonoma County. That three years comes out in bits and pieces but:
Fast forward three years and lots of delicious food later, I moved to Hawai’i. That became a different story.
OTHER things are more important on Oahu than “food”.
I understood and was not surprised about a lot of things before I came to Hawai’i. I understood things would be more expensive. I understood things had to be shipped from too far away. I understood that I’d finally be able to eat LOCAL BANANAS & PAPAYAS AND MANGOS.
For THAT I am grateful.
I didn’t understand, however, that in a place where EVERYTHING GROWS, few people grow anything. :-(
At least it wasn’t everyday practice in my immediate reality as it had been in Sonoma County. I had literally picked the ripest bounty in the food department in moving to Sonoma County.
I found that I have some challenges to face here on Oahu.
It is another world.
I feel like I’ve taken on some sort of “challenge” in moving to Oahu. Sure, chance of a lifetime to live in Hawai’i and I’d be a fool not to take it, it is literally like no place on Earth. But I found unique-to-my-own-soapbox challenges in moving from Sonoma to Oahu.
I do a lot of yapping about choosing to eat better and even eating better on a budget. But when faced with things like: absolutely unaffordable organic produce for “regular” people, markets and farms too far away to realistically shop unless you have a car (and many many do not), and cultural and social differences that do not lend itself to urban gardening; I am faced with THE REALITY of being in a food desert and my diet HAS suffered.
This is a big lesson for me. One I’d like to create a solution for while struggling with my temporary discomfort and the realities of what some people deal with PERMANENTLY: food injustice.
I would like to find some real solutions to some real problems. Even if only in my own head. It is easy for me to say, “PLANT FOOD!” because that’s always my answer to everything, but in a place where water is just as expensive as organic food, and the culture doesn’t encourage it, that isn’t always an option.
Hawai’i is only paradise for some.
We may create our own reality TO A DEGREE but In a land that can grow anything, only the wealthy or obsessively determined are invited to eat from the organic table. The rest are enslaved and sickened just like any place where the rich feeds off the labor of the poor. Plenty of people here are poor and malnourished because it would be impossible to enslave and capitalize empowered and healthy people. It is quite clear and blatant.
In NorCal, lower income people have a choice to eat well or not. There is SO MUCH OF IT. It is also more accessible.
It’s just not that simple here. :-(
The good news is: I will be moving soon to a better area with more food opportunities for me. Not ALL of Oahu is asphalt.
ANYWAY: SPROUTS, YO!
My first “ah ha!” sprout moment and solution was to start growing sprouts in all the times where I didn’t have SPACE for gardening. RV’s. Motel Rooms. My car. Apartments. Homeless.
You can pretty much grow sprouts even if ALL you have is a pot to piss in.
Second “ah ha!” sprout moment is when you find out just how GOOD FOR YOU these mugs are. GO READ HOW GOOD CLICKY CLICKY.
So the ultimate “ah ha!” moment is when you are suddenly stuck in asphalt jungle, starving for vegetables and realize it takes MERE DAYS to grow sprouts.
Across the board, SPROUTS are the sneakiest, easiest, fastest, space efficient and cheapest way I’ve found yet to get organic produce into an unreachable, dangerous or dead food supply.
THERE! I’ve said it. As long as you have CLEAN WATER,
SPROUTS are the answer to everything. And 42. Or something.
This is how I make sprouts.
Take some seeds. Any kind of raw, edible seed can be sprouted.
I buy a mix right now for $10. It will last weeks and weeks.
Only one teaspoon makes enough sprouts for two heavily sprout covered meals. I top my salads or soups or casseroles or whatever plate of food with a a cup or more of them. You can just eat them by themselves also you know. It’s crunchy vegetables. Way better than iceberg lettuce.
Seeds in the jar.
Soak the seeds in good water.
*Berkey water filter plug here. Best $250 I ever spent. That’s a mere FIFTY BOTTLES OF BOTTLED WATER or 100 SODAS you should NEVER BUY and have clean water for the next few YEARS.
Put down the bottled water and soda. Buy a Berkey water filter.
SO. Soak the seeds all day or all night and drain them thru a schmancy lid like I have here or a pair of panty hose with a rubber band or a coffee filter and a screw band or whatever screen-like top you can find. You can poke holes in the regular lid if you want but that seems “wasteful” to me somehow. I dunno. Work it out. Drain the seeds.
I distribute the seeds around the jar so they aren’t all clumped up and I leave them upside down on a paper towel and let them fully drain.
Rinse and gently swish them around twice a day. If you don’t rinse them twice a day, a couple things happen. They will either NEVER SPROUT because they dry out, or they will get musty and moldy because they aren’t being rinsed often enough. Either way, I rinse mine whenever I walk by them. Always drain them. Put them where you can see them.
In 3-6 days, you decide when they are “ready”, you have #nom.
I even put mine outside in the sun for like 20 minutes to green up the little baby leaves. Don’t leave them outside. Sprout soup isn’t all that great. BUT: They literally change from white to green before your eyes.
Like anoles do. Different mechanism, similar effect.
Nature is a beautiful thing.