Life is a series of adventures—at least, that’s the way I choose to view it. In the past few years, my adventures have changed my life more than in all the other years put together. I moved across the country to a city were I didn’t know a soul. Made a life that was, for a while there, more bumps than smooth sailing. Experienced some health issues that brought about a revolutionary change in the way I eat. Delved into writing, something that was part of my life but had never been given its due (my adventures in writing are at my other blog that can be found here). Now, I’m ready to move into a new adventure, one that has been many years in the making.
More specifically, heirloom kitchen gardening.
To understand the whats and whys of this new hobby requires a little more detail about my life and health. For many years, I suffered from debilitating migraines and had a low level of health. Chronic body aches, allergies (both food and environment), and general exhaustion darkened my life. When I moved across the country, these problems became worse, probably due in equal parts to lifestyle choices (yup, I ate a lot of not great things that first year), stress, and melancholy. After a twenty-nine day headache (probably a combination of migraines and headaches), I was ready to try anything (since my body is too sensitive to take most meds, they were never an effective answer). In walked The China Study which led a diehard carnivore (I actually used to say that if something didn’t die, it wasn’t a meal) to adopt a plant-based whole-food diet. But don’t worry, this blog isn’t about soapboxing about what I eat (unless people are interested, I suppose), only explaining how this garden project fits into my journey.
When I started eating mostly veggies and grains, I spent a lot of time and money at places like Whole Foods (which I love) and occasionally farmers’ markets. I bought my broccoli and my spinach. And that was all fine and good, but then I learned something: the choices we have in grocery stores aren’t about taste, they are about industry. Veggies that we see are picked because they are hardy and can make it thousands of miles to the grocery aisle. When I heard this, I wanted to know more and discovered heirloom seeds. These are the seeds that have been developed over hundreds of years (maybe more) and they are very much about taste. Companies like Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds have been protecting these seeds for many years, because with the genetically modified seeds infecting our food supplies, there is a real risk that heirloom seeds will be lost forever.
I support heirloom seeding very much, but my garden plans are about more than that, they are soundly based in the word variety. When you eat mostly veggies, the puny amount of options even in the best of stores makes life boring. So, here I go, off on the heirloom kitchen gardening adventure. I hope you’ll come with me, because it’s bound to be a funny, bumpy ride.