Locavore on the Road: Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I started 2012 with an amazing visit to Jordan. We went to Petra, officially one of the Seven Wonders of the World:

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The Treasury at Petra - carved right out of the sandstone

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another building at Petra incredibly carved directly out of the landscape

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That's me on the left sporting the Bedouin-style scarf. The boy and his mom live in one of the caves at Petra, and kindly offered us tea (okay, they also tried to sell us a bunch of jewelry and rock fragments)

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While in Jordan we bought food being sold by the highway or on the curb. I was tickled to see common mallow for sale – it’s one of my favorite wild greens for soup and rice dishes, but I’ve never seen it for sale in the U.S.

mustard and mallow greens on sale in Madabar

mustard and mallow greens on sale in Madabar

I wish I could stay rosy-eyed about the beautiful produce I’ve been enjoying since arriving in the Middle East two weeks ago. The fact is that on the way to the fennel-seller below we passed a fenced off farming area clearly labeled Monsanto. Given the recent updates on the thousands of Monsanto-related farmer suicides in India and elsewhere, I couldn’t help feeling both saddened and angry.

fennel for sale alongside the highway in Jordan

fennel for sale alongside the highway in Jordan

On the bright side, in both Israel and Jordan I’ve had the opportunity to visit “eco-farms” that are using organic methods combined with solar energy, composting and other sustainable practices.

If you’re going to be in Israel, here’s a two-thumbs-up recommendation for Goats with the Wind, an eco-farm making wine from their own grapes and cheeses from their goats’ milk.

a selection of the goat cheeses and other treats at Goats with the Wind Farm

a selection of the goat cheeses and other treats at Goats with the Wind Farm

Just be sure to call first to make a reservation because it isn’t really a restaurant – but they will cook for you if you call ahead.

I foraged some choice boletes last week, and enjoyed some wood sorrel and chickweed in salads. Looking forward to more foraging in the 2 weeks I have left here this visit.

I finally got the updated schedule of my workshops, foraging tours, etc. for the next three months up.

These are my three favorites that are coming up soon:

Fermentation Workshop in Park Slope, BK

Saturday 11 February 2012 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Did you know that fermented cabbage has more vitamin C than plain old raw cabbage? That you can ferment root vegetables into tasty beers? Here’s how to turn the ho-hum local storage crops of winter into super-healthy, safe, easy to make fermented foods. We’ll cover fermented veggies like sauerkraut, basic alcohol fermentation, and yogurt – making.

Space is VERY limited (as in at my apt.), so please reserve a spot soon if you’re interested.

Herbs, Herb Gardens, & Herbalism @NYBG

4 Wednesdays January 18 – February 8 2012 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Study the history of herbalism and herb garden design. Take an in-depth look at some of the most historically important herbs, their uses, and cultivation requirements. Ancient as well as contemporary uses of individual herbs are discussed. A visit to the LuEsther T. Mertz Library to view centuries-old herbals completes the class.

Ehtnobotany of Our Native Flora @NYBG

2 Fridays, 27 January & 3 February 2012 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

From spicebush to wild ginger, sassafras to trillium, our region is rich in culinary and medicinal plants largely negelcted in contemporary use. Learn the historical use of these plants by native Americans, the Shakers, and other settlers. Plant identification and uses as well as sustainable harvesting techniques will be covered. Dress for the weather.

On Twitter

The Locavore’s Handbook: The Busy Person’s Guide to Eating Local on a Budget

Botany, Ballet, & Dinner from Scratch: A Memoir with Recipes



One response to “Locavore on the Road: Happy New Year!”

  1. acmeplant says:

    I am GREEN with envy! Petra looks amazing and I’ve always wanted to see it in person. Can’t wait to hear more about your trip.

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