Full of gratitude for the positive responses to this site. Thank you so much! I love that you are trying the recipes and making them your own. Please feel free to post pictures on the facebook page of recipes you have adapted to your unique eating habits – that would be so awesome!
A few things came up, though, about time and resources. This made me want to share a little about how and where we live to emphasise how simple and quick all the recipes are and have to be. (You’ll understand as you read on…)
We are all a work in progress and the greatest positive change you can make is tuning into a life that is resonant for you. Whatever your unique challenges and life choices, it sure feels good to put love into your food, your life and back into the earth, step by simple step.
We live in a set of homemade and recycled dwellings on a hill outside the city on rented land. Our little 1970s caravan, which is now our fancy spare room, was dragged up the hill by the volunteer fire brigade and their tractor. The caravan awning, which has a super solid wooden deck flooring, is our kitchen. It consists of 2 gas rings, cupboards, bench space and a sink with hot water running off a gas caliphont. Our bedroom hut was made this Summer by loving friends to give us a little extra space and insulation. If I need to use electricity (which is most days for smoothies, pestos etc), I run down the hill and use the outdoor socket generously offered by our wonderful neighbours. If I need to freeze something, I run to another neighbour’s.
In terms of time, as well as writing the recipes for Wild and Good, I also help my husband with his native tree-planting business, Wildwood Ecoforestry, study full-time for a PhD and have a tiny job as a Research Assistant. For these reasons, the food I make needs to be quick, easy and eaten in one go as we don’t have good food storage available. Honestly, it takes way longer to photograph and blog the food than it does to cook it! When we move into our sweet Winter house-sitting gig, we’ll be reunited with electricity and eating clean will be a total wrap!
I’d say the most time-saving meals you can make are also those that will have the greatest impact on your health. Green smoothies for breakfast can be blended the night before, stored in a glass jar in the fridge and sipped on the way to work and a grated vegetable lunch jar can be batch-made for the whole week using seasonal veg as a base. Have fun with these and find the tastes that work for you.
We have a wild and experimental garden that doesn’t seem to ebb and flow according to normal seasons, so I simply let it direct me as to what I should make. I cherish being able to cook from the garden. It seems that whatever I cook, if I use ingredients picked fresh from the garden, it is spot on. However, I truly believe you don’t need a large garden in order to feel this connection or to enjoy vibrant fresh food. This earth communion can absolutely be cultivated by those with simply windowsills in exactly the same way. So many fantastic culinary herbs and high potency leafy greens and grasses can all be grown in window boxes!
The other important consideration is money. As I said, not everyone is able to grow a garden; not everyone is even interested in growing a garden. So, to save money, scope out the cheapest veg stores in your area. For Dunedinites, it’s Veggie Boys. Also, Farmers Markets have the most affordable veg around and are more likely to offer spray-free and organic, and are a pretty fun way to connect with the community too. Foraging is the ultimate best way to find completely free, wild, high potency foods. Dumpster diving and trading are other great and important ways to keep food and gratitude in circulation.
When we are strapped for cash, it feels good to prioritise. Maybe it’s because I went through a long period of illness but, for me, health is at the top of the list. Then come my relationships with my family and friends. Food is my healer and it is also the most usual way for me to connect with friends. Whatever we have arranged, kai forms part of it. Therefore, I feel that good healing foods are assisting in all my needs: they connect me to my core values of healing support, love, creativity, deep engagement with the earth and and with those wild, wonderful beauties I am lucky enough to call friends. Food is central to my life, but it’s not the all-consuming focus – love is, yeah!
Thank you to our dear and amazingly talented friend, Kate Van der Drift for the beautiful photos for this post and thank YOU for reading. x