What the Heck Do You Do with All That Organic Produce?

As anyone who has gardened successfully on even a small patch of land can tell you:  A garden can produce a ton of . . . produce.

In her article “In the Forest Kitchen Garden,” Sharon Astyk wonders about all this abundance. Not only can gardeners end up with a lot of produce, but much of what comes  from a food forest garden can be unfamiliar to many of us.

We aren’t used to it, which means we have to change our eating habits to accept it.

And we don’t know how to cook it so we can eat it because there seems to be a shortage of innovative cookbooks to guide us.

Ms. Astyk makes many interesting points, and if you’ve found yourself in the dilemma, you’ll be glad to know that she also has some recommendations.

organic produceOrganic Produce: Chestnuts and Quinces and Walking Onions, Oh My!

Permaculture books telling you how to grow things abound. They are many, varied and wonderful. For some reason, however, permaculture books telling you how to EAT what you grow in interesting, creative and delicious ways are not, in fact, very abundant. This is a pretty serious gap, given that in many cases, it is actually easier for people to take up gardening than it is to fully figure out what to do with the abundance of things they produce. While most of us know what to do with an occasional handful of kale or greenbeans, the culinary education (poor and limited) of most of us just isn’t prepared for a garden’s bounty. Add in the more unusual perennial crops that come with forest gardening, and what you get is a lot of food waste, at least so I often see. (Click here to read the original article.)

I can relate strongly to many of the points Ms. Astyk makes in her article.

For one thing, and to be honest, I have on more than one occasion found myself with much more produce than I could ever eat on my own. And even when the produce wasn’t unusual, I’m not a creative cook so coming up with new and  non-boring ways to prepare it was a challenge (which I usually failed).

So I’m happy to see some cookbooks with a new slant, and since this year I’d really like to grow some “new” crops, I think the cookbooks she mentioned might come in very handy.

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