Madame Filth's picture

Spring is Alive!!

my fermentation experiments continue. warm weather is allowing me to open windows and attract - in my own mind anyway - lots of wild airborne yeasts for my fermented vegetables, kombucha, and now sourdough starter. did you know you can just make your own friggin sourdough starter? it's true, you do NOT need someone to give you a starter. you need water, flour and patience.

essentially, you take equal parts water and flour, mix it up, and let it sit for a while, about a week. stir it often to stimulate the process by distributing the yeasts.

the temperature in my house is erratic, so i placed mine in a ball jar in my bedroom, and tried to keep that temperature more stable with a space heater. i was sure it wasn't working, it was just a liquid mess. i took some advice from the wild fermentation book and dropped some blueberries in there. that white stuff on the outside of berries and grapes is natural, wild yeast, attracted to the fruit. drop those in there whole to introduce good yeasts. being winter, my berries were imported, so they're not truly wild NJ yeast, but fuck it.

once i did that, i could see things start happening.

the Mr is - we'll call it - tolerant of my little experiments, but remains convinced that i'm breeding botulism and i'm gonna kill us all. so naturally when he asked with a frightened look on his face what "those little black things are" i told him i'm pretty sure it's a good mold, probably some form of beneficial mushroom. heh.

look at that picture. see the little white spots? those are the tiny bubbles of the fermentation. you will see more of them around the blueberries.

Madame Filth's picture

Why Our Food System Needs the Occupy Movement

please read content from its original source ^^

Here in western Massachusetts, we are fortunate to be part of a community brimming with exciting efforts to build a new and better food system. Farms of all kinds are starting up or heading in new directions: offering winter CSA shares, doing on-farm cheese or yogurt production, growing grains and selling them to local bakeries. Non-farm businesses are using more local ingredients in their restaurants or using them to produce value-added foods like salsas, meads, and (in our case) fermented pickles. New retail markets are forming for local/regional foods, such as winter farmers' markets and a new food co-op. Non-profits are doing tremendously valuable work, as well, whether encouraging people to "Be A Local Hero, Buy Locally Grown" or running an incubator kitchen for start-up food businesses.

To someone like myself who sees enormous social value in transitioning to a regionally-based, organic food system, these developments are very encouraging. And, of course, such activity can be found in many other communities around the country (and beyond), not just in western Massachusetts.

In my view, this is an approach to social change that can produce substantial progress. Small farm and food businesses create the building blocks for the new food system. People generate increased market demand by choosing to buy their products. Non-profit organizations help in all sorts of ways. The momentum starts to build as more people come to be exposed to the benefits of a regional, organic food model–as more people get to taste the really good food it puts out, as they see the farms in their communities beginning to thrive. And in time, people can even come to perceive a new food system taking hold (at least at the margins), and imagine the possibility that the corporate, industrial food system could truly be replaced.

But, while this work on a local/regional scale to start building the replacement for the current food system is hugely important (I would not have started a pickle business if I thought otherwise), I don't see a true transformation of the food system happening by this avenue alone. We also need something like...well, the Occupy movement.

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