‘Eef you eat dead food, you vill be dead!’ – from a German ex-pat living in Tuscany, lecturing Americans on health food.This newt (technically the red spotted newt in the ‘eft’ stage – babies that live on the land for 5 years or so before they move into the water) was in one of our hoop houses, next to the pond that we use for irrigation. Newts are very sensitive to pollution – agricultural runoff, salt from roads and heavy siltation (usually from poor agricultural practices) threaten their lives. So to find one in a high production area of the farm makes me remember that the food we are growing is full of life. And the fact that my daughter was there to hold this little thing made it all the more poignant a moment. So much of what we read about health (mental health and gut health) has to do with supporting the microbes within us – by eating food that will help them live, giving them the perfect conditions to thrive. I just read ‘Food Fix’ by Mark Hyman & ‘This is Your Brain on Food’ by Uma Naidoo – both books underlined the importance of supporting the life within us. The breakdown is – eat fermented foods regularly, eat lots of veg to help feed them. We spend a lot of time at Orchard Hill trying to make sure that the plants have the nutrients that they need to thrive. Sometimes it means getting the right balance of minerals – if there’s too much of one, it often means that the plant can’t access another. Or using cover crops to help feed the soil between crops of veg. We feed the soil so that the vegetables will be more nutritious & vibrantly alive. Here’s to our health! May your microbiome be teeming with all the best bugs. New this week – Parsley Root – perfect for all the fall soups that you’re surely making. Some Euros swear by it for any chicken soup – it looks almost identical to parsnip, but rather than the funky sweetness of a parsnip, you get more of an herbal flavour – like parsley meets a potato. It’s great roasted too. Ginger Hot Sauce (fermented! Spicy!) – I had a tickle in my throat, made some chicken noodle soup and dosed it up with some of this hot sauce and POOF – felt better. Seriously. I mean, it’s very anecdotal but….Curried Veg Pickle – facto-fermented cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, kohlrabi, all chunky and perfect to throw on a power bowl, in a wrap, on a salad or on top of some rice. New Soups – Ratatouille, Potato-Leek & Autumn Minestrone. Have a great week and thanks for all the support.Ellen
Take me to the store
Life is short – eat good food.