Biodynamic and organic grown seasonal fare is important to all of us, bringing harmonious balance for our daily existence. The yearly cycle of the seasons of the year “as a mighty breathing process of the earth, the in- and out- breathing of forces as Rudolf Steiner terms it, can be experienced by us, bringing sustenance and strength. If we consider depression as the darkness we experience in winter, then we might look to food that brings us light, color and warmth.
Carrots and beets in their color alone are enlivening! Orange brings a sense of strengthening; red brings love — such as that which the Earth tenders in its mothering of these roots, holding them longer in their maturing. All of this is inherent in the colorful dishes we prepare from these roots. Drawing the warmth of the sun and the fragrance of blossoms into the gold of its root, the carrot participates in true alchemy. Its rich stores of nourishing qualities combine with sweet succulence to make it a vegetable that is welcomed by all ages, either fresh from the garden or from storage all winter long. Carrots pureed for soup, sliced and combined with millet or a medley of vegetables in soups, stews and casseroles, or simply grated fresh. Sweet beets, with their fullbodied earthy flavor can be served in similar ways as carrots — red beet borscht in Winter or pureed fresh beet and cucumber cold soup in Summer, finely grated beets in salads in a fruit or broth aspic.
Beets, as well as carrots can also add color to a fresh fruit and flakes muesli at breakfast. Add sauerkraut to borscht or salad, to bring in another enlivening food. The slightly sour flavor of lactic-acid fermented vegetables brings us out of the doldrums. Sauerkraut not only preserved the physical health of Captain Cook’s crew in long sea voyages, it lifted their spirits as well. Eugen Kolisko* speaks of the “whole human being engaged in the process of eating” and that “if we consume plants, then the whole organism is activated”. Is this not much more what we seek when we need to be up-lifted? Radishes lift the spirits and fire us from sinuses to palate and downwards into our metabolic organs! Savory and caraway have up-lifting qualities, both complementing the whole cabbage family. And then we come to borage, bringing courage and cheerfulness, for example when leaf and flower in small measure are added to summer salads. One of the best ways I know for enjoying these foods and living with the seasons is to join a CSA (community supported agriculture) farm, whereby one “buys” a share in the harvest of a local biodynamic or organic farm and receives a share of vegetables, herbs, and sometimes fruit coming from the farm each week. Members are encouraged to participate in small ways, if only to weed or walk the land. If a CSA is not in the area, finding a nearby organic farm or farmer’s market — available even in large cities — affords one the opportunity to buy seasonal vegetables and support local growers. Food co-ops, buying clubs, and natural food stores are other sources for local seasonal food and interactions. Enjoy your vegetables!
* Nutrition No. 1, Lectures 1,2,3, Eugen Kolisko, Kolisko Archives, Britain, l932. Louise Frazier, culinary specialist, former community, state and federal nutrition program planner, operated a vegetarian restaurant in Cologne Germany based on seasonal fare from local biodynamic and organic growers. More recently helped develop Sunways CSA farm in Housatonic MA. Currently manager of the Hawthorne Valley Farm Dining Hall in Harlemville, NY, author of Louise’s Leaves, a book that goes around the calendar with local vegetable fare. For more information write: Louise Frazier, RD 2, Box 234D, Harlemville, NY