As summer movies are the thing to do while the heat rises Bohemian Bounty has a recommendation. Killer at Large: Why Obesity is America’s Greatest Threat (2008) is one of the better docudramas that relates the stories of obesity and potential impact of organic farming.
Killer at Large begins with a local obesity story from Austin (which made national headlines) and transitions into the epidemic of obesity in the U.S. In turn, the film makes you feel frustrated, worried, helpless and occasionally inspired. The combined forces of industrial agriculture, fast food, marketing, advertising, politics, urban planning, transportation planning, poverty, parenting, health care, sick care, big government and big business all play a hand to create and maintain a system which promotes and maintains unhealthy eating choices. Killer at Large weaves these many strands together to create a big picture which neither over-simplifies nor ignores the reality of every day life.
Human determination is the message we left with – knowing that it is our children (and ourselves) that are the victims, yet we are stronger than we give ourselves credit for. If you grow your own food, are thinking of growing your own food, use farmer’s markets, buy organic or natural, cook your own meals or talk to others about organic and natural food then you are already part of the solution. If you have never considered any of the above, please watch Killer at Large and it will help will bring the obesity problem in to focus.
Years ago I attended a Center for Disease Control presentation on obesity at a trails conference held in Austin. The doctor presenting used a chart that is featured in this movie – a color-coded, time-lapse map of US states and our increasing obesity rates. It shocked me then, but in combination with the images of children suffering from obesity in Killer at Large, it angers me now.
Bohemian Bounty works with low income families through different projects – the Hays County Area Food Bank Garden, San Marcos Housing Authority, and Urban Roots. We see children who are clearly being fed sodas, chips, box cakes, and fast food – cheap and addictive. We hope that if we teach even a few children to appreciate natural foods, eat vegetables, and understand where food comes from that we can give them a chance against the onslaught of toxic food marketing they will face throughout their lives. Pizza, ice cream and sodas – should be a treat, not a staple of every day living.
I hope one day to see cafeterias serving healthy and tasty food to children. I hope one day to see every school teach a course on healthy living and gardening. I hope to see the removal of vending machines packed only with junk food from schools. Most of all, I hope that our gardens continue to nurture our community toward a happier and healthier lifestyle.
Posted 5 years, 11 months ago at 10:34 AM. 1 comment
The end of May marked the transition from Spring to Summer here in central Texas. It is now early June, and gardeners are enjoying their first Summer harvests of beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, and summer squash. But how is a gardener to know the right time to harvest? Being either overly eager or too hesitant can result in disappointment. Here is a look at what we’re harvesting at Bohemian Bounty, and a few tips on how to tell if your own bounty is ready for the table.
First Harvest of Summer
These lovely eggs are from the Bohemian homestead. The brown and cream eggs were collected from our Silkies, and the pale blue egg was laid by one of the Ameraucanas. If left outside, eggs will keep for two days, however, this can attract unwanted visitors to your hen house – rat snakes, opossums, and raccoons to name a few. Refrigerated eggs will keep for up to two months, but once refrigerated, they must be kept cold.
Most of the tomatoes in the photo are tricolor cherries from Renee’s Garden, but the Black Cherry tomato in the upper left is from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. Typically it is obvious when a tomato is ripe, as it transitions from green to red, but heirloom and uncommon varieties can be more difficult to judge. The tricolor cherries are ready for harvesting as soon as they are no longer green, but the black cherry tomatoes go from green to a very dark red, which may look over-ripe to the unfamiliar eye.
When tomatoes are ready for harvesting, just pop them right off the vine! But be sure to store them at room temperature, away from direct sunlight. Being stored in the refrigerator (or anywhere at temperatures below 54 degrees) causes their flavor and color to deteriorate. On the other hand, too much sunlight or heat will cause them to over-ripen and decay.
The beans shown are Tendergreen pole beans from Burpee. These beans are ready for harvesting when they are about 3-4 inches in length, yet still tender enough that you cannot feel the beans through the pod. Pick them by pinching them off right at the top where the bean meets the vine.
Dill-iscous Refrigerator Pickles
Right now the Bohemians are pickling cucumbers. These cucumbers are the Endeavor from Renee’s Garden. These produce quickly and abundantly. When harvesting, snap below the stem, as close to the cucumber as possible. Be sure to pop off the dried flower remnants! In this shot, the pickling cucumbers share their jar with Texas A&M’s “1015″ onions.
Making “refrigerator pickles” is a good way to preserve cucumbers in small amounts. This link takes you to a great starter recipe at epicurious.com. This is the recipe we used, but with two small alterations. First, we reduced the amount of sugar called for by 1/2 cup, with marvelous results. Second, instead of using a mortar and pestle to crush the pickling spices, we re-purposed a hand-held pepper grinder, which worked very well. We adjusted the amount of spices to 1/4 of what the recipe called for. Spices are the one personal touch that can make your recipe stand out – other suggested spices to add to the mix are cardamom, celery seed, basil, bay leaf, orange leaf, and cloves. Have fun!
If canning has always interested you as the best way to preserve your garden’s bounty, but you were too intimidated to dive in, be sure to check out Bohemian Bounty’s canning workshop on June 20, 2009. We’ll get you started making your own pickled cucumbers, green beans, okra, as well as jams, jellies, and sauces.
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