It’s mid November here in Columbus, Ohio. I have harvested everything, canned, dried, or stored all the food I could for #ProjectMartian. This year I had a bumper crop of Kentucky Wonder Beans. I have grown beans in the past at Mezzacello. It was always a mixed bag for me. They were either tender and delicious or tough and chewy when cooked. I don’t know why, but it never occurred to me to dry the beans. I was naive and I was ignorant. I’ll own that.
One of the most prolific harvests I make year after year at Mezzacello is experience. Every year I grow more wisdom and experience. There are so many frontiers that open in Urban Farming that mo one person can explore all of them in a season. It requires patience, humility, curiosity, and a comfort with failure. I have grown comfortable with the fact that my ego, naivety, and apathy are my greatest obstacles. It’s me that is most often (not always, but often enough) the real problem. After five years of farming why did it take me so long to put dried beans and green beans in the same box? And if it took me that long how long will it take a novice?
This gets to the heart of this blog post: humor and attitude. Food is a Journey, it is not a destination. It is so very easy to forget that. I encounter many parents and even friends who worry about my mission here at Mezzacello. They worry that my mission is alarmist or that I am a “prepper” and they don’t want their kids (or they don’t want to) live in the shadow of scarcity. I respect that. I also ask them to reframe the proposition. Reframe this from a mission of survival to a journey of awareness. From a fear of depletion to a recharging of a battery.
The battery makes space for potential and scarcity. Where you get the power to recharge that battery depends on you. I am harvesting dehydrated beans this morning, not because I fear going hungry; but because I know I can use their energy later when I need it. I will continue to grow, learn, fail and repeat. I am going to need abundance and opportunity. So I am preserving power and reflecting on how all knowledge is power. I am also making a mental note to stock up on GasX for the winter.