A little seed saving

Radish seeds

Radish seed pods

I believe saving seeds is really important and empowering in these times when companies such as Monsanto want to take control of seeds and create genetically modified species that are not sustainable. But also I find extremely fascinating that such small seeds can contain the necessary basis and information to create a whole new plant!

Fenugreek seeds

Fenugreek seeds

The great thing about saving seeds from my own balcony is that these seeds carry exactly the right DNA to grow in the conditions on my balcony:-)  It does mean sacrificing a plant, as it needs to dry out completely before the seeds are ready, but it’s definitely worth it.

Breaking open those little pods in the bowl on the photo, I found tiny little radish seeds.  Radishes grew really easily so I look forward to planting them again next spring.  I also collected fenugreek seeds. You can see the seeds through the membrane of the dried pod. The amazing thing is they already have a very strong spicy smell as you open them.

Nasturtium seeds

Nasturtium seeds

The easiest to gather were the Nasturtium seeds (Indian Cress). They just fell onto the balcony waiting to be picked up and I put them to dry. They turned from green to light grey (they look like tiny brains which makes them easy to recognise). I love this plant which grows really easily and both the leaves and flowers are edible, so those will definitely be planted again next year too.

I put each type of seeds into small handmade origami envelopes and wrote the plant name, date I collected them and where.  It’s empowering to feel just a little bit self-sufficient:-)

 

Advertisements

Market joy in Sicily

Red Peppers

Red Peppers

I have been on holidays in Italy in the past weeks and one of the things I loved the most about our stay in Sicily was going every day to the market to buy fresh fruit and vegetables.

Aubergines

Aubergines

Market is a big word for a few little stores with lots of crates piled up out front selling local produce.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers

The wonderful thing about these vegetables is that they are not all the same standard shape and size like here in Holland. They are gorgeous with their imperfections and weird shapes. Some types I had never seen before, like these slightly hairy curly cucumbers.

Mini zucchini with flowers

Mini zucchini with flowers

Another great thing about buying our food at the market was that after a few days we got to know the shopkeepers and they would make us try the figs or some grapes, while they took the time to give us recipes for the best way to prepare the veggies. So much more interaction than when I buy a zucchini at the supermarket…

Pumpkin leaves

Pumpkin leaves

Not only do these fruit and veggies look amazing, they also taste spectacular! I’m not usually very good at eating fruit, and I tend to prefer eating muesli or chocolate as a snack. But on this holiday I realised that eating fruit in Sicily is totally different to eating fruit in Amsterdam.  With the heat, eating fruit is enough to keep you full at the hottest hours of the day. Eating a couple of fresh, juicy peaches or pears on the beach was a real treat, I could really taste the sweet sunshine when biting into them:-)

Market in Acireale

Market in Acireale