Next week is my last week for pick up of our CSA (Community Share Agriculture see: http://sunnyhawklane.blogspot.com/2011/08/csas-beets-and-their-greens-last-week.html ). I'm sad to see this process come to an end, but also ready for it to end as it is one of those things that requires diligence and a bit of a drive to go and pick up the box every week.
My initial reasons for joining a CSA this year, were to expose me to different veggies and also to contribute to a local, organic farmer's effort. Both goals were attained and then some. I gained a great affection and respect for the individuals that run our CSA and moved closer to that concept of being in a state of gratitude for those that grow the food that literally sustains our life.
I've not completely decided if I will join next year, but am leaning heavily towards not rejoining. It's a substantial outlay of money, and while I always felt that I got that much back in return, I am sure I could save money by shopping the local markets myself, even if purchasing only organic goods. Also, there is a practical aspect to consider, the pick up location for our CSA is a good 40 miles from my house, closer after that particular farm market closes down in September as I then pickup right at the farm, but, even that is still 20 miles. So, time spent driving, fuel consumed in doing so, even though combined with other errands, sort of nullifies any 'green' aspect of all of this endeavor. And I realized about mid-season, that in joining this CSA, I was spending FAR less at our own local farm market, a mere 20 mins away. While these are not certified organic farmers, the two farmers I purchase most of my produce from, do not use chemicals, so I inadvertently 'hurt' those farmers with my lack of support, or at least didn't contribute to them.
Also, I have had such success from my own garden this year with the addition of my raised beds, that I think investing some of that time, money, etc. into another raised bed or two, would yield quite a bit and those harvests require zero fossil fuels.
But then, I see this:
One picture just isn't enough:
Look at the detail of the spiral structures on this thing....m.c. escher must have seen one of these, before sketching his brilliant spiraled staircases.....
The romanesco is an interesting veggie; I prepared it like a cauliflower and ate most of it just lightly steamed and some of it raw and in salads. It had an interesting taste and I'll definitely watch for it again, if for no other reason than to gaze at it in wonder. Seriously, is Mother Nature not just intense in her creations???
Which brings me to another wonder.....in looking at this romanesco, I realized it is comprised of fractals. If you are not familiar with fractals as a concept, you certainly are in reality as nature is full of them. For some really pretty ones, check this out: http://www.miqel.com/fractals_math_patterns/visual-math-natural-fractals.html You'll find our veggie friend, romanesco listed here too.
This past summer, I looked further into fractals and became a little bit obsessed with The Mandelbrot Set. Maybe you had to grow up in the 60's and 70's and be a bit of a math geek (guilty on both counts) to really find this super-cool, but I was entranced and looked up everything I could find on it. This has been called God's Thumbprint as well and stimulated theological as well as mathematic philosophical discussions.
This is a good explanation of what the Mandelbrot Set is although the narrator speaks a little fast even for me and I wish the video was a bit slower as well; the video is stunning though as it zooms in ever deeper into the structures generated. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ma6cV6fw24&feature=related
The concept of infinity has always made my imagination soar outwards to the stars and beyond, probably as it does everyone, but this set takes infinity on a different dimension....infinitesimally smaller. I just think that is way cool. Pass the romanesco please.
I have TWO vegan cookbook giveaways coming up. I'll get the details of the first one up on my next post, which I'm going to get to right away.....I promise.
Sue, day-dreaming into infinity, in Ohio (and beyond)