Obtain a yield
This is the preview of a cookbook I have been working on per popular demand. I have it here for you to view and review if you like. Just comment or contact me. …….In fact I really am hoping that you would like to review it -even a short one would be much appreciated! This is part one of three. The finished work I intend to offer in print late this year.
What is yield? Is it vegetables in the garden? Is it everything that makes it to the harvest basket? Is it the final flavors that nourish? The permaculture garden often revolves around efficiency, and ethics; but our purpose in care of the earth, people, and plant is permanence in yield for everyone -a more healthy, more certain, more permanent harvest.
A lot more thought should be put into this end of the equation. I say this from my own experience. How many gardens I have made and fidgeted with the reasoning and design of growing without ever obtaining a yield.
This isn’t a bad thing. The science of the permaculture garden is still young, and needs development. I think we would do well in developing our science of growing by developing an art of harvest -defining what comprises a yield.
So what is yield? I am drawn to an idea that yield should be constant in a permaculture garden. The warmth of the sun should be seen as the finer counterpart of the fire beneath the skillet. The richness of the earth, the diversity of polycultures should be seen as the finer (or more corse, however you find it) counterpart of spices and richness in cooking. I am drawn to the idea of a seamless, permanent harvest between kitchen, and garden, and table.
How does this change anything in the garden? More importantly for this book, how does this change things in the kitchen?
It changes things in the garden by asking: How much of our effort provides a yield?
The beauty of the garden is one. Everyone knows presentation is half the quality of food. The presentation of the garden is no different.
How much of our plants we utilize for food, or whatever end we might have, is another consideration. How can we use the stem we might normally throw away? Is the root edible on this plant? In general, it means making everything into a harvest.
I am not a fan of eating everything though. Some things really just shouldn’t be eaten. The work involved, or the scant pleasure found in the product, just aren’t worth harvest. I think harvest equates to benefit, nourishment, not self-inflicted famine cooking. Some things are harvest for earthworms.
There are many parts of plants, and many plants that would readily increase our yield if only we knew how to harvest them. Many perennial vegetables fall into this category.
Other ways to increase harvest take place not in the garden, but the kitchen. We can refine our ability to catch and store abundance. The art of storage is part of the art of yield.
Beyond this, we have animals, and how we integrate them into our systems. Animals are higher in the trophic system than plants, so act as foragers for us. They can make eggs and milk from plants we normally wouldn’t be able to consider harvest.
I think some aspects of how the garden prepares (i.e. grows) it yield should inspire how we prepare our food. Sometimes this is complex; but the majority is very simple. I like minimal prep, showcasing the innate flavors of the ingredients, bold and simple.
Perhaps we could say yield is a ratio of utility to effort. In permaculture, we want everyone to utilize everything to the fullest. It’s reducing waste. It’s increasing pleasure. It’s making more of less, by realizing what we already have.
For the plant-crazed gardener, the efficiency-crazed gardener, the wild-plant forager, or anyone that eats with ethics, here is one look at obtaining your permanent harvest.