Eat food, not too much, mostly plants

These are Michael Pollan’s words and it really is (almost) that simple to stay healthy. I would change it to: eat WHOLE foods, not too much, mostly plants. What I mean is eat foods that have not been processed, like a whole apple, not a peeled one or an apple muesli bar or dried apple rings that have had preservative added. I rarely eat packaged food; I get ingredients and make them into a meal. Simple. That’s what everyone did for all of human history until recently!

Winter is coming
Don’t you love autumn; when the nights begin to chill, the orchard trees begin to lose their leaves and, hopefully, we get glorious rain to soothe the garden. Mice are starting to look for winter hide outs and birds have finished rearing their chicks. Chooks are starting to moult and it is time to plant out garlic again.

Do you ever think of your own body and what it is telling you about all this? Eating seasonal, local ingredients will naturally guide you to eat what you need to stay strong and healthy all year round whereas supermarket shopping will lure you in with bright colours but leave your body confused and irritable.

Now and into April is the time to sow all those beautiful Asian vegetables like bok choy, mizuna, mibuna etc as well as European winter greens kale, spinach, rainbow chard etc. Open any health book and it will tell you to eat LOTS of green, leafy vegetables as the days shorten, so right now is your chance to make eating them as easy as picking them from your own garden.

I love chicories as, during winter, they each put on a beauty pageant like no other winter vegetable! It is not always easy to find the seeds but once you have them, you will see them popping up in your garden from early autumn onwards, forever, if you leave a few to go to seed. In winter they are less bitter but that bitterness is to be treasured, as do European cultures, because they instinctively know that foraging the hillsides for chicories and other winter herbs brings the strength of the land where they live, into the body.

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