Ooooh, Fishy, Fish! Please Land on My Dish

Yes, I am a Monty Python fan and I like to play the “Find the Fish” video on YouTube when I need some midday amusement. However, this video brings up the topic of eating less red meat and enjoying more fish on my dish. My husband and I are trying to curb our beef-eating activities by diversifying the protein sources in our diet. We have recently adopted some dining rituals that include Friday Fish Fry (leaning more toward broiling, even though it’s hard to resist a traditional Wisconsin fish fry) and Meatless Mondays for vegetarian fare. One reason for doing this is to hopefully find more sustainable approaches to supporting a healthy diet.

So I was intrigued to learn more about fish farming (aquaculture) at sea when I read Sarah Simpson’s article in the February 2011 issue of Scientific American titled “The Blue Food Revolution”. Sustainability has become more important in many of the buying choices I have made lately, especially after learning that our global population will reach 7 billion in 2011 and is expected to grow to 9.3 billion by 2050. Yikes! How do we provide high-quality protein and nutrition to so many people? Continue reading

A Time for Harvest

Here in the northern hemisphere, yesterday, September 23, was the first full day of autumn. The days are not as long as those in midsummer and will only get shorter. Leaves are starting to turn color and fall from the trees, pumpkins abound in fields and roadside stands, and farmers are harvesting their crops.

My dad and my brother still farm the land owned by my great, great, great grandfather. Although times are different with larger, more powerful machinery, new seed genetics available each year and GPS to help ensure appropriate fertilization and seed density for each field, they are subject to the same vagaries as the previous six generations. Continue reading

Lessons from the farm

Kunze farm windmill at dawn

Kunze farm windmill

My latest post for this blog was supposed to drop last Friday, but in the whir and blur of a few busy weeks, I’d lost track of my place in the schedule, and so had to beg a favor from Isobel to swap spots with me (thank you, Isobel, I owe you one). The reason I couldn’t post was because, when I’d normally be publishing, I was down in Texas and completely filthy. As I recall, I was sweating up a storm, with gloves on my hands, scratches on my arms, a big bruise of unknown origin on my leg and a new fire ant bite. I had a pitchfork in hand and was tending a big fire, burning up piles of dried yaupon and cedar. Heaven for a pyro like me, but its purpose was to clean up some of the many such piles of scrub we’d cleaned out from around what we call the “lower pond,” one of our favorite fishing spots from as long ago as I can remember. My eyes were squinted and watering from the wood smoke, which made it harder to watch for snakes, and every time I’d launch another 10-foot-long dried sapling into the burning pile, I’d singe another few hairs off my forearms. It was just another day on the Kunze farm. Continue reading