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Carrot Clues to the Rhythm of Nature

2019, Apr 8 | A Practice For Spring

Carrots are associated with spring. I suspect this has something to do with images of rabbits chomping on them. But, what´s up, Doc? Truth be told, in Northern climates, high carrot season doesn´t come round until at least June, weather dependent. Yet, fresh carrots are available year-round. Why? We humans have discovered how to work with the soil to create a natural pantry. As colder days set in, farmers lay straw on top of their carrot crops to blanket them by warming their soil beds. That´s how they are harvested all year round. This spring, lend a thought to the foods you associate with being in season. Are they truly in season? Are they forced to be in season? If so, what are the consequences for the atmosphere, for the soil, for the forests, for water? The more we build our awareness of our local habitats, the more questions we begin to ask about what IS natural in our part of the world and what kind of behaviour we need to adopt to make it a more regenerative place.  Considering that protecting natural environments like forests and soil ecosystems could provide nearly 40% of the greenhouse gas mitigation required to ensure a our planet doesn´t warm more than 2 degrees between now and 2030 (beyond that, life as you know it will be lost forever) pausing to consider how to tune yourself into the rhythm of the natural world in all you do so you understand it better, is a first step in making lifestyle changes.  And who knows, maybe it will lead to amazing new ideas for your family, community or even a business too! If you want to learn more about that science, check out this ace Natural Climate Solutions website. 

Beginner´s Mind Question

Chew over this question when you´re walking to the bus or washing the dishes.  Don´t worry about not knowing the answers!  The first step is to trigger your curiosity. See if one question leads you to more questions.  What else is there to learn and discover about something as simple as an everyday carrot that you have never considered before!  What are you chomping at the bit to do an internet search on that you had not previously considered?  How does it make you feel? What does it make you realise about your relationship with the rest of the Natural World?

 

Ritual – Carrot and Coconut Soup

Here´s an early spring warming soup to whip up as you are considering which foods are really in season in your neck of the woods this time of year. A more regenerative food system is a balanced food system. One in which we eat a wider variety of foods than we currently do, paying more attention to the foods that grow in our regions and only eating them seasonally. Biodiversity conservation is a critical for climate change mitigation, we simply don´t know enough about how our ecosystems work to truly understand the impact of the loss of every microbiota or insect. Asking questions about why we associate certain foods with certain times of year is a way to build our awareness of what seasonal eating actually means in the place where we find ourselves and is a first step in understanding local bio diversity. That is why teaming seasonal eating with storytelling and beginner´s mind questions is a powerful way to top up your nature relatedness practice. Some things to ponder as you whip up this warming soup on a cool early Spring evening.

CARROT, CUMIN and COCONUT SOUP

Ingredients for 6 servings

• 3 tablespoons of coconut oil
• 6 large carrots, peeled and chopped
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 3 cloves of garlic, minced
• 1 tablespoon of ginger and 1 tablespoon of cumin
• 1 litre of vegetable broth
• 400 millilitres (1 can) of heavy coconut milk
• Handful of fresh coriander

METHOD
Melt 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in a stock pot over medium heat before adding the carrots, onion, garlic and ginger. Cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add the broth and coconut milk, bring to a boil and simmer for 25 minutes. When you have finished your daydreaming, your soup will be ready to serve. Use a handheld mixer to blend or serve it chunky. Mix chopped coriander with a pinch of salt and pepper over each bowl before serving.