today i met 30-something year old, mother of two Francesca who currently lives in Lumino with her husband Andrea. Lumino is a little village in the Italian part of Switzerland, not too far from its capital Bellinzona and not too far from where I was born and grew up. Francesca lives in a beautiful old house which once was a typical grotto ticinese and then became her grandparents' home. it's a quiet, peaceful place where time seems to move just a bit slower - or maybe it's the heat as it is 34°C.
not more than 10 metres from the house is Francesca's beautiful garden where she grows many different vegetables and fruits. her garden is well taken care of and it's enough taking a glimpse at it to notice how much work and especially how much love she puts in those 45m2.
earth, water, sun and work. these are the ingredients used in this garden, nothing else. and the result is stunning: depending on the season Francesca manages to grow the amount she needs for the whole winter. courgettes, 4 kinds of tomatoes, green beans, salads, pumpkins, cucumbers, egg plants, strawberries, water melons, basil, oregano, blueberries, and other fruits and vegetables keep her busy in the evening and at the weekends..
quite an accomplishment if you think that Francesca also works part time in a bookshop and has two little boys, one old enough to run around the house looking for adventure.
we walked through the narrow paths of the garden, chose our vegetables, picked the ones we wanted to eat and only few seconds later all our vegetables were on the stove ready to be cooked. no queuing, no paying, no plastic bags, no transport costs to and from the shop, no pollution. just organic, fresh seasonal products only 10 meters away from the kitchen- sommerlicious!
today Francesca and I cooked Courgetti, a kohlrabi salad with edible flowers and a whole grain loaf of bread Francesca baked this morning. a light, easy and quick summer dish perfect for such crazy temperatures.
thank you Francesca for this great time. food simply tastes better when shared with friends.
why should one eat seasonal, local and organic?
by eating what our seasons have to offer we would eat products that taste much better having been exposed to the energy of the sun. they would be rich in vitamins and minerals, and even more so if they are local, as they wouldn't be subjected to long transports. without using pesticides you would respect nature as well as respect animals.
everything grown in the season would pollute the climate 9 times less.
1 kg of Swiss green beans need 0.1L of oil to get to our shelves.
1 kg of Spanish green beans would need double as much.
1 kg of Kenyan green beans, the ones we usually find in winter at the supermarket, need 48 times more oil. if you really have to buy summer product in the winter, buy frozen ones in light plastic bags. they are great in quality (better than the fresh ones out of season) and not too bad for our nature: the lighter the packages, the less it negatively affects our planet. EAT WITH YOUR BRAIN!
There are some things you can do to show more respect for nature:
- choose local products
- choose seasonal products
- choose organic products
- plan your shopping ahead
- eat fish only once a week
- eat less meat
- eat more quinoa
- buy only what you need
- eat only the amount you need
- NO waste
- avoid trash
- don't buy a new shopping bag every time you shop
- in the winter buy frozen products
- choose light packaging
- don't buy water
- drink tap water
- grow your own herbs
- read before you buy
- think before you buy