Back to the Basics
All that I can think about is the gardens and the growing season in Canada. Last night the idea of growing more veggies in the house over the winter came to mind. Then I get into the overload of thinking way too much and wondering how I can do all of this… and why I am wanting to do so much more….

Take a look at the produce in the stores the next time you go shopping. Take a good look at the shiny sheen (preservatives and coatings?) of the veggies and fruits, look at the apples that are coming to the end of their shelf life (from the orchards in the late summer). Look at where the snap peas are coming from and wonder if they came on the boat or plane, how long ago were they picked. How far did the mango have to travel to bless our shelves with their presence. Times sure have changed since the 50’s and 60’s, when the canning and preserving was done a lot more. While working on a 6 segment course with a dear friend, we both learnt so much about what is being added to our foods and the chemicals being used to preserve them.

Today I will be heading down to the garden store to get some soil to start the tomatoe and herb seeds. This year again I will tempt the bell peppers and hotter peppers. I may only have a small green house, but I will maximize that space to get some tomatoes in the freezer for next winter. While doing my list for the gardens, I am also going to note down what fruit trees I would like to get going. Even the smallest of small yards and balconies can provide some summer produce, you just need to decide what you would like to grow given the amount of day light and warmth.

What other herbs will I add this year? What herbs can I save for the winter? Just to use as spices? Herbal properties? Now I am on a roll… Do you know of someone that will trade seeds with you? There is Seedy Saturday (listed below), heritage seeds (link below), some many people, farmers, gardeners that are excited to share. Market gardens in the area that grow natural produce (one which is a directory member), markets that are promoting organics…. With all these options at our finger tips we can get back to the basics and live healthier lives. As you pick out veggies seeds think of the nutrients:

In the Kitchen
What choices do we have? Prepare food with chemicals or with out? This morning I pulled out a container of apple sauce from the freezer that I made with apples from the trees at the farm. No preservatives or sugar. Bright pink sauce that was made and frozen the day I pick the apples. For that turkey we had at Christmas, I added dry sage from the garden (a perennial that grows really well). Sister Val donated a jar of homemade hand picked cranberry sauce. Used some frozen dill on the mashed potatoes. Pickled carrots and beans are the kids favorite (yah, the vinegar is not great) and we know what went into the jars. A dear friend, Muriel introduced me to a home made sugar free jam that tastes like fruit leather and was made with local fruits. This jam was so good that it got to my mouth before it got to the toast.

Last fall I had the honor to work a friend and we did a 6 section workshop on freezing, preserving, drying, sour cream and so much more. Even though I have been freezing and canning for several years, this work shop also showed me so much more and I started to question if I was doing enough to stock my cupboards for the colder months. In my kitchen, within 4 hours I can preserve about 20 jars of pickles (veggies from the farm and my garden). One and a half hour to make a dozen jars of freezer jam (raspberries from the back yard). Maybe two hours to pick and clean the Saskatoons from the back yard. I use the berries frozen during the winter for fruit drinks and just to eat unthawed. When we have a lot of fruit from the farm and garden ready at the same time I make mixed fruit pies for the winter. Maybe 10 pies or so in less than 4 hours, baked then frozen. Got to keep at least one out to sample.

Back to Basics starts with each one of us
I will start with picking up my soil to start some seeds from last year. Start a list of what I want to implement in the yard this year with fruit trees and edible plants. Muriel called already about setting up the 6 week course in the fall, extensive learning. I will finalize a full one day workshop to teach on all the ways of preserving and hands on canning in the afternoon. Find ways to get some heritage seeds as I am booked out of town for the Seedy Saturday. My body is a temple and only I can nourish it…. also share the many gifts from the gardens with family and friends….. Enjoy the vision of healthier food, experiance the vision of growing and playing in the earth, then taste the results….
Written from the heart: Kim Buckler

Author's Bio: 

Kim Buckler is a certified Usui Reiki Master and Teacher. She is an intuitive and empathic healer who shares her gentle healing techniques with her clients and students. Kim has been teaching Usui Reiki since 2002 and finds every class a learning experience for both her and her students. Kim practices Reflexology, Crystal Healing, Business & Home Energy & Entity Clearing, Past Life Regression and does Readings. She also provides a Couples Reflexology Workshop and loves facilitating a Crystal Healing Course. Kim has been invited to do several presentations on Wholistic Healing at libraries and with different groups and organizations.