N91: Narly Roots, Nuts and Nasty Wigglers

Without television I am falling asleep earlier and earlier, so that this Sunday morning I woke before dawn. By 7:30 I was at the Henry’s market to get some bulk food for my pantry. This week is the letter ‘N’ so I got a bunch of nuts. I bought walnuts, almonds, cashews and pumpkin seeds. It wasn’t really just for the letter N. For weeks I have only had pine nuts and these are precious. My BFF mailed me a pine nut care package last summer after she’d gotten them through family relations. These expensive nuts were a wonderful surprise and they’ve lasted this long because I keep them in the refrigerator and ration them.

After getting back from Henry’s, my farmer’s market foray’s featured food this week, the narly vegetable – black turnip. It was huge! I will have many meals from this monster bouquet of greens and the two big roots. Despite the roots being dry and almost dead looking, the verdant green above was a fecund bush 36” high and 24” in diameter. Here again, I took liberties in my title as this is a misspelling for the surfer term gnarly or ‘grotesque, yet awesome.’

I am planning on slow cooking the greens and the black turnip in the solar oven. I am not counting on a recipe here as everything about this solar oven and my ‘narly’ veg is a big science project. All of this food (the poundage I can’t even guess) only cost $2 so it is no great loss if I fail – as I did last week.

I think that everything about these ‘N’ choices just scream, ‘earth.’ But, this week is the beginning of my focus on water elements. Let me borrow from the Wiccan lore that says,
Ah water, the symbol of our emotions. Water imbibes all life forms and in us we flow with the "tide" of our feelings. It involves intuition, insight, conception and pregnancy, fertility, the womb, health, beauty and divination.

The italics are mine. Admit it! - nuts, root, dry, verdant, fecund, bush, diameter are all pretty suggestive words. I didn’t compose it that way, but nature is bursting out all over. Sometimes the line between food and sex gets pretty fuzzy. Just sayin’ . . .

My critical farmer’s market errand was to score a big bag of worms from the woman who sold me my worms last year. This week’s big bag was for the community wormery and to add a few to my wormery. Okay, I was going to say that despite the title, I don’t think worms are nasty. But, in the middle of my food post they are.

Fun facts: By the numbers:

  • Life span: Average two years
  • Optimum temperature: 55-75 degrees
  • Food intake: One pound (700-1,000 wrigglers) eats one-half pound of food each day.
  • Eyes, teeth, lungs, brain: 0
  • Senses: Nerve endings help them find food
  • Hearts: 5
  • Reproduction: Hermaphrodites, begin breeding when 2 months old, capable of producing 96 babies each month.
Source: Solana Center for Environmental Innovation; Tacoma, WA., Public Works Department.

Part of the nasty comes with the smell of decaying food. Today I shared with the community wormery a bit of my sweet smelling compost accelerator and additive for odor control, EM-1 Rice Bran Bokashi. This word, bokashi, is a Japanese term meaning fermented organic matter. It is saturated with beneficial microorganisms and also is used to keep smells down. I got it from the Peddler’s Wagon this last week.

Post Script: It occurs to me that black food, like my turnip, have the Spanish word negras (black olives = aceitunas negras) or a some form of the word. So I could have used that in the title. Frankly, that root word has caused too much ugliness in the USA, so I’m glad it hadn’t occurred to me.
The French for black is noir and the Italian is nero.
The nod to surfers seems more fitting, Nevermind.

Second post script: I have been so slow with cooking the turnips. Today I must get the greens into the solar oven. I now have another non-working heating appliance. My induction cook top stopped working in January after I had it turned off for a while. Yesterday I found my microwave is now non-working. I had unplugged it (trying not to use it) and when I plugged it back in it didn’t work. Grrrrr Will I have to use it as another solar oven as Sharon at Casaubon's Book suggests?

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