Heaven Sent

Poof! 2012 is gone! Not sure where it went but here I am in a whole new place since the last time I sat down to write anything. 

I didn’t realize it at the time but Charcutepalooza was preparing me for the next step in my vida loca. Last February I went primal and it’s been a major learning experience, to say the least. I’ve had to relearn all of the biochemistry that I learned in graduate school and it’s come in pretty handy. It’s not necessary to have a working knowledge of biochemistry to understand the science behind the primal philosophy but, being the science geek I am, I enjoyed getting into the nitty gritty bits of it. Over at Mark’s Daily Apple you can read a bit about why I don’t eat grains or legumes, do eat lots of healthy fats and have learned more about cholesterol than they ever taught me in school. If that isn’t enough, here is an in-depth series about all things cholesterol written by Peter Attia.

Part of following a paleo or primal lifestyle involves the quality of the foods you eat. So, just like I’ve revamped my diet (and lost 25 pounds in the process), I’m also ramping up my gardening. For the last couple of years, I’ve done raised-bed organic gardening with a friend at her house. This year my husband and I are working with the Barefoot Farmer and getting our own garden started. We will be using biodynamic techniques as much as possible and have plowed up a 60×60 foot section of our front yard.

Go big or go home!

Go big or go home!

...and bought a tractor!

…and bought a tractor!

Not just any tractor either; this is a 1949 Farmall Cub. Or so we thought. It’s actually part 1949, and part 1955 with some 1960’s parts thrown in for good measure. It was dubbed a “Frankencub” by our local Cub authority and, being “Young Frankenstein” fans, of course we named her Abby!

In the beginning of December I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Tennessee Local Food Summit. On Sunday, we met at one of the local farms where Jeff Poppen (The Barefoot Farmer) and Hugh Lovel read from Rudolf Steiner’s “Agriculture Course” and discussed the ideas presented in the lecture.

Hugh Lovel (left) and Jeff Poppen reading Rudolf Steiner's Agriculture Course at SUlfur Creek Farm

Hugh Lovel (left) and Jeff Poppen reading Rudolf Steiner’s Agriculture Course at Sulfur Creek Farm

It was an amazing day spent with like-minded people discussing anthroposophy (the study of the wisdom of humanity) and touring the farm examining the effects of biodynamic techniques on the soil and plants.

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December 21, 2012 was a date of rebirth; we have entered the World of the Fifth Sun (thanks, Travis Book for this great link). Carlos, one of the Mayan elders and spiritual guide, tells us “Meditation and spiritual practice are good, but also action. It’s very important to be clear about who you are, and also about your relation to the Earth. Develop yourself according to your own tradition and the call of your heart. But remember to respect differences, and strive for unity. Eat wisely — a lot of food is corrupt in either subtle or gross ways. Pay attention to what you are taking into your body. Learn to preserve food, and to conserve energy. Learn some good breathing techniques, so you have mastery of your breath. Be clear. Follow a tradition with great roots. It is not important what tradition, your heart will tell you, but it must have great roots.”  

Excellent advice and a perfect thought to start the new year. I’ll be reading more Steiner and re-reading it and re-re-reading it since my heart has already told me that this is a path with great roots and I should follow it. On a less philosophical note, I’ll start this year like I have the last twelve; by celebrating our anniversary. We’ll spend the day making a cheese press, cooking the corned beef that I’ve had curing for the last few days and feeling privileged that our cats allow us to take care of them.

“The greatest wisdom is in simplicity-love, respect, tolerance, sharing, gratitude, forgiveness.” – Carlos