reflections on food

growing, cooking, eating, and thinking…

F4 = 3 := Principles for Gardeners, Cooks, and Sociologists- Work with what you have.


Work with what you have: soil, location, reused materials, old and new knowledge.

These are basic permaculture principles, which again work well for many purposes. The knowledge we accumulate shapes the way we see the world, the environment we move in changes the way we use our knowledge: as we change our environment, our understanding of it changes as well. In my research around Detroit, and in my backyard garden, I walk on the edge between being a stranger and being a resident.

On the windowsill, this past winter, some cooking and gardening experiments directly inspired by my research were taking place. After tasting many different kinds of pickles during my rounds at the Eastern Market, I took to pickling myself… the incredible colors of pickled beets were a complete surprise. Close by some mint is taking roots in water, and cilantro is struggling to survive in an inconvenient environment.

I took the picture on a bright sunny day. The snow on the ground creates a very light, luminous background that contrasts with the darkness in the lower corner. The pink brine inside of the jar at the center seemed to glow, and it made a contrast with the green of the leaves.

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This entry was posted on February 26, 2015 by in autoethnography, cooking and tagged .
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