Starting the Autumn Food Garden, Hummus, and a Shift

August is here in two days. It’s time to clear some of the fading squash plants, till some garden area, and plant the seeds for the autumn crops.

I’ve ordered the fall crop seeds from Seeds of Italy: Bionda a Foglia Liscia (‘Come and Cut Again’ lettuce), Ortolani arugula, and Gigante d’Inverno spinach. I still have plenty of lettuce seeds.

I also ordered one 10-foot-long shade tunnel to get these cool-weather-loving crops started in the heat of August while protecting them from relentless sun, which will kill them in their infancy. The tunnel will keep them warm for germination, but block the sun.

Once the seedlings are established, sometime in early September, we can remove the shade tunnel, and replace it with the poly tunnel, which will keep the young plants warm as the weather cools. Gardening is wonderful work.

I made this great, super-garlicky hummus last night. It doesn’t do great things for your breath, but it’s protein-packed and it has lots of our garden basil and parsley in it. So I’m here with garlic mouth today, which is not great, but worth it when the hummus rocks.

Something happened yesterday. I stopped at the market to get the makings for a ziti for my husband’s son, who came to the rescue two weeks ago and fixed my pretty busted car by actually coming to my workplace and fixing it right there. It was an insanely kind thing to do. I was very grateful. I bought him lunch, and my husband gave him some money, but I think more gratitude is in order.

Anyway, he eats meat. When I was a vegetarian, if I was feeding meat eaters, I would prepare meat for them. I didn’t like it, but I could handle it. Yesterday, at the market, I went to the area where they keep the processed meats, and searched out some for his ziti.

I found a package. And as I placed my hand on it, a rush of revulsion punched me in the face. I kept my hand on it for a moment, intending to pick it up in spite of this sick feeling, but after a few seconds, I pulled my hand away from this cold, dead, plastic package of meat that was once a living, feeling, tortured, frightened animal. You might as well have asked me to pick up something that was on fire.

Two dialogues were running in my head: one, me - the observed - experiencing and trying to interpret the shock of what was happening; and the observer, who was watching the woman in shock. 

I walked away and realized that going vegan has changed things at ground level, and for good. I’m no longer in denial. I can’t participate, even if it means I lose human connections. I hope I don’t, but if I do, there’s really nothing I can do about it. A personal paradigm shift has occurred. And that's that.

Yesterday’s shock has passed. But I now know, to my very backbone, that we should love and protect animals as we love and protect the innocent. And that if we don’t, then there’s no hope for them, or for us. And that I’m in this all the way.

Live in peace.

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