Bare Bones Biology 237 – I Don’t Cook

And before you start telling me how to cook – didn’t say I don’t know how. My mama did her job, and then I went through my own cooking phase, but now I’m just primarily interested in the simplest way to eat healthy. Next year that will include the garden. So I’m thinking about seeds. They must be non-GMO (and I’ll talk about that some other day). Organically grown and harvested is also a plus because it nurtures our earth system.

The last time I was back in civilization, I think it was in a health food store in Santa Fe, I found the Whole Seed Catalog, from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds ( I brought that catalog back up home with me in the cab of the truck, and in the back of the pickup I brought a bucket full of food scraps, coffee filters, and that sort of thing that were left over from eating organically in the big city, where you can buy organically grown non-GMO food all ready to cook or eat.

141214-Bitsy-ASC_3222RLScards copyLast week I was able to get into the canyon – all is well, gorgeous as usual – and I dumped all those scraps on top of my compost heap. The compost heap has been growing for the last couple of years, mostly using weeds from the yard, some egg shells from the neighbor’s chickens, and of course the coffee filters, but I had not yet added any dirt to it, nor the juicy kinds of things that bears, for example, might like to eat. Actually, I’ve seen no sign of bear this year, but elk were stomping in the front yard while I was gone, and it appears that a really big bull elk is resident. I hope he stays on my property so nobody will shoot him.

Anyhow, I dumped the entire bucket of organic food leavings on top of the compost pile and covered over the whole thing with dirt from last year’s garden, and some dirt also from where gophers had been digging, because it’s easier to shovel than the frozen surface soil. I noticed last year that gopher-hole dirt is very low in organic material, but so is nearly all the dirt out here, except that we bought last year when the project began ( And of course, that’s the point. Every year our soil will be better ( able to support the veggies, and so now it’s time to buy the vegetiable seeds, and that’s why I mentioned cooking in the above. The plants that I grow need to suit the equipment I have for cooking.

No fires, no generator, nothing that burns, because of course the whole point of being in the canyon is to have clean air for my chemically sensitive lungs to breath. So that’s it, a a pot and a solar “oven,” a spoon, a knife, a cup and a little water-heating coil for early morning hot drink, and a few solar panels.

We said before that nothing beats organically grown, non-GMO food for healthy eating, mostly because we don’t want to eat man-made chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, plastics, and other things that may come in our water supply such as hormones and medicines that people throw down the drain. And then use the water to irrigate the plants. Not a good idea. What goes around comes around in the Biosystem. If you wouldn’t want to feed it to your children – don’t run it down the drain.

This year, we will plant some local heirloom seeds, such as blue corn from the reservation and native flowers that we order from a local organization called There are many sources ( And just a few heirloom veggies from Whole Seeds, that I’ll list below. First we will decide what will cook in one pot on a sunny day, and that will be things like carrots, tomatoes etc. And then we will look for plants with the shortest growing seasons that do well in high-desert climate. Also some nice leafy vegetables that we can eat raw.

Then we will consider the health of the soil – it will want legumes with the corn and squash – the three sisters. And then of course we must consider the health of our community beyond the soil in our own garden, to include the air and water, and the organisms: plants, animals and people.

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of and KEOS FM, 89.1, in Bryan, Texas. A copy of the podcast may be downloaded here:

Seeds ordered so far:

Bolita half runner bean – “one of the original varieties brought by the Spanish as they settled New Mexico.”
Parisienne Carrot – Round carrot might do better in shallow soil that has gophers
Bushel Basket Gourd – I like the fun idea of growing a gourd big enough to store things in.
Russian Red Kale – Because it’s nice to pick kale out of the garden and eat on the go for snacks, and might do well here.
Glacier Tomato – 55 days and reliable in cool area.

SOURCE List for Seed and Plants for the Upland Southwest

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