We are starting this year’s gardening season with a new raised beam. If I compare it to the beams we already have, it’s double in size, so it counts as two. We thought we were going to call it a crown flowerbed, but so much else happened, from idea to setup, that it got the name self-sufficiency. We are no longer gardeners who spend our free time on salads, but we start growing vegetables for food. So out of necessity. With the new double beam, we will have ten mini vegetable plots, which is supposed to be enough vegetables for two people.
Why raised beams?
Raised beams are easier to manage, accessible from all sides, easy to cover, protect, water. For those with back pain, high beam is even better. Raised or tall, they can be placed virtually anywhere there is sufficient sunlight. I didn’t think I could place them so easily around a once bourgeois garden with ornamental grasses. Sometimes I get caught up in the idea that the new image of the garden would amaze the landscaper who designed it. Twenty years ago, I didn’t feel the need to grow vegetables, today I do. I try to think responsibly and put my needs within the wooden frame of the new raised beam in our garden.
Sparrows chirp about self-sufficiency and this is by no means a fad. It’s high time I thought about where and how to grow what I get on a plate. Self-sufficiency also means looking around, connecting with others, looking for ways to ensure a comfortable life without a shopping cart. I picked the ingredients for today’s recipe from the garden. The cabbage that fed us in the winter is now shrinking. Among them was the largest plant, its dark green leaves are quite purple at the edges. The leaves are tough, the stems are fibrous, the taste is nothing special, just enough for a modest soup.
I am still fasting, subject to slight anxiety when I think about the future.
Can you grow anything yourself? Not for the garden? Don’t know how to sow plants? A hole in education. We have many such holes of ignorance. How to sew pants, fix a bike, find something edible in nature, (re)pleasure yourself naturally, light a fire. I wasn’t taught that in school, but I peeled on the bench for about sixteen years. There is no time to think about the past, the nose must be turned forward, the chin up and a few things learned for life that may soon come in handy. Now that I write this, I am seriously considering ordering another raised beam from a carpenter.
You can also use this recipe to make tougher leaves of plain or Tuscan kale.
Raštika in a modest soup
- 300g radishes
- a few cloves of garlic
- salt and pepper
- teaspoon ground pepper (smoked will give the best taste)
- a pinch of chilli
- teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
- marinated sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
1. Prepare the leaves by cutting the stems and leaf veins. Roll up the leaves and cut them into wide strips, then into squares. Chop the onion and garlic separately.
2. Soften the onion in the oil, add the garlic and, when fragrant, stir in the salt, pepper, paprika and chilli. Immediately pour hot water. Shake the sliced rastika in the pot and cook for a good hour. Towards the end of cooking, acidify and, if desired, incorporate the slices of sun-dried tomatoes.
3. Offer rastika as a modest soup. You can drain it and add it to other side dishes. It is customary to offer a cup of pure raštika soup alongside.