My First Pandemic Blog Post

Pre pandemic, I marketed a couple times a week, made circle eights around town, visiting as many deal-worthy, special-of-the-day spots, second-hand shops, carts, food trucks, as possible. 

Free stuff?! Masked down produce?! Fell on the ground?! So what, God made dirt, and dirt don't hurt, so what if that tomato rolled across the asphalt, after a boar stampede, put it in your mouth and eat it!

Down to earth, grassroots, hippie loving, dirt drinking, recycling, junkyard girl, meet your match, covid-19. Paper towels do have a point! I couldn't find a paper towel on earth!

I was introduced to the pandemic at the market of sold out everything. Everywhere. 

This. Is. The. Apocalypse. It was. A man was sitting on the curb shaking his head, repeating, "There's no water." 

I worked with a group of women as a volunteer, together, we kept two beautiful seniors in private care 24/7. I was the chef and supply buyer. I did the math. In order to keep the two senior citizens alive, none of us could get covid-19. 

With everything sold out, everywhere I'd have to get creative. Industrial supply stores. N195 masks? Army surplus mask, last one. Israeli special, size xs. Ok, I couldn't breathe very well, but I did make it through a market trip, despite probably looking way too crazy, and.. probably a little dangerous!!

But! Taking the safety and welfare of my two elderly friends seriously was worth it. My time spent securing our supplies safely was worth it. 

My next feat was to make one marketing trip last a long time. I speculated that I could several small grocery deliveries into a huge market delivery with a little planning. This way I could buy just as much fresh food, but reduce the amount of risk for myself and my shopper, by getting creative. It worked!

I read blogs from chefs who were trying the same tactics. How to pickle, can, jar, freeze, smoke, dehydrate, stew for days, keep warm for a week, and stretch fresh food for 30 days. It worked. 

It's a great skill that many people around the world have, especially people who have experienced hard times, war, slavery, poverty, and famine. The clever dishes invented by these times are also delicacies, treasures coveted for generations. Kefilta fish, kimchi, homemade jerky, that's the good stuff.

There's something else that people have been doing for centuries in hard times. It turns scraps into gold, trash into diamonds. A chicken can provide a farm with fresh eggs, the eggshells, and scraps into fertilizer, plus a little sunshine and water #fresh affordable food. 

Sunshine from the garden added something special for me in my pandemic effort, one of the most important parts. 

I joined a community garden. To prove a hypothesis which I'd proven to myself many times before. People care. 

People care enough about others to put a community garden in neighborhoods like mine.

Gardeners from different backgrounds share and trade tips, and their hard-earned harvest with each other. 

We planted seeds in the dirt, and made meals from the harvest. To share. With our friends, family, loved ones, and each other. 

This is a pandemic prize which has a greater value than the savings at the market. I'm not a great Gardner yet, but I am making and sharing some delightful meals, thanks to my newfound friends at the garden.

Now, the girls I worked with, my close friends and family, we all made it. We all got vaccinated  For ourselves  For the people who depend on us. And for each other. 

I planted Japanese cucumbers, Thai basil, Jerusalem artichoke, and the ingredients for Russian (Cyn) Spanish (sopa) caldo, hot pot, pho, fresh vegetable soup, with seeds from around the world.:) 🌎


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