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June is National Pollinator Month, and in celebration, we are delighted to share with you a few of our favorite nutrient-dense, seasonal recipes to make the most of your garden’s bounty while supporting your local pollinators!
Both prior to his famous travels to the distant corners of the world and in his monumental work, “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration,” Dr. Weston A. Price openly expressed his grave concern regarding the strained relationship between human and soil health and considered the state of our soil to be a critical factor in providing appropriate nutrition to future generations.
As we have shared in past blog and social posts, recent research has shown that embracing regenerative and organic farming practices is essential to restoring our soil quality, and, ultimately, providing future generations with the nutrient-dense food that they deserve.
This message has become more widespread in recent years, thanks to the dedicated work of many, such as the beloved Alice Waters, whom we featured in our winter 2022 Journal of Health and Healing, and whose work with The Edible Schoolyard Project has put a spotlight on the necessity of changing the food criteria in American schools.
A great way to support your own local pollinators and ecosystems, as well as maintaining optimal soil health, is to grow your own garden and eat seasonally! Here are some tips for cultivating a few of the garden favorites in our recipes below:
Rosemary, Mint, Basil and Thyme:
Some of the easiest herbs to grow, both indoors and outdoors, rosemary, mint, basil and thyme are best planted between early spring and summer. These herbs also come in a dazzling array of varieties, particularly mint and thyme, and are great for supporting local pollinator populations.
We recommend planting zucchini and summer squash from late May to early July, depending on the season’s temperatures and rainfall. It’s a warm season crop, so it needs warm air, warm soil, and no chance of frost.
Plant eggplant seeds indoors 7 weeks before your last spring frost and outdoors 1-2 weeks after your last spring frost. Eggplants can be planted throughout the summer up until 14 weeks before your first fall frost.
Sow carrots from early spring to midsummer to be lifted from late spring to early winter. Stored roots will tide you over until the following spring. Make the earliest sowings of fast-growing early varieties into greenhouse or hoop house beds, or pots kept under cover.
In this 1948 article we shared as part of our #TBT series, William A. Albrecht, MS, PhD, highlights the impact of soil fertility on the nutritional quality of crops and feeds, arguing that the prevailing emphasis on maximizing crop yields has led to neglecting other crucial factors. He especially emphasizes the need for nutrient-rich soil to support the synthesis of proteins, necessary for the plant’s health as well as to fortify the diet of the animals consuming them.
Now a commonplace sight on the dinner table, chicken used to be an extravagance for many Americans, as their grain-based diets were pricier than those of other livestock (such as cows munching grass or pigs thriving on garbage), and there was more nutrition to be gained by keeping them alive for their eggs. By the 1920’s, chicken farming began to shift towards industrialization, largely due to vitamin D being used to fortify the birds during winter months, which allowed for year-round production and lowered consumer cost.
Today, we are seeing a resurgence of the ‘small family farm’ model, with passionate individuals, like Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm, leading the charge to provide more nutrient-dense poultry for American eaters. Compared to commercially-raised birds, pasture-raised chicken has superior levels of essential amino acids and fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin A.
Total cook time: 1.5 hrs
A member of the nightshade family, the eggplant is thought to have originated in India, with recent analysis finding cooked remnants among pottery shards dating back to 2600-1900 BCE. Eggplants (or aubergines, in the UK) didn’t start out as a dinner item, and were first used for medicinal purposes, due to their bitter and spongy nature. Even after hundreds of years of domestication by early farmers, eggplant still maintains an unpleasant after-taste if not prepared properly.
Today, this vibrant vegetable has charmed the culinary world with its unusual “meaty” texture and transmutable nature, which allows for its use in a wide variety of dishes, from the tomatoey ratatouille of French Provençal to the sweet and savory parmigiana di melanzane of southern Italy.
Cook time: 10-15 minutes
Still a significant international trade commodity, cod first became popular for this purpose in the Viking era, around 800 AD, as a result of the Norwegian practice of drying and salting the cod, which made it easy to transport over great distances. Nowadays, cod can be found on menus around the world in various forms, such as lutefisk, a traditional, and notoriously odorous, Norwegian meal of air-dried, unsalted cod fish.
Although the use of fermented cod liver oil remains a debated topic, cod liver and its oil have historically served a multitude of purposes for many Indigenous Peoples along the northern Atlantic coast. Prized for their nutritive value, cod livers also provided for other necessities, such as lamp oil and soap, and were especially revered by the Scandinavian Vikings, whose oil-making process involved draping the raw livers across birch branches over a kettle of water.
Cook time: 30-45 minutes
A common sight on summertime picnic tables in various forms, the seemingly ubiquitous zucchini (meaning, ‘small marrow’) has been enjoyed in many cuisines around the world in both fresh and fried form, such as fiori di zucca from Italy, which are the fried flowers of the zucchini plant.
Along with providing a source of prebiotics for your digestive system, zucchini is also high in antioxidants, such as zeaxanthin (one of the only two carotenoids found within the human eye), which has been found to delay or prevent age-related macular degeneration.
Cook time: 2.5-3.5 hours
In case you missed the last Recipe Feature, you can find it here: Recipes for Health – Mental Health Edition
Do you have a favorite Price-Pottenger or other ancestral recipe? Email us at [email protected] and let us know about your experiences with these and other healthful recipes!
To your best health,
The Price-Pottenger Team