In her latest book To Boldly Grow: Finding Joy, Adventure, and Dinner in Your Own Backyard, Tamar Haspel describes the joy she finds in producing her own food.
When Haspel moved from Manhattan to Cape Cod in 2009, she challenged herself to take a more active approach to her diet. She and her husband are committed to eating at least one thing every day that they produce.
“It turned out to be much more interesting and compelling than I ever imagined,” Haspel told Food Tank, “because it changed the way I think about food. But also, and perhaps more importantly, it changed the way I think about me.”
Throughout the book, Haspel recounts his experiences raising poultry, foraging for mushrooms, hunting deer, fishing, and more. With each new project, Haspel said, he grew more confident in his abilities. “I found myself more armed and more willing to try the next thing.”
Each project also brings Haspel a new sense of accomplishment. “Providing ourselves and our family gives us satisfaction [which] is different from the regional satisfactions we usually go through [such as] getting a promotion or selling a book, or other achievements that we strive for in our lives. , said Haspel. “There’s something profound about it … and everyone who’s ever had food tasted it.”
And even as Haspel becomes more capable of producing her food, she explains that these projects only help to emphasize the importance of her neighbour.
“Doing all these things connects us with our community, connects us with other people who garden, other people who raise chickens, other people who raise bees,” Haspel told Food Tank. He also joined a fishing club, a gardening club, and was on the board of a local shellfish fishing organization.
Haspel now has more than a decade of experience getting her own food, and she hopes that other eaters will try to do the same in their own lives, on whatever scale they can.
“What I hope is for more people to try something like this,” he told Food Tank. “Start small, go mushroom hunting, get one of those hydroponic herb gardens, and then everyone who does that community garden will have a different resonance for you.”
Listen to the full conversation with Tamar Haspel on “Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg” to hear more about what happens when eaters are removed from their food source, discover similarities to food, and Haspel’s new podcast, “Climavores.”
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Photo courtesy of Markus Spiske, Unsplash