Archives for posts with tag: organic

blackberries below zero2

Mornings have been pretty cold here the last weeks, but our blackberry shrub doesn’t seem to mind. He could not wait for spring, and now we are having a few homegrown blackberries every day.

blackberries below zero

Advertisements

image

Apples must be one of the first images you associate to fruit as a kid. It’s the fruit that gets to star in more toddler and kid’s drawings. It’s the emblem of gravity. It is the quintessential fruit. Also identified with Paradise in biblical writings. Present in so many symbols throughout history, art, and religion, it was also very present in my house as a kid. Growing up in the northern state of Chihuahua, the equivalent apple producer in Mexico to Washington state, it was typical to grab an apple in the afternoon as a snack. The memories of the smell of apple pie baking in the oven will always be associated to my childhood.

But things have changed. Getting apples is not as easy as going to the grocery shop and buying any apple they got there. Yes, they look beautiful, they are bright red, or glowing greenish yellow. Exactly like the ones you used to draw. But that’s where the problem starts, they are too shiny, too perfect. How? They are coated with wax, and they are full of pesticides. The non profit EWG (Enviromental Working Group) has ranked apples, for a few years in a row now, number one fruit or vegetable (sometimes switching to number two to let peaches take number one) with the highest pesticide residues.

You may wonder how dangerous these pesticides could be. Well, they are associated with cancer, infertility, birth defects, neurological problems like autism or Parkinson’s, and endocrine disruption (think your hormones going crazy), among other not so pleasant conditions.

I am definitely not obsessed with buying everything organic. But with a few specific food items I do try to be very careful. Apples, with an amount of approximately 93 pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, have become part of that list. So, my neighbor’s apples may not be perfectly shaped, and they are certainly not glossy. But they are local, seasonal, and best of all, clean! We might not eat apples all year long. But when the season approaches, we are the first to knock on the door of our apple growing neighbor.

image_1

At this moment I am feeling the most grounded and stable that I’ve ever felt in the past years. One of the big reasons for this is that I am living very close to nature, something I had never done before. Being the city slicker that I was, I never thought I could survive in a small town. And here I am, about to celebrate my second anniversary living in a tiny town.

We moved here on the 8th of june 2012. I have seen Matías, my 3 yr old, grow knowing where his food comes from. In the summer, if he wants a pomegranate or a fig, he just goes out to the garden, and with a little help, gets it from the trees. He could explain with his hands and a few words how to make cheese since he was 21 months old. And he lives in harmony with nature’s rhythm, getting excited for the plants when it rains, and noticing every slight difference with the colors of the trees season by season, or in the air with his sense of smell.

I miss museums, concerts and especially my friends. But right now there is not much else I could ask for. A lot of things I used to think important aren’t that much anymore with this new perspective. I’m grateful that we have clean air to breathe, that we never spend our time stuck on traffic, and I’m even more grateful that nature has helped me find my ground and has given me back my long lost stability.

berrytasting2

May 2014’s harvest

One of the many joys of living here is a blackberry orchard that’s near to our town. It’s called Q-Zar. It has now become a family tradition to go blackberry picking every harvest season. This berry paradise explodes with black-purplish fruit in may and also in october. And for our delight, they happen to have the best organic blackberries in the country. They’re grown without any pesticides or chemicals. We can not even wear mosquito repellent when we visit, except one that’s formulated with natural essential oils. So no Off if you plan to visit!

These blackberries are so sweet you can’t believe it. The only downside is that they are so good that after tasting them, no other blackberry will do. So we settle for blackberries during harvest season, and then wait anxiously for the next season.

October 2013’s harvest

If you’re ever in the state of Querétaro, in Mexico, during may, or september-october, or you live here right now, don’t miss it! Go visit Q-Zar blackberry orchard. It’s between the cities of San Juan del Rio and Querétaro. And hurry cause sadly around 80 percent of the harvest goes away to the US and Canada.

I don’t know how long we are going to stay living here, and if destiny will take us somewhere else, sometime soon. But for the time we stay, we will continue the tradition of visiting this blissful place every harvest season.

imageimage_1image_2image_3

image_1