Allow me to introduce myself. I am Christina Winds. I’m a single mom of two almost-grown boys, two dogs, and two cats. I work full-time in the computer field. And I write paranormal romances—two of which are published and a third due out soon. Others are in the works. Yes, I keep busy. But that’s not what’s important for this blog.
What’s important is…I’m a foodie. In case you don’t know, a ‘foodie’ is someone who likes good food. Gourmet food. Food that is more than the everyday meat-and-potatoes American fare. I like Indian food and Thai food and Chinese and African and Italian and so many others. In short, I like foods that are different and unusual from far-away places. A trait only emphasized by one of my sons enrolling in culinary school (he’s even more of a foodie than I am!).
I am also very interested in buying locally sourced food.
So how do I reconcile loving a tasty Thai curry…with a commitment to buying as much of my groceries from local sources as possible?
Welcome to the start of my Foodie Homesteader journey.
You see, most of what goes into the cuisines of the world are fairly standard. You have chicken and potatoes and various vegetables—most of which are now pretty common the world over. There will be some regional differences—like the use of taro rather than potato—but many of the base ingredients are very similar to each other.
What primarily differentiates cuisines is the array of spices.
Researching where these spices come from has opened up a whole new gardening world to me. Did you know that the highly-expensive spice, saffron, comes from a crocus flower you could have pop up in your yard each spring with the rest of your spring bulbs? Or that a vanilla orchid will quite happily live in a well-lit corner of your home?
The more I researched, the more I realized that while I do not have the land necessary to farm large plots of potatoes or keep numerous heads of livestock, I do have space enough to keep a variety of specimen plants that can cater to my need for spice.
I find that very convenient because everything else is quite easy to locally source in my area, even if I do not grow it myself.
And thus begins my journey into becoming the Foodie Homesteader. Feel free to come along for the ride. It’s bound to be interesting as I try to source, acquire, and grow edible plants from around the world—all in my zone 8 home and yard.
Oooh, this is interesting! I’m in zone 5b, but I wonder if I could do some of this too.
You will need growlights at least to keep tropical plants in their ‘full sun’ over the winter when the intensity of sun in your area won’t be up to the task, even in your brightest window. And, of course, plenty of heated space inside to keep them. But as long as you can provide light, heat and space, you should be able to grow anything you like! Give it a go!
Beware! The crocus that pops up in the spring (at least in the northern hemisphere!) is NOT saffron crocus and cannot be eaten. The saffron crocus blooms in autumn AND the only part eaten are the three stamens, which must be dried and allowed to cure for nearly a year to develop that saffron flavor. DO NOT harvest any other species of crocus!!!