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I harvested these beautiful tomatoes this morning from my garden and they inspired me to write this poem. Since tomatoes originated in the Andes, I decided to write the poem in Spanish first and translate it into English afterwards. Wow little did I realize how difficult it is to translate poetry from Spanish to English! It’s not just about translating the words, but translating the essence! To learn more about the tomato’s journey around the world, click here.
This poem is dedicated to all the tomato lovers, cooks, poets and nomads traversing the globe. Special thanks to Ivan Chaquea from Colombia for editing the Spanish version.
La Conquista del Tomate
by Roshani Kothari, September 6, 2014
Me escapé de noche
de las montañas frías de los Andes
Me fui primero al calor de México
pero allá no me detuve!
Me sorprendí un poco encontrar
que no importa donde fuera
todos se enamoraban de mi.
Pero no podía quedarme en un solo lugar
Me bañe en la luz dorada de la puesta del sol
y me preparé para mi próximo viaje
Cuando la luna salió y me dio un beso
continué mi viaje hacia España, Italia, Medio Oeste,
África y la India…
En todo lugar dejé un par de hijos y hijas
para continuar mi destino
Conquistando el mundo con mi sabrosura
a veces muy dulce, a veces agria y a veces agridulce
y con mis colores maravillosos rojos, naranjos, amarillos
que nadie podía resistir
así complete mi destino seduciendo al mundo!
by Roshani Kothari, September 6, 2014
I escaped during the night
from the cold Andes mountains
to the warmth of Mexico
but I didn’t stop there!
I was a little surprised to find out
that no matter where I went
People fell in love with me
But I couldn’t just stay in one place
I bathed in the golden light of the setting sun
and prepared for my next journey
When the moon rose and gave me a kiss
I continued on my journey to Spain, Italy, the Middle East,
Africa and India…
Everywhere I went I left sons and daughters
to continue my destiny
Seducing the world with my delicious juiciness
sometimes very sweet, sometimes sour, and sometimes sweet and sour
dressed in bright red, orange and yellow
Alas no one could resist me
and so I go on fulfilling my destiny and
seducing the world!
One of the joys of summers is harvesting fresh veggies from the garden. I recently harvested carrots, peppers, tomatoes, summer squash and eggplants from the garden. See the photos and the Spicy Harvest Noodle recipe I concocted. You can be creative and use the vegetables you have, instead of using the ones below. If you like the images you can purchase a tote bag, apron and prints through my online photo gallery Global Mosaics.
Spicy Harvest Noodles
1. Boil water and put a packet of soba noodles or another thin noodles variety. After they are cooked, rinse in cold water and set aside.
2. Fry garlic and serrano peppers in oil (just a pinch since they can be quite hot.)
3. Add sliced summer squash, carrots and thai eggplant. Feel free to use whatever veggies you have. Cook on medium high heat.
4. Add tamari or soy sauce, sesame oil and pinch of brown sugar.
5. Add purple Thai basil leaves if you have any.
6. Add in the noodles and add slightly more tamari.
7. Serve in a bowl and sprinkle roasted sesame seeds on top.
Alice Walker spoke to a full house at Busboys & Poets with a crowd standing outside listening to her as she read from her new book Overcoming Speechlessness. She said that we need to “degadgetize.”
I saw this film at the D.C. Environmental Film Festival. It’s still under production. Can’t wait to see the final version!
Botany of Desire is a very interesting book by Michael Pollan that delves into how plants use human beings to shape their destiny, and the danger that lies in monoculture–growing a lot of the same plant, instead of growing different varieties–in order to satisfy our desires.
For example farmers growing only russet potatoes to sell to McDonalds, so they can churn out the same homogeneous french fries all over the world. The film also looks at the science of growing potent cannabis indoors by depriving the female cannabis plants of sex. We learn about the apple’s journey from the Kazhak mountains to other parts of the world and the potato’s journey from the Andes mountains
to Ireland and Idaho.
The book and the film are eye opening and share many interesting stories from the past and lessons for the road ahead.
FILM STARRING…APPLES, CANNABIS, TULIPS, POTATOES
LESSON: Downfall >> MONOCULTURE, Answer >> DIVERSITY
Gummy bears, nerds, jolly ranchers, double mint gum…only a few candies that some of us enjoyed as kids and some of us still enjoy! Well, time to change how both kids and adults think about candies…These candies have artificial colors, flavors and plenty sugar to cause cavities!
Mother Nature has given us so many treats that we can enjoy as candy! Looking for something sweet and sour? Try some tamarind. Looking for a breath freshener? Try some peppermint or spearmint leaves. Mint plants are easy to grow and take care of. Make sure you plant them in a pot, not in the ground because it can take over your garden. Not into mint, try some cinnamon sticks or cloves to freshen your breath.
Instead of treating yourself to artificial candies that try to imitate Nature’s gifts, enjoy the real thing! If you can’t find them at the major grocery stores, you can find these inexpensive, healthy, yummy treats in African, Asian, Caribbean or Latino stores.
What are some of your favorite natural candies?