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The Harvest Story of a Meal (AKA a 30 minute meal that takes a year)

Pork Stew With Sweet Potatoes

2 cloves garlic / minced

1 green bell pepper / cut into strips

1 can Ro-tel

1 ½ cups cubed pork / ham steak

1 medium onion / thinly sliced

1 cup green beans

1 cup whole kernel corn

½ tsp ground coriander

3 medium sweet potatoes / peeled and cubed

2 cups water

1 tsp chili powder

½ tsp salt

Place sweet potatoes, bell peppers, corn, onion, and garlic in slow cooker. Add pork, chili powder, ground coriander, and the salt. Pour water & Ro-tel over all. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours. Add green beans the last 20 min.

Serves 6

My favorite time to make this stew is fall, mainly because I really enjoy cooking then, it’s my time to reflect, and slow down. Right now as these last few days of winter pass, I am at the early stages of preparing many meals just like this stew. How is that? You may ask. Well, it’s like this.

Last fall, October to be exact, I planted my garlic, yes, I had one last hurrah in the garden just as old man winter was about to come knocking. I tucked them in the ground with good night wishes and dreams of many meals to come. If I make this stew this autumn in October when the leaves are falling and there is a chill in the air it will have taken a year since I started working on that stew.

I started getting seed catalogs in late November and threw December, where I drooled over the pages reading all about the perfect plants that I would choose and grow in the perfect garden (that had not a single weed). From these catalogs I choose seeds that would produce peppers and tomatoes, my seeds would come in January and I would finally get to start them in February, as I did. So if I make this stew in October, the peppers that I use both in the stew and in the Ro-tel I can, will have taken me 8 months to grow if I started them in February.

This week I will be getting the pigs that I will care for all spring and summer until I harvest them this September, and I will get the ham steak I need to make this stew. I will go to get these pigs this week, however they were born in January, so the meat in this stew will have taken 9 months.

The onions I will plant next week and they will grow all spring, I shall also plant more in the late summer so that I may have a fall crop as well to make all the more meals over the winter. The beans and corn I’ll plant next month and harvest this summer. The coriander I’ll gather from the cilantro that I let go to seed and save.

The sweet potato slips I’ll plant in May and patiently wait all summer until late September/ October before I’ll dig them up to see what kind of bounty they produced, then they must cure for a few weeks before they taste best. The water I’ll not raise or grow however I must care for and protect just the same, as it will come from the earth below me, from our well.

There are 2 things I do not grow or care for that I must buy, at least for now, in order to make this stew. Salt and chili powder.

I don’t suggest everyone take the time I do to cook as I do; there is a lot of life that happens within that amount of time. But also, a lot of memories. I enjoy thinking, as I take the few minutes putting this stew together in the morning, about each item I chop and dice and just how much went into bringing them together, to feed my family. I don’t suggest that everyone grow the food as I do, but you could have the same feeling, the same moment of satisfaction knowing the details of the journey your food had, to get to you, and the memories of watching it grow. If you joined my farm share, your food could take a year to make as well.

To learn more about my farm share please read about it.

To sign up before March 20th click here!


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