Aromas of Spring

Baker Creek Chef Quintin Eason gives his take on spring and why having a provision garden is so important.

| Spring 2015

Try Chef Quintin Eason's Roasted Golden Beets with Arugula and Pistachio Goat Cheese Recipe

As the morning frost begins to lessen its grip on nature, the aroma of spring will again fill the air. As gardeners, we share in the anticipation of the planting season. The faint smell of early blossoms on this mountain top at Baker Creek, signals of bountiful times ahead. In my brain, yet again, it’s planting season. With planting season comes all the pleasures of homegrown, safe food. We don’t compromise, or find shortcuts, because we care deeply for the things we feed our body. We don’t spray harsh chemicals on our soil, because we worked all winter long to build the network of soil structure that makes organic gardening so fruitful. I treasure the small sprouts of life, weeds and all. These sprouts peek through the dirt as they posture the earth that prepares to receive one of our most precious gifts, the seed.

As an avid foodie, gardening is the premise on which I build my menus and flavors. I can visualize the garden transitioning to the plate every season. I purpose to feed my family the best, nutrient-rich foods possible. Spring is the time when the warming sun illuminates my senses, my mouth literally waters at the thought of the first morsels of spring. Most don’t know that primrose brings elegance to a wild green salad. A bouquet of delicate aromas bounce on the palate. Spring onions are another lovely addition to a mass of food items, such as freshly dug potatoes.

As a father of six, I grow more concerned with our food politics every day. I think by now all of you can relate to the exorbitant increase in cost of goods. It was a challenge this holiday season just to put some healthy food on the table. I firmly believe that the current food crisis will only worsen with time as the agro-giants continue to pump harmful chemicals on the bulk of our food supply. The basic laws of the macro-micro economics and the principles of supply and demand have us at a pivotal juncture. Food prices will never — listen up — never go back down. This is more reason than ever to begin the education process of wild foraging, back to basics of gardening, and animal husbandry. This has been a passion for us and our forefathers for generations.

I would challenge the opposing view to mainstream media, in that something is amiss and in need of a dramatic change. I may not be able to change the world, but I can do my part in educating my family and those close to me. Growing your own food is a skill that was given to us in the most magnificent garden in all of history, and in that task was the simplicity of provision.

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