November 1, 2010

In small praise of homegrown.

First, let me say thanks to all you readers and lurkers out there.  This blog's pageviews continue to climb steadily and are coming from all around the globe.  This can only mean that it's helping to do some good somehow, and that people are sharing it with others.  That's great, it's what it's all about.  Almost as gratifying, I've been made aware that there's a creeping, growing awareness of this site in medico-land, with a number of dietitians and nutrition program managers and the like telling me that it's one of the main resources they direct new tuberfolk to.  So please folk, keep your input a-comin; people need us, and love what's going on!

That said, here's a picture.

Those of you who read my other blog will know I moved house last year and have faced a number of challenges getting the garden up and running.  It's spring here, and despite the difficulties I've had my first little harvest.  Oh, and that isn't some weird mold on the broad beans, it's frost - I harvested them the day before, blanched and froze them in portion sizes.   Yes, I trimmed and cooked the artichokes (only two of them, my wife had the other and another besides) but the herbs (coriander and mint in this batch) and everything else went in as is.  The blend, if you're interested (usual memory disclaimer and apologies for my non-measuring system as always), was:

Walnuts, a large handful
Quinoa, uncooked, maybe a cup
Sesame seeds, a short pouring
Two artichokes
Double handful broadbeans (fava beans, same thing)
Strawberries, just four gorgeous little ones
Coriander (cilantro)
Sweet potato, two smallish orange ones
Banana, one of
Dark agave syrup, a few tablespoons probably
local EV olive oil, lots more than you'd normally think was good for you
garlic-infused olive oil (really STRONG too, yum) just a bit
cardamom, ginger, turmeric, all dried and ground, about a teaspoon each
organic oat and honey milk, 1 litre
carrot and orange juice, to top up and thin just enough.

This all made just under 3 litres, so I split in into 7 feeds of roughly 400mls.  And I have to say, it smells just divine.  Juuuust thin enough to gravity-feed via syringe body.

So the real question is, what's with the strawberries?

Yes, there were only four little ones.  They were the vanguard of our strawberry pots production and all that was available on the day - so why bother at all?  Because it's about the connection.  The link between the (organic) way we grow food, the soil and air and water and sunshine we help along with our designs and efforts to make food, and with my inner self - in all senses of that term.

In gross terms, four strawberries isn't going to amount to much in 3 litres of tubefood, but the energy (for want of a less New Age term) is really important.  The blend above is a celebration of the season, and how it is at my home.  This sort of stuff I believe is every bit as important to our whole-person health than just a calorie and mineral count.  You'll know by now I'm not a rampaging ideologue on the 'anything less than permacultured organic local produce is contributing to the death of the planet and will probably give you cancer' bandwagon, but there's no doubt in my mind that food made as close to us as possible, by our own efforts if possible, in as much of a naturalistic way as possible, will trump every other conceivable form of fuel intake available to us - in the way it supports us individually, and as a collective of people on a fragile world.

Tubefeeding in some ways has given me a keener appreciation of the feel of food than I ever had before.

So I'd just like to take a moment to express my gratitude that I can in a small way help nature make food for me and my wife, and encourage everyone to remember that it isn't an all-or-nothing sort of thing to do.  Just a little pot of herbs on a windowsill, a sprinkling of homegrown, natural parsley on top of your dinner, makes such an immense difference to how the whole meal and mealtime feels.  Connection.  And if you happen to be tubefed, it's really all the easier.

I mean.......seriously, would you EAT all that together?


  1. If you have any questions about tube feeding or want to meet another person fed by tube -- check out the Oley Foundation at

    We offer information and peer support to people on tube and IV feeding. All of our programs are free of charge for patients and their families.

    Best regards,
    Roslyn Dahl
    Oley Foundation Staff
    (800) 776-OLEY

  2. I couldn't agree with you more on the value of good home gardened food! It feeds the body and feeds the soul. There is just something so satisfying about dropping in a big handful of whatever you just brought in warm from the garden.

    Thanks for your ever-so-informative blog, Eric. I hope to feature it some Friday as a favorite, if that is okay by you.


  3. Rose-Marie, of course it is OK. Whatever might help someone is always a good thing!