Buckwheat Pancakes with Cricket Flour!

Buckwheatandcricketpancakes

Making these pancakes was easy; taking a picture of them wasn’t.  Food photography is hard!  Anyhow, I discovered buckwheat and now I am in love.  Buckwheat is so nutritious and full of protein, fiber, and magnesium which we all could use more of.  Another thing going for is that it is low in phytic acid, so it is a bit easier to digest.  It’s not even a grain!!!  I had no idea.  To make them, I mixed together 3/4 cups buckwheat flour, 3/4 cups water, 1 big banana, and a couple tablespoons of cricket flour.  I used coconut oil and fried them in an iron skillet which makes them even better!  Next time I make them, which will probably be tonight, I am going to add more cricket flour because I was a little too shy with it.  Lastly, when you make these, use real grass-fed butter because life is too short to eat the crappy stuff.

Advertisements

I am a Bug Farmer!!!

 

Being a bug farmer is not what I had in mind when I said I wanted to be a farmer. Perhaps I should have been a little more specific when I prayed to the universe, but I kinda like that the universe surprised me and helped me find my niche. Bug farming isn’t glamourous, but it is wonderous and beautiful in its own way. When I peer into the bin full of mealworms, I see a microcosm and I feel as connected to the ecosystem as I would if I were farming chickens or vegetables.

Any type of farming is like a marriage and requires a deep level of commitment. Healthy, regenerative farms are born of great effort, but I am nervous about this whole endeavor. I am struggling as I explore my relationship with commitment and have a lot of fear towards committing to a great many things. I am afraid of being responsible and depended upon because what if I fail? What if I am not good enough? What if the grass is greener on the other side? What if I am vulnerable? What if the deepest purest expression of myself is not met with love? When I actually get these worries out of my head they seem commonplace, but I spent my twenties feeling the crushing enormous weight of these worries and now have only begun to let go and commit to what I love despite fear. Scott Peck, a psychologist said that “love is effortful.” It just occurred to me that having my own personal ceremony where I commit to being a bug farmer and entomophagy educator may be a powerful way to solidify my commitment. It sounds silly, but as with a marriage commitment, there’s a sense of security that goes along with it. As long as I put forth my best effort and keep trying no matter what, it’s okay to fail and it’s okay to not be good enough. I am ready to inspire, educate, and learn; come what may.

So with that said, allow me to introduce you to my tiny friends!

 

I ordered them online and had them delivered to me through the mail. Following directions I read in a book and online, I put them in the refrigerator to slow them down while I prepared their new home which is a plastic 20-gallon container. I poked holes in the lid with a screwdriver which was really easy, and then I filled the bin with rolled oats that I ground up in a blender. This apparently gives them more surface area to live on. After this, I put them in their new home with some fruit and veggies and Matt and I stared at them for a while which was actually quite interesting and fun! I planned on keeping them warm with a heat lamp, but I didn’t feel good about leaving it on overnight due to heat lamps being fire hazards:( So now they live in the bathroom next to the heater which keeps them at the low end of their preferred temperature at 70 degrees. I hope that as it warms up they’ll be happier and friskier and will make more babies! Now I am just waiting for magic to happen. In a week or so they will morph into beetles who will then make babies that will turn into mealworms and start the whole process over again. I’ll keep you updated on this entire adventure as it unfolds.

P.S check out the receipt for everything I needed to set my farm up and the mealworms only cost $11.50.

 

Be Ignited or be Gone

What I Have Learned So Far
by Mary Oliver

Meditation is old and honorable, so why should I
not sit, every morning of my life, on the hillside,
looking into the shining world? Because, properly
attended to, delight, as well as havoc, is suggestion.
Can one be passionate about the just, the
ideal, the sublime, and the holy, and yet commit
to no labor in its cause? I don’t think so.

All summations have a beginning, all effect has a
story, all kindness begins with the sown seed.
Thought buds toward radiance. The gospel of
light is the crossroads of — indolence, or action.

Be ignited, or be gone.

I woke up this morning with jealousy.  Who know how much of the night I spent jaws clenched, grinding my teeth?  How many times did I have to remind myself to relax my shoulders?  A few years ago, I wouldn’t have known what to do with this stress.  I probably would taken my jealous feelings and hidden them and then that energy, still needing to be expressed would have found its outlet somewhere else.  I would have expended it on my ex husband, mistaking love for co-dependency, or I would have used that energy to distract myself by consuming movies, or shopping, or going to bars.

“Be ignited or be gone”, says Mary Oliver.  Jealousy is fuel.  I woke up jealous of my friend because she is doing what she loves and is making a living doing so.  I started to feel sorry for myself, but then I noticed what those feelings of jealousy were making my body want to do.  They were making my body want to move.  I am clenching my jaw and it hurts because I am spending so much energy keeping myself from talking and sharing my voice and perspective.  My shoulders hurt and are tense because I am trying so hard to restrict myself from reaching out and grasping the life I want.  Holding so much energy back is exhausting and I am learning to let go.

So today, I let jealousy carry me over to my bike, and through the park, past the geese and to this coffee shop where I am now writing for this blog.  Later, I will let it help me as I do what I need to do to set up my meal worm farm and then I will allow it to encourage the discipline I need to study so that I can share what I learn to help others.  I don’t have the energy for indolence anymore, I choose action.

 

 

A Leader is Simply the Person who Goes First

As a person with a passion for simple and sustainable living, the act of eating insects resonates with me and gives me so much hope for humans.  Our planet isn’t able to support us all if we (especially Westerners) continue to rely on beef, fish, and poultry as our main source of protein, B-12 and DHA/EPA.  The farming of insects requires WAY less water and other resources to produce the same amount of nutrition, if not more.  I am excited about it because anyone can farm them!  Unlike a regular farm, insect farming is accessible to people with a low-income, people without access to land, and people who don’t have the physical abilities that most farms demand.  After specializing in sustainability education in Graduate school, I wandered around trying to find my place within the sustainability movement.  I thought that getting involved in the earthen housing movement would be an effective way to help people reconnect with the earth and help them understand the burden conventional housing places on the planet, but the more I got involved the more I realized that access to land is an obstacle that most people cannot overcome.  I could get involved in helping people learn how to garden using permaculture principles, but what is the point if more and more people don’t have access to dirt? Having an eco-hostel and farm is still a dream of mine, but until I can find a way to acquire land, I want to make a difference and give back to the earth and my community all that I have learned.

In the permaculture world, people often say, “the problem is the solution.”  I have wanted a hostel for so long because I wanted people to have a real life example of what it means to be living in a reciprocal relationship with nature.  My problem though has been that I do not have access to land.  But that is my solution!!!!!!!!  I didn’t realize that until recently. I don’t have access to land and neither do most other people.  I feel that leading other people into the world of entomaphagy is a way for me to do the greatest amount of good, with the smallest amount of resources.  By farming insects in my own home, which is currently a greyhound bus, I can give people a real life example of what it means to be living in a reciprocal relationship with nature.  I don’t need land to teach that.

I will keep you posted as a become an insect farmer:)  I have taken the first step and have purchased the equipment I need to begin, now I just need to order my Mealworms.  (I am starting with Mealworms because unlike Grasshoppers, they can’t escape as easily!).

The title of this post is “A Leader is Simply the Person who Goes First.”  Even though I am not the first person to embark on the adventure of insect farming and eating, I am the first person that many of you know to do such a thing.  The western world just needs people like me to show them what the rest of the world already knows to be true: that insects are economical, EXTREMELY nutritious, good for the environment, and very delicious.

 

 

 

 

Crickets Really Are The Gateway Bug

A while ago I was listening to the radio on the way home from work one day and Daniella Martin was being interviewed about her book Edible: An Adventure Into the World of Eating Insects and the Last Great Hope to Save the Planet.  I became so intrigued because she explained how nutritious insects are and that they are a very sustainable protein source.  I have high cholesterol and therefore can’t eat a lot of meat and I also need lots of good fats like omega 3, as well as protein, B vitamins, magnesium, and iron of which insects are full of!  I was tired of buying supplements and trying to remember to take them all, so eating bugs seemed like a great alternative.  Before I embarked on this bug eating adventure of mine I read Daniella’s book and I encourage anyone interested to do the same!  She is extremely convincing because soon after I read her book I purchased cricket flour from a company called CricketFlours in Portland, Oregon and began adding it to smoothies, oatmeal, and fudge (I’ll post the recipe soon:))  I honestly can’t really taste the crickets, and am now willing to try a whole cricket and am thinking about giving meal worms a try.  I’ll admit that I am nervous about it and will probably cover them in chocolate, but the amazing thing is that I am stepping into the world of eating bugs.  If I can do this, others can too.

Here is a link to Daniella’s website where she explains all the ecological and nutritional benefits of eating insects.  One fact that really stood out was that it takes about 1000 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef, but it only takes 1 gallon of water to produce 1 pound of crickets and their nutritional content is superior! Girl Meets Bug