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Jam

Ten Meter Diet

By now just about everyone who is even vaguely aware of trends in food production has heard more than they needed to about the concept of eating locally-produced food.  The movement strikes me as beneficial because, I hope, it causes us to think more about our food and perhaps while we are considering where our food comes from we will also spend more time considering how it tastes.  Like other political/philosophical movements the hundred mile diet begins to lose its relevance when it is taken to levels of dogmatic orthodoxy.  We are not going to destroy the Earth by consuming the occasional piece of imported chocolate or bottle of wine and it doesn’t really matter whether an apple comes from 80 or 120 miles away.  I think the most important suggestion of the locavore movement is that we should be growing or harvesting some of the food we eat within the space we live in every day.
Serviceberries on the bush in my parents front garden.

Serviceberries on the bush in my parents' front garden.

Luckily my parents have a serviceberry tree (these plants have a pack of other names but are second-best known as saskatoon berries)  in their front yard that is literally six steps from the front door.  This tree-bush ripens a crop of small- to medium-sized berries (pomes, technically) at the very end of June and into July.  To get a useable harvest you have to beat the birds to the berries before they have the chance to strip the entire bush.  The season is upon us now.  Serviceberries have flesh that tastes like a sweet-ish (though never very tart) blueberries but the highlight is the black cherry flavour that the seeds release when chewed.  I wonder what it is about early July that produces that flavour (actual black cherries are ripe now as well)?  Has evolution taught fruit-bearing trees that for some reason the birds they need to spread their seeds like this flavour now?

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