Day 13 - Food security

— 4 minute read


So I missed a post yesterday! My Sunday was just too happening, and before I knew it it was already past bedtime and I didn't want to work on a blog post just for the sake of posting, so I let it slide. The world did not end and the broken streak feels like a little tribute to imperfections in life which I'm trying to embrace.

Since we last spoke I have been busy. I'm rebuilding my edible garden so we attacked the balconies with a strong sense of mission. Everything that doesn't fit into the scheme of food security goes out. Usually I'm a bit soft with weeds but this time I was militant and uprooted everything that wasn't in the plan. For the overgrown plants within the plan (kaffir lime, moringa, misai kucing, etc) I also pruned them down mercilessly.

After clearing the garden, I sowed some seeds (this morning), and I hope that they will sprout soon. To be honest I haven't done much research (how wet, how much light, what sort of soil, etc) because I just wasn't in that frame of mind. So here's to winging it and let's see how many will actually sprout.

While gardening my upstairs neighbour SK looked down from her balcony and we started chatting, so I offered some seeds to her. She took them, and gave us some bakuteh in return (because Leo was muka tembok enough to ask, since we smelt wonderful smells coming from her kitchen). It looks like my seeds have grown me a meal already, a super tasty bakuteh no less.

A note about food security. I've been reading reports here and there on disruptions on food sources and distribution, and it does make me nervous. It's against my values to panic buy and hoard more than I need, yet I need some level of risk management, to make sure that we'll still be covered if things really go down south.

The idea is to be somewhat self-sufficient.

Here is where all that gardening fervour from five years ago comes in useful. I'm not superbly experienced in growing things but I know the basics. We have a balcony composting system which I built years ago that we are still using for processing kitchen waste (even when I neglected the plants we were still generating compost), so we have a ready supply of compost for plant health. I haven't really done much growing from seed but it's never too late to start (in fact, it's best I start now - the quickest that I'd be able to harvest certain leafy vegetables is a month, so better start, fail, and move to success rapidly).

I'm excited. Let's see how this will pan out.

Also, I just ordered ragi to make tempeh at home! I am PSYCHED. I've seen it done before (at a workshop) and it doesn't seem that much work, just that you need the ragi, or tempeh starter, some sort of yeast. As I was discussing with some friends about how difficult it is to buy tempeh these days, I got inspired by someone's "make your own lah" and realised that I could try to get ragi somehow, and make it.

So I did a quick search, messaged some guy on Whatsapp, banked in money into his account, and my ragi will arrive in 2 days, depending on the situation in the post office. All hail Internet shopping!

Coming to me is 500g of ragi, and apparently for every kilo of beans 2g of ragi is needed. I think my tempeh needs are sorted for the time being.

Now I'm also thinking of making kombucha, but maybe one thing at a time.

I'm learning how to play Something by The Beatles on the ukulele. I forgot how much fun it was to do that, to spend some time just making pleasant sounds with the world's happiest instrument.