It was barely light enough to see when Ah’brianne’s mother, Ah’mae, popped into our kitchen and took my mother off mushrooming. It is spring, and the mushrooms are both succulent and abundant. Today, I’m going to talk about food, because it is a big part of our lives – planting, gathering, tending, harvesting, preserving – and of course, preparing. Almost all Equi love to garden, and to cook, and without exception we love to eat! Our body-type thrives on six meals a day, and we do tend to graze and nibble for most of the time we are awake. Food is celebrated on our planet, and all of us join in on planting, tending and harvesting as part of our everyday occupations. “First the family, then the community, then the Great House and the worlds beyond” is what people say about our way of distributing foodstuffs. Every rural family has a huge garden, and there are community gardens in every city. Everybody helps in the production of food, and everybody knows where their food comes from.
Alcibus, means life-giving food. It is the most malleable and nourishing food in the Equi diet. It is a grain, grown extensively on the Viridian plains and to a lesser extent in the highlands of Andal. Our other staple crops include mazea suera, which the Terrenes and Declivians call maize, or corn, phaselus, which they call beans, and sun flowers, which seems to be a universal term. All of these have several varieties, and they form the base of our diets, which are rich and varied.
We love all kinds of greens, like caulis (cabbage in the Declivian tongue) and kales of all sorts. We grow sweet root (carote), kartfels (potatus), red root (silverbeet) and kurbis (pumpkin). We also love oranges and verdanbutters (avocatto) and pomes (apples) and we have huge orchards devoted to our favorite fruits. My Uncle Ardenai says he lives for the season when the peaches are ripe, and my father grows rhax vines (grappes) for wine, vinegars, seed-oil and dried fruit.
Many of our holidays celebrate planting and harvesting. One of my favorites is Harvest Festival, when the huge presses are rolled into the streets and everyone participates in making cider for winter storage. The smell of baked goods, redolent with honey and cinnamon fills every corner, and huge squashes are roasted to be spooned from their shells, and of course the cider. Oh, the cider. Just thinking about it makes me hungry.
It is said that we are the most powerful worlds in the Seventh Galactic Alliance because of our agricultural system and our way of eating, and I believe it.