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Crickets for Dinner

Today was a busy, lovely day! My family, dad and stepmom and I went to one of the many farmer’s markets in the area. It’s still hot enough outside, here in the Southwest that everyone wore shorts and short-sleeved shirts- even me- the eternally cold woman!

This won’t be nearly as long of a blog post as the previous ones, because I am exhausted! I have not walked around for 3 hours since my nerve disorder began. The fact that I was able to do so felt like a step in the right direction – that being a few more nerve blocks and one more surgery, before hopefully finally getting, if not total pain relief, then just some lessening of the constant pain deep inside my right ear.

I spoke to some lovely vendors at the market today. I purchased herbal tea for insomnia and anxiety, which is made from herbs in the mountains surrounding our town. This gives me so much encouragement for studying for my medicinal herb certificate, hopefully in the beginning of 2015! I have also been planning for some time now to become certified in aromatherapy. I have been studying essential oils since my pain began, and using various essential oils has often relieved my pain more than any injection or medication. My goal is to become certified so I can help other people learn about essential oils and to be knowledgeable and capable of using them for their own conditions, ailments, disorders. Of course being certified will not give me permission to act in place of a doctor and offer medical advice on disorders or diseases, but it will offer people who have fallen through the cracks of the healthcare system an alternative way to address the issues they have. With certifications in aromatherapy and medicinal herbs, not only will I be much more knowledgeable in these areas than I am now, but I can help others! I can’t wait!

The highlight of the farmer’s market today was meeting a couple who are growing endless acres of spearmint and peppermint to then make into essential oils! I had so many questions for them, especially about the ability to grow that much in our extremely hot environment. They had an incredible unique way to share their oils with the farmer’s market shoppers and my family. The woman who had the must experience with essential oils of the two at the booth, had a big Hudson sprayer filled with their peppermint essential oil which she misted over us to keep us cool and keep the few flying insects also at the market less likely to take a bite of us! It was a genius idea! I had such a lovely time talking about one of my primary interests with a couple that have, as they woman said, “120 years of experience, but our family started this business this long ago- I am not that old!”

I was also fascinated by a couple who are growing over 20 different types of beans in another small town near mine. They were also displaying stalks of wheat grown from a farmer in our town, along with tortillas and scones they had made from our farmer neighbor’s wheat. They also had flour milled from the just harvested wheat as well as wheat berries to eat and/or plant to try growing some of our own wheat- something I have hoped to try for some time now!

Speaking of learning something new- I have been questioning my family lately if they would eat crickets. The consensus has been they would eat it if they did not know they were eating an insect, such as when the wings and legs are taken off after the crickets have perished, and then the rest of them are ground into cricket flour! Ever since reading The Third Plate: Filed Notes on the Future of Food by Dan Barber, in which he discusses a couple companies and other countries growing/raising crickets, I have wanted to learn how to raise them to make them into flour, and then food, such as muffins and bread. I agree with my family- if I was presented with an entire cricket I would decline to eat it, and probably shriek! However, if presented with an Exo bar (exoskeleton- smart name!) I would happily eat it. In his book Barber shares research that per pound, crickets are a better source of protein than the mostly feedlot cattle we consume in the U.S. Imagine if we were able to get past our aversion to eating (nutritious!) bugs, and no longer have such demand for cheap meat, which is filled by ever growing factory farms and feedlots with their inhumane treatment of animals and poisoning of the water and land wherever they are located. I would eat bugs to put a stop to that!!

In perfect timing with my desire to learn more about Cricket Farming, I was contacted by a semi-retired cricket farmer named Michelle Farmer who is offering a new, free 5 week mini course to help people like me figure out how to raise crickets. She focused on raising crickets for reptile stores, and has had a long, successful career doing so. I am so excited to be taken her mini course! Do you want to join me? Would you eat crickets? Would you eat them to play a role in diminishing our country’s harmful addiction to cheap meat, which means animals are raised in horrific conditions? I would! If you would too, perhaps we can learn together, or I will shortly have some cricket flour to offer! Here is the website to sign up: http://cricketfarmer.com/breeding-crickets-fun-profit/. As I said, it’s free, and I don’t make any money on any of my suggestions on my blog. Perhaps one day when my blog is grown out of it’s newborn years I can start bartering with other bloggers, just like I have plans to set up a bartering system in my town!

Have a good night, friends! For those of you who have been kind enough to write responses to me, thank you do much! I promise I will write back soon. It has been a busy weekend, and I am ready for bed!

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