Abundance at FalconBlanco
At the time I lived in the FalconBlanco Intentional Community, the support system of the community was based on recycling, mainly of wooden pallets. This started long ago when BeiYin noticed that all over the island of Ibiza there were pallets free for the taking. At the time he took a few for firewood and then businesses approached him, begging him to take their pallets as well. This is because the businesses have to pay money to throw away the pallets. So then there was an abundance of pallets….
The second thing we did there was make compost, by collecting material from various sources. Sometimes we even get truckloads of material. For example, last year we received a semi-truck full of watermelons and another time one of tomatoes and eggplants. It was hard work, composting all those watermelons, as they are heavy, but we made fun out of it, chopping them with machetes and eating to our fill.
The diet that we follow at FalconBlanco is very much dependent upon who is here. In essence we don’t adhere as a group to any specific diet, but leave this up to individual preference. Everyday we share a meal together in the late afternoon. There is typically a mixture of raw food (sprouts and/or salad) and cooked vegetarian soups and dishes. The other meals people get by themselves throughout the day, although often we are in the kitchen near the same time, sharing food together. As a general rule, we cook the community meal for the lowest common denominator, depending upon who is here. For example, we never put meat into a common dish and perhaps somebody doesn’t like raw onions, then we put them in a separate dish versus mixing them in the salad. I think ‘food issues’ are one of the biggest hurdles for people, because their personal ‘eating habit’ is immediately confronted in community and it asks the person to change. Meaning one has to adapt & eat different foods, one has to cook differently, one has to use different cookware than before, etc. We generally follow the principle of proper food combining which we feel is important people know about, no matter what is their preferred diet, and so we also ask that people follow it for community dishes. We are surprised that most people are not informed about proper food combining which is verified and well documented.
As an aside, regarding ‘supermarket’ or purchased items, we notice that many people when confronted with a canned good or other item with a past expiration date, will hesitate to eat it. This shows how effective the campaign of manufacturers has been to convince people that the food is bad when the date is expired. Many people don’t seem to know that the main reason these ‘dates’ are put on items is not to protect the consumer, but rather so that manufacturers can sell more and maximize profits. By getting date expiration’s put on packages, then manufacturers are guaranteed larger than normal sales, not based on actual consumption. This has the effect to increase the cost (per item) of each good for all, because the store marks it off as over-head and all ‘waste’ is included in the price. People don’t realize that their own demand to have perfect blemish free fruits and vegetables and also when they ‘believe’ the date expiration by throwing things away when the date passes, has contributed to the increased cost of food they buy. This is a small example of how people have become so dependent on what we have been told, that we forget that we have noses and taste buds that are a better judge if something is good for you or not. In our experience we have discovered that the majority of items are of fine quality way past the expiration date and the best peaches have a brown spot on them and are very soft.
Food & Work Photos – October 14, 2004
Scavenged items found in the ‘basura’ (trash) that can be recycled: An electric water pump, a radio, a pair of scissors, a roll of toilet paper and a 3/4 full bag of mortar mix for ceramic tiles. Both the electric water pump and the stereo functioned! The scissors someone had thrown away only because the plastic on the handle was broken, they worked perfectly.
This is an example of bread and cheese we eat. There is wheat bread, white bread bagettes (the loaves from Spain), goat cheese, homemade cheese from Santa Gertrudis, sliced hard cheeses, brie and an American style cheese in the box. Spanish hard cheeses. A very small package of chocolate muffins…
Many people might throw this whole box of cherry tomatoes away, just because a few in the box have spoiled. Or the same happens with an apple that is bruised on one side. At FalconBlanco, you can expect to trim the apple and eat the good part, versus throwing it all away.
This is a ‘seasonal’ picture of the food we had on this day in FalconBlanco. We eat often from what is in season and from what is in abundance. In the photo are: watermelons, eggplants, sweet potatoes, kaki fruit, grapes, sweet peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, chives, sage, arugula, fennel, lettuce, mushrooms, green beans, apples, broccoli, peaches & bananas.
Material for the compost, which here includes: moldy cheese, wilted broccoli and zucchinis, outer lettuce leaves and our kitchen compost bucket. The bread will be dried and given to neighbor horses or sheep.