Fall is Here, season of Metal

Hiking trail in fall prairie
A brisk fall day for a hike

It does not seem like it, with the prolonged warm weather, but fall is here. The leaves are mostly down, the pumpkins are behind us, and we are cozying up. Time also to consider the traditional foods of fall in traditional East Asian medicine. This is the time of the Lung and Large Intestine, and seasonal foods like pears are good nourishment for the Metal element. The Metal element is all about management of the barrier between me and the outside world, which brings to mind the immune system. We know that a large part of the immune system–the lymphatics–are integrated with the Large Intestine. And we all know the lungs are vulnerable to viruses like colds and flu right now.

Other seasonal foods such as squashes and root vegetables come to mind now as well. Concentrate on consuming these veggies regularly right now, and if you can, get ones that are locally grown. Your local food coop or natural grocer, or even your big corporate grocer may have wonderful locally grown fall specialties.
torn kale leaves in bowl

I just picked the last of my Kale crop. The kale literally came up on its own in a flowerbed at my house. It is beautiful so I let the huge kale bushes grow. That Red Russian kale is delicate and never tough like the curly stuff. I was in a hurry this year, so I plucked all the nice tender leaves, brought them in the house in 2 bushel baskets, and washed all the leaves. Out came a bunch of nice little green worms. Cabbage moth worms. Their days were numbered with the first very low overnight temps coming tonight. I tore the leaves into large pieces, taking out all the stems. Then I got a bunch of nice organic locally grown side ham (think thick slab bacon) going in a tall stock pot with three onions chopped. I cooked down the bacon and onions till it was all soft and happy and most of the fat had rendered out. I removed all that from the pot and added enough kale leaves to come to the top. Kale cooking in pot with bacon and onionsSprinkled some of the bacon/onion over the top, put on the lid, and let it cook down. When it was about 1/3 down, I did the same again, and again and again, till I had all my kale cooked down and my bacon and onions nicely mixed through. I turned the mass of greens over and over till everyone was covered with nice bacon grease and soft. Then I put on the lid and kept cooking at a low temp till I liked the look. Stopped the fire and put it all into a series of freezer containers for the coming winter. It is so nice to know that we are eating completely organic food from our own yard. And I never planted a seed. Nature is a miracle.