Small is Beautiful

To grow or not to grow, that is the question. Of course, we’ll continue to grow. Plants that is! But whether to expand, either in scope or size, is a question we often roll around in our minds.

 

There’s something irresistible about growth and achievement in the human psyche – a constant yearning for more or new conquests. Psychologists have never quite answered why a constant urge to have more, be better, reach further or out-compete is so pervasive in the human condition, but it seems likely that this basic drive is the result of the more competitive, expansionary and intrepid of the species being more highly rewarded by their gains in the past and so came to dominate.

 

This gives current humans (well, the two of us at least) much anxiety and discontent. No matter what is achieved, even beyond our own expectations, we keep upping the bar and striving towards new goals and better results every year. Why can’t we just stop and smell the tomatoes? Or at least catch our breath?

 

Every time we see an opportunity to expand the produce side of our business (or are asked by others why we don’t grow more), we have to actively ask ourselves: will achieving more and increasing our outputs make us happier? In our experience, happiness (or at least satisfaction) is more likely if we are challenged only from time to time, not all the time, and if we have a variety of work and past-times that provide a richer life than doing more of the same thing every day.

 

We are again reminded of E.F.Schumacher’s words in Small is Beautiful:  “any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.”

 

Roast Veg Tart

A great snack for using up left over veggies or for showing off those bite sized baby varieties. You can make your own pastry or whip out some puff from the freezer – no one’s judging when the hanger is descending …serves 4.

Ingredients

  • About 400-600g of vegetable cut into wedges or slices (root veg^ are perfect and a red onion always helps)
  • A good glug of oilve oil
  • 1 tbsp vinegar (apple cider)
  • 1 tbsp sugar (brown)
  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • Feta, goats curd or capers (optional)

^ we’ve found zucchini too watery, preferring carrots and beetroots.

Method 

Step 1: Heat oven to 200C. Coat vegetables in oil, vinegar and sugar mix., season well and place in oven. Roast for about 45min.

Step 2: Roll out pastry to about 0.5 cm thick. You can get creative with shapes and double up edges for a thicker crust if you like.

Step 3: Arrange veggies on the tart and crumble in cheese or add capers. Bake for about 25-35min until pastry is golden brown.

Top with some peppery rocket and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar to serve