Here in Wine Country, this is mustard season. Mustard renews earth tired from intensive monocultural wine grape cultivation. Leaving fields fallow to recover is not an option, for many reasons. Mustard carries a heavy responsibility.
Every year, but especially this year, after the horror of the fires in October, the bright yellow mustard blooming over the hills speaks to my heart like the story of the rainbow in Genesis 8-9
8:19Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark. 20And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. 22While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease…
9:16 “Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”
I just cried. Yep, yep. It’s been a stressful autumn and winter.
I am sure a google search will reveal photo after photo of mustard in bloom between rows upon rows of Wine Country monoculture. I SHOULD go take my own photos, especially with my film cameras, but lately I seem to have, um, bigger fish to fry?
So my mustard flowers came from tiny black mustard seeds I have had for possibly over a decade. I am not kidding. I bought them when I first had an interest in Indian cuisine. We had an Indian / Halal grocery in Podunk Dixie, something we do not have here in White Coun- I mean, WINE Country.
So me being me, I thought, I wonder what would happen if? And I soaked some of my ancient methi and mustard seeds in water and lo and behold! They sprouted and it was delicious!
Thank you mustard and methi, who renew the earth.