Blog #35: A sweet start into Creationtide

September 9, 2021
Miya Komori & Monika Weber-Fahr

It's September - summer is nearly over, and Creationtide has started on September 1st. Originally an Eastern Orthodox initiative, and by now widely observed also among Anglican and Episcopal, Roman Catholic and Protestant congregations, the Season of Creation is for us a time of restoration and hope, a jubilee for our Earth, and a time to discover radically new ways of living with creation. Over the coming weeks - through October 4 - the LivingLight Blog will introduce you to different things you can do, practically, as a way to appreciate the season. This will include steps we can each take to lessen our environmental footprint, but it also includes active steps to contribute to cleaning up our environment and ways to engage politically.

One of the most important things that we can do to lessen our environmental footprint through our personal choices is to eat "in season" and to choose produce that is not resource intensive.  This blog introduces you to some ideas!  Other choices will be featured on an ongoing basis throughout the LivingLight Blog series. 

 

Watermelon - is there any other fruit more evocative of summer?  The hot-weather-relative of the pumpkin family, it grows best in sunny climes and is enjoyed nicely on a sweltering day when its chilled juices crush in your mouth and run in little rivers of cool sweetness down your chin.  It's probably most sustainable to buy the little round watermelons from Austria's sunshine region, Burgenland, but for maximum flavor and crushing juices look for the gigantic Mediterranean melons at your local market or Turkish supermarket.  Pick one with dark red (but not mushY flesh, or if you're buying the whole fruit, pick one that sounds hollow when you tap it and look for a slightly faded skin and a yellow spot that indicates it has ripened slowly in the sun.  

As they are not resource-intensive to produce, watermelons largely have a low environmental impact - though you must of course consider the transport miles for the big Mediterranean melons. At the same time, watermelon from anywhere usually have little packaging - buy it as whole as possible to avoide single-use plastic or polystyrene trays.  And, despite what many people may think, the rind is edible and full of nutrients, making it a healthy, waste-free product. 

Despite its sweetness, watermelon is actually surprisingly healthy, with 7g of sugar and 46 calories only per 100 gramm! Throw it in a smoothie or turn it into pickles!  You can put all the different parts of the melon in a salad for a delicious, refreshing summer meal - add some mint or basil, some cucumber and sliced red onion, some feta and a drizzle of fresh, green olive oil.  But perhaps the best way to enjoy it is simply in big, messy slices, juices dirbbeling down your chin, telling stories about your family that might or might not be tall tales, eyes twinkling, laughing.

 
Suika - my father/
Loves watermelon, laughing/
As we dribble juice.
 
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