On our family tree our ancestors are th' roots. Children are th' flowers. We are th' leaves. Our Spirits' th' fruits.
|fallen apple tree laden with fruit|
|burdock in late summer|
|day lily bulbs and garden potatoes|
When we forage, and eat locally grown food, our bodies are literally made up of th' dirt we trod upon. Of th' land we live on. Of the air we breathe and th' water we drink. We are at home. When all th' food we eat comes from distant lands, distant places, then our bodies are made of those distant lands. We are strangers to th' land we live on. We are restless without knowing why. You are what you eat. But there is good food growing all around us, in abundance. Some of it wild, grown with loving care by a Creator who loves his Creation. Some of it grown by farmers who care about th' food they grow, the animals they raise, and th' people whose lives are nourished thereby.
|sow thistle, aka my lunch salad throughout th' summer|
|dandelion and shallots|
|black walnut hands|
In other words, you know what you are looking at. You know th' plants and animals individually, not as vague abstractions. It's not botany, it's being aware of your world. And when you become aware of what's around you, you realize that there's a whole new world that you never knew existed, and you've lived amongst it all th' time. Gradually you come to realize that every plant has a purpose, and when you know it's purpose, you also know that it's good. Some plants feed and nourish you, some will heal you, some will prepare th' way for others to come in, some will reclaim ruined land.
|black locust beans|
Nature is not here for our entertainment and convenience, it is our home. A sacred place. And when we find our place in it, which may be some where between the ant and the mountain, we realize that we too are sacred. We become living temples along with th' rest of creation. Foraging is helping us to find our place in this world. I used to believe that this world is not my home, that i'm just passing through, but i'm not so sure anymore. This world is my home. It's just been destroyed, that's all. It's time i start to appreciate it for what it is, and was meant to be, and stop trying to change it. It is a gift to us, and we are responsible for it. We are it's stewards. It will feed us. Take care of us. Heal us. From the earth have our bodies come, and to the earth shall they go. Why be a stranger all th' time in between.
|giant burdock leaf|
|poudre river stinging nettle|
Our food is one of our most direct connections to the earth, and th' sharing of it one of humanities most common delights. There are flavors out there which i never imagined possible, like milkweed pods, and black locust blossoms, and black walnuts, and th' stalk of a large wet thistle leaf, and sumac tea. There are others that i still haven't discovered yet. There is mystery in foraging. There is adventure, excitement, and sometimes disappointment, like when i spent a whole day cooking up a wild stew, of which i spent over a week gathering for, only to have it ruined by too many evening primrose roots. But my family and i picked the ingredients together, we cooked it together, we ate it together. We disliked it together. Do you see th' common theme there?
People love food, and they love to find it and eat it, and they love something fabulous made from seemingly simple ingredients, and they love to share it with other people they love. So don't let th' wisdom of our ancestors go th' way of th' dinosaur. Never stop learning. And share all th' good that you've found.
|orach and licorice root drying (and 2 peppers)|
|there's a black walnut in there somewhere|
|wild rose hips|
|me and american licorice|
|late summer asparagus|