Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fellini moment

Sometimes the Is just smiles down on you..

Today while talking to the Infamous Rob, we discovered a shared interest in several things, all relating to living authentically and close to the world. I don't say to the land, because there is much more to it than merely forcing the land to do what you want, also known as gardening the exercise in joyous futility... We somehow got to discussing foraging, which is a passion of mine, but a passion in its infancy in the sense that I am desperately trying to learn all I can about any and all edible plants particularly those growing in my area.

Turns out that ol' Rob is an avid forager himself. He has 20 years of local experience, and I honestly do not know how many years greater experience in general, on me, so I am going to be leaning on him for advice and whatever pointers I can get. One of the high notes was discovering that staghorn sumac grows locally.. this is a wonderful plant, despite the terrible almost urban legend status as being poisonous.. (The white fruited easter "sumac" is poisonous, but so is the tomato plant!!) The fruit of the staghorn, bright red berry clusters, have been used for centuries by the first nations' peoples ("Indians") as a refreshing beverage and an ingredient in pemican. The beverage which is by far the most common usage, is like a wonderfully tart lemonade, which is also very good for you. So I hear.. this year however I WILL get to try it.. and I am certain fall in love with it. Better yet, ol' Rob turned me onto the idea of reducing down the berries to a syrup which then can be added to any water bottle, canteen, etc. with additional water to provide, in his words, an incredibly refreshing drink.

Over the end of his pick up (small to reduce his fuel costs.. ) we stumbled upon similarity after similarity, solved expense problems (he will now use a solar water heater instead of buying a new powered heater..), and found that we share more similar views about how to live day to day than either of us expected..

We differ on important things, but at least I know that he is a good guy, a friendly guide, and in at least some senses a kindred spirit..

Fellini was smiling down on me today..

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