forager field-notes, number one
I love that the many realms of food- farming, foraging, cooking, eating- are experiential. Each is an art form, a sacred act, each is unique, all are interconnected, and a vital part of living a healthy life. Nowadays, our food choices determine a healthy life, whereas before they dictated a tribe's survival. The act of growing and collecting our food is a lost art for so many people, and eating the food that is available to us in this day and age is automatic, robotic, and very often taken for granted. However, I believe other farmers, foragers, chefs, and lovers and appreciators of food have been working hard to rekindle the art of food. The farmers are allowing their bodies to become a part of the earth they are working with. Foragers are rediscovering animalistic instincts for hunting and gathering. Chefs are passionate and are playing with available ingredients that are dropped off by local farmers and foragers at their backdoors. And lovers and appreciators of food are actually grateful to sit down and eat, curious and thoughtful about the raw and final products that went into a meal, learning to distinguish flavors and spices and ingredients. After all, our understanding of food has not been lost for long, but it must be experienced, remembered, stories must be told, and recipes must be recounted. Take part in one or all of these acts and understand you are participating in a celebration of nature.
People are always asking me what it's like to be out picking wild ingredients on my own in the woods. I find it to be my meditation time, my moment of reflection. Sometimes I bring my dog. Each time I fill my basket, I feel grateful for my knowledge in wild food. It is a wonderful practice.