Wednesday, September 9
Nature and Ella
I've mentioned before how clever my father is in the woods and among plants. He lives north of us and receives an extra few months of winter but still, his garden puts mine to shame! Perhaps its a throwback to his years in forestry school or that he reads so much, but my Dad knows so much about so many plants.
His love for plants has sparked an interest in me, almost a feeling a shame about not knowing anything about all the wild things that grows around here. Earlier this year I devoured a few good books on foraging. While I'm not so motivated yet to go dig up cattail tubers to use as potatoes, I have been motivated to use more of the resources around us that go unused. Its been handy to know which plants to pick and use to treat bug bites, since kids and bug bites seem to go hand in hand and we don't use chemical sprays.
Yesterday I pulled the van to the side of a country road on the way back from the library. The boys and I climbed out and they helped me pick the fruit off of a crab-apple tree that was just sitting lazily by the side, hanging over an old barbed wire fence. We cooked them down with cinnamon and cloves and the juice is drip, drip, dripping from a jelly bag as I write, a beautiful shade of cranberry/raspberry red.
Again this afternoon we set out with foraging in mind, bringing a basket to hold whatever treasures we might find. We found mint, wild apples for sauce, raspberries and blackberries and in an old part of once farmed land, a plethora of old milk bottles, canning jars and even a chamber pot! We left the chamber pot but brought home a pretty aqua ball canning jar and a beautiful old doorknob that reminded us of some in our home.
Everyone is tired and resting now, including me. I am very much looking forward to Chase being able to hike alongside me instead of on my back!
Posted by Me at Wednesday, September 09, 2009