Monday, July 12, 2010

Gratitude Monday -- Close to Nature

This strawberry, along with several others like it, is growing along the edge of our back lawn. I may eat it one of these days. I haven't decided yet.
For now I'm glad it's there and I'm glad I know what it is.
Sometime in the mid-90s Mike and I were driving through Yukon when construction forced us to stay put for a few hours.
We got out and wandered around as did many others. Mike wandered toward the bush where he found ripe strawberries. He ate some and brought some to me to enjoy.
A woman  25-35 years old from a city in Ohio approached me and was mortified to see what my husband was doing.
"Those berries could be, like, totally poisonous."
I assured her they weren't and that my husband knew what he was doing.
Her horror continued. She was ready to scream or cry or possibly vomit in terror.
I didn't pursue the matter with her because I, too, was horrified though for a different reason. I suspect if I'd asked her where she thought such berries came from her answer would be, "The store."
If I pressed I suspect she might venture, "California."
Like so many others, this woman lives so far away from the natural world that it is strange to her. Perhaps the only strawberry she knew was overlarge, deep red, and as plastic tasting as the container it came in.
This is sad.
For my part I am grateful that I really know where berries come from, that I can identify them, and that I am not scared to feast on nature's bounty when I find it.

20 comments:

Travis Erwin said...

Love this post. I recently had an argument over a friend about meat. Wild game actually. She chastised me for eating what she described as dirty meat. Meat from a deer I shot and butchered myself. Meanwhile she ate snacked happily on a store bought prepackaged hotdog that I feel certain was far dirtier than my venison steak.

Tabor said...

I only worry about picking raspberries along the roadside. Some state highway departments use herbicides and the dust from highway runoff is also toxic. But in the woods I pick all the berries that I want! I wonder if she knows what was sprayed on her store bought strawberries from Chile?

Leah J. Utas said...

Travis, I'll take deer meat over a hot dog (made of dog-knows-what) any day. And my guess is what you harvested yourself was a great deal cleaner than anything from a store. Many people don't know anything and are more than happy to share their knowledge with everyone.

Tabor, I wouldn't go near a sprayed berry along the road either, and I agree about berries in the woods. They're the yummiest.

the Bag Lady said...

We HAVE come a long way, and not neccessarily in a good way! So many people have no clue about the food they purchase - where it comes from, what it's made of, and what's been done to it before it got to the store.
It's sad, really.

messymimi said...

Makes me glad we live near a creek and pond, where the kids can pick wild blackberries, glad for the fig trees in the back yard, glad for the "you pick" strawberry and blueberry farms around here.

I agree about the meat, too.

bunnygirl said...

How sad that some people can't recognize berries if they're not in a labeled, plastic container.

Ron Scheer said...

I'm at a disadvantage finding strawberries in the wild because I'm red-green color blind, and they just blend in.

Leah J. Utas said...

df Bag Lady, it is very sad. I'm so glad I know where food comes from and how it should taste.

Messymimi, that sounds wonderful. It's good to collect your own food.

Bunnyirl, it's sad and kind of scary. How many would starve if they found themselves out in the bush?

Leah J. Utas said...

Ron, we posted so close I missed you. Sorry to hear about the colour blindness. That is unfortunate.

Writing Without Periods! said...

What a beautiful photo of that lone strawberry in a patch of green...made my heart melt.
Mary

Reb said...

It is scary that so many people have no idea about where there food comes from, what it should taste like, or how it identify it should the need arise. Lovely photo.

Leah J. Utas said...

Why, Mary, I think that's the first time one of my pics had that effect. Thank you.

Reb, it sure is. We've gotten so far away I wonder if some of us even know we have to come back.

Barbara Martin said...

Wild strawberries are to die for. Oh, that sharp pungent taste when you pop one in the mouth. It makes the store bought pale in comparison. Tiny things though. Had my share from many a road side just like you, Leah, and your husband.

Leah J. Utas said...

Barbara, the wild ones are the very best. I'm glad you got some along the road. I wish every one could do that so they'd know what real food tastes like.

Geosomin said...

I ran into this last fall. Out camping with friends we came across a saskatoon berry bush. I ate some, much to our friend's concern. Later we came across a chokecherry bush, which I avoided, but thought was fine, after my previous berry eating - that all berries on trees were good and I had proved it. I warned them they were not the same, but they had a very sour berry experience.
I think it's a shame that so many people don't know where their food comes from.

Leah J. Utas said...

Geosomin, I eat Saskatoons right off the bush, too. Too bad your friends tried the sour ones. I don't care for chokecherries either. I don't see the attraction.

CherylK said...

That poor, sad woman! And they say "ignorance is bliss". Maybe not.

Leah J. Utas said...

CherylK, it sure isn't in her case.

Frank Baron said...

I was delighted to find a few, tiny, wild strawberries in my backyard about three weeks ago. They were delicious and I look forward to more next year.

Hilary and I have both enjoyed some wild raspberries recently. We're fortunate in that many plants grow along the creek near my place and near the pond at hers. They're just coming into their own the past week or so.

Yum! (We always only take a few, leaving most for the birds and other critters.)

Leah J. Utas said...

Frank, I'm glad you get to enjoy the fruits of nature. And I'm so glad --and not the least surprised--that you leave most of them for the critters.