Sunday, August 15, 2010

Meeting Week Is Over

[The beautiful hills at sunset]

We have one week every month with two conference calls with higher committees containing members who live off the land. This meeting week ended on Friday with a conference call to help the organizers of a new gathering. They seem to have their ducks In a row well enough, especially considering that it's their first time organizing a gathering.

Yesterday my friend, Ptery, introduced me to a new plant, used for food by the native people of this area. It's called "biscuit root", and it loves the infertile, rocky soil that we have in abundance.

Digging it up yields a root about the size of a cigarette. It can be peeled and eaten as is or dried and pounded into a flour. It's delicious: complex and sweet without any of the bitter flavor found in other local carrot relatives.

It's in seed right now, so today I'm going to go spread the seeds to some new rocky outcroppings. This practice is referred to as "The Hoop", recalling the people who traveled around the area harvesting in season and sowing in season to be sure there would be food plants growing when they returned the next year. It's still possible to identify areas where these people travelled by the unusually high volume of edible native plants.

[Ptery digging in the rocks]

[Biscuit root plant]

[One root, half peeled]

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