Sunday, November 23, 2008

Picking Feral Pears

They make you feel like a very bad person for picking the fruit out of an orchard that hasn't been managed properly for thirty years or more. (I originally typed out "like a terrorist" but then the Feral Princess says, "A terrorist? They do say Please.")

Motionless in pear trees when the cars go by, filling up a backpack each. Evading a Ranger in a white truck. The action resonates back into the Middle Ages, or anytime in the past and the future that we climb uninvited into the King's private gardens.

Suburban forage is my responsibility to this land, and that trumps my responsibility to the King.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Eco Dreaming

I just wrote a long post about archetypal dreams and ecopsychology over at my dream studies site. Check it out; this is an important meeting grounds of ecology and dreams.

In the past, most communities listened to the dreams that bubbled up, especially during hard times. One of the interesting elements of human leadership is the dream-vision that speaks for the community at large. For better or worse, charistmatic leaders often used these emotionally powerful visions to stir up action, or face something that they could no longer afford to ignore.

That's where archetypal dreams come into play, socialized and legitimized by their authenticity.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Acorn Harvest 2008

So every time I think about updating my ecopsychology blog, I am presented the choice: I can blog about being outside, or I can.... go outside. So that's been Dreamcrisp's fatal flaw for the last few months.

The rain's have started in Northern California, not in earnest, but at least enough to knock the pollen down and enough to start greening some of those fabled California over-grazed hillsides.

Here's an image on the abundant food source outside Mickey D's. It's not a mast year for acorns, but this red oak variety has made sure many a squirrel has got its snack on.

We processed some too, thanks to FeralKevin's acorn workshop. Acorns were a big part of the diet for the indigenous folks, the Saclan, who used to live in the hills around Mt. Diablo.

We shelled the acorns the old-fashioned way,

but used a more modern leeching technique:

Gotta leech out those bitter tannins. Three or four rounds in the coffeemaker made the mash bland and but still hearty.

We eventually ended up with some delicious acorn muffins.

Our recipe was pretty tame; we just substituted acorn flour for cornmeal in the typical cornbread recipe (unless you come from the South, in which case cut out most of the sugar and the lard too). Delicious! But next time we'll experiment with more acorns and less wheat flour.