June 20, 2014

Foraging for chai and pesto in PDX

Was lucky to go foraging with Eric Lyon of Oregon Black Truffles on Larch Mountain for native forest chai ingredients, and Becky Lerner of First Ways at the Sandy Delta, for nettles to make pesto :

The double-fisted King Bolete is not from today; it’s part of Eric Lyon’s haul from last week. There’s Eric Lyon, by the clear cut. Beyond the clear cut is forest. We found Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense) and later, Vanilla leaf (Achlys triphylla ) and Licorice fern (Polypodium glycyrrhiza).

Clouds and sun today at the Sandy River Delta, confluence with the Columbia (where so many rivers flow, mighty, mighty). Sara Huston of TLAAG and I learned about uses for St John’s Wort, Elderberry, Cottonwood, Mullein, Plantain, Yarrow, Oregon grape (most delicious), Teasel, and we harvested nettles.

Back at Tiny Home I washed the nettles and bagged them for Monday; and dehydrated the Vanilla leaf. My house smells incredible.

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Such mounds of dead biomass, like walking on a velvet mattress.

Digging for wild ginger in the ground, and the licorice ferns through the mossy mats of Giant maple trees;  sticking fingers into a body of earth and pine litter (one horizontal, one vertical –  as the ferns are epiphytes); feeling one’s way with eyes closed along  the roots; then pulling gently away. Delicious, strange, quiet.