Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Food out our front door

Time is moving by quickly here on Denman Island. It seems like only yesterday that we we arrived; the trees were loaded with apples and they were dropping into our hands faster than we could catch them. We are nearing the end of the picking season now and most of the apples are off the tree, one more week or so and all will be picked. It has been a long and busy couple of months, I get Sundays off but unfortunately for Jesse he goes to the weekend markets in Vancouver. He hasn't had a day off since we moved here.
He doesn't seem to mind much though, and always comes back with a good story or two. He is also making some good connection with people he meets at the market. It feels good to be striking some more permanent roots in stable ground, and start connecting with the local community.
I dearly miss our friends in Australia, but I know they are only an e-mail or SKYPE call away and it gives me strength to know how much they care for us and wish to see us to succeed.
It has really been pouring here recently, and when the rain is really coming down I think of Jordan and I imagine the thirsty landscape. I remember those that who make their life in the dead sea valley and other places like it. Then I do a little rain dance in my heart for them. I get tired and cold in the rain but I will not complain!!! It is truly a gift.
In all of this surplus moisture, I am inundated, even in the cooling weather of fall, life abounds. There are sources of food all around us. Everyday I go to the forest and pick mushrooms to eat. I don't even need to go that far. Sometimes the field mushrooms are growing just out the front door. Near by Chickadee lake is full of tasty trout, and about once a week Jesse goes to catch one or two for the dinner table. Recently, I collect and dried a some rosehips. They have a subtle acidic flavor and are jam packed with vitamin C. Honestly, I used to think oranges where they only good source of Vitamin C on the planet. It is only recently that I have known the power packed punch of rosehips. Deer inhabit Denman Island, they are healthy, well fed, and abundant. There is a designated hunting season, though I am unsure if anyone shoots and eats the deer here, as they seem very bold and unafraid of humans. It is surely a stable source of local protein.
We live on an apple orchard so we do not hunt down feral fruit at the moment, but I have seen it out there. In the past Denman Island was well known for it's apple growing so there are feral trees everywhere. There could also be plum trees and pear trees as well, not just apples. It is entirely possible to find or produce 90% or more of ones food needs, within the confines of this island. After growing food on dust and rock in Jordan and Australia, we look forward to planting a large garden here next spring. It really has helped to be away from all the comforts of home. The time away as allowed us to view native soil through a lenses of immense gratitude.

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