Wild Berries

I believe I have a wild food foraging addiction. It's such a beautiful pastime, really. Last week I found myself scrambling barefoot up an apple tree, dropping the fruit down into the lake. Each green apple making a perfect kerplunk then floating to the surface for my delighted kids to fetch. Smooth freckled chartreuse lounging on my table for a week or so before succumbing to their destiny... cinnamon applesauce.

It feels so honest, organic, and adventurous searching for the sweet jewels in the brush.  I tried to go for a run yesterday but became quite sidetracked by the blue elderberries along the path.  Weaving in and out of them were wild grapes and a fig tree or two.  The smell of fresh river water and over ripened blackberries pressing in.

Foraging has been therapeutic for me this season.  The kids went back to school.  If there is one thing I detest about public school it's the whining and begging for money.   If I had a penny for everytime a teacher complains about their salary...  Since when is it professional to discuss your salary around gradeschoolers?  And the fundraisers, don't get me started.  The burden placed on our children's shoulders when school budgeting is really an adult issue.  Way to divide kids by social and economic standing.  Openly rewarding those who can sell the most tickets, beg the hardest, guilt others the most...  Stripping our children of good honest work, thoughtfulness, creativity, gratitude, and problem solving.

So out into the forest I'll drag them.  We will learn about plants, birds, and ancient things past.  I'll bathe them in vast pools of resourcefulness and curiosity.   We will wash away the dirt and grit of manipulation.  Politics should not concern your sweet minds.  You are not pawns my children.  You are rich, intelligent, and lively.  Let us pick from the sweet bounty of the earth.

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, 
to front only the essential facts of life, 
and see if I could not learn what it had to teach    

maryanne gobble photography self portraitmaryanne gobble fine art photographyelderberry fine art self portrait in black and white


  1. There are plenty of good ways for schools to raise money without sending kids out to sell cookie dough or wrapping paper or whatever else door to door. Besides, the school sees so little of the money from those types of fundraisers, it's hardly even worth it. I think a lot of schools try to claim that they are using it as a teaching tool for students...life lessons of some sort. Personally, my issue with it is the fact that they are basically telling kids to go knock on the doors of strangers & try to sell them things. You never know who they might run into. Although now, a lot of schools are changing things and telling the kids not to sell to anyone they don't know...which means that they can only sell to family or have their parents take the order forms to work. It's all just a screwed up system. If the schools need to raise money (which they usually do - until you've worked in the school system, you don't realize how much it really takes and how much of their own money teachers are spending because there isn't enough money available for their classrooms), there are much more creative ways to do it that don't require the kids to start "begging". :)

    1. Exactly! It's a place of education for Petes sake. Surly someone there has some better ideas. I doubt teachers enjoy begging either.

    2. That's another good point. These sales fundraisers are certainly not the teachers' idea! In fact, they would honestly rather not have the kids do them because it takes away from learning time. Between the assemblies to get the kids all hyped up and the class time used to collect everything and the hyperactivity created by the promise of amazing prizes (which end up being junk prizes because they never earn enough to get the good stuff), it's just one giant distraction handed down by the people in charge who got suckered in by a salesperson who promised them so much money for their school with this wonderful fundraising opportunity...