Monday, July 28, 2008

Hunter/gatherer

Yesterday I missed out on one of the spinning meet-ups, but I had a wonderful day. I decided to take the whole day off to spend with Lucius. We planned on going for a walk in the woods, but then we suddenly decided to go a local pick-your-own farm, despite the fact that it looked like an intense storm was gathering overhead. It was a bit of an adventure finding the farm, but we eventually did, and spent several hours picking amazingly delicious blueberries and blackberries. We filled up two big buckets, one of each type of berry, and so I have plans to brew some wine in the next few days. One of the farm workers seemed kind of freaked out about the storm, because he kept running into the field yelling about how he just saw some lightning or how the rain was currently two miles away and closing. I love the rain, so we just kept on picking, but quite a few people left. The silly thing is, the rain never showed up! All day long, the thunder kept rolling and there were dark clouds and occasional lightning flashes, but no rain. And the sun actually came out a few times. But we amused ourselves for the rest of the day by randomly bursting out with dire warnings about the weather.

After our berry-picking was done, we dropped the berries off at the apartment and headed for the woods. I think I need to sew myself a skirt with tons of large pockets, because I am such a gatherer. I brought home a bunch of little bundles and treasures from our walk, including:

gathered treasures


-fleabane flowers for a natural dyeing experiment
-milkweed seedpods (pictured above) - I'm going to separate the seedfluff from the seeds and then card it into some yarns. The seedfluff is shiny like silk, but very delicate and not strong enough to be spun on its own.
-catnip, which I am drying and will probably make some cat toys with - but it's also a really good tea for fevers!
-autumn olives, which are beautiful reddish-orange berries with silver speckles.
-a black feather, to add to my small collection of found feathers.

The autumn olives were a surprise, because normally they don't ripen until the first frost! I love the way they taste, tart and sweet, but they're super invasive and non-native so I'm careful not to drop the seeds anywhere that they can grow. I'm glad we discovered them - I'll be back in the fall to gather lots more for fruit leather and maybe some wine. In the picture, the berries are in a simple muslin bag that I sewed to bring with me on hikes - because I've learned from experience to always bring gathering bags with me!

And now, back to work! I still have a bit of catching up to do and I want to have a shop update by Wednesday, which means I must go spin.

1 comment:

Jacki said...

Can't wait to see the milkweed experiment results! We have some milkweed plants growing in our front yard that I love, and the thought of being able to spin from them is just way cool. :)