Dangerous Compassions


foraging cards

Hello, how are you doing?  I got these new playing cards for foraging.  You know I don’t like games.  But cards can be a fun way of mediated learning.  Different from a website or book.

my foraging history

I’ve always loved plants, always liked foraging.  Free food is amazing!

I remember when I was in grad school in my early 20s and learned about how mustard is a common weed, and you can eat the leaves.

“Wow!  Mustard is growing all over the place!” I said.  I went to the local park to forage mustard growing wild on the edges.

Then I hesitated.  This was a park.  Did the weeds get sprayed?  Would I get in trouble from a park worker like theft?

I didn’t pick a bunch of leaves that day to cook at home.  But maybe that still counts as foraging.  Kinda like shopping is still shopping without a purchase.  I went to the park with foraging intent.

Nibbling wild rosehips at the riverside–picking wild blackberries in Oregon just a couple weeks ago.  Taking that seaweed harvesting class a month ago.  It’s a fun part of life.

Black Forager

I was slow to join instagram, but there I somehow found BlackForager, who makes foraging so exciting.

She is an amazing teacher with such vibrant energy; I’ve learned so much from her.  She is my hero.

It’s not just free food, or plant love.  Foraging is life-changing.  I’ve felt it change my relationship to the world.  Sort of like waking up.

Food doesn’t have to come from a store, garden, farm, factory, or restaurant.  Life is all around us, and many of the plants that grow can nourish us.  Not just what was specified to me as normal food when I was a child.

Feels like freedom.  It makes the world seem richer and more interesting.  It increases my stability by strengthening my faith.  And it reminds me of some of my favorite life mottos.

  • Fun is free.
  • The world is my oyster.
  • The world is my library.
  • Survival is possible.
  • Parent Earth provides us with all we need.
urban foraging

Food banks, little free pantries, dumpster diving, free boxes, and finding a case of split peas on the sidewalk are all urban foraging.  I would never ransack a resource, but it can be appropriate to grab a bag of rice to feed myself and others, when I’m low income and in debt from travel while homeless.

One person can make only so much soup.  It’s good to share the split peas.

And now I remember when I was a kid.  We lived in an agricultural area on the Central Coast of California.  At least once my mom stopped by the side of the road to pick up produce that had fallen off a truck.  That’s a great example.

She always said wasting food is a sin.  She knew poverty and lots of beans.  Dear mama, a good example.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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