Sunday, November 22, 2009
For many years I have searched out ways to live more lightly on this planet. Ultimately there is not much of a lighter way to live than the way of our predecessors in North America. Native Americans relied on what could be found out in Nature, and although they cared for the land in many ways they left it relatively intact. They simply didn't have the means and techniques (as we do today) to so fully destroy the landscape. Living for thousands of years effectively "the same way" was in balance with the changes of plant and animal species. These various "beings" coexisted and coevolved over many, many, many human generations.
I have learned that to return to such an idyllic way of existence is a long educational road: spiritually, emotionally, culturally, and technically. I was raised basically "backward" in an environmental sense, to consume, consume, consume. "Get what you can"- don't worry about the other guy in other words. I believe we as local and global communities need to make the slow gradual change back to how things once were, in minor if not major ways. I think we need to act today, in honor of the 20th generation from now...
With the heavy weight of the last two paragraphs thrown over our spiritual shoulders, lets talk about picking acorns Naked!! For this is what the Native American all over California did historically, for thousands of years, on the very soil you walk on and drive over.
Basically, picking acorns is pretty easy (and fun!). All you need to do is find some bountiful group of acorns underneath a big ol' oak tree, and crouch or lay around it for hours putting all the acorns into a bucket/box/bag/whatever! All the different varieties of acorns will work. And none of the varieties I know of are toxic. They are not toxic, but you will have to leach them with water before you eat them.
Some basics: 1.) Get the acorns in the Fall before the first few rains hit and they start to sprout. 2.) Let them dry slowly indoors over a period of a few months. 3.) Shell them by hitting with a blunt hard object: hammer, rock, etc. 4.) Grind the acorn nut itself into a coarse flour/meal. 5.) Leach this flour/meal. Put in a court jar with water in your fridge. Remove water and add new each day for a week or two or until the bitterness goes away or is tolerable. 6.) Cook up the goods! You can use in many different things: breads, cookies, stews and much more!
At a recent acorn workshop Jen and I came across a very useful book (with plenty of photos) called It Will Live Forever that can guide you through the process of acorn collection, processing, and eating!
I wish you all a beautiful Thanksgiving. I am very thankful to you, my readers. You inspire me to keep getting Naked in all kinds of new ways! Thank you very much! I love you! Stay Nude!
Here is a parting poem from Emerson titled Thanksgiving:
For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends