"The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves." - Bill Mollison

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Chief Hunter

All work and no play makes Mike and Micki very dull grandparents so we set aside our garden duties and spent the weekend foraging the river banks and forests for wild edibles with the grandson, Hunter. At some point, he decided he was part Indian and asked to be called Chief Hunter ~ I suggested "Chief Dumb Bear" but he did not approve of that title so Chief Hunter it was. Anyway, our first trip proved to be most fruitful as we found numerous asparagus plants beginning to bear, but we were about a week too soon so did not find enough for a meal.

The wild parsley, now easily identifiable, was in its prime.

Just as we were leaving Chief Hunter found a patch of morel mushrooms. "Grandma! He yelled. There are morel mushrooms everywhere!" He was so excited as this was the very first time he found them all by himself...we are such proud grandparents. The boy was able to easily identify old asparagus ferns and the new shoots that accompanied them, sage, parsley, and the mushrooms...perhaps we are rubbing off on him after all.

Today, we ventured into the forests to search a few of our favorite spots for more morels and, although we only found one, everyone had a great time. We thought perhaps our "working dog" should start learning how to become a truffle hound...he loved the idea but bit the top off the first and only mushroom we introduced him to; this new duty might take a while for him to perfect.

Rowdy, leaping across a branch of the creek.

Grandpa following suit...but with less grace.:)

Chief Hunter, sharing a moose hip bone with Rowdy. I don't know? It's Northern Idaho.

Our jeep was a muddy mess so we decided to be lazy and splurge on a car wash...one of Hunters favorite chores.:)

Grandma, scrounging for quarters wondering if she had enough to actually get the vehicle washed.:(


Ruralrose said...

Awesome free spirited post today, so personal, so beautiful - you have a wonderful life. The pictures of the jumps were outstanding! If you have morels there then mine can't be too far away. This is the first year I can hunt for them as now i have a road, yippee!!! People have said it is littered up there with them so I will see. Wasn't it a perfect day today, glad i have a real life too. Peace

Anonymous said...

What a lovely weekend! I haven’t had wild asparagus in 3 years. And I haven’t picked them in a decade, I think! Only part of Croatia where I know that wild asparagus grow is Mediterranean part, and that’s too far to go just for asparagus.

Your grandson knows more about wild edibles than I do. :-)

LynnS said...

What a fun weekend you had. The boy is a good forager already! To him, it's all a treasure hunt -- and it looks to me like you already have your morel scout!

We will be picking flowers this week for jellies. We have a great deal of wild asparagus here, but no one realizes it. Heck, no one realizes ANY of the free food around here.

BTW, Rowdy's coat is looking wonderful!

Ayak said...

Lovely pictures and videos Mr H. Hunter certainly lives up to his name doesn't he? His squeals of delight in the car wash made me really smile...bless him.

Rowdy's looking good too.

ThyHandHathProvided said...

Your grandson should be earning college credits. He's learning so much from you! Do you offer some kind of educational summer camp for grown-ups?

ThyHandHathProvided said...

Also, the "IS VERY GOOD" comment above's link may be something you don't want on your blog- just a heads-up (and you are welcome to delete this comment of mine either way).

Mr. H. said...

Ruralrose -I hope you find lots of morels this year. They are still not out where we normally pick them as it is a bit to high up and colder...but soon. It was a perfect day:)

Vrtlarcia - The grandson is building quite a knowledge base on such things but the puppy has a lot to learn before he will be of much help.:)

Lynn - Few people having any knowledge about the wild edibles is kind of nice in a selfish way...more for us.:) Seriously though, it's pretty amazing how much is out there, even in our own backyards.

Flowers for jellies, that sounds interesting.

Ayak - The boy practically begs to wash the car that way, so we let him have at it for awhile. I can't believe he can hold on to that sprayer, maybe he will grow up to be a fireman.:)

Thy Hand - No summer camp at this time.:) The boy loves learning about this stuff, and is quite game to try new things. We all had so much fun at the creek, I wanted to post on it so Hunter could see it the next time he comes over...he loves videos and pictures of our outings.

Thanks for the heads up, the Viagra man must have followed me over from Mavis's blog...I hope I don't have to start using comment moderation, but I suppose it is inevitable.

Heiko said...

Hey Mr.H, I enjoyed that post. Your little man is becoming a real outdoor boy. Good for him. Good luck with training that dog to hunt for truffles!

Silke said...

Oh, those videos made me laugh out loud this morning - I have never known anyone to have so much fun washing a car! And the photos of you and Rowdy jumping over the creek are great!! Looks like you all had a great time!! But who wouldn't with Chief Hunter and his trusty truffel dog, Rowdy?! :) Silke

El said...

Aw how exciting! Tell the Chief I am very impressed with his mushrooming skills; there must be something about being closer to the ground! Have fun with the rest of your gleanings.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this post! Your grandson is a little survivalist in training. I love the pictures of you and Rowdy crossing the creek. The car wash video was laugh-out-loud funny! Hunter will be so happy to see himself featured on your post!

granny said...

I loved this post!Chief Hunter has learnt so much from you and Mrs H ! All good information that will see him through the rest of his life.
And yes,sometimes work needs to be set aside...the sweet sound of a Grandsons laughter is far more important and joyous :0)

Roasted Garlicious said...

i'm thinking you guys were having WAYYYYYYYY too much fun!!! it's such a joy to have our grandchildren learn good things from us.. am working on grandbaby #3, she seems to be very interested in herbals... so herbals it is :D Rowdy is getting BIG!!!!

Granola Girl said...

As for comment moderation, have you received messages for Japanese porn? Apparently, somewhere in Japan they think our audience might find them interesting. We find them quite funny as we cannot read anything on the websites and get to ad lib ridiculous captions and comments. What can I say, having to no TV late at night causes you to find things funny that normal people might not :)

I wouldn't worry too much about having to moderate. Most people realize that it happens and aren't bothered much by it.

kitsapFG said...

That video of Hunter washing the car was just laugh out loud hilarious! Looks like you had some good foraging and that asparagus patch will warrant a return trip in a weeks time to get the pending harvest. Used to encounter alot of wild asparagus in the Yakima area years ago. Delicious treat and free for the taking if you knew what you were looking for.

Mr. H. said...

Heiko - The boy does love the outdoors, especially if there is a creek involved our he gets to use his knife to cut something.:) As far as the truffle hound goes, that might take some time...he does have a good noes though.

Silke - It was fun. Hunter can be very dangerous when you hand over a spray gun to him, luckily the camera man didn't get too wet.:) It was 75°outside yesterday...so nice.

El - Yes, if you can get them to pay attention the little people might just have an advantage when it comes to spotting wild edibles. He had a great time biting the "heads" off some of the asparagus he found.

Mrs. T - I am looking forward to showing him the pictures and videos we took...his father picked him up early so we never got a chance to share them with him. Of course now every time we go by a car wash he will want to stop.:)

Granny - I agree, the chief had the best time and we still managed to get most of our chores done afterwords. We fried the mushrooms up with a little butter and onions and had them with squash last night, it was good.

Roasted Garlicious - Herbs, how fun, that is certainly something the child will not learn in school. Rowdy is getting big and finally has all his permanent teeth and doesn't want to chew everything we own...as much.:)

Granola Girl - I assume that it was something like that, I didn't bother to look. So far I just use comment moderation on older comments so that I don't miss them and hope to keep it that way.

kitsapFG - I spent years looking for wild asparagus and finally figured out where it grows in this area. We will definitely try to get back there for a little harvesting...but I do have their babies coming up in my own patch, it will be interesting to compare them to our regular asparagus.

michelle said...

Oh what a fun post, your grandson had too much fun at the car wash. I could use his services, my little red wagon is still dirty and bug spattered after the drive to Yosemite.

I'm envious of your wild asparagus and morel foraging. Some day I'm going to have to hook up with the local Fungus Federation and start foraging for shrooms. Unfortunately, asparagus doesn't grow wild around here.

Stefaneener said...

Gah, Rowdy is so beautiful. As is Chief Hunter. Sounds like a great time.

Diane@Peaceful Acres said...

What a fun time! You have done well teaching Hunter to forage, and to think he knew what he was finding. That's in not the norm for kids today. Great job! I want to know if you landed in the water??? I'm guessing not or Gma would of shown it to all of us!

My fava's are up and doing well. I can't wait to try them!!!

83843 said...

My favas are up too (was motivated to try them after your post about them) and the leaves are being scalloped by a 1/4" long grey insect. Any ideas on what it might be?

Mr. H. said...

Michelle - The grandson would love to wash your car as long as you take hime to Yosemite with you next time...he is a pretty good climber.:)

The only two mushrooms we are brave enough to forage for are morels and shaggy maines. We also need to hook up with a mushroom expert one of these years and learn a bit more.

Stefaneener - Thanks, they both made me promise to take them back there real soon.:)

Diane - He knows about 15 wild edibles really/fairly well and we hope to have a chance to add to that list as time goes on. Then he goes home and trys to teach the same things to his father...

I did not land in the water....but I have in the past while trying to jump across creeks.:)

83843 - I hope the insects do not damage your crop to much. The only pests we ever get are the occasional aphid and they don't really do much damage. Could it possibly be a Mexican bean beetle larvae?


Mrs. Mac said...

If he, Chief Hunter, was a little taller, I'd pay him to come and wash my truck! Your outing should be titled, "Home-school Foraging 101" ... definitely college credit ... but like you say ... then there would be less for you (I may have to secretly follow you one of these days ... Nice post!

Mr. H. said...

Mrs. Mac,

The morels grow every where around here and are just starting to develope, we collect them from now until June moving higher up as the season progresses. I even have one growing in our yard this year and we have found them on the hillsides around the lake too. I bet you have some growing around your home as well. The asparagus grows all along the Spokane river's banks and is just starting to show itself.

By the way, we are loving the salad dressing and sourdoe bread...yummy.

It's me ...Mavis said...

I think one of the best sounds in life is a good belly laugh :) Looks like the little man had a blast!

Mr. H. said...


He is quite the character...a big jokster and very outgoing.

Robbyn said...

Loved watching the carwash fun!! We still barely know any of our wild plant identification...how COOL you're taking your grandson for tromps in the woods to ID things and that he found the morels :)

Faith Kolean said...

Wow Morels! We won't get any here until at least mid May. I am envious.

GetSoiled said...

Shrooms, asparagus, wild plants...mmmmmmmhhhh....you might have some unexpected guests for dinner if you keep posting all these sexy things :-)

Mr. H. said...

Robbyn - It does take a bit of time to learn what everything is. We seem to discover some new edible every year. Keeping in mind that it is a passion of mine and we do spend an awful lot of time wondering around just looking at different plants and trying to figure out what they all are...but it is fun.

Faith - Ours are very early this season, last year we were still getting snow this time of year. I hope you find a lot this year.:) Thanks so much for stopping by.

GetSoiled - Oh, and they are delicious. So many of the wild edibles are better than anything I can grow in the garden. Especially the mushrooms and huckleberries...so good.

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