Frenchman's Bay, Maine

Frenchman's Bay, Maine

Thursday, October 09, 2008


Foraging is elevated to the level of a fine art here in Germany. In Oregon, I occasionally saw people in the woods picking blackberries or wild huckleberries to take home. But I've moved to a country where no fruit or vegetable goes to waste, as long as it's growing in an accessible spot.

Tonight, walking the farm roads, I saw a woman in the carrot fields where a harvester had finished up. She was walking painstakingly back and forth, searching for bits the machine had missed. Yesterday, I passed a man up in a chestnut tree, searching for ripe nuts. He'd filled his basket almost to the brim. Walnuts are in season too, and I've seen families out gathering those together.

I like this trait--in fact, it reminds me of my Grandma Brose, who tended a garden well into her eighties. She'd stir-fry kale and other vegetables for me whenever I visited their retirement village. I know Grandma would be up the ladder plucking chestnuts with the best of them, if she were alive and visiting me in Deutschland today.


Beth said...

Whenever you talk about our grandmas, it makes me miss them.I think we carry just a bit of them with us, though. I was ready to glean some blackberries on the morning walk with the dogs...until the rain threatened to drench me...maybe tomorrow! Viva Grandma!!!!

KGMom said...

Here in central PA, we call it gleaning.
Our church takes a group every year to glean the apple orchards.

Judy in Indiana said...

I love the thought of having food to pick. It's the tending and growing that is so much work! I always told my husband that I only wanted to plant trees that bore food for us. Too bad I researched and found out how hard that can truly be. If we had a blueberry bush or cherry tree around, I am afraid I would be stalking it for food. Imagine being able to just go to a wooded area and picking it. I think they are very lucky to have growing food items nearby.

Rising said...

My oldest first learned to "collect" in school here. Every fall he gathers beechnuts from the park and brings them home and prepares them as he learned in school. To me they are not worth the effort, but he is very proud to identify and prepare these little treats.

Africakid said...

You're keeping the family tradition! I agree that we carry a bit of them with us--whenever I drink black tea, I think of Grandma Hartung (haven't tried her onion sandwiches yet).

That's great, taking your church group to glean apples. What do you do with them, bake pies? Excursions with other people can be so much fun.

I'd like to plant blueberry bushes when we get our own house again. Also apple trees and a small garden. But it's nice to have the public trees around here!

I like that the German school taught your son's class how to prepare the nuts. Kids get so much self confidence from these life skills!