2008-08-21

Photo Assignment

I wanted to start this post off with a link to the online edition to the Province Newspaper where the story appeared- unfortunately my photos don't show up there. I guess the photo of the bikini babe with the cowboy hat frolicking in the river was sufficient. (the one photo I did not take lol)



Essentially, the story is about the mayor's ideas of what direction Merritt should be moving in to keep itself viable and garner interest from more investors followed by interviews with the owner of the Merritt Mountain Music Fest (a huge outdoor country music festival) and finally a family run real estate development who are focussed on developing their property into large view lots that will eventually be centered on an equine oriented community that will overlook a vast panorama of ranching country, river valley, and of course, Merritt itself. They also sell organic beef- here's their web site: Ranchland Natural Beef

Bigger Moo Moo

I bought 6 copies of the paper (!) and keep one tucked in my traveling portfolio in lieu of a résumé. I am obviously up for travel at a moment's notice ( anyone having read this blog for the last year will know that! ) and enjoy writing about what I see and do as well. With journalism I believe I would have to learn to express myself in a more objective voice which is actually how I tend to write on my art site...I might try that here. I spoke to the editor of one of the local newspapers and he basically said if I have an interesting story then bring it in at 500 words or less and he would look it over to determine the story's worth and the style of writing.
I also want to thank Blessed for featuring my husband's and my blog at the OBS...hugs to you Blessed!

And now, onto Foraging For Tea.
I was always interested in food from the wild- I liked the idea of being self sufficient if lost in the woods. I never really did get lost in the woods however, until I moved here but there was always a way out but it did occur to me that I knew very little about the flora and fauna of the Thompson Nicola area beyond the lupins and wild roses. As well, about a month ago Jim's wife Fran (you don't know them yet but you will! ) gave me a sample of herbal tea that she makes herself which was delicious. I thought later on "I could make my own tea what with all the stuff growing wild out here!"

Bigger View

Thusly I've been doing a lot of foraging, drying said forage, and researching in between photography, gardening and self promotion. I use a reference called Nature Bound Pocket Field Guide which I've had for over 20 years, the accumulated knowledge from many trips to the library as a kid, and now of course the internet is the most valuable tool for fact finding. On that note, when it comes to foraging it pays to get a wide variety of cyber-sources to glean knowledge from- and the people should know what they're talking about (be educated in botany for instance, or have good strong history's of herbal uses from the native peoples. Preferably both. )

Bigger Hips

So, whats plentiful out here you may ask?
Wild Roses: as in rose hips which are an excellent source of vitamin C and A. This is easy to identify and collect.
Saskatoon Berries: ( June Berry/ Service Berry ) - something I don't recall seeing on the coast. It's kind of like a poor man's blue berry (although wild blue berry doesn't taste as good!)
Wild Current: I had never seen them before- had no idea they were available out here till about last week.
Raspberries: My God! In the wilds off the highway! The sweetest smelling fruit! All broken down from the deer and/or bears in the area.
...and finally...

Bigger Cherries

Choke Cherry: that may sound scary to some and I did a lot of researching on the net and asked at UBC Botanical Garden's Forum to be certain. There are plenty of things that are questionable because of something I had heard or read...some fruits which may contain toxins (usually in the seed) are safe to eat after the process of drying and/or freezing. You have to study.

Close up for the curious...

And those are just some of the fruits/berries around here- I haven't even touched on herbs like goldenrod, sage, mullein, fire weed, etc. I'm focusing for high vitamin C content and am just in the nick of time for collecting as lots of things are on the verge of over ripening and autumn is just around the corner. All these things have to be dried, preferably by the sun but we've had unusually wet weather the last few days so I'm using the food dehydrator I inherited for the first time and the oven for the overspill while the herbs are hanging in the basement.

SAGE

I have a little work station outside where I sort and clean new items before putting them in the full sun on screening, or plastic mesh trays, or even old metal baking sheets. Actually, that skiff that my husband bought has become quite handy as a drying table! :lol: I'm quite looking forward to brewing that first tea!

And finally, gardening -wise, after being in pots for almost 3 months (and in the case of the maple almost 2 years) my seedlings were finally put into the earth in the dappled shade of the southern perimeter of our yard. 4 cherry s and one maple. I also transplanted a cactus I found on the northern end of town as well- it now matches the first one I planted although its much larger.

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Powerful Canada

I wanted to rant a bit about the Olympics but I've kind of rambled on long enough about herbs...suffice it to say that I'm a big fan of China and am thrilled to see them doing so well. I'm not so thrilled about the sour grapes kind of coverage the American stations are broadcasting...so there was some bad luck- you win a few, you lose a few. Don't be so obviously jealous. Newspapers are starting to get some attitude too- so what if a girl is not considered pretty enough to use her face? She obviously had the voice the Chinese wanted and they found a face to go with it. Just like any western pageant. And animations- I don't like that people thought it was part of the opening ceremonies when it was just digital- but the only reason people are upset is that some film company never had the balls to pull off such a stunt for themselves and the Chinese beat them to it.
But Canada got a silver in the diving just an hour ago...so I will finish this off with "GO TEAM!!!"

2 comments:

Kristine said...

Sounds like you have a lot going on. Congratulations on your first photos appearing in the newspaper. That's got to be exciting.

Othmar Vohringer said...

Great post and pictures as usual. I think you would make a great journalist or writer. In my opinion you have that already proven here and elsewhere. Go for it.
I am really looking forward to drink that first coup of homemade tea. The fruity and herby smell wafting through the house is incredibly stimulating.
-ov-