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365 Days of Fun and Chillaxation – Blog#44 – Free Spirit

Submitted by on May 29, 2010 – 8:04 pm 2 Comments

Mushrooms.  They’re everywhere right now.  If you’ve got your mushroom spectacles on.  My brother wears his permanently as he loves harvesting free stuff from public spaces – you know firewood, feijoas, apples, watercress, plums, pears, blue cod etc.  He recognised the wild mushrooms from hundreds metres away today as we flashed by on the state highway on our mission to collect a free couch.
“Mushrooms” he muttered, squinting at something very far away in a paddock.  I swivelled around, struggling to spot them.
“More there,” he said again, followed by “that’s my favourite mushroom paddock just there, I got kilos of them the other day.”
I gave up trying to make them out, content that eventually he’d feel compelled to simply stop and collect.
Is it just me, or have my generation generally forgotten where to go for nature’s free bounty?  You know, like where to go to gather fallen walnuts, where and when the snapper are running, the perfect spot for sweet wild rasberries etc.  Nature hasn’t forgotten.  This food’s still being pumped out of the earth from season to season.  Strange isn’t it, that I’ve become more comfortable paying for food, than harvesting it for free?  I love the food map idea, though in someways I feel a little shy to make use of it.  Having written this, I now feel the urge to make the effort to harvest more free food.  All by my myself.  Grownup hunter gatherer like.
True to form, when we got to the free couch house he referred to their mushrooms.
“You’ve got a few out there in the paddock … ”
“Oh yes, help yourself.”
And so that was how I came to be shivering on the side of a country road as my brother took his knife and a plastic bag and hopped over a pulsing electric fence in pursuit of wild fungi.

Happy sigh.  So much free stuff in the world.  It could be right under your nose you know.  It’s only a matter of expecting to find it… Today’s rating: 9/10

PS Today two people attended the workshop I mentioned yesterday.  I had a great time presenting it, and learned rather a lot.  Though to be honest I must have mis-communicated the actual intent of the workshop in the title, because they told me they expected something different.  Initially I felt mortified at this thought.  I wanted them to leap away from the workshop feeling inspired and renewed.   I wanted to provide the forum for them to make astounding discoveries about their previously hidden strengths.  I wanted them to leave feeling alive with fire and hope about the role they’d play in our exciting environmental future.  But it turned out, they didn’t need me for that.   They were already pretty strong, about their strengths.  I’m not sure but I think they may have wanted me to recommend green products.  Sigh.  My ego was a little bruised.  To put it mildly.  My karate teacher once told me I’ve got to stop taking things personally.  Ok, I have now finally come  up with a good response for him: I just need a little time to process the feedback sometimes before I seriously mine for the gold.  And mine I shall.  Tomorrow.

PPS Do check out this New Zealand Fruit and Food Share Map on google.  It’s amazing, you can look up your individual town’s free food supply.

PPSS David and I have one month to finally pull together our Wild Energy sustainable design competition.   We’re aiming to attract ideas from innovators, inventors, engineers, students and other creative types about the many ways one can generate power in a small scale and ecologically wise manner.  Ahhhh!  This should be exciting.

365 Days of Fun and Chillaxation (as I raise my gorgeous son and grow my good news website to a subscription base of 100,000 people).  The Low Down on this Blog.

Check out yesterday’s blog.

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  • Anna Lakeman says:

    I’ll be happy to show you around some of the wild food gathering places I know. I love collecting shell fish the most. It fulfills a deep hunter/gatherer instinct in me. It’s also a good excuse to get out in nature. So satisfying to have a meal that’s NOT bought from the shops!

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  • Charlotte says:

    hey Anna,
    Now kai moana I totally dig! I used to eat it raw from the beach at Para Para in my youth!

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