Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hunter-Gather & Scavenger

 "Let me clear my throat" (Its been a minute so i have to find my voice.)

 I want to first thank all of those that upon seeing me have asked me about the blog. Encouraged me to continue, to post... soon. I barely posted and we have been blogging for such a short time I didn't realize that many people were taking the time to read it so I didn't think it would have been missed. I have thought about many topics that I would have enjoyed blogging about, maybe I will revisit them and uuummmm maybe not. Anyway, the urge hit me to write about a topic that has been streaming through my head repeatedly... the Hunter-Gatherer. By definition hunter-gatherers hunt game and collect plant foods (called foraging) rather than grow or tend crops.Hunter-gatherers are traditionally identified by their tools: bow and arrow, atlatl, harpoon and projectile points.

Tho our tools have changed, I have never felt more like a hunter-gather than these past two months. I am not sure how the thought of a hunter-gather even crept into my mind to make this analogy but yet it has...repeatedly. Maybe it was the clay model I had to make in elementary of the native Americans that made the theme stick in my head. Maybe it is because we are supposed to be above the hunter-gather with our "civilized" society. I have no clue. I digress.  I have been looking at the similarities and differences but it all leads me back to the fact that we  are modern day hunter-gatherers. THis doesn't have to be a bad thing but with the state of the quality of food it is. With the motivation behind food production in this country it is.
Back to point. This is the same thing we do in the grocery stores and farmers' market. We hunt game and collect plant foods (and processed food)...where you buy yo chicken from? How much is? You know its on sale over here. It is cheaper there. But these over here are Halal. But are they organic? How about free-range? Well you know they don't sale waxed foods. Is their produce local? I wonder if it is at least pesticide-free. And the dialogue continues (with self or others). Albeit some of us have more stringent criteria than others we are all (virtually all) doing the same thing, hunting (for best quality (hopefully) & price) and gathering.
Which leads me to the next point. We are scavengers.  I am not casting judgment. Just making observations. Scavenge simply means:
1. To search through for salvageable material
2. To collect and remove refuse from
3. To collect (salvageable material) by searching.
As I continue to write I am wondering what the point of this is. I get it. For me, this has added fuel for me to attempt to grow our food. Have more control over what I scavenge through and less I must scavenge from others, especially grocery stores. That's it! Tho our garden is a work in progress at this time, trust me, I am working on it. Inshallah, future posts will deal with that. As for what it means for others, only you can answer that. Do you want to be totally dependent on the grocery stores to feed you? It is sad to me the way we have given up such a basic need to others. But not just others. Others that we claim we do not trust. We were at the farmers' market the other day and we saw a few bumper stickers. One of which (Aminah's fav) said, "I don't buy food from strangers." I wish! Nonetheless, the sticker is sitting on my dash to remind me of where I would like to be, not to represent where I am. It is a lofty goal but one worth striving for.

Coming to terms with where we are now. I attempt to keep good food around so as we are not scavenging from the lowest of the low. Here's a few pix. Since I know a picture is worth a thousand words.

Apples from the tree at Orthodontist. They were delicious!

Pear from our or neighbor's tree

Pear from neighbor's tree. Can you tell it is good?

The Boy cutting a peach from Farmer's Market.

Breakfast I scavenged through the frig and put together. Fruit from Farmers' Market. Bread from Food Mill. I know I should make it myself.

veggies to serve for the meat in veggie tacos.

Preserving Peaches from Farmers' Market
The Boy with grapes from our yard.

By the way. We are great! Just trying to get "settled."
And I read a good book that may help inspire you, Fresh Food From Small Spaces by  R. J. Ruppenthal. FYI, I borrowed from the library so you do not have to spend a dime.