I guess I come by this food stuff honestly. I just spent the weekend with my family in Northern Minnesota. Most of that time was spent with my mom, who I am pretty sure killed herself to put food on the table when I was kid. She worked in Bagley, Minnesota as a public health nurse for almost all of our time in the big woods of this great country. She got up at 5:30 am to milk our goats and feed our chickens and my horses. Then she drove an hour to work after getting my brother and I on the school bus for our hour long ride to school. She came home late at night and fed all the animals and cooked us dinner and made my lunch, helped me with my homework and put us to bed. We ate almost all our food from our land and she worked full time to support us.
When did she have time for herself?
This weekend she and I drove around the White Earth Indian Reservation, where I am currently "stationed" and checked out the local food scene. This included a trip to Winona LaDuke's farm where we picked raspberries and I photo-documented the local guys parching the rice from this year's harvest. Then we went to see Daryl--who grows a lot of food for the White Earth Land Recovery Project's "Farm to School" program at Pine Point Elementary School. He fed us apples from his orchard and sent us home with two ice cream pails of apples for 4 bucks.
Mom and I spent the night near Itasca State Park and went out looking for the Wild Food Summit on White Earth in the morning. We missed them cuz they were already out harvesting by the time we got there. We tried to make up for this by going to Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge for a hike. We came across a mycologist there giving a lecture to his students on wild mushrooms, and found out about what we missed with the White Earth folks. We went for a hike anyway and saw all the beautiful mushrooms in the woods, enjoying their last hurrah before the winter.
We saw a beautiful family of trumpeter swans, and seeing them made me think about the beauty of family and the bonds of love that transcend everything. In spite of all the miles between us, we manage to stick together and give each other a lot of love. That's more important than anything else, and I feel so blessed by all the sacrifices and the wisdom my mom has shared with me. Thank you. Love you.