Nature – what the….?

i’m not sure what book or article or story it was, but they talk a lot these days about how kids don’t recognize foods out in nature, only in a store.  it’s the ‘beef industry’ not the ‘cow industry’.  many have never picked an apple off a tree and bitten right into it.  i know some who are even freaked out by the idea of eating something right out of the garden.  there is something so simple and so awe inspiring to watch something you’ve planted as a little seed suddenly start to peek out of the ground and it seems like overnight you are pulling it out of the ground, brushing off the dirt, and eating it, or climbing up a ladder and pulling a pear down, biting into it while still standing up there, kerchief in your hair, basket of fruit in your arm, smiling slightly as the sweetness and graininess touches your tongue.  it’s one of those perfect little moments, one that i can’t wait to have again tomorrow as i head up into hood river to pick pears, just like i did last fall.

but there is so much i have experienced, am still experiencing, and have yet to experience.

i never liked coconut.  but i went to mexico and had the meat of a young green coconut and it slid down like sashimi, subtle and sweet and cool and juicy.

i never liked avocado.  but i went to mexico and had a fresh one cut off a tree and atop my shrimp, and it was a different taste, different sensation.

once i had orange and persimmon and fig trees.  but my landlord sprayed them and while they grew colorful and abundant, i couldn’t eat them after knowing she’d sprayed toxins all over its roots.  back then i didn’t know the tomato-like fruit was a persimmon – i’d never seen one before, and still have never tried one.

so last weekend i was pulling out the remnants of my basil, digging up the old spent soil, and found the below. it looked like an unripe lemon, but hard as a rock.  it was buried several inches below the surface, and when i went to the second pot, i dug another one out!

clueless, i snapped this shot and emailed it to several friends.  none had a clue!  the next day i went to my local nursery, and described it to the owner and she said, i bet it’s a walnut that a squirrel buried. considering the closest walnut tree is across the street and over one, this would be an impressive feat.  not to mention squirrels coming up onto my deck and then really burying them like crazy.

but it was true.  i got a sharp knife and cut into it.  english walnuts.  waiting for them to hull for 2 weeks and then we’ sample the goods.

never knew what almonds looked like before harvest. see what i’m talkin’ about/



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