I think I wrote about feeling a bit like George Plimpton a few years ago when I was writing for The Wild Ramp Market in Huntington, West Virginia. (To bring the youngsters up to speed, George Plimpton was a writer/journalist who decided he would actually have the experience before he wrote about the Detroit Lions. That experience became a book, Paper Lion, and then a movie. He wrote of other sports as well, always having participated fully.)
At the time I was visiting farms and other food producers for the year-round local food market, there was a lot I did not know. I still don’t know much about farming, but it is because of all the questions I asked and the experiences I had that I have learned a bit. For example, milking a goat and processing chickens. That last one was never on my bucket list but I am glad for the experience.
Well, yesterday I had a similar chance to do something related to farming and processing that I never expected to. The fact that it all was legal means I can tell you about it!
A friend vaguely asked me if I would help with his harvest and I asked, simply, winter squash? It’s that time of year, after all, and Can-Do Real Food has a killer Winter Squash Coconut Curry instant soup recipe, so you see where my mind was.
No….he kept me guessing and then showed me a photo. Ahhhh….here in Oregon we are permitted to grow our own weed. There is a limitation and rules about how much you can grow for personal use. What I didn’t know at the time was his is a licensed medical grow operation, so we really were helping legitimately.
It has to be dried….a lot like tobacco. Anyone who has lived or visited the South or the Connecticut River Valley has noticed the drying sheds and barns.
It has to be trimmed….the unused portions removed from the good parts so the drying surfaces are smaller and easier to treat.
It has to be checked for mold….always something can go wrong but even with the recent rains, this harvest had only minimal amounts of decay.
I saw some awesome drying racks he was using that we have ordered for curing garlic next year! The synergy of learning new things in action.
So, why share this small blip in my education? Because I like to show you that learning can be very fun indeed. Be a life-long learner. Do not be afraid to step away from your comfort zone and learn new facts and abilities.
You never know who will invite you to an awesome activity!