Lena Hurd, Acorns, Traditional Food Harvesting and Basket Making

I met the beautiful and super vivacious Lena Hurd at the Big Time event at Humboldt State University this past spring.  Introduced to her by Jessica Eden, after 10 minutes of talking about wanting to include more stories of traditional foods into our Food for Thought show, we had an invitation to her home in Cave Junction, Oregon.

First of all — I don’t know what to say first of all.  She was so gracious and gave us a tour of her home which was loaded with beautiful baskets and regalia (which she and other friends and family members made).  The home itself was a piece of art, and was full of other art pieces created by both her son and her husband.  I’m telling you this family got into line 12 times for artistic talent!  I was in complete stimulation overload — I didn’t know where to look first.

Then! She took the time and graciously shared information with me about gathering acorns and making acorn mush, gathering various food plants and sea vegetables, and making baskets.  Baskets are so part of making food, from baskets to trap eels, burden and storage baskets to carry plant materials and acorns, and cooking baskets.  One of the things I learned was that baskets were made to be used — and baskets that are kept on museum shelves eventually become brittle and die.  They need to be handled and need the oils from our hands to keep them alive.

Of the many journeys I’ve taken over the years this was quite possibly the very best.  Practically in my own backyard (Oregon), such a rich and wonderful experience learning so much from Lena Hurd.

Acorns, Traditional Food Gathering

Part 1 Basket Weaving, Part 2 Basket Weaving

Basket Weaving coming soon!

This program was supported in part by the Northwest California Tribal Communities Extension Program, a USDA funded project through UC Cooperative Extension of Humboldt and Del Norte Counties

Humboldt Cider Company, Jamie Ashdon

We think of hard cider as being an adults only beverage — but there was a time in north America when drinking fermented beverages was commonplace with everyone including children — many diseases could be contracted from drinking tainted water and it was much safer to consume hard beverages.  With the advent of prohibition hard cider became a thing of the past — for a very long time!

But, thanks to some small cider works — and also thanks to orchardists throughout the country that kept the cider varieties alive and propagated, we are returning to a golden age for hard cider.  Here in Humboldt County there are many home brewers — and Humboldt Cider Company, co-owned by Jamie Ashdon (you will remember him from our episode on Humboldt Beer Works), and Michelle and Darren Cartledge (beer and cider enthusiasts and makers) will be providing an opportunity to savor the terroir of Humboldt with a tasting room at Redwood Acres.

Listen to the interview

Check out their website

Margo Robbins, Footsteps Unlimited

I first met Margo at the Potowat holiday crafts sale (if you haven’t been to this event — it is a Must Do for this year) — in the midst of handcrafted jewelry, paintings and other artwork for sale — I tracked down the food items.  Yep — you know it, I’m all about the food.  So after popping in to say hello to Lee Ann Duclo from Oceanside Jams, I weaved through the aisles, bought a set of 3 T-shirts (Got Salmon?; Got Seaweed?; Got Acorns?) and then saw Margo.  She was selling Instant Acorn Soup mix!  For those of us who don’t want to gather, sort, dry, grind, leach, etc etc etc — Margo has done it all for us!  She also makes and sells teas and some of her handcrafted jewelry.

Footsteps Unlimited Website

Interview with Margo