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

Allison Poklemba, Foraging for Sea Vegetables

If you are like me, you know just enough about foraging to be dangerous!…Yes, I’ve keyed out a mushroom in a mycology course…but did I feel confident?…not so much…

My first seaweed foraging expedition happened when Rhonda Wiedenbeck took me and Simona Carini out — and I found my new best friend…Kombu.  Why kombu?  Because it was easy to ID, and there are literally tons of it out in an area that I felt completely comfortable with.  Not being a swimmer I really wasn’t sure I would enjoy being in that great big ocean wading around — but as it turns out, you go on a really slack tide and you have a nice padding of gigantic rocks between you and the great blue ocean (ie., death by drowning).  Kombu Drying (2) Kombu Drying (8) Kombu Drying (14) Kombu Drying (17) Kombu Drying (19)

So I was very happy to hear that Allison teaches classes in foraging for Sea Veggies — which involves a little bit of time spent in a classroom, and an expedition on a super low slack tide to gather them.

To find out more about Allison’s next class — click here.

To hear part 1 of the two part interview

To hear part 2 of the two part interview

JoAnn Olson, Humboldt Bay Mycological Society

JoAnn Olson is one of the founding members of the Humboldt Bay Mycological Society — a group of locals who are interested in fungi.  OK — interested might be an understatement, these folks are downright passionate.  And — not just the edible kind, which represent only a teeny tiny number of the thousands and thousands of fungi that are out there.  The Humboldt Bay Mycological Society are the folks that bring us the annual Mushroom Fair at Redwood Acres, where you can bring the fungi you’d like to ID, or buy a kit and grow mushrooms at home — I’ve done that several times and it’s great fun to watch the beautiful little shroomies appear from the planting mix.

Listen to Part 1 and Part 2 here

Check out the Humboldt Bay Mycological Society here or check out their Facebook here