My first interview for this month took me to the Baltimore MD area where I met Rick Hueston.
Rick started a Facebook presence last year and soon a web blog called Primitive Cafe, one I tend to follow. I “like” many of his photos showcasing the delicious recipes he makes using wild edibles. I emailed him and asked him if I could come up and interview him for my blog. Obviously he said yes.
My purpose is to visit the “grass root” level of innovators out there in the garden arena. We are drastically losing our wildlife habitats. Over 4500+ species are in danger today of being lost soon. When I visit or hear about gardeners going organic, reclaiming lawn, setting aside land for vernal pool or habitat such as a butterfly garden, creating a bee sanctuary, it simply renews my hopes and dreams that somehow we are making a difference. So what can I do to help? My life is shifting into writing and teaching more strongly. I enjoy meeting people and seeing first hand their creative ideas manifest into garden forms or in the landscapes. Last week I showcased a Master Gardener’s beautiful raised bed backyard that provides so much food in place of lawn. This week I would like to take you to meet Rick Hueston.
Rick’s journey into the world of wild edibles began at the edge of seven. Like many of us at a tender young age there can be times when the urge to runaway is overpowering. Rick tried it and realized he did not know what he could eat. He spoke with a teacher at school who gave him a copy of the book My Side of the Mountain. I thought it was pretty nice of that teacher to give him something that in a way fed (pun intended) him, sparked an interest that has become a life’s passion. No matter where he was stationed or lived (Army) he explored the local population of plants and learned what is edible. Rick also through synchronistic circumstances met and worked with a Native American teacher. In my own journey with Native American elders the circles, the walk on the medicine wheel of life seems to deepen us and remind us we are all related, we are all connected.
I asked Rick what is the most important concept he would like to convey to my readers. He replied edible plants exist all around us. They are free and somewhat convenient. When one is taught to collect in season, collect mindfully in relation to other plants, habitat, toxicity and/or contamination, one can gather a delightful array of flowers and other plant parts and create easy delicious dishes. Obviously we need to be careful of poisonous plants. Sometimes they can be easily confused with non toxic varieties. However so many, literally beneath our feet, are edible.
“He wants to bring wildfood to your table,” in easy practical ways. Friday we’ll continue with Rick and his backyard treats. In the meantime check out his website and recipes.
Enjoy your day. Judith