[amy] Another helping of leaves, please...

I had my Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants class this past weekend. Starting Saturday morning, you hike through the woods to the homestead, eat/learn about plants and help out with homesteading chores. I was going to stay over Saturday night, but as I was doing the dinner dishes (I got stuck with "Dishes" as my chore and let me tell you, doing everyone's plates and all the pots and pans after lunch and again after supper was not the high point of my weekend), all I was thinking was, "I've got to get out of here." I rolled up my sleeping bag, gathered all my belongings and ran out of the woods to try to get back to my car before it got completely dark.

Why did I have to leave? Well, lots of things. I can't really explain it, but I didn't feel comfortable being so quickly immersed in this kind of sustainable/communist lifestyle. It was too much to take in. Example: you need to eat a lot of roots and leaves to feel full. I wondered why everyone was piling so much onto their plate during lunch but come suppertime, I'm LOADING my plate with all the nuts and berries and leaves I could. Oh yeah, and then there was the naked swim time in the late afternoon. Everyone was asked if they had a problem with nudity and I said that I don’t. I swear that I don’t mind nudity but when we got down there, everyone got naked except for me and one other girl. Now, being surrounded by ten naked guys sounds alright in theory and under the right circumstances, I could have enjoyed the experience but as it was, I felt a smidge uncomfortable. Perhaps because I was outnumbered? I don't know. And the threat of leeches didn’t make matters any better.

So what have I covered: (1) Meals consisting of leaves, roots, flowers, etc (and the imminent possibility that my next bowel movement is going to be a miniature bale of hay). (2) Nudity is okay but too much freaks me out a little. (3) Doing everyone’s dishes seemed like a raw deal to me. I’d rather do mine and have everyone else do their own. What does that make me? Selfish? Lazy? See, this is why I’d make a better hermit than a community member.

I did return Sunday morning and we all went on a walk through the woods, had lunch (Nooo!! More dishes!!), and made salves using infused oils, beeswax and essential oils (mine smells delicious). I did learn a lot and am planning on taking a couple short hikes after work this week to go foraging...

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