This past weekend, Lupine and I were fortunate enough to make my way to the Midwest Wild Harvest Festival. This gathering of fellow plant people was a full-throated celebration of foraging, food, creativity, and connection.
I came home with my curiosity ablaze and my heart overflowing from the days I spent learning from, with, and alongside this experienced, caring group of foragers.
(Okay, and yes, there were also some serious fan girl moments, like meeting Alexis Nelson (Black Forager) and dining on food prepared by Alan Bergo (Forager Chef) and his team; taking classes from Sam Thayer and Linda Black Elk. Because you can have your Hollywood starlets and music industry crushes. These are my equivalent.
Not to mention hours spent talking with and learning from brilliant other botanists, chefs, mycologists, naturalists, and passionate foragers. What an amazing group of humans. What an incredible weekend.
And for me, the take-away was so much more than the pages of notes and shiny new field guides I brought home, both overflowing with latin names, plant descriptions, and preparation tips.
My take-away was simply this:
Discover what you love. Then seek out others who love it, too. Get out there and make connections, build community, learn from one another.
Because this is where the magic unfolds. This is where life happens. Out here, doing what we love alongside others who love it, too.