Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday Fun Day: Berry Picking

Berry Picking

Forgive my mild shallowness, I may be green and concerned about food. But this design set stuff is REALLY fun. And life is……..well life. It is what you make of it. I have always been easily entertained and excited. When I was younger this used to bother me, but I have learned to embrace it. Because while it may feel childish (and shallow at times) being happy is being happy. Enjoying the simple things in life, makes the day to day worth living. It is good to be acutely aware of the problems our society and environment face. But in order to maintain a semblance of sanity these problems are better taken in stride. Battle your demons and cynicism. Stop and take a deep breath, go outside and look around. REALLY look around. Problems and chores may seem insurmountable but they are only as meaningful as you let them be.  Plus today is Friday and Friday is a day for fun.

This weekend I will be trekking out to Sauvie Island to frolic with a friend through the berry patches. Strawberries are almost over, but raspberries and marion berries are starting up. Which means jam time! I’ll be posting my simple sugar free jam process later next week. But in the mean time, here are the necessities to get back to nature without having too much of a run in with nature…if you know what I mean.

1. Sunglasses...always in the summer when outside.

2. Jean Jacket a two part necessity. First covering yourself in the sun is always important to avoid sun damage, but also when you are bush whacking a long sleeve jacket made from a heavy durable material will protect your skin from scrapes and pests like ticks or spiders.

3. I included a belt because I always inevitability wind up getting stuck brambles and a sturdy belt can be the difference between navigating the shrubs safely and standing in a berry patch sans skirt.

4. A good hefty straw woven bag is good to take in any produce procuring adventure. Food is heavy and especially if you are walking a long distance or a short distance through nature the likelihood of a lesser bag falling apart is not worth the gamble. There are some great woven baskets out there made by woman owed export companies in South America and Africa.

5. Light clothing with great coverage will, much like the jacket, protect your exposed legs from branches and bugs. If the underbrush ever becomes too thick and tripping looks likely you can always tuck the skirt up into your belt until things lighten up.

6. The earrings I just like. A Lot. Plus turquoise is a naturally occurring stone that is easy to procure. Doing so requires very little human or environmental cost.

7. Boots sort of speak for themselves. They are strong, they last forever, they protect your feet and ankles. They are also easy to remove so in the event of anything getting in them you don’t have to fuss with the laces just kick them off and shake out the rocks. Frye's are my all time favorite boots. The company has been around for centuries, they have good business practices and while some people may frown on the fact that they are real leather. Let’s face it, its sustainable, not made from oil and they literally last forever. I’d much rather buy one pair of leather boots that I will have for 15 years than a faux pair made from oil bi-products that last 4 months.

8. Socks are a must when wearing boots, they keep your feet from getting sweaty and blistery. Plus in the event of getting rocks in your boots, the socks will keep them from cutting your feet. These particular socks are not only awesome to look at they are made by my friend Carrie.

9. Sunscreen should be worn always, even in the winter. Alba has great organic products free of harmful chemicals, it is easy to find in most grocery stores and fairly inexpensive.

10. You should never leave home without a full glass or stainless steel water bottle. Hydration is extremely important. It helps your cells repair damage faster, helps your body regulate temperate, and keeps your mind sharp. In fact being properly hydrated does more to keep you alert than drinking caffeine. Stainless steel bottles are light though some are coated with BPA. Glass ones are BPA free, but I am clumsy so I did the work to find a chemical free steel bottle.

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