Monday, January 17, 2005

Mushroom Hunting

At this moment in time, I really do not think I am ever cut out to be a hunter gatherer. In fact, to prove the point of survivor of the fittest, considering how difficult it is to find food in the wild, it really takes superb ability and skill, observation and stamina to be able to survive as a hunter gatherer. Therefore, our ancestors (that is assuming we were not evolved from the parasite of the community), must have been the best of the best in order to have us in this form today. Talk about gene pool!

To cut the long story short, I didn't manage to get a single mushroom.

You must be laughing right now because most of you who know me will know that I'm really not too good physically and maybe as erkie said, I'm really an urban girl afterall. I could go up a hill but I can't come down one. But then I already know this about myself in Thailand. Hey I'm really trying to work on this. I do love being in the "wilderness". I did find a lot of other type of mushrooms but I didn't find the one we were looking for (which is this gourmet Chanterelle Mushrooms which cost $15/lbs supposedly). At least I wasn't the only one. Perhaps I was just one step behind the entire time. I only go to places after another had gone and honestly, those were the people with the big bags! 20 mushrooms/bag while I had nothing but an empty bag with a plastic knife which never saw any action.

Still, I had so much fun today! You wouldn't believe it. Probably the first time since I'm here that I really had fun. Honest to goodness fun. Good natured, clean healthy fun! Hiking, talking about organic food, farming, environmental issues, fishing without a license on a longboard(!) It's just a crazy crazy day! I am glad I was in a car pool with some really interesting people. Yingchuan managed to come with us too! Hopefully I didn't really leave him out in my eagerness to know more greenie people. I definitely talked too much today. Too eager. Like an over enthusiastic golden retriever puppy you know? Slobbering all over.

Even then, I think I made an ok impression. We even went wine tasting at Los Olivos (I didn't, one of the guys Aaron did) which is the setting for the movie Side Ways!!! I even downloaded the map of the different wineries and vineyards that the characters went in the movie and too bad I didn't have it with me today! It was so exciting. Everything was a dream. The landscape was so incredible and it was just stupid that I left my camera behind. Still, here are some photos that Yingchuan took today!

We found a wild boar skull! That's Aaron with the blue shirt and tied up hair. Soumil my classmate blocked by the skull. Alison the Chair of EAB with the hat and Christine in the white shirt back facing us who found A LOT of mushrooms. Oh yeah, it was Aaron who found the skull really.

Number of animals saw today:
1) Horses
2) Miniature ponies
3) Cows
4) white tailed kite(?)
5) deer (i saw the trail and bed and Ed the video guy filmed it!)
6) wild boar (just the skull! see photo)
7) rats (at the newman co-op, somebody had them)
8) cat (a very fat beautiful calico cat at the wine tasting room)
9) dog (a very big golden retriever type dog)

Number of times the word organic was mentioned:

I went to the Co-op in Isla Vista (IV) today and I just saw so many fresh produce and incredibly amount of organic product that it's crazy!!! They even have the products that erkie uses which I almost had to buy online! One short point is that - it cost a bomb.

Since I didn't get any mushroom in the field today, I'm going for the cook-out/cook-off? at Newman in about 30 minutes. Newman is a housing co-op that most of the people in the Environmental Affairs Board (EAB) lives at. It's really cool. Quite cheap and internet, waste and water is paid for. You only have to pay additional gas and electricity.

Also found out that there is such an acitivity called WOLFing which is where you work in an orchard picking fruits and I guess you get to take the fruits! Basically, it's a fruit picking thing. Got to remember to check back with this girl Shelly about this.

Kameron, the guy who was sitting beside me in the car, also introduced me to this great lecture series on sustainable food productions. It's just once a week and I'm gonna go take some notes for erkie since she's really interested in such thing. However, I don't think I'm gonna do it for credits even though I could squeeze in one more. heh. I'm nuts. Turning into HQ and his 9 modules! *grin*

Sedgwick Reserve - 6000ha of land gifted to UCSB. It's a dream.

Most of these people are really interesting and I just can't wait to learn more from them! I also introduced them to the Sedgwick volunteer thing and hopefully I can see some familiar faces when I go for the training sessions starting 28 Jan. It was just so amazing how beautiful Sedgwick is. I am glad I am going to be volunteering there and even without the mushrooms, today was a good introduction to the area.

Enough of me now. BTW, I've heard so many comments from all of you (at least 5 persons now) that my blog now looks really zen! Honestly, it's not intentional. I was just going for plain and generic! I guess minimalism can always pass off for class.

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