The other day our friend Taylor showed Cass and I a group on Facebook called “Out Of Your Tree in Saskatoon” which is dedicated to sharing local wild/cultivated fruits/veggies. The basic idea is that if you have an apple tree in your backyard that you don’t have time to harvest you post on the group and people will happily come and load up on your apples. I’m really excited about it for a whole complex mesh of reasons, the first being the obvious access to non-commodified, packaging-less tasty goodness!
The other day someone made a post to the group about haskap berries growing on campus, which I had never heard of so we made a trip to see what we could find. We learned that the haskap bush is a man made hybrid of the blueberry and the honeysuckle and they have dark purple, elongated berries that are pleasantly tart and otherwise blueberry-ish. Apparently they also produce abundantly as we collected about a pound or two of berries in half an hour. They were literally falling off the bush XD
I then went on to cook them down into a tasty jam like goop which we’ve shared with friends and ate on toast for the last week or so.
This past weekend I also had the chance to perform at a small music festival in Southern Alberta, who’s site was completely rife with saskatoon berries. I picked about a 10x10ft square in half an hour and loaded up on enough saskatoons to make a pie or some jam or just freeze them for winter!
One of the really interesting and unexpected outcomes of this WasteNot project has been a growing awareness of ideas surrounding gifting and abundance. In our commodified society we’re really accustomed to buying a pizza when we’re hungry and tossing the cardboard box in the landfill. In Nature though, there’s no such thing as garbage. In Nature the waste of one organism is food for another. If we’re willing to look, Nature gives us things to eat in inconvenient abundance… It gives us so much that we can’t possibly use it all before it goes bad and we *have* to give it away. I think that there are deep deep lessons to be learned here. How might the world look if we could stop seeing “garbage” and instead see raw material for the life of our community and ourselves?