Hunting and gathering

Gin and I are both learning more about wildcrafting.  I've been a lifelong fisherman and ocean harvester and am now learning to hunt land animals as well.  While hunting is sometimes a tricky choice, for those who eat meat the moral choice is simple: if you want to eat it you should be able to look it in the eye and kill it, that has always been my test. What is more difficult is the choice the concious omnivore makes when shying away from the violence of the hunt when the grocery store just feels so much less brutal. The problem is that the grocery store hides a different, and often worse, chain of violence. The displacement of animals to make cropland, fertilizers (in some cases organic) poisioning soil and waterways, pollution from the production of packaging, and gasoline wrought from oil wars and belching CO2 into our delicate ecosystems.  Killing fuzzy land animals makes me wince, but I like the transparancy of that choice more than buying a box of organic cookies at the store and wondering how what it's weight in blood might be.  Maybe they should put that on the back of the box.  Mostly I try eat vegetables from my garden, that's an easy choice.

Ginger gathering wakame (seaweed) to sell at the farmers market.

Brian cutting some Kombu.

Hanging the seaweed to dry in the sun.

On the beach we boil huge pots of seawater to make sea salt.

...adding more water.  Seawater is 3.5% salt.  Needless to say, it took a long time to get the salt.

After eighteen hours and a night on the beach I drag a few pounds of salt paste home for finishing.