a person or animal that searches widely for food or provisions.
“he is an expert forager who finds and eats healthy, local ingredients growing in the wild”Oxford Dictionary
I wasn’t familiar with that term until I heard it from our son-in-law, D, who is a mushroom forager. He bought my husband Fat of the Land: Adventures of a 21st Century Forager by Langdon Cook.
I said to myself, self I said, self, THAT’S IT! My husband is a forager!
My husband has been a lifelong fisherman and also a lifelong forager. He always enjoyed searching widely for interesting things in nature, such as garnets or sapphires hidden in the gravel, arrowheads, the elusive huckleberry, and other treasures.
But these days, he is primarily a shellfish forager. He loves to head to Puget Sound, Hood Canal, or the Washington coast to forage for clams and oysters. He also jigs for squid in the winter months.
I am not a forager, but I am a beneficiary!
He often finds foraging spots that have hiking trails nearby, so I am set. I love to be near the water, reading or just sitting. I also benefit because I thoroughly enjoy the fruits of his labor. One of my favorite meals is steamer clams with linguine (pictured above). I am also quite fond of fried oysters. And then there is squid.
Our recent forager outings have been to Penrose Point in Lakebay, WA. It is a little over an hour from home and it feels like a different world. It is usually pretty quiet; the scenery is lovely and the clams and oysters are plentiful. The season is short, only 2 months, so we try and take advantage of it when the weather and tides cooperate.
For my husband, foraging for clams and oysters is ‘right up there’ as one of his favorite activities. He loves the solitude, the water, and the feeling of Zen being out there inspires. Foraging and connecting with nature, among other things, is what keeps us in the Pacific Northwest.
“Deep in our nature we are foragers, and life is a process of gathering the resources we need from a large connected planet. It’s all out there — every color, shade, flavor and mutation of life and experience. Whatever we are looking for, we will find… if it doesn’t find us first. However, the result will not be what we’re consciously looking for but what we’re unconsciously seeking. And so, what we want, will never be anything like what we expect. It is the forager’s law — you can find the berry bush, but you can’t control its yield.”Neil Strauss, The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships
I’ll be back on Friday,