I admit it felt a little like running away. But I was very excited about learning from Ryan Drum and spending time gaining some knowledge and experience in all things seaweed. My eldest daughter came along for the weekend, under the guise of “help me with the baby”. Truthfully, it was more like, “This is gonna be SO! COOL! Wanna come?!” So we headed out while it was dark and met the first ferry at sunrise. It was beautiful, of course. Sunrises usually are.
After seven more hours of travel (by car, by foot, by another ferry…) we spent four hours in classroom time, the “classroom” a large field adjacent to a dairy goat farm on Lopez Island. The sun was lazy, the shade welcome, and Poppy slept through it all in the middle of us, splayed onto a beach towel. We students were attentive and crosslegged in a meandering circle, trying to keep up with Dr. Drum’s sharp puns upon puns (upon puns…). I asked some questions. They were probably dumb. But then I was proud of myself for the bravery. You know…brave enough to ask the dumb questions.
One evening, we took an herb walk and ended up on top of a hill that overlooked the water, other islands, dusky sky. The air was full of bromine and I just wanted to bottle it up and take it all home and smell it over and over and over. I didn’t miss my computer or my cell phone or the internet at all. What I really wanted at that moment wasn’t Verizon; it was a kayak!
Harvesting seaweeds was such a delight. So many kinds! They were set to dry on top of sheets, or hung from the canopies. It was a little odd, smelling so much sea salt in the air…while in a dry grassy field. We met many wonderful herbalists and botanists and just-interested-in-seaweeds-ists. I like to think I made some new friends.
Our last meal was ah-ma-zing. We all worked together and made seaweed culinary masterpieces. Superhero popcorn with kale and kelp and nettles and more. Nori wrapped salmon. Potatoes with sea lettuce, and sweet bull kelp pickles, and sea lettuce miso soup, and more. Needless to say, my family is eating seaweeds in just about everything these days! Did you know that ALL essential minerals are provided by dietary seaweeds?
I know what some of you are thinking. I could never do something like that…I don’t have the time…I’m too busy teaching my kids math to learn anything new for myself…
If that’s you, please go read this post: Moms Need to Keep Learning, Too. Read the comments, too. Then, maybe grab a journal and scribble down a dozen or so things you’re interested in, you’re curious about. You never know…you may end up one weekend on an experience of your own.
P.S. If you’ve been waiting, Present is now available on Kindle. Take it with you on your time away 🙂