083 | Eating the Landscape with Tony Slabaugh

As I’ve mentioned in the past adventure looks different for everyone and using the simple definition of a new or different slightly risky experience still drives home this theme week after week. On this episode we’ll be talking about edible landscapes, or in some terms foraging.

As I’ve mentioned in the past adventure looks different for everyone and using the simple definition of a new or different slightly risky experience still drives home this theme week after week.  On this episode we’ll be talking about edible landscapes, or in some terms foraging.  For some reason when I think of this concept I am reminded of two things.  

  • One being my brown thumb capabilities.  Gardening has long been a desire but I realize that it takes daily or at least weekly attention to pull the weeds and where we live protect the plants and food from the wild things roaming our back yard.  We also tend to travel most of the summer and so I’ve outsourced my local foods to nearby family or friends who do this better than I.  
  • Secondly, when I think of foraging wild plants and flowers to eat, I am reminded of Chris McCandless, a young man who was the character in the book Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer.  Without giving a spoiler alert, foraging can create fear in eating the correct things or mixing the wrong things to create a cocktail of less than desirable outcomes.  

We recently left Northern Minnesota State Park, and foraging was one of the key activities known at the campground website.  As it turned out the mosquitos and abundant rains Northern Minnesota experienced were the deciding factor in our foraging success, (or should I say, lack of foraging success)  however I do have a desire to continue to explore this fear or mindset that I’m not good at gardening or while out in the wilderness, the concept of forage.  I do want to call out that with foraging you definitely want to do some research before making assumptions about what to pick and what is edible. Everything from encounters with wildlife to having landowners permission, there are many little things that can become big things if you do not have some basic foundation in place.  On a fun, lighter not, my mom has been really into some of these concepts and recently made dandelion jam and cookies. 

Website for this episode: https://ordinarysherpa.com/083
50+ Free Simple Family Adventure Download:   ordinarysherpa.com/free
At the start of the New Year I created a mini-escape from 2021 with 50+ Free SIMPLE family adventure activities.  Interviewing our guest was a great reminder that sometimes we think adventures need to be elaborate or require considerable planning.  You can get those ideas by heading to ordinarysherpa.com/free 

A couple from Florida with 2 basset hounds and binder of gardening opportunities set off on an adventure in search of the best place to cultivate the land. They landed in Burnsville, West Virginia, not likely on anyone’s destination or bucket list of choice.  What happens when your backyard is the retreat and adventure you seek? With a desire to teach edible landscaping, and embark on projects such as building an outdoor pizza oven, they have turned their homestead into a growing portfolio of simple everyday adventures.  Tony Slabaugh, a friend whom I met through podcasting and now a member of the platform launchers community* is developing his space at home and online to help us all be better neighbors, get our hands dirty and fall back in love with the magic of the natural world.  

Key takeaways

  1.  Fill a binder with your dreams and design the criteria for you to take action.  In Tony and Aine’s case the dream was to see the apple trees grow, and the criteria was no hurricanes, no lizards or fire ants and a location near water.  

  1. Have you ever eaten a rose petal?  Have you ever eaten a ___?  People have lived off the land long before conventional farming existed.

  1. The growing season is a year round even with four seasons.  Using strategies like companion planting and seasonal planting they are able to adapt to nature’s tendencies.  

  1. What are you buying now?  What tastes and flavors do those items represent?  There is a native substitute for everything. 

  1. Seize the opportunity.  The plum trees only bloom for a week.  A great day calls for a picnic to enjoy the blooms, buzzing insects and glory of a simple day. 

  2. Document your journey in whatever format that works for you.  Handing your legacy down in notes, and pictures to support the next generation also plants a seed and allows it to grow

  3. Wood-fire pizza was a 45 minute drive so they built their own pizza oven and now create some of the best pizza his father-in-law has ever tasted.

  4. Imagine eating that delicious pizza while listening to a stream, with virtually no sound pollution or light pollution to inhibit your view of the stars.

  5. Did he paint the picture for a future Ordinary Sherpa retreat?  I think a seed was planted.  

  1. When asked “Why did you move here?” he responded with “Why haven’t you left?”  Finding the hidden gems, the people and natural wonders  of a community, is what makes West Virginia the perfect neighborhood for them.  

If you are looking for simple adventure ideas consider downloading 50+ Free Simple adventure Ideas.    You can find it at Ordinarysherpa.com/free

To Connect with or Follow Tony Slabaugh  from Hello Good Neighbor Podcast
Podcast: Hello Good Neighbor
Website: https://hellogoodneighbor.com

Instagram: inthenookfarm
Facebook: In the Nook Farm

*indicates Ordinary Sherpa is an affiliate meaning if you use this link to purchase, it costs you the same amount but Ordinary Sherpa receives credit for the referral.  

Where to Listen

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