The 2014 Midwest Wild Harvest Festival was held at Badger Camp, overlooking the Wisconsin river valley. I loved it. The people were friendly and excited to learn. The instructors were inspiring.
I learned about food preservation from Leda Meredith. Sam Thayer was his usual irreverent self. And Doug Elliot was as entertaining as he was informative.
Below is the largest poison ivy vine I’ve ever seen. Doug said loggers used to eat a little bit to immunize themselves against its effects.
I visited with Doug over the course of the weekend and I heard him say, “It’s all there,” several times. It’s a vague enough saying you can use it just about anywhere. I think the first time I heard him say it was out on a nature walk, and the next time was in exclamation of the excellent chili, (great food, by the way).
“It’s all there, that’s your motto isn’t it?” I asked.
“Well I don’t know if it’s my motto,” Doug said. “But’s it’s not a bad one to have.”
“It just about says it all,” I said. “I think I’m going to make it my motto.”
And I am.
I think about my boys who used to love to put lego projects together. We would scissor open the bags containing all the tiny pieces, and they would follow the instructions step-by-step, ending up with the prescribed toy. I remember the drama that would ensue if one piece was missing, as now it wasn’t all there, and everything was ruined.
Now we have a drawer filled with loose lego pieces. My five-year-old nephew makes a bee-line to that drawer when he comes over. He happily builds something excellent, and then we let him take it home. We joke that we are slowly transferring the contents of the drawer to my sister’s house.
But we never worry about drama with the lego drawer. I think it’s the combination of passion with autonomy, and the sense that it’s all there. Nothing is missing, and they are confident in their abilities to create something cool.