Learn more about the bounty that nature offers

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I’ve been thinking a lot about “gathering” lately for a number of reasons, the main reason revolving around my exceptional neighbor who has become an exceptional mushroom picker over the past four years. Hen-of-the-woods (maitake and my favorite), chicken of the woods, and turkey tail are the three he introduced me to. (Of course, the one mushroom I can already identify is the morel, but no collector is quick to share this delicacy!)

I believe he hunts multiple types of mushrooms/mushrooms but is careful about what he shares and doesn’t want to accidentally hurt anyone. Having received his expertise, I know I would eat any mushroom he told me was safe. His mushroom forays provide him with plenty, which he eats fresh, freezes for the winter months, and shares generously with his neighbors.

I always thought foraging was about vegetative matter, but in Evolutionary Ecology: Concepts and Case Studies (available at Oxford Scholarship Online) foraging is defined as “the totality of processes by which organisms obtain energy and nutrients, independently whether the food is consumed directly (feeding), stored for later consumption (hoarding), or given to others (providing).” So what all nonhumans must do in terms of acquiring food, be it acquisition of meat/protein or vegetable matter, appears to fall under foraging. And that neighbor could, I’m pretty sure, figure out how to get what he needed to survive without ever having to go to a grocery store if he had to.

Last week, when I received a plateful of chicken of the woods (a vibrant yellow-orange color not found outside of citrus fruits), I pulled my copy of The Forager’s Guide to Wild Foods (Nicole Apelian, Ph.D.) . Covering only vegetative matter, this book is a wealth of identification, habitats in North America, fruit season, recipes, and warnings for doubles or possible toxic effects. Important medicinal uses are also included; For the chicken of the woods, all are credited with “antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antitumor activities.” And many mushrooms are credited with admirable medicinal properties.

Which then prompted me to look up plantain, a plant (aka weed) widespread throughout North America and Canada that a marketer/friend and I were recently discussing. The common, widespread plant is credited with “antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and analgesic properties.” Often used as a draw plant for bites, stings, rashes and leaky gut.” [Leaky gut? Never heard of it? Check out the Cleveland Clinic website.] We would all do well to learn a little more about the bounty that nature offers and how we can best utilize it. Until you’re completely self-sufficient, visit the Fayette County Farmers Market.

“I ❤ our farmer’s market” is the motto this week at the children’s craft table. There will be an “I ❤ our Farmers’ Market” temporary tattoo and an “I ❤ our Farmers’ Market” candy stick made out of smarties and kisses!

Modern Woodmen members will be holding a supply drive at the Farmers’ Market this Saturday and next Saturday to support the Brick House Community Homeless Shelter. Members collect: toilet paper, paper towels, bin liners, washcloths, bath towels, laundry detergent, bleach, aluminum foil, Clorox wipes, tissues, baby wipes, size 3, 4, 5, 6 diapers, canned goods, non-perishable foods, deodorant soap, Shampoo, conditioner, disposable razor. The local Brick House Shelter helps every family affected by homelessness in Fayette County. These include: single women, children, couples with children and single parents. The Brick House believes that recovery and building a new life takes time, commitment and support. Modern Woodmen improves the quality of life for members and the communities in which they live, work and play. This is done through financial advice and social, educational and volunteer activities. It’s all part of what makes us unique as a fraternal financial services organization. For more information, contact Dan Mayo 937, 725-0445.

Please note that sellers are asked to NOT make any sales until 8:15am! We know customers come early to shop for limited items and popular baked goods. Feel free to browse what’s available and even queue, but the Fayette County Farmers Market is open Saturday mornings from 8:30am to 12:00pm. It is located in the municipal parking lot at the corner of South Main Street and East East Street in Washington, CH. SNAP EBT Food Benefit Cards and Credit/Debit Cards are accepted. Those who use the SNAP EBT card for grocery purchases will receive matching dollar “Produce Perks” tokens ($1 for $1) that apply only to fruit, veg, and food-producing crops. So “buy one, get one” for up to $25 EVERY market day. FAYETTE COUNTY Farm Bureau members are again getting five-dollar coupons at every Saturday market; These can be spent on both the Wednesday and Saturday markets.

The following is a list of vendor names and products expected to be lined up this Saturday. Other providers may also participate.

Rural Beans Roastery LLC (Kameron Rinehart): Assorted freshly roasted coffee – beans and ground.

Wood designs by DW (Debbie Welch): One of the handmade wooden items – birdhouses, signs, tables, gnomes. Crochet items such as kitchen towels, oven mitts, oven mitts, booties and blankets. Accepts customer and special orders.

Your Other Mom’s Kitchen (Don & Sara Creamer): Artisanal breads, muffins and needlework.

Barbara’s Embellished Stretchy Bookmarks (Barbara Black): Bookmarks come in dozens of different handcrafted designs themed around sports, nature, hobbies, OSU, the beach and more.

Bridge View Garden (Hunter & Lorelle Rohrer): Seasonal products such as green beans, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, zucchini. Perennials and potted sunflowers in bloom. Homemade bread, butter rolls.

Cheryl’s Country Crafts (Cheryl Braun & David Stewart): Wood crafts, signs and wreaths.

Cozy Baby Blessings (Nancy Cutter): Wax melts, pens, crocheted tea towels, scouring pads and shower stools. Baby items including crocheted blankets and hats, flannel receiving blankets, burp cloths, cuddle toys and bunny ear teethers, silicone tableware, teethers and pacifier clips.

Engeti (Alana Walters): Bakery goods including bread, cinnamon rolls, buns, cakes, tarts, cookies.

Green & Green (Katrina Bush): Strawberry jam (low sugar or honey), local honey, sourdough crackers. Native flowering plants including Bee Balm (Monarda). Fresh garlic and cucumber.

Jim’s Premium Ground Beef (Jim Hobbs): Premium ground beef in assorted packs (patties, bulk tubes).

Julie G’s Cookies (Julie Greenslade): Chocolate Chips, Sugar, Ginger, Oatmeal Raisins, Peanut Butter Cookies, Peanut Butter Fudge, Salted Caramel Bars, Lemon Bars, Funfetti, Snickerdoodle, Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars, Pineapple and Peanut Butter Jumbos. Fresh garden produce.

Small courtyard flowers (Eicher family): Sunflowers, lisianthus, gladioli, so many fresh cut flowers! Also with dried bunches of flowers.

Lorre Black Umbrellas (Lorre Black): Umbrellas that match your personality, the personality of your friends and family. With every umbrella you buy, you help your community by helping the LBU build our own umbrella avenue in the WCHO.

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