A silly thing happened at work. One of my young coworkers has a large tree with a lot of “berries” on it and wanted me to tell him if it is poisonous. I asked for a sample of the fruit and leaves since no flowers are available.
He brought in a bag of what looked like Ranier cherries. The tree is huge, so it is likely on its own rootstock, likely sprouted from a cherry pit (seed). They were a bit overripe and showed bird damage, but definitely cherries.
I told him so.
He asked if they are edible. I said of course, they are cherries. He asked if I would eat one first. I did. He ate one with a terrible face and declared it bitter. Bitter? He spit it out! Mine was sweet but bland. He ate another.
He is going to harvest cherries this week. I love when that happens.
As the population has shifted to cities and corporate food production, an entire generation (or two) cannot recognize a common fruit tree.
I have had similar experiences with a young couple and a pear tree, a middle aged woman and a pecan tree, and a middle aged man and a wild plum tree.
Reality check: any species that cannot recognize food will not survive.
Grocery stores filled with corporate faux food are risky things to bet your survival on, let alone your children’s survival.
Even betting on the ability to grow European fruits and vegetables in the New World is iffy… without greenhouses, supplemental water, and chemicals. Corporate monocultural agriculture will collapse; it is so destructive that no other outcome is possible.
I embraced organic gardening several decades ago. From the beginning I could see gardening wasn’t particularly productive for the effort involved. I camped and hunted with my parents and it was obvious that our native woodlands are superior at food production. Labor free until harvest.
Every year I brought one wild plant after another inside the garden gate. Every year I had fewer European varieties. Every year I look for native cousins to European varieties.
Every year I eat better. Every year I am healthier. I no longer get colds. I don’t buy over the counter remedies. I go to the doctor once every few years. I heal quickly from injuries.
In moving to acreage in the mountains, I slid backwards, starting over in a harsher environment. After two years I see improvement in my food supply and potential supply.
Today I cleaned the chicken coop and dumped the proceeds into next year’s beds. No need to compost, save a step or three and compost in place. When I plant that area it will be soft and rich.
It rained most of today. I planted the second Creeping Oregon Grape (Mahonia repens) near the first. The first already looks healthier than the two in pots. It is nearly dark and still raining, so the third one is on the patio another day or three.
I encourage anyone who has a bit of dirt to plant a tree or shrub with edible fruit or seeds. Pot up a blueberry on the patio. You might find out how delicious and rewarding it can be. Make one step toward life sustaining food and away from corporate GMOs, deformation, control. Choose one tiny corner for life.