[Homestead] Primitive Technology Living
eureka at hctc.net
eureka at hctc.net
Fri Oct 17 11:37:24 EDT 2008
Once, about a decade ago, when traveling in New Mexico, a
friend set me up to meet and spend the day with a woman
who would teach me about their edible plants. I was
expecting to meet another botanist. I drove to a remote
wilderness location, and the woman met me there on foot.
She was only a few years older than me, thin, and covered
with spider bites.
I followed her down into the canyon where she was living
in a cave. It was actually more like a small grotto, where
she had dug out a grave shaped hole and filled it with
cattail fluff to sleep in. She had made her home here for
two decades and raised two "love" children, one grown and
gone, the other making his home somewhere up the next
creek. She had learned everything she knew from a rather
generic book on the edible plants of north America. The
only time she'd gotten sick was from ergot poisoning, and
that put her in the hospital. I did not ask how she got
there, imagining the woman crawling out of the canyon and
onto the highway for help. I spent an entire day "grazing"
with her, taking notes and photographs. At the days end we
got into a hot spring and a large snake slithered out
between our feet. By that point I felt so one with nature,
neither of us reacted and it went on its way. I often
wonder if I went back if she would still be there, if I
could find her.
There's a certain satisfaction when completing a
backpacking wilderness trek, but then I have some rather
high technology gadgets like a whisperlite stove, water
purifier, goretex jacket, mountain tent etc., but it
always feels so good to get back to the comforts of home.
I think of myself as the hardy, outdoor type, but I've
never started a fire from scratch or called a cave my
home. It would be an interesting experiment for those of
us with land to try it sometime for a while. I would
undoubtedly be covered in fire ant bites.
Way Out in Texas
More information about the Homestead