30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 10- Taking Advantage of Nature’s Bounty

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By Pattie Beaven

Experiencing nature doesn’t necessarily mean doing recreational activities, workouts, or spending time in the woods. You don’t have to go to a park, or a lake, or hike a mountain to appreciate what nature does for us. You can take advantage of nature’s bounty by buying your food with nature in mind.

I went to the farmers market and was reminded how eating and taking care of your health has strong ties to experiencing nature. I’ve started a natural allergy regiment using locally sourced raw honey (we shall see how well it works when I start mowing the lawns and using the weed whacker at the parks). I’ve been using it in conjunction with my regular allergy medication, which wasn’t doing the trick on its own. A friend suggested honey. Honey contains particles of pollen from the local flowers, which when consumed regularly, apparently seems to immunize your body. The trick is to get unfiltered, raw honey as locally as possible. Getting unfiltered honey from across the country or even the other side of state may not contain pollen from local flora that could cause you issues where you live. And if you get local honey which has been filtered, you are eliminating those vital particles which could help inoculate your system to pollen.

Allergies are sometimes a fickle thing. Since moving to Whidbey Island, my allergies have gotten worse, but then again, there is a ton more plant life around us, including the invasive bane to the Northwest, Scot’s brush, which produces beautiful yellow flowers but wants to kill me. I’m not completely positive honey is the sole and only cure all for the season’s ailments, but I think it certainly helps.

Having honey help with my allergies gives me a new appreciation for bees, and beekeepers. I’ve contemplated the idea of getting my own hive (honey for life? YES PLEASE!), but the dedication beekeepers commit to their hobby or their craft is really something else. There are whole organizations created to assisting beekeepers and helping them maintain this tedious, and sometimes thankless job. I couldn’t do it. It’s too much work for my taste. Heck, GARDENING takes a lot out of me. I’m not even very good at that, I put off weeding until it’s difficult to determine whether the plant I’m looking at is a weed or something I want to harvest down the road.

So, to show my appreciation for bees and their hard work, and to thank the beekeepers for their hard work, I buy my honey from the farmer’s market. I buy from the most local vendors, and I also tend to look what else they have available. After all, bees are pollinators. What exactly do beekeepers have around for them to pollinate?

The vendor I found my honey certainly had a special treat for me. Local and delicious cherries! Rainier cherries are one of my favorite things on the planet to eat. Their season is short, so I have learned to grab them while the getting is good. I loaded up on honey and cherries, and headed home.

At home, I had a wonderful pie waiting for me. I made the pie from rhubarb in our garden and peaches my parents brought out from South Carolina. The tastes together were wonderful, tart and fresh, and I was very proud of myself, even if I forgot to put some thickener in the filling.

I rounded off my afternoon with a homegrown salad, using fresh local strawberries, kale from the garden, and local vinaigrette. The salad was so beautiful I had my husband take photos of it.

See what experiencing nature for your taste buds can do for you? It tastes delicious to eat well and appreciate what nature provides for us.

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