Tags: awakened living, dandelion wine, Euell Gibbons, foraging, muscadine harvest, muscadine season, muscadines, ripe muscadines, snails, snails as symbols of consciousness, sweetness of life, wild foods, wild grapes, wild Southern grapes
Although I didn’t plant them, some wild foods have figured into my attempts to relocalize and green my food supply. So far this year we’ve enjoyed blackberries and I took note of the location of an unsprayed field of dandelions already too developed to use — but next spring, I plan to gather leaves for salads and the flowerheads for an attempt at dandelion wine. (Sounds too charming not to try, and there’s a recipe that looks tempting in Euell Gibbons’ classic Stalking the Wild Asparagus.)
Friends of ours are lucky enough to have wild apricots growing on their land, descendants of orchards planted long ago.
Now it’s muscadine season. These wild grapes of the American South turned seemingly overnight from bright chartreuse with purple freckles to a deep, nearly black purple with cranberry highlights. Absolutely gorgeous, and it’s F.’s first experience tasting them. He says the taste is “wild Concord grape,” and since he considers the Concord grape something of a delicacy, he’s in alt over our abundant free harvest of these end-of-summer treats.
We can’t get to them fast enough, though. Some of the ripest have fallen on the ground. When they burst open, they attract loads of these tiny snails. Odd, but I have yet to see a single ant at the feast.
Snails and muscadines. I would never have guessed at that combination. Somehow I like it, though. Every time I come upon them, I smile — and I come upon them often when it’s not raining. I once read that snails can symbolize awareness or consciousness. I like to think this is a little sign from the cosmos, a clever reminder of the sweetness of a life lived fully awake.
Let’s all enjoy a sweet, conscious day.