Sunday, September 14, 2008


Yes, that's in "way down yonder in the Pawpaw patch"...we've got pawpaws here in Athens county, and word has it we're sitting on a goldmine! I don't know that any of us particularly care for the taste of pawpaw, though we did have some amazing ice cream made by the wonderful and local Snowville Creamery today (see photo above - isn't this an ingenious way to make home-made ice cream?!), at the 10th Annual Pawpawfest, in nearby Lake Snowden. We started our festivities last night with a contra dance set played by the 
Hot Point Contra Dance Band, and E danced every dance, alternating between ma and pa for partners.  Before the band struck up, she and Pa tried their hand at the Atlatl, an ancient hunting tool (from the Upper Paleolithic, says wikipedia) that I remember from my anthropology days. COOL!  
Dancing with Mary, the Nelsonville librarian (behind E)
Dancing with her Paw Paw

Today I got to have my own adventure. I joined Rebecca Wood and Paul Strauss, local plant savers and herbalists, for a "medicinal plant walk" through the nearby woods. Well, truth be told, we barely made it into the woods, there was so much to see in the meadow along the way (broadleaf and lance plantain, dandelions, violet leaves, sorrel, cardinal flower (a kind of lobelia), asters, dogwood tree, red or slippery elm, tulip poplar, poison ivy, jewelweed, black raspberry, grape, boneset, white pine), but we did explore a bit, finding walnut, sassafrass, basswood, white oak, ginseng, goldenseal, and of course pawpaw. There are quite a few I'm forgetting, I'm sure, but it was a truly spiritual experience for me, to be introduced again to so many plants I've seen for years, and by folks so knowledgeable about them and what they do for us.  Paul Strauss is a total eco-hound. He is the guardian of a botanical sanctuary and founder of Equinox Botanicals, and he kept stressing that the only way we breathe is because we have trees!! Our air would be so polluted without the trees, we would just not last.  They also emphasized that we are lucky to be living in an herbal gloryland here in the Ohio River Valley, a concentration of  medicinal and edible plants unlike anywhere else.

The rest of the day kind of paled for me, as I wilted in the sun, but the girls had a blast, jumping in the jumpy castle and riding in a wagon pulled by two large and beautiful black horses. We had to go twice we liked it so much...

Ani mugging with kindred spirit, Olivia


poppy said...

I was reminded of "The Bare Necessities" from Disney's Jungle Book. Remember verse two?

"Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
That's why a bear can rest at ease
With just the bare necessities of life

Now when you pick a pawpaw
Or a prickly pear
And you prick a raw paw
Next time beware
Don't pick the prickly pear by the paw
When you pick a pear
Try to use the claw
But you don't need to use the claw
When you pick a pear of the big pawpaw
Have I given you a clue ?

The bare necessities of life will come to you
They'll come to you!"

bigbooty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Merry said...

How about "pickin up paw paws, put 'em in your pocket"! Hope I can see a real paw paw next month. And be sure to keep the lid to the worms on tight while I'm there!!! Nice dancin', Eliza Jane-o!!