During this week’s Seminar Tasting Lab, Kat and Meghan made us a delicious spread of mostly-foraged and local food. We ate a quiche made from wild carrots and mushrooms with local “yard” eggs. This was accompanied by crepes made from said eggs, a rhubarb and honey sauce, and a salad made from fresh local greens and sunflower seeds. It was truly a decadent spread.

As I talked with classmates and ate my meal, I noticed myself feeling particularly satisfied by the food. It tasted delicious, it felt good in my stomach, and it lifted and slowed my previously stressed and anxious mood. I was almost jovial.

However peculiar this shift in mood might have seemed in the moment, as we continued our seminar outside to identify some native, foraged edibles on the wooded path to the main campus, I felt my spirits lift and my heart rate ease. It was one of the first times I was able to be fully present since the madness of Spring Quarter had begun. I wrote this off as spending some quality time in the woods, which is a fail-safe way for me to ease my mind and lift my spirits. But as we ventured through the sunny campus to the garden behind the longhouse, I began to realize that this shift in my mood had been because I felt grounded and connected to my surroundings through food.

As I sat through the “light hypnosis,” or sort of guided meditation that Kat so beautifully led, this realization was only cemented in mind. Since that experience I have felt myself become more and more excited about cooking with local and seasonal foods. I’ve spent hours scouring the internet for fennel head and morel mushroom recipes to inspire me.
This seminar experience was one of my favorite Evergreen experiences I have had so far, and learning about the local and peaceful means of feeding myself has really grounded me in this place and time.