I went on a hike to the top of Mt. Tam last week with Hall from Juniper Ridge, Dan from Art In The Age, Maggie, whom I met while living in Colorado, and our friend Isla, who works at SF’s The Bold Italic. Mr. Newbegin was picking plants for a simple syrup collaboration with AitA (nice Danners, Hall), so we all came along for the beautiful hike. It was one hell of a day. See the rest of Ms. Isla Bell Murray’s photos and her interview with Hall here.
What would you consider foraging gold?
For me, the beauty of foraging isn’t about finding rarities, it’s about immersing yourself in nature and engaging your animal senses in the beauty that’s all around you. There is endless beauty in the most common of plants — a redwood forest, oak woodlands, sage chaparral, a square foot of wet earth right beneath your feet, overflowing with life and ten thousand species of little critters that we’ll never know about.
I do find rare flowers from time to time, and when I do, I just sit down next to them and try to drink in every detail, because they’re only out for a second and then they’re gone. I would never harvest a rare plant. I only work with plants that are utterly abundant and aren’t being impacted in any way by the harvesting. Rarities are just that, and they need to be admired for their beauty and left alone.