DiningWild® ... that is, consuming Wild Foods, is fundamental to humanity. Fishing, Hunting, Foraging, Clamming, Shrimping, Crabbing, Mushrooming ... and then preparing and consuming what Nature gives us, has always been a primary reason for me to be out in the weather. Love for Wild Foods is fundamental to WeatherWool!
Years ago I was working on a Wild Foods business named DiningWild, but WeatherWool alone is much more than a fulltime job for me now. This story about me and (mostly) my friend Dan Lipow was published on the front-page of the Newark Star-Ledger, New Jersey’s largest newspaper, in 2016.
Since I've been a little kid, I have loved Wild Foods. When I was 6,7,8 years old a chocolate bar was a big treat. But when the cherry tree in the vacant lot across the street was bearing, the chocolate bars were of no interest to me. It knocked me out that all I had to do was climb the tree, and those cherries were mine. It also knocked me out that nobody else was interested. This tree maybe wasn't a truly wild tree (someone may have planted it), but the property was basically abandoned and that tree was on its own. On the same lot was a great apple tree and a huge red mulberry -- almost certainly a true wild tree -- as well as wild grapes, raspberries, blackberries.
The cherries, apples, grapes, raspberries and blackberries were all there for the taking. And nobody was taking except for me. I owe my Mom big-time for teaching me about those things.
Dad would fish or hunt on the rare days he wasn't working, so wild protein was also a normal thing.
And getting afield in sometimes-difficult conditions is a big part of what got me into wool ... So it's very true that without a love for Wild Foods, WeatherWool would not exist.
There is powerful and fast-growing interest in Wild Foods, and we think it's wonderful because dining on Nature's gifts creates such a strong connection with our roots.
This page will anchor an eventual collection of pages about Wild Foods.
- The Swamp: We get a lot of Wild Food from our little place in the North Jersey swamps. We also do a lot of testing and photographing of WeatherWool there.
- Maple Syrup: Every winter, we make syrup from a few maples around the house here in South Orange, New Jersey
- Roasted Wild Turkey
- A little background on that front-page Wild Foods story mentioned above ... the end of the story puts a little color on Dan and my perspective regarding our love of Wild Foods. But the language I used to present that idea was questionable. I didn't expect to be quoted. When Dan and I were with the reporter, I told him I have a tendency toward 4-letter words when not in the presence of women or children ... salty language is fairly normal in Jersey, I worked for many years on Wall Street (where cursing is expected) and I started working as a longshoreman when I was 14. So, on this foraging expedition, I was speaking freely and my colorful expression was chosen as the closing lines.
26 August 2021 --- Ralph