Thursday, November 19, 2015

apples for: precocious candidacies, edible maps, & things that might (have) be(en)


We might all be excused for losing track of the seasons lately. Between El Niño, climate chaos, ‘tis the season for savings jingles, and election campaigns that begin 500+ days out, you may be looking to lay a hand on some good, ripe (& throwable) fruit. If so, the Falling Fruit Project is a good place to start.

This is a crowdsourced global map of neighborhood fruit trees, gardens, mushroom patches, dumpsters, and other local edibles. They list over 1,000 different species in multiple languages (plus Linnaean nomenclature), from apples (malus domestica) to zulu figs (ficus lutea).

Here’s my neighborhood, where we’ve been looking for the nearest peaches, putting some apples and plums on the map, and carefully leaving others off.

This has all resulted in us bringing home boxes and boxes of apples, mostly from around our own block, drying them into chips, sealing jars of applesauce, pressing them into cider, and baking loads of pies.

Through a lot of this, I’ve been sort of haunted by two songs. One is my friend George singing Patty Griffin’s “Making Pies,” ten years ago on the deck of a yurt in Pigeon Hollow.

The other is Joe Hill’s “Pie in the Sky,” alternatively known as “The Preacher and the Slave.” Here are a couple very good versions.

Earlier this year we went to a Labor Day commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Joe Hill’s execution by firing squad in Sugarhouse. There were folk singers shouting from an outdoor stage, food trucks with fusion noodle bowls and fancy mac & cheese, AFLCIO info booths, plenty of overalls and anarchist t-shirts, dogs and frisbees. Saltgrass Printmakers and Ken Sanders Books were also there. It rained off and on.

-->After making the rounds, eating, and a couple games of hide-and-seek with the kids, we picked up a little reprint of an old IWW songbook from 1923. Since then, Ash has really taken an interest in these old Wobblies songs, and she pulls the booklet down off the shelf a couple times a week to study the words and try to figure the tunes. Finn sings along and “The Preacher and the Slave” has moved into his top requests at bedtime.

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