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oregon

just got back from two weeks
in oregon and northern california
journey began at the international raw food festival
outside of lebanon, oregon
great learning experience with the top experts
giving workshops, presentations, and food demos

powerful four days with viktoras kulvinskas
known as the grandfather of raw food,
dr. douglas graham, dr. fred bisci, david wolfe,
paul nison, the boutenko family, yashpal, roz gruben,
raw chefs chad sarno, juliano, jackie & gideon graff,
ani phyo & ede schweizer, and nirava

this is just a partial list
of the wealth of teachers at the festival
so much knowledge
so much creativity with food
so much humor, music, and love
on beautiful land with trees and lake

at the end of the oregon festival we continued in a caravan
consisting of several recreational vehicles (RVs)
and a big refrigerator vegetable truck

we were headed to the eco-raw gathering
outside of eugene oregon
what was supposed to be a several hours drive
turned into a two-days journey

on the way from lebanon to eugene
there are way too many beautiful spots
especially hot springs
we couldn’t resist
and spent one night at deer creek hot springs
getting into the hot pool
then into the freezing cold river
that runs next to the hot spring

then another half day at cougar hot springs
up in the mountains

we arrived at city of eugene with the intention
of stocking up at the health food store
and shooting straight to the eco-raw gathering
however existence had a different plan

outside the store we met people who invited us
to house party in eugene
with lots of live music

the next morning we drove our friend doug
to the blessed bee organic farm
where he’s to stay and work for few months

we couldn’t refuse the farm’s owner invitation
to go visit the bees and taste their bee pollen
straight from the bee hive
the bee pollen comes in many colors
the bee keeper told us the names of each flower
based on the color of the pollen
delicious and nutritious
then we were invited to visit the fields
and taste the vegetables
buckwheat flowers
cherry tomatoes
fresh broccoli
basil
a feast in the field

driving away from the farm
we came across wild apple trees
we stocked up on apples and continued
until we came across a blueberries farm
we were given buckets and went to pick up blueberries
took a long while to fill up the buckets
since most of the blueberries ended up in our mouths

on the ground between the blueberry bushes
wild dandelion greens were growing with grace and power
we were eating dandelion and then blueberries
and again dandelion and again blueberries
we even invented the “dandelion-blueberries burrito”
by placing blueberries inside a dandelion leaf
and placing it all into the mouth
the strong bitter flavor of the dandelion
combined with the sweet juiciness of the blueberries
turned this burrito into a delicatessen

this combination also worked very well on our stomachs
filling us with vitality and happiness

at the end of the two-days journey
we arrived at the eco-raw gathering
which took place in open wild fields
surrounded by hills covered with trees

50 people from around the world
gathered with sleeping bags and tents
to share the love
for the land, the earth, and each other

field toilets were set up
no electricity
allowing us to be one with the stars at night
and fully feel the glow of mars

morning deeps in the nearby creek
served as the shower

diverse group of raw-foodists
different countries
all ages – from babies to people in their seventies
owners of ecological farms
healers and teachers
travelers
all gathered together for five days
setting up our daily schedule without a watch or clock

yoga, meditations, and breath work whenever we woke up
breakfast of fruits
opening circle for greeting each other
with “it’s today, welcome to today”
then various classes and workshops and discussion groups
under a tree
or in an open field
classes on ecological farming
on diaper-free babies
on creating communities
on alternatives to tampons
on designing and building ecological homes
all in a very unofficial environment
many of us fully naked most of the day
even during the classes

walks to the watering hole
with deep water and beautiful rock formations
blackberries growing wild all over
two of our women friends covered each other’s
entire naked body with mashed blackberries
then jumped into the water

when eco-raw gathering was over
we continued with brother nature in his rv
a big van that was transformed into home on wheels

brother nature is a natural doctor
and used to own health food store in long island
he left it all behind
in order to fully live life
traveling in his van from festivals to gatherings
to the most beautiful spots in the country
mostly on the west coast

he teaches people how to identify wild edible plants
and how to harvest seaweed
which he puts on trays on the dashboard of his van
letting the sun dry the seaweed while driving
he shares with people the knowledge of how to make
essene bread – the tastiest bread ever
made from spelt and baked only by the rays of the sun
without losing any enzymes

we headed south towards mount shasta
in northern california
mount shasta is an impressive volcano with snow at the peak
and lots of rivers and lakes to swim in

on the way to mount shasta we stopped at
the lighthouse ashram
located on top of mountain in oregon
we arrived just in time for lunch
and to our surprise most of the food was raw
including the desert – live blueberries pie
with crust made of sprouted sunflower seeds

the ashram’s guru sant thakar singh is from
punjab india and he promotes eating raw foods
he spends his time in india and in his ashrams
in oregon, florida, upstate new york, and other countries

at the oregon ashram they grow all their food
in organic fields
they also built special water reservoirs
to store water for the dry season

the view from the ashram grounds is breathtaking
river running in a valley deep below
surrounded by mountains covered with pine trees
wrapped in blissful silence

blackberries bushes growing wild at the ashram
their branches and leaves full with thorns
the berries full with sweet nectar and life

we notice one blackberries bush that has no thorns
it has been cultivated by humans
in order to make it easier to pick up the berries
we taste these berries
their flavor is so pale compared to the wild berries

upon returning to new york
bought blackberries at the health food store
tiny little box for $5
organic
yet tasteless
probably from bushes without thorns
would prefer being scratched and stubbed all over my body
by the thorns
in order to eat the real wild berries

nothing compares to wild edible fruits and vegetables
nothing

our next traveling adventure is to costa rica
you’re welcome to join us
see details at
http://www.alokhealth.com/retreat.html

© 2003. All Rights Reserved.
Zemach Zohar Wilson, Oregon, September 2003

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