preserved sunlight

preserved sunlight

we have been thinking about northern food lately, as part of an assignment steve is working on for a magazine. we are concluding that you value what is scarce, and what is scarce in the north is sunlight. so that most of what we think of as typical of northern food involves the various ways we harvest summer sunlight (in the form of vegetables and berries,) and preserve it (in the form of pickling, drying, fermenting, and smoking). there’s still a little bit of sunlight left in these dried giant sunflower stalks, but if they remember summer at all, it is a distant fading thing, like trying to remember your kindergarten teacher’s name.

giant sunflower (heliatnus giganeus)

rice creek trails, shoreview, mn

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