As I mentioned in my last blog post, Olga Kildisheva ─the grad student who collected with me on two separate trips for seed dormancy trials she is working on, recommended I do a food blog. I think she really enjoyed eating the smoked salmon I brought from Portland. Field work can be very demanding physically and involve long hours, often in rather harsh conditions such as high winds and hot temperatures. I find having good food that I enjoy eating more satisfying and it can inspire happy snack songs, smiles, positive thinking, and a good mood no matter how exhausted I may be.
When I head to the field I bring one cooler and one other bin for food. There’s never as much room in the cooler as I wish there was, limiting perishable food selections to the most cherished. I compensate by bringing along plenty of fresh fruits.
After spending 60 days in a tent this field season I have decided ghee and avocado are two versatile foods I will forever take with me when camping. Ghee is a most delicious clarified butter which originated in ancient India. Because it’s clarified, there are no milk solids to go rancid in the heat, it comes in a jar, and it doesn’t leak or spill like olive oil does. Plus it even tastes good in oatmeal. Avocados: put ’em on everything! They are good for breakfast (scrambled eggs), lunch (sandwiches), and dinner (chili and soup). Plus, when you buy them by the bag they tend to be cheaper so you kind of have to put them on everything.
I leave for the field on Monday for what may be my last trip. While I am looking forward to spending more time sleeping in a warm and comfortable bed, I will miss all the time I’ve spent outside becoming a better field botanist. Beyond learning how to pack efficiently and deliciously, I have gained plant identification skills, learned the names of quite a few birds, networked with professional botanists, overcome fears associated with camping (alone), and realized wind is my least favorite weather.
So long for now. And don’t worry, my next blog post will have plenty of plant and landscape pictures, but first it’s time for a snack!
-Lindsey in Portland & Harney County, Oregon