- Roslyn Imrie
- I am a mother, a teacher, and a nature lover. I grew up on a mountain we called Owls' Knob in the Ozarks of Arkansas. The first seven years of my life were spent living in a log cabin, far from a store or streetlight, without electricity or running water and after twenty years of travel, I returned to the abondoned homestead. Now I live on a hill by a small lake and work at a public garden. These are stories about nature written from a women deeply influenced by place.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Food and Water
But how do you eat it? Though I like snacking on its leaves raw or adding baby leaves to a salad, not everyone likes the strong flavor. Kale is great steamed along with other sweeter vegetables like squash or carrot. But my favorite way to cook kale is to saute it with soy sauce and oil or butter. This can be done in a stir-fry or by itself. Either way, it is important to not burn the kale leaves. To prevent burning you can add a splash of water, wine, or soy sauce. Keep the vegetables steaming more then frying.
The well at Owl's Knob, in which the water is 100 feet underground, is not functioning. Either the 12 volt pump is clogged, or the water table dropped. But the system is not working. However, the spring in the holler is still flowing. All throughout my life I have been drinking from this spring. At ONSC I ask children if water coming straight out of the ground, spring water, is clean. They always say no. When I tell them that the typical backpacking water filter uses clay to filter river-water, they are puzzled. But only then do they accept that the water, filtered by the clay in the ground, might be clean.
Deep in a gully there is a mossy spring, shaded by maiden-hair ferns and old magnolia trees. The water comes trickling out of the bedrock, flowing over a slab of limestone and dropping into a sink hole that leads to Terrapin Creek, a tributary to the headwaters of the Buffalo river.
To retrieve water from the trickle that hugs the bedrock, you must take a leaf and a rock. The leaf is placed in the stream of water with its steam hanging just over the bedrock's ledge. Then the rock is placed on top of the leaf to keep it in place. Thus, a spout is created, and the trickle of water, seeping over the stones, is launched into my jug.
Patiently, I wait for the gallon to fill.
It is like waiting for kale to grow.
Slowly but surely, nature provides.