This week, member Vicky Ramakka takes us down memory lane in this post recalling her experience on the 2017 WWW Tuscon conference’s nature walk.
This is a very late follow-up to the Tucson conference. (No one can accuse me of rushing into things, but I do have the excuse of traveling to Botswana in the interim.) All the workshops, networking and events were wonderful, but I especially enjoyed the morning nature walk with Carolyn Niethammer, author of Cooking the Wild Southwest: Delicious Recipes for Desert Plants. She shared a wealth of native plant uses with our group.
Starting with a gnarly old Prickly Pear cactus next to the lodge, Carolyn pointed out the cochineal insect that produces a unique red dye and lives only on Opuntia cactus.
She reached into her big basket, brought out a jar of Prickly Pear juice, and poured a taste for all of us. Along the trail to the waterfall, we sniffed, rubbed, and chewed all kinds of plants. What a great teacher and memorable experience.
Thanks, Carolyn. And thanks to all the officers and organizers who put on a great conference.
Looking forward to seeing everyone in Walla Walla…THIS year!