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And the Plants Will Set You Free

Byron Eggenschwiler, “Where Do We Come From”

Through knowing and using the plants that grow around us—the ones in our backyard, the weeds that resist all efforts to control them, the abundance and diversity of the species in the Cascadian forests—we are more whole, secure and free.

Grocery stores could shut down tomorrow and I could ride my bike 10 minutes out of the city and gather berries, roots and some leaves and feed myself (and some others). I could use these plants to prevent and treat most diseases. These plants have gotten me through the worst of illnesses.

We need our communities—communities of our own species and communities of other species—to be whole and free. Plants as food, medicine or building materials shifts the power and brings it home. What’s right under our feet are, by their very nature, agents of freedom.

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