Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, January 8, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page 10


Mountain Views-News Saturday, January 8, 2022 



This little cutie is full of purr-sonality! 
She is being fostered by a family 
with a pug and a nurturing pitull. 
She had never met dogs before so 
was very con-fused by these bungling 
buffoons, but soon learned 
that they are just bigger versions of 
kitties and toys! Cleo has 4 other 
kittens and full grown cat com-
panions, and they all get along purr-
fectly! She's very considerate of giving space to others. She plays 
well on her own until her sleepy furry buddies wake up and play 
with her. Her favorite game is laser pointer, but she also loves puzzle 
games. Although she's mostly quiet, she is very vocal when she 
wants to play or when she wants to tell you it's time to eat. She follows 
her foster parents around like a doggie; in fact, she watches closely all the relationships with 
humans and animals and is SO smart in figuring out the "politics." Cleo's purr is loud and strong, 
as are her beautiful markings. Cleo is majestic and re-gal, and deserves to be worshipped like the 
Cleopatra cat that she is! Born 8/2021.

Application at Lifeline for Pets: where you can see more pictures of Cleo 
on our Very Young page. CLEO is a cutie!



It was a random phone call: “How many of your classes will I need to attend 
before I can save at least 50% on my food bill?” The caller primarily wanted 
to save money on his food bills using wild foods.

How long does it take to learn about the wild plant of the world, and their 
medicinal and edible properties? It takes time, and like any science or art, the time it takes you 
depends upon how much time and effort you’re willing to devote to the study and practice.

At an early age, I became interested in knowing exactly how native Americans of past days 
could live off the land when there were no supermarkets, hospitals, or hardware stores. My 
sources of information were my botany and science teachers, living Native Americans, the library 
at the Southwest Museum, and anyone who would listen to my questions. I spent a considerable 
amount of time in the beginning learning mycology, and going into the field with 
experts to learn how to recognize wild mushrooms, and learn about their growing conditions. 
Along the way, you cannot help but learn about the trees and plants and environments which 
produce the mushrooms.

I had probably spent at least five years of fairly actively research and study of wild plants and 
their uses before I spent my first period time trying to subsist entirely on wild plants. Though 
there was still a lot that I didn’t know, I was able to eat well for a week at a time because there 
was an abundance of the plants that I did know. 

Though I continue to study and learn about the uses of wild plants, I have never had the goal 
of trying to live exclusively from wild plants, except for short periods of time. The reasons for 
this are many, but for example, I love to garden and produce food, and I have raised chickens 
for their eggs many times over the years. I am a strong advocate of sup-porting your local 
farms, since in most areas, the wild foods alone today would not support the population. 
There are also some foods that I really like which I cannot get in the wild, such as ice cream 
and potato chips. (Yes, I admit that I enjoy those).

So, getting back to the random phone call…

I had a short discussion with the man. First, had he ever eaten any wild foods – in other 
words, did he know what they would taste like and how they might fit into his and his family’s 
existing diet? The answer: No.

Then, had he ever identified any edible wild plants? In other words, had he ever done any 
training necessarily in order to safely recognize a wild plant that he could actually eat. The 
Answer: No.

I told him a little about my path, how I never pursued the study of ethno-botany from the 
standpoint of saving money, but rather from the perspective of “survival.” Plus, the more I 
studied, the more I learned that some of the most nutritious foods today are wild foods, far 
superior to many, if not most, farm-grown foods. He listened politely and the reiterated his 
question: How many classes would he have to take from me before he could cut his food bill 
50%, and then, 100%? 

I explained that he was asking the wrong questions, and thinking about it all wrong. One 
obvious point is that – especially in urban areas – there are not enough wild areas, and wild 
foods, to support even one family who used exclusively wild foods. But since saving money 
was this man’s primary focus – a man who had never studied botany – I began to list for him 
all the ways he could cut his family’s food bill. I suggested buying at co-ops, and the ubiquitous 
dollar stores. I suggested he do as I have done, and clip coupons from the newspaper to 
get discounts. I suggested he buy in bulk. I suggested that he and his family begin by growing 
at least some of their food, so they can learn about plants and the harvesting of plants. 
I suggested some of the very easiest garden plants that any amateur could easily grow and 
produce food: radishes, potatoes, onions, chard and other greens, and even appropriate fruit 
trees. I also suggested that he and his family members consider getting extra work to pay the 
expenses, and even getting federal food stamps, if they qualify.

He listened politely, said thank you, and I never heard from him again. I had let him know 
that the knowledge of wild foods, and the practical daily use of wild plants, could definitely 
improve the quality of his life and the quality of his diet. I also pointed out that because of the 
time it takes to learn each new plant, the saving of a significant amount of money on his food 
bill in the short term should not be the reason why he pursues the study. I have no idea what 
action the man eventually took but I know that his idea of saving money is not unique. I have 
heard it in various forms over the years. My advice is always the same: Learning about local 
plants and their uses is an excellent long-term self-reliance and survival strategy. You will 
continue to reap benefits as you continue to study and practice these skills. You might even 
feed yourself in an emergency when no other food is available.

Saving money is always a good thing, but it should not be your primary motivation to pur-
sue the study of ethnobotany in general, and wild foods in particular.

Pet of the Week

Daisy loves attention and loves her favorite people! At just one 
year old, Daisy still has a lot of that puppy energy and loves 
to play. She would do best as the only dog in the household, 
and because of her size and energy, should probably go to an 
adults-only home. Daisy is also looking for a home where she 
can be cared for in the safety of an enclosed yard with ample 
food, water, shelter, and love. Daisy has some special needs 
which would require her constant outdoor access. This sweet 
and playful girl can’t wait to go home with you!

 The adoption fee for dogs is $150. All dog adoptions include 
spay or neuter, microchip, and age-appropriate vaccines.

 New adopters will receive a complimentary health-and-
wellness exam from VCA Animal Hospitals, as well as a 
goody bag filled with information about how to care for your 

 View photos of adoptable pets and schedule an adoption 
appointment at Adoptions are by 
appointment only, and new adoption appointments are 
available every Sunday and Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.

 Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters by phone 
calls or email.



Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: