What do you hunt, fish, and gather? Email your submission or show us on Instagram to participate in this month’s Adventures in Aperture!
Fall harvest is a time of preparation. Whether you’re a hunter or fisherman putting up meat for the winter, a bear fattening up for hibernation, or a squirrel gathering acorns relentlessly, tuning into the rhythm of the environment is the key to survival.
But it’s more than just the act itself; it’s what it gives back. Good food nourishes your body, can be shared with friends and family, and connects you to the land. There’s more meaning behind an afternoon spent splitting a sauna’s wood versus going to the gym, though both provide good exercise. You look at that wood differently; see the knots and rings; shapes and grains, and adjust your swing accordingly to fight through the stubborn son of a bitch. There is something primordially transcendent about this ritual that bonds you to the land.
Yet unquestionably, food has become an institutionalized concept. We’re all guilty of it: at the grocery store we grab a tomato we have no connection with, or wonder if it’s worth it to spend 99 cents on organic bananas or 79 cents on the guilt-ridden ones—but what did it take to get any of that fruit? How much fossil fuel was used in its production and transport? How many others like it did not meet the aesthetic standards of the produce aisle and how many more spoiled during transport? What really is the footprint of a store-bought tomato versus one grown in a garden? What about a locally hunted moose versus store-bought grass-fed beef?
Harvesting is communion with the land, and it’s only in the last few generations that we’ve lost that.
In fact, the grocery market mentality is ingrained in all of us to the point that we don’t question it. For many of us, the ritual of grocery shopping is our closest connection to our food’s origin and the repercussions are evident. We have become so disconnected from the process of feeding ourselves that some people become unsettled by the thought of hunting but won’t bat an eye before buying low-grade meat at a fast food restaurant.
Although I am no role model for food harvesting, this year I took some strides toward improving my relationship with the land. Namely, I grew a small garden slightly bigger than a window box and harvested kale, lettuce, and broccoli—three vegetables that can grow in any condition short of a nuclear fallout—but I did it. And despite my complete ineptitude as a gardener, I felt the reward of making salads and smoothies with food I’d grown. This feeling has only escalated this fall as I’ve collected blueberries and cranberries to add to home meals.
Many people provide far more for themselves than I’ve managed. Now I wonder: what is the Professional Nomads community harvesting this fall? How many fisherman are among us, who’s headed to deer camp, and who’s growing alfalfa sprouts in a container on a shelf? Show us your fall harvest! What has the land provided you?
This isn’t a chance to brag about how big of a moose you’ve killed, this is a celebration of life and the life cycle. Let’s see what is possible in this day and age. Let’s get an understanding of where our food comes from and create a visual representation of our collective bounty.
Whether you grew it yourself, hunted it, or gathered it from the land, we want to know: what has the land provided you? Send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org, or Instagram them by tagging BOTH @professional_nomads and #professionalnomadsfallharvest. Be sure to include a few words so we can understand the importance of your harvest.
This month, the first ten participants receive a Professional Nomads sticker so let us know where to snail mail your shwag! Selected work will be showcased on ProfessionalNomads.org. Professional Nomads retains the right to use your submission anywhere on ProfessionalNomads.org as well as ProNo social media (giving you photo credit, of course); photographers retain reprint rights as well as bragging rights in social settings. A collage of the best submissions will be unveiled October 1st!