China Daily has made me a monthly columnist for the newspaper, starting in May! Here’s an excerpt from my May column Connecting nature, food, life in mountains:
Years ago during the Labor Day holiday, when my mother-in-law asked me to climb a mountain in her rural Hangzhou village, it wasn’t sightseeing she had in mind.
Granted, it felt like an adventure as we ascended through tall, weedy patches of grasses and vines, pulling ourselves up with the help of shaggy China firs, smooth bamboo trees and weathered gray rocks scattered along a trail only visible to a veteran hiker. The view we were rewarded with halfway up the mountain, gazing upon the colorful patchwork of fields and whitewashed homes set against the verdant hills and a sky so blue it looked digitally altered, was just a benefit of being there.
After all, our eyes were mostly fixed on the ground instead, in search of the real purpose for our journey — the wild edible plants that thrived on the mountainside.
P.S.: If you’re curious about my experiences with wild edible plants and rural life, I recommend reading my posts Things I’ve Learned from My Chinese Family: 3 Amazing Wild Edible Plants and 8 Surprising Things I’ve Learned from Living in China’s Countryside.