The Best Fruit Growing Land

The image below shows an old síyaʔ (saskatoon berry) gathering ground in the Thompson River Gorge, across the river from an ancient village site. Notice the advantage of growing fruit this way: no irrigation is required as the cliff above delivers rain and snow to the talus slope, which delivers it underground, where it is kept away from the sun. The rocks store heat for early ripening, which is tempered by the red bark of the saskatoons, which radiates it out again. The scourge of síyaʔ, berry-bush munching deer, is no issue here, as the stones provide a sufficient barrier to reduce their numbers. The bushes are closely gathered to facilitate picking by hand.P2240903

A slow waterfall in the Thompson River Gorge.

A culture that treats agriculture as a foundational economic crop, concentrated in monocultures and farmed by horse or tractor rather than human labour and using water piped down from the high country at great cost, would see no value in this land, as it could not be adapted to mechanization. Nonetheless, a village has lived off of it. I find this inspiring.

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