Marsh Mallows

Marsh Mallows

Scottsville, Virginia

Was paddling around in a swamp a few years ago and dug one of these plants up to bring home. Just a stalk and a bag of smelly black mud. Stuck it at the edge of the pond in the yard.

Now in summer you can’t see the pond for the flowers. Bushes five feet tall, flowers as big as your head.

A sort of wild hibiscus, these are the original Marshmallows from which the confection derives. The ones we put in smores and hot chocolate are synthetic now, but the originals were made from the roots of these flowers more that 4000 years ago in Egypt, and were reserved as food for gods and royalty. Back then it took two days of laborious processing to make marshmallows, not including the harvest and drying and prep of the roots.  It wasn’t until the 1800’s that they could be produced on a scale that plain folk could have them, too.

 

postcards from the road

Got to See a Man About a Boat

Claytor Lake, with Marvin Spencer

 

Went with Doug to help him pick up his new Marsh Cat, waaaaaay down in southwest Virginia. Marvin Spencer, of Brush Creek Yachts, did a beautiful job. I met Marvin many years ago at his shop in Plymouth, North Carolina. He had recently built his first Melonseed, and I had not yet started mine. When Amanda and I were driving back from Ocracoke I asked if we could stop in and have a look. Graciously, he not only said yes, but waited for us well after closing time.

He’s now built 10 Melonseeds, all beautiful, and many other boats, as well. When we went to pick up his latest creation, we invited him to come along for the first test sail, something he says he rarely gets to do.

Big fun, and great, drama-free first launching and sail. More photos and some video to come.

 

postcards from the road