In Memory Of A Visionary: Larry Harvey, BurningMan Founder

April 29, 2018 Lynn Abaté-Johnson No comments exist
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In Memory of Larry Harvey, BurningMan Founder

[originally published, August 26, 2013]
Larry Harvey, one of the "Founding Fathers" of BurningMan has passed. I dug through my previous blog posts from when I first started blogging on my own website, and uncovered this one, all about one element of thriving out in the Nevada desert, as I did each year for 10 consecutive years.

I never met Larry.

Never even saw him in person out there in our community far away from "civilization". And yet, I felt the presence of someone who was a visionary and instigator of thought. It was evident in every aspect of life out there, during our two weeks in August and September.

If you are thinking of experiencing BurningMan for the first time, I would be happy to have a conversation with you about it. I learned a lot about myself, life, and what is most important, during all the years I made my annual "pilgrimage". I'm happy to share more than the tiny slice of life you see here. Larry Harvey inspired tens of thousands of us from around the world. Here's one way that unfolded...

One of the things that I love about Burning Man,

is that at any given moment, I am faced with the opportunity to make choices that will directly impact my experience.  My first year on the playa (2006), I followed the sage advice of friends who brought me into the BurningMan culture:  "read the online 'Survival Guide' and 'First-Timer’s Guide'".  Along with those two invaluable documents, and some organizational lists shared by a dear friend who knows how I thrive when armed with a list, I found my "home".  I learned this rule of life on the playa:  your experience is in direct proportion to your preparedness (and radical self-reliance).

Since I am a self-identified "foodie", and I love to experiment, BurningMan provides me the perfect opportunity to do so.

Over the years,

I have come up with foods that work, and those that don’t.  I’ve experimented with methods for keeping fresh foods as fresh as possible, because I abhor eating out of boxes and cans (for the most part).  Although I am by no means a purist ("everything in moderation, including moderation"), there are definitely nutritious choices that can be made, even in the Nevada desert in summertime.

My "garden" on the playa
My playa "garden". Home-grown tomatoes, padron peppers, and basil.

I discovered some new items this year, and happily incorporated them into my repertoire.  I want to acknowledge Angela Liddon OhSheGlows (follow on Twitter and Pinterest) for the Almond Butter Cup recipe.  It was tough keeping the family at bay after I made those for the trip, and I still ended up with a couple dozen to share with my friends.  Super yummy, gluten free, sweetened only with agave nectar or in my case, maple syrup.  The combination of flavors really worked for every single family member I "tested" them on.  Eureka!!

Almond Butter Cups, recipe via
Almond Butter Cups, recipe OhSheGlows

Although I am not, by definition, vegan or even a vegetarian,

I am a lover of living foods, also known as raw foods.  And lately, I’ve cut WAY down on gluten, dairy, and processed sugar. One exception: the occasional gourmet Salted Chocolate Chunk cookie from Crisp Bake Shop in Sonoma – well worth a "diversion" now and then!!  Crisp does plenty of Gluten Free yumminess as well).  When I consume mostly raw foods, my body is super happy in so many ways.  But, I digress.

I snapped some crappy pics on my phone (here). I wanted to show you some of the things I make and bring to the playa for my (nearly) two weeks "off the grid" in the harshest environment I’ve ever intentionally ventured into.
If you've never been to BurningMan, it's so harsh that even bugs don't appear much out there!

Romaine Salad ala Lynn

I bring fresh, organic

romaine lettuce, all cleaned, chopped up, and ready-to-dump into a bowl for a quick meal. To that, I add avocado, as long as they’ll last out there, and seed pate (made with sprouted raw sunflower seeds). Other options include bean salad, or quinoa salad that I flavor with heirloom tomatoes, fresh mint, a little dill, cilantro, and parsley (all from my garden).  I throw in chopped cucumber, and my special home-made dressing (extra virgin olive oil, fresh Meyer lemon juice, and seasonings, including turmeric).

Quinoa, about to be doused with delicious-ness
Quinoa, about to be doused with delicious-ness

Five heirloom varieties from my garden
Five heirloom varieties from my garden

I also harvest all the Padron peppers that my four plants would yield, and this year, I nabbed the biggest crop so far.  My friends LOVE these – just quickly grilled with olive oil, and then salted with Real Salt or any other type of nutritional salt I have on hand (yes, I bring fancy salts with me).  Like popcorn, only green!

Grilled Padron Peppers
Grilled Padron Peppers

I sprout organic, raw green (aka "French") lentils to throw into any salad or wrap – we do a lot of "wraps" in swiss chard leaves from my garden.  Super high protein version contains the seed pate and some lentils, along with a little tahini sauce for a flavor bomb in your mouth.

Raw, sprouted organic green lentils
Raw, sprouted organic green lentils

Dino Kale Salad
Dino Kale Salad

I wilt raw, organic dino (aka Lacinto) kale and make a meal out of that by dressing it up with tri-colored bell peppers (no, green ones, thank you).

I make ratatouille and freeze it for quick meals, which I serve over gluten free (corn) noodles or the quinoa, which I pre-cook and throw into "zippies".

Garden Grilled Ratatouille
Garden Grilled Ratatouille

This is just a small "taste" of the nutritious options

I choose for the playa.  Luckily, I’m not much of a drinker, don’t smoke, and don’t like any other mind-altering chemicals, so between the food and my gallon of filtered water (at least) each day, my experience is happy, healthy, and fulfilling.  And I get to explore and "drink in" all the richness of life and community in the Nevada desert…

Oh – and by the way, I never pass up a chance to have a coconut milk ice cream cone at the Pink Heart Camp, or  nibble on bacon, cooked out on the playa in the ruins of the Man, the morning after the burn.  Now, that’s a Burning Foodie experience for sure!

Do you have unique "foodie" experiences you can share, or would you like recipes or tips for your "extreme" food adventures?

Leave me a comment (below) and we’ll connect!

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"BE" by Laura Kimpton, Burning Man


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