Pemican

Hail Brave hearts.

The season’s change and so do I.  Cast off your winter garment, it is spring.  The receding snows and baking sun, take the blanket of white away, leaving behind the winter’s dead brown world.  A cool, late spring, with slow growth, keeps the winter hanging on.  It’s time for spring, the great wild calls, as the migrating birds arrive and the hibernating animals emerge.  It’s time for spring, call the adventurers as they pull out their bikes for a ride in the woods.  The ski hill closes, the equipment is stored, coats and boots hang in closets.  Birds gather in warm pools, waiting for the ice to melt.  Come on spring, it’s your show now!

Slowly the warming sun, encourages the grass to become green, tiny buds on trees begin to emerge and the promise of a new world becomes real.  Mating pairs can’t wait to start their families and the tiny offspring need to be warm.  Winter has withdrawn reluctantly this year.  An inspection of the garden reveals some winter kill.  Not all of the plants can survive the winter all of the time, but lets wait, it’s still early.  Don’t be discouraged yet.

Rhubarb has popped it’s head up out of the soil.   In a few weeks the harvest will start.  The berry patch is looking good and weeding is on the “to do” list.  Little sparrows look for good nesting sites and the chorus of their song, welcomes spring.  Finally!  The Earth awakens from her slumber and with this, the grey days pass.

“Come out!”  calls the brilliant sunshine. ” Come to play in the warm sunshine!  Come to see the beautiful new world.  Come to investigate the returning wild.  Come out!  Come out!  Don’t stay inside.  You’ll miss this glorious day!”

Spring brings with it a new array of activity.  The garden, with it’s earthly delights, fragrance, bird songs, color, delectable food.  This spells work in the garden, choose your seeds, get ready to plant.  The fruit trees are blooming, food is on its way.

After a long winter of rations, eating last years harvest, the fresh rhubarb looks so good.  A few more weeks and this can be eaten.  Perhaps a new recipe this year.  The dandelions are starting to flower and the fresh new shoots are a perfect salad.  I won’t weed these this year.  Instead, I’ll let the flowers grow and harvest them for my dinner.  Bread and muffins, salad and tea and survival.  This is the gift of the harvest, straight from the great planet.   Eat and enjoy, for this is sustenance and we gather it.

http://www.grouprecipes.com/68395/pemican.html  Pemican

In years gone by, when the country was new, survival was the key to colonialism.  Like hibernating wildlife, overwintering and surviving in the great white north, was the most imperative topic of the day.  How do we survive?  Adaptation and skills, training and education.  As humans, we can’t curl up in a warm, winters den and sleep the cold away.  Preparation and planning,  storage, cut wood.  A humble cabin, an oasis in the wilderness.  Warm, small,dry.  It’s yours!

Written by Dr. Louise Hayes

May 13, 2018

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