Saturday, July 4, 2009

Canada Day foragings...

Canada came this year with less of a bang than it often does. We chose to stay home, and not do any public things at all! ( oh, yes, it is a few days PAST Canada Day,, which was July 1)

It was great to just let go of the pressure I often feel when it come to going to any kind of event. Especially BIG events. I am not really a crowd person. My kids are not either, so it works out pretty well.

So, what do you do on Canada Day if you are not going out to celebrate in a big way ?

You go to the forest of course! How much more 'Canadian' can you get ? Well, I will be really honest here , this is the very first time I chose to do my most favourite thing and combine it a holiday.

I marveled at the spectacular trees and ferns. Felt so grateful to be among such grace and beauty. How lucky I felt to be living just minutes walking distance from this incredible forest so full of life! I saw a magnificent buck when I rounded a corner at the early part of the hike. He was beautiful . Local people (I am local too, but those who have lived here much longer than I have) often tell me to be cautious around bucks, so I did not stick around to chat, as I would have with a doe. His antlers were fabulous. He just chewed his green leaves and looked at me.

I foraged for berries and greens too. I found a great big patch of Thimble Berries. These berries are so delicate looking. They grow on bushes that have huge leaves, somewhat like a massive maple leaf, just soft and somewhat different shape. The berries are red, and taste like applesauce. There were not too many that were ready yet, so I just ate the 10 or so that I found on the bushes. I will go back this week for more!

I carried on, wandering and admiring through the forest. I walk fast when on pavement but in the forest, it is slow going as I scan for things to eat, or harvest either to take home or to eat right then and there.

When I came up a stand of Salmon Berries I was in Heaven! I found sooo many of them. It was Salmon Berry Bonanza. I did not bring a bucket, or container with me. What was a girl to do, so many berries and nowhere to put them.

After picking as much as I could hold in one hand, I went to see if I could find or fashion some sort of basket or container. What would my ancestors have done in this situation ? ( I often wonder that, and love to look at what first nations people's did when they lived here long long ago.)

I found some very big stinging nettle leaves, so I picked a few of those to put the berries on, and then I found some blackberry leaves and finally a comfry plant. Between all these leaves, I made a container big enough to hold the berries in. Success!

I picked more nettle to add to a smoothie when I got home and weaved my way through the rest of a walk and then home.

Dani and I made lots of cakes that day too! At the top is one with Happy Canada Day on it, and put on a tray with a penguin in honour of my nieces in Baffin Island for the Summer.

And Here is an amazing recipe for a Super Energizing Wild Berry and Green Smoothie. It kept me up ALL night long, totally energized. I am not kidding. I went to bed at 7 am , and I was NOT even a bit sleepy, I had to force myself to get to bed! I think it was all those fresh, wild things. No cultivated plant even comes close to the energy you can get from wild ones. ( Not even organic).

Super Energizing Wild Berry and Green Smoothie
* warning, if you want to sleep the night you drink this, drink in the early morning!

2 cups spring water
1-2 Frozen Bananas , depending on how sweet you like it.
1/2 cup of Salmon Berries ( or other wild berries)
1 cup frozen Strawberries
1 big handful Stinging Nettle (fresh)
1 tsp Maca powder
1 tsp Spirulina
1 tsp Bee Pollen

Place all in blender, and blend until all smooth and creamy. Drink right away.

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