Foraging

Winter has been creeping in slowly, the nights colder and the sun slower to rise up over the mountains in the mornings. However, our snow has held off, other than a few skiffs that quickly melted. We have been trying to take advantage of the delay by foraging for late bog cranberries and collecting cottonwood seeds.

IMG_7958 IMG_7955

I had to keep an eye on Howie during my berry picking, since the bog cranberries are harder to get to he was tempted to just help himself to my bucket!

I have always heard about a way to make the ” balm of gilead” (mentioned in the Bible) from the seeds of the cottonwood tree (or any tree in the poplar family) and have wanted to try it. It is supposed to be excellent for cuts and scrapes, as well as sore throats and coughs. I love finding local herbs and plants that have medicinal benefits, it is quickly becoming a lost  art. So, Joe and I headed out a few days ago to collect the buds, we have a  small clump of cottonwood trees on the north bank of the lake.  When picking the buds, it is better to wait until they freeze, because the resin is very sticky. We probably should have waited another couple weeks, we did get a little sticky, not too bad though. We used the acidity from some high bush cranberries to help get it off.

IMG_7996IMG_8002IMG_8010

The beavers have been busy preparing for winter as well, they had already taken down a few of the trees and were busy working on another! I am always so amazed at their work! How they get some of those trees and branches through the tundra to the lake puzzles me!

Anyway, I simmered the buds with coconut oil on the wood stove for about 24 hour or so, strained it with cheesecloth and then poured it into a jar and let it solidify. (You can use other types of oil, but i prefer coconut oil for using on the skin) I can’t wait to test it out! I am hoping to also use it on Howie’s feet this winter. (He is always cutting them up on the ice and hates wearing booties) I will let you know how it turns out!

IMG_8018IMG_8023

Its amazing how quickly we adapt to becoming resourceful when supplies aren’t readily available. I find myself thinking more and more about how to harvest and preserve the natural resources around us. I am so thankful for knowledge passed down to me from my parents on how to live from the land. There is still so much I don’t know, but life is a schoolhouse and every day a chance to learn something new.

7 thoughts on “Foraging

Add yours

  1. Im one that usually reads blogs and I got bored when I tried to write my own, but I have to say I am really enjoying yours. Especially since you post pictures to go along with your stories. 🙂

    Like

  2. I am so happy you have decided to make a blog! I find myself looking forward to seeing pictures of your newest adventures on Facebook! Hopefully more people will have the opportunity to see what an amazing life you are living through this blog! I could NEVER live in Alaska… but I can watch happily from afar while you do it!! Love you Bonnie!

    Like

  3. I just found your blog and am loving it! Way across the world from me, in distance, in climate, and just about everything. But so interesting! Perhaps because my husband and I had considered homesteading in the Yukon in our earlier years. But then we came to know Christ, and he had other plans… But I’ll love following your adventures!!

    Like

    1. Thank you so much! My husband’s family is Italian and it has long been a dream to visit Italy! I am looking forward to reading your blog! We never really knew this is where we would end up, but as you say God had other plans for us too!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

rachelmankowitz

The Cricket Pages

THE PHIL AND CHESTER SHOW

Phil and Chester are two guys on the wrong side of forty who create a weekly comedy podcast with all sorts of interesting guests. Also available on iTunes!!!

nature has no boss

images as thoughts

Redefining "The Good Life"

"The key to happiness lies within. Some people just need help from a locksmith now and then."

musteringmuses

A great WordPress.com site

weekendsoffthegrid

novices learning to live off the Grid...at least on the weekends

ICI & LA NATURE PICTURES

Walk and Bike in France and Europe www.walk-bike-camino.com

petersouthlandphotography

Photography reviews, ramblings, and other things you need to know

Edgar Bullon

Adventure and personal progress.

Last Frontier Magazine

The Life and Beauty of Alaska

Noor Surf

Paradise Awaits

The Pioneer Woman

Plowing through Life in the Country...One Calf Nut at a Time

Gluten Free Gus

Baking Joy Into Every Gluten-free Bite

Gluten-Free Goddess® Recipes

Life off the grid in the Alaskan wilderness

Gluten Free Girl and the Chef

Food-Stories-Recipes-Love

%d bloggers like this: