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Posts Tagged ‘wildcrafting’

Saturday’s hike to Blue Mountain was extremely enjoyable with signs of spring popping up everywhere. In attendance was Lis, Akhtar, Jed, Silas, Skyler, Megan, Rong, and myself (Crystal). Lis brought her camera and took many great photos for the report.

We came across many interesting, plants, mosses, and lichens. Initially we saw some Colts Foot in bloom, this was followed by several bushes of Pussy Willows at different blooming stages. Wild Cranberry plants from last year (img 502, img 503) were spotted along the path as well as budding maple trees (img 512). Along the way there were several lichen colonies, including British Soldiers (Cladonia cristatella) (img 499) and different species of Usnea. The high presence of lichens and specifically the presence of Lobaria pulmonaria indicated that air quality was probably very high (lichens absorb nutrients through their outer surface and are highly sensitive to air pollution, hence a high lichen diversity and presence, is indicative of low levels of pollution). We also came across two unknown moss varieties, one that seemed to mimic pine (img 518) and another that seemed to mimic cedar (img 522).

Along the way Trailing Black Berry (img 523), Lambkill (img 505), Native Rhodora (img 514), and Leather Leaf (img 520, img 521) were spotted. We also came across some Snowberry Plants (img 516) (img 517), no berries were present but a faint trace of mint fragrance could be detected. Jed found some pine gum from a stump in a cut lot. Silas and Lis later gathered rose bushes from this same cut lot.

Along the path towards the top of the mountain, under a heavy tree canopy some was still snow present. On the path Golden Thread plants were found and their roots sampled, they were very bitter. On the top of Blue Mountain; Club Moss (img 531), Broom Crowberry (img 532), Juniper, Wintergreen, and different varieties of lichens were found. Some Juniper berries and Wintergreen berries were sampled, the wintergreen berries were extremely sweet. On the way down May Flower blossoms were spotted. May Flower is the official flower of Nova Scotia.

The day ended with a sample of wild carrot. It was a nice way to finish off the day’s adventure.


-Crystal

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On Sunday (march 16) afternoon joined by Kate, Lis, Rong & Yang started hike towards Susie lake from behind Staples. Saturday’s 15 cm snowfall had covered signs of trail, so were walking in snow just keeping the direction in mind and let Lis lead the way,as she had been to lake few times.(this gave me space to look around & observe vegetation, though ground hugging plants were entirely buried under snow).
We noticed shrub/small tree ‘Alders’ (genus – Alnus) with last year’s male/female cones hanging on the branches. few last year’s
‘golden rods’. Sweet fern (latin – Comptonia peregrina) it is a vascular plant & not a fern, but given common name of ‘sweet fern’ as  leaves have fern like shape with nice sweet smell. Brown leaves still retained some smell. Lis collected leaves for making tea.
Leather leaf, white birches. Several Tamarck trees, (it is only conifer tree which sheds needle like leaves in winter – needles are in bunch of more  than 5 mounted on small spur). Differentiated a white pine tree which has 5 needles in bunch from a Jack pine having 2 needles in a bunch. Explained to group that SPRUCE needles are in single spread around  branch, has 4 sides hence can be rolled by thumb & finger shorter in length than a FIR tree, which are attached to branch in 2 rank or on opposite sides, are flat hence can not be rolled between thumb & finger, whitish underneath, base of needle is flat round so is needle scar on branch. HEMLOCK needles would be similar to FIR’s except shorter in length & at base would have pick like stem while tearing  it from branch will leave scratch mark on branch skin.
It was great view walking into snow, after a while found some tracks seemed people had headed to lake before us. ‘Broom crowberry’ low
perenial plant was under snow but noticed few by track in open.
Shrub ‘Lambkill’ was abundant with last year’s leaves still hanging
so were huckleberries but without any leaves. Noticed few ‘Rhodora’
this shrub is first to flower (nice radiant pink) in spring before leaves appear on it.
We kept heading towards lake catching all the beauty of surrounding trees/shrubs finally climbed to small hillock by lake. I have yet too see a comparable beautiful spot like this close to HRM. Here identified a small maple tree, labrador tea (Lis collected leaves for tea), wintergreen (being under some shrubs, saved these low plants coming under snow).

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So, this Thursday in the SeeMore Green collective garden there will be a garden-play work-party, 6-8pm or so.  Michael and Camilla will host it.  There is some bed preparations to be done, and some weeding, tidying, harvesting, and whatever other fun creative things you can get up to.

There is nothing planned for Saturdays anymore.

But Sundays, my friends, Sundays:  wild-harvesting guerrilla-gardeners bike rides have begun!  Meeting at 9am, Sundays, at One World cafe, bring your bikes, baskets, bags, scissors, and breath!

The idea is to ride around and wild-harvest some of the plethora of medicines and foods that are growing freely in our city.  Right now raspberry leaf, red clover, yarrow, and rose petals are some of the many medicines available.  While we ride around, lets keep our eyes open for plants that could be moved or propgated, and areas of earth that could use some gardening.  Now is the time to harvest and plan;  soon the time to transplant and sheet mulch (to better the soil for planting) will be upon us, and we will be ready!   Also, let talk about street art projects we desire and plan to do them!

The facebook site for wild-harvesting guerrilla-gardeners is up!  Join it!

On Saturday the 11th was the solar dehydrator building workshop with Wayne of Ecology Action.  The day was slow, steady, sweet, and productive.  We dismantled one solar dehydrator that needed repair, and build a beautiful solar collection shute for our new one.  The food box still needs to be built, and that will likely happen in the afternoon of the 21rst (Tues) at the EAC.  If you want to swing by for that email me or Wayne to confirm that time.  It would be a great time to check it out because it is partially built, giving a good idea of how one works and how one might be built.   Check out the photos below!

solar-chute.gif

oh, it is so lovely!  I can barely wait!

And… next week…   August 23:  Thursday eve, between 4-7pm EVERYONE who has ever been involved with Seymour Green IS INVITED to come by the garden.  We are finishing up the documentary begun last year, and want to get a few more images of all the folks ever involved.  The documentary is almost done, and is super-great!  We are hoping to screen it in the Garden on September 13th.

On the 23rd, (of Aug) after our chatting and photoing in the garden, lets go out to the Spryfield  for live music in the Urban Farm Museum community garden, 7-9pm.

And one last nutritious note, if anyone is interested in Nova Scotia food security policy, the document Thought about Food? Understanding the Relationship between Public Policy and Food Security in Nova Scotia can now also be accessed through the Dept of Health Promotion and Protections’ Website at http://www.gov.ns.ca/hpp/repPub/LensDocument.pdf.

May the forest be with you.

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