Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wildlife Tracking Apprenticeship - March Weekend

Here is a link to some photos from our most recent Wildlife Tracking Apprenticeship Weekend. It was the weekend that changed winter into Spring. The first day was -10 C or so and the next day was +10C, warm and sunny. Some great tracking and a great group of people to be with in the forest. There are always lessons to learn from nature. I'm thankful to have this opportunity to experience life in this time and place.

Happy Tracking


Monday, February 6, 2012

Get Those Roots in the Ground Where they Belong!

The taste of money proved tastier than that of potatoes during the last few markets of the season. I ended up selling more than I should have of these delicious tubers as well as onions, beets and the like.
Now I'm faced with the task of making these precious few bushels of potatoes, onions and beets last as long as they can.

Standing shovel in hand, looking at a landscape of rocky outcrops and whitepines I plunge the spade into the sweetfern and wintergreen covered duff layer. To my surprise it's easy digging. Fluffy and sandy this ancient riverbank proves to be.

I dig a hole 4 feet long, 2 feet wide and 5 feet deep in under 2 hours. The
next day I utilize odd bits of 1x2's and plywood to build a simple wooden box complete with hinges and a pull handle made of cord.
I lower it into the hole as one might a casket, slowly and methodically.

The space between the box and the perimeter of the hole I stuff straw, top with soil and then layer the bottom of the inside of the box with sawdust- 1 inch thick.

Besides potatoes and onions I pack a cardboard box with tomato sauce, salsa, pickles, canned salmon and various other canned goods that I don't want to freeze. I figure if this is supposed to keep the potatoes from freezing then it should keep everything from freezing, right?

I top it all with more straw (about 6 inches) , stuff straw around the goods inside and close the lid. I pile more straw on top (about 1.5 feet), cover that with a tarp, weighed down on all sides.

Now all I can do is wait. Wait and hope that this is going to be enough to keep the frost from piercing my precious spuds. Until next time!

Next time is December 27th. We hauled less food in knowing that buried beneath the ground was a treasure chest full of gold, yukon gold that is.
I unearth the box once my craving for salsa gets the best of me.

I feel very satisfied and a little wonderstruck as I pluck potatoes, onions and salsa from the box in the same condition as when I put them in. Hip hip, salsa and chips!
(significant warming occurred overnight)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Earth Tacks 2012 Schedule

Wildlife Tracking Workshop - January 14-15th - Beaver Valley near Kimberly

Algonquin Winter Tracking Trip - February 19th-24th -- Algonquin Park

Track and Sign Evaluation - February 26-27th - Dwight

Wild Plants Apprenticeship Program - April 7-8th – Near Orangeville (10 month program 1 weekend a month)

Minesing Swamp Overnight Canoe Trip – April 14-15th – Angus area

Traditional Hide Tanning Class - April 25th - 29th - Beaver Valley near Kimberly

Headwaters Primitive Skills Gathering – May 10-13thth – Kimbercote Farm, Beaver Valley

Wildlife Tracking Workshop - May 19th - 20th - Wasaga Beach area

Edible Foraging Workshop - May 27th - Creemore - 100 Mile Market

Urban Edible and Medicinal Plants – June 8th - 10th – PINE Project, Toronto

Edible and Medicinal Plants Class – June 14th - 17th – Wolf Den Hostel, Dwight

Advanced Survival - Bridge Class - July 11-15th - Beaver Valley near Kimberly

The Way of the Naturalist Canoe Trip – July 17th -22nd – Algonquin Park

PINE Project Youth Summer Camps – July 2nd – August 10th – Toronto

PINE Project Youth Summer Camps – July 16-2oth & 23rd – 27th – Huntsville Area

PINE Project Youth Over-Night Camps – July 29th - August 4th & August 5-11th – Huntsville Area

The Spirit of Plants – August 4th – 5th – Location TBA

The Art of Mentoring – August 2oth – 25th – Norval Outdoor School, near Georgetown

The Algonquin Experience Canoe Trip – August 27th – September 3rd – Algonquin Park

Utilitarian Uses of Plants - Cordage, Baskets, etc.... - September 8-9th Dufferin County

The Art of Survival - September 13 - 16th - Parry Sound Area

Autumn Glory Canoe Trip – September 20th - 23rd – Algonquin Park

Traditional Hide Tanning Class – October 31st - November 4th – Beaver Valley near Kimberly

Herbal Medicine Making Class – November 16th – 18th – PINE Project, Toronto

Wildlife Tracking Apprenticeship Program 2013 - Begins in November 2012 - One weekend a month for 10 months

That's it. A couple new additions will be added in the near future. If you have any questions or would like more information please contact us through email: or phone 519 217 4921.