I’ve been thinking about how as a writer, I am responsible for laying down a representation of women that reflects our reality. Many scholars recognize that, in historical archives, there is a limited representation of women on the American Frontier and in early Canada. It’s a commonly held view now that the Continue reading “Underrepresentation of Women in History Archives”
I often contemplate the lives of women who lived in the past. Since girlhood, I’ve always been drawn to stories of yesteryear and so it seems fitting that in the novel I’m currently writing, I inhabit the lives of fictional women characters from the 1800s. To accurately reflect their daily existence through story telling, I comb through historical texts to develop an understanding of women’s lot in life—joys and sorrows, the restrictions they navigated, and in the absence of today’s technology, the never-ending day-to-day work of caring for a home and family. Continue reading “Pioneer Women and the Importance of Their Work”
Among the settler families’ first concerns was clearing trees from their allotments so land could be cultivated and crops grown. The prospect of such an undertaking must have been daunting. The second-growth forests of today are very different from the dense forests and huge trees our fore-bearers encountered. Colonel Strickland wrote about measuring a tree 11 feet in diameter with “the trunk rising like a majestic column, towering upwards for sixty or seventy feet before branching off its mighty head.”
Please enjoy this Wellspring Podcast of How Settlers Cleared Their Land.
What must food growing have been like for the earliest newcomers to Upper Canada? Many families arrived with a sack of seed and little else.This spring when we cleared more ground for planting vegetables, I thought about how much more difficult the task must have been for the earliest settlers. Before planting food, settlers first had to cut down an army of trees and remove obstacles like roots and boulders. I certainly didn’t have to contend with such challenges. Our garden plot will generate produce to can or freeze, but nothing sufficient to sustain us until the next growing season. Plants are just beginning to yield and August is half over.
(Please enjoy this Wellspring Podcast of Pioneer Food Gardens and Orchards.) Continue reading “Pioneer Food Gardens and Orchards”
I feel a strong kinship to this woman. A few weeks ago, I sat amongst heaps of apples waiting to be cored, quartered, simmered, and mashed. It was all part of transforming a bushel of apples into apple sauce which I then canned in Mason jars. Why would I go to all that trouble when applesauce comes ready made in cute little jars at the grocery store.? The answer is simple enough — nostalgia. Continue reading “Feeling Nostalgic — Canning Applesauce”