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Gwen Tuinman

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Catherine Parr Traill

How Settlers Cleared Their Land

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.

Continue reading “How Settlers Cleared Their Land”

Pioneer Food Gardens and Orchards

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”

Feeling Nostalgic — Canning Applesauce

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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”

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