Trout Lily – Erythronium Americanum: The Ephemeral Edible & Medicinal Wild Plant

In Ojibwe, namegobagonii’n partially derived from namegos meaning “lake trout”, trout lily is one of the first edible and medicinal plants to come up in the Spring. But it doesn’t stay for long! A spring ephemeral (which means it springs up and then goes away far too quickly), trout lily’s leaves have the mottled appearance of […]

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White Trillium – Trillium Grandiflorum: Ontario’s Official Flower and Most Photogenic Edible & Medicinal Wild Plant

In Chippewa, ini’niwin’dibige’gun, white trillium is Ontario’s official flower and the standardbearer of spring. It’s also a traditional edible and mostly medicinal plant. However, it needs our protection. Also called birth root, a hint at its medicinal qualities. And wake-robin, due to being a spring herald. It heralds the black flies too, who I personally […]

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The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 1, Chapter 4: Little Bear Meets Butterfly

Dear Wood Folk, Makwa the black bear wasn’t all running and treeing. Insects and songbirds didn’t phase him one bit. I’ve planted swaths of butterfly and bee attracting plants and at least twice noticed the little bear intently watching a butterfly. Thankfully, I got it on camera once: Imagine being our little friend Makwa… meeting […]

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Black Cherry – Prunus Serotina: The Cherry Cough Drop of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, ikwe’mic, black cherry while perhaps the least palatable of our cherries is still a bouncin’ edible and medicinal tree. I absolutely love making stuff with it too! The scent of the sawdust – yum! Black cherry is also called rum cherry because settlers blended the fruit with rum or brandy and called the […]

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Sugar Maple – Acer Saccharum: The Ultimate Canadian Edible & Medicinal Wild Plant

In Chippewa, a’nina’tig, a sugar maple by any other name would taste as sweet. I’m not sure you’re going to come across another edible and medicinal plant quite as “Canadian” as this! My sugar maples are young and mostly line the road-side of my property. Thankfully there is one on my property that’s large enough […]

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Let’s Make Maple Syrup

In Ojibwe, zhiiwaagamizigan means maple sap. Sap, maple syrup, sugar. It’s up the hierarchy with wild rice and corn as traditional main staples this neck of Turtle Island. (Haliburton area was more of a coniferous hunting ground not long ago, but Rice Lake isn’t far away.) In the vicinity of mid-march, for about a month-long, […]

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