nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for the ‘growing and gathering’ Category

results of the Christmas sale

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On this past Saturday, I had the fun of being a vendor at Sandra’s Market Fredericton. This was the first experience of its kind for me, although I have attended such sales for years.

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Overall, I had a great time! The venue at the Delta was beautiful, not crowded, and set-up was easy. The other vendors were pleasant and very interesting to talk to. A couple of good friends stopped by and there were lots of shoppers. I took a book to read, but watching the people at the sale was too much fun to miss. I sold five books and three paintings, including the painting ‘teaberries’, seen below.

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I think the best part of the sale was talking to the various shoppers about their experiences picking berries and gathering wild plants. A couple of people mentioned battling the squirrels for hazelnuts. Many of the older shoppers said their berry picking days were over due to ailments. A few people were interested in identifying edible mushrooms.

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wintergreen

December 8, 2016 ‘teaberries’ Jane Tims (acrylic) 8″ x 8″ $30 (SOLD)

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Wintergreen

Gaultheria procumbens

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first gathering in spring

thick leaves as leather crush

weep wintergreen

oil infuses pale tea

milk to swell aroma

sugar and midnight sparks

sweet steam meets breath

aspirin makes undelicate

my heart

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The leaves of Eastern teaberry or American wintergreen contain oil of wintergreen; the chemical in this oil is methyl salicylate, known for its anti-inflammatory properties and closely related to aspirin. Methyl salicylate will build up an electrical charge when dried with sugar and rubbed. In Quebec, the plant is known as la petit thé du bois (little tea of the woods). Flowers are waxy, nodding, bell-shaped and white.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

December 14, 2016 at 7:47 am

raspberries in winter

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On December 11, 2016 (from 10 AM to 4 PM), I will be at the Delta Hotel (Fredericton, New Brunswick) at Sandra’s Christmas Market Fredericton to sell my paintings and books. If you are in the Fredericton area, please pay me a visit!

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I have a new painting for sale at the event. December 8, 2016  ‘raspberries’ is painted in acrylics, 7″ x 5″, gallery edges, unframed. It reminds me of picking raspberries on a summer day.

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raspberries

December 8, 2016 ‘raspberries’ Jane Tims (acrylic) 7″ x 5″ $25

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mended by raspberries

for Mary

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drove all the way to Flume Ridge

to pick those berries, large as thimbles

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red as blood after we’d pricked

our fingers on needled vines

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crossed the covered bridge to nowhere

the through road blocked, the way broken

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the covered bridge at our backs

the roar of the flume in our ears

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the tipple of honey bees

lightheaded in the berry canes

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This poem appears in my book, within easy reach, Chapel Street Editions, 2016.

Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

December 9, 2016 at 9:25 am

next reading of ‘within easy reach’

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My fifth reading this month of my book ‘within easy reach’ will take place at 7PM on Wednesday evening (October 26, 2016) at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, 1224 Highway 101 in Nasonworth, New Brunswick.  This will be the first of the Authors Coffee Hour series being held by our church in the coming months.

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There will be refreshments including apple squares prepared from local ingredients by Real Food Connections in Fredericton. A local musician will be providing music. And $10 from every book sold will be donated to the Fredericton Food Bank.

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If you are in the Fredericton area, please join me at this event! I will be reading poems to help sustain us through the long months ahead – about picking berries, making jelly and spending time in the apple orchard. My poems will also take you to the woodlands and coastal areas of New Brunswick, to sample foods you may never have tasted! And my poems will encourage you to ‘eat local’!

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Hope to see you there!!!!!

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

 

more blueberries!

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Tomorrow, Saturday October 22, 2016, I am giving a reading of my book ‘within easy reach’ and a short talk about eating local foods, especially wild plants. The reading will be for a regional meeting of local chapters of the New Brunswick Women’s Institute. Their theme this year is ‘pulses’ and the nutritional benefits of eating beans, lentils, chickpeas and split peas – foods harvested dry – affordable, protein-packed and delicious!

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I will be reading poems from my book, taking the Institute members on a tour of local foods – from the forest floor to the field, to the garden and the farmers market, as well as foods grown inside the home kitchen.

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I will also have a door prize for my reading, a painting of wild blueberries. ‘Sweet Hurts’ is 5″ X 7″ with gallery edges, done in acrylics using Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Red, Titanium White, Paynes Grey and Burnt Sienna. The name ‘Sweet Hurts’ comes from an alternative name for the Low Sweet Blueberry.

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Looking forward to this reading, my fourth this month!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

October 21, 2016 at 3:58 pm

yard work – the grape harvest

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We had a frost on October 4 and today, I harvested my grapes. You will imagine tubs of ripe fruit, hands stained purple and a row of grape jelly jars on the counter.

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my grapes, wandering about in the birch tree

my grapes, wandering about in the birch tree

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But my grape harvest is a bit small. However after ten years, this is the first ‘harvest’ from this vine so I am quite proud! No jelly though. I ate the lot of them, sitting in the yard, admiring the autumn leaves. They were juicy, sweet and delicious.

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the entire harvest!

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

October 12, 2016 at 7:11 am

getting ready for fall – high bush cranberry

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Another painting to accompany my fall book and painting sale. These are high bush cranberries growing along the St. John River. The painting is done in acrylics, gallery edges, 12″ X 10″, Chromium Oxide Green, Paynes Grey, Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Cadmium Red Medium and a touch of Burnt Sienna. The subject matter of high bush cranberries was a suggestion of one of my blogging friends!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

August 17, 2016 at 7:13 am

plants along the roadside – wild hops

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When we go for drives to find covered bridges or one room school houses, I always watch the roadside for plants familiar and unfamiliar. This habit comes from years of work as a botanist. As we drive, I name the plants I know. Sometimes there is a huge surprise!

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While driving in Victoria County last year, looking for a covered bridge, we travelled a short way on a side road. The road became quite rough and narrow and soon we were searching for a good place to turn. There, away from any habitation, among the vegetation on the side of the road, was something different: large 3 to 5-lobed leaves, climbing tendrils and golden cone-like flowers. A vigorous ‘wild’ hop vine. I was thrilled!

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Hops (Humulus sp.)  is well known as a stabilizing and flavouring agent in beer. The hops contain various flavonoids, acids and oils which impart smell and taste to beer.

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When I got home, I went hunting on the Internet and discovered a CBC article describing an Agriculture Canada study about native hops. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/hops-research-could-aid-beer-industry-1.3136764

The researchers, Jason McCallum and Aaron Mills, were (and still are) asking for the public’s help in locating wild hops in the Maritimes. Needless to say, I contacted them.

A couple of weeks ago, I learned they were coming to New Brunswick to find my hops plant. To make sure we could give them good directions, my husband and I drove to Victoria County to see if the plant was still there. It was growing more vigorously than ever, climbing among the top branches of a downed tree.

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With our improved directions in hand, the Agriculture Canada team found the hops plant, a couple of hours after a road crew went through with bush saws to widen the road!!! However, the team was able to take the samples they needed and assured me that the plant was so vigorous, it would be able to recover and continue to thrive!

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The researchers at Agriculture Canada will do genetic analyses to determine if the plant is native to North America (var. lupuloides), an escaped European hops (Humulus lupulus) or a hybrid between the two. The purpose of their study is to examine hops native to New Brunswick to see if they have resistance to disease and pests. Discovery of a native hops variety, perhaps with unique properties, flavours and aromas, would be valuable to a local brewing industry.

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Hops are cultivated around the world.  The Agriculture Canada researchers think ‘my’ hops plant may have been grown on a now-abandoned homestead. These folks may have grown the hops as a way of making starter cultures of yeast for bread-making. The elements in hops are toxic to bacteria but tolerated by yeast. Starter cultures resulted when yeasts colonized standing mixtures of hops and a sugar like molasses.

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This experience has reinforced my passion for ‘ditch-combing’ … I am so lucky to have my husband as driver so I can spend my time scanning the road side. If you live in the Maritimes, keep your eyes open and if you see a wild hops plant, let the researchers at Agriculture Canada know!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

July 29, 2016 at 7:00 am

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