nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘edible wild plants

little libraries

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Do you have a ‘little library’ in your neighborhood? We have a few in the Fredericton area. A community-based book-sharing system, these places encourage reading and neighbourhood spirit. The little library is usually small, a dry place for books on a post. Sometimes there is a stone or stump in front so children can access the books.

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On Sunday, I placed a signed new copy of three books in the little library on University Avenue in Fredericton: ‘within easy reach’ (Jane Spavold Tims, Chapel Street Editions, 2016), ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’ (Jane Spavold Tims, Chapel Street Editions, 2017) and ‘The Back Channels’ (Jennifer Houle, Signature Editions, 2016).

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three books little library.jpg

If these books have already been claimed at the little library, they are available at the Fredericton Public Library. They are also available at Westminster Books in Fredericton. Books make great gifts!!!!!!!

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For more about little free libraries, see https://janetims.com/2016/07/06/little-free-library/

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All my best,

Jane

winner of cover art for ‘within easy reach’

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I am so pleased to announce the winner of the painting ‘brambles’, the cover art for my book within easy reach! The winning raffle entry was drawn at my book launch at Westminster Books on June 9, 2016.

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The winner is Carol Steel, a long-term follower of my blog and a blogger at http://carolsteel5050.blogspot.ca/ . Carol posts her beautiful photographs, her published poems and her insights into the wildlife she sees. Carol also won First and Second Place in the 2016 Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick Writing Competition — Dawn Watson Memorial Prize.

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Congratulations Carol!!! The painting ‘brambles’ is yours. Thanks to all those who entered!

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February 29, 2016 'brambles' Jane Tims

February 29, 2016 ‘brambles’ Jane Tims

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The names of the other entrants, and the names of all those who purchase a book from my publisher or at any of my reading events, will now go into a draw for another painting ‘berries and brambles’ (18″ X 14″, acrylic, unframed, gallery edges). Names will be entered until June 30, 2016 and the winner will be announced in July.

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berries and brambles

April 02, 2016 ‘berries and brambles’ Jane Tims

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Holding the raffles for my paintings has been a very enjoyable part of the process of marketing my book!

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June 9, 2016 book launch at Westminster Books

June 9, 2016 book launch at Westminster Books – almost 50 people attended! (photo courtesy Chapel Street Editions)

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

June 10, 2016 at 11:09 pm

my poetry book – within easy reach

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My new book, within easy reach, is now available.

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I would like to thank you, the readers of my blog (and my Facebook and Twitter friends), for all your interest and support since I began my blog in 2012! The blog has helped me along the way, developing ideas for my projects, giving me a place to try my poems on a reading audience and giving me a chance to read some beautiful poetry on the blogs I follow. I also love your ‘likes’ and comments.

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I hope you will buy my book and enjoy reading my poems and seeing my drawings.

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For the readers of my Blog, I am offering a chance to win the painting on the book’s cover!  My painting ‘brambles’ is painted in acrylics, size 10″ by 10″, with gallery edges. The painting is from a photograph of the blackberries growing on our lake property, the berries featured in the poem ‘berries in brambles’, one of the poems in the book.

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February 29, 2016 'brambles' Jane Tims

February 29, 2016 ‘brambles’ by Jane Tims

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To win this painting, you have to do three things.

  1. Purchase my book through my publisher’s website  (www.chapelstreeteditions.com)
  2. Leave a comment on any of my Blogs (www.nichepoetryandprose.wordpress.com or www.janetims.com or www.janetimsdotcom.wordpress.com) with the words ‘within easy reach’ somewhere in the comment
  3. Be prepared to send me, via email, a scan of your purchase receipt

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Your name will be entered once for each book purchased. The contest will run for the first five weeks following the publication date of within easy reach  (until June 7, 2016). At the end of the contest, anyone who has purchased a book from the publisher and left the comment as described above will be entered for the draw.  I will notify the winner and let the readers of the blog know who has won.

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I hope you will enjoy my book. And some reader will be the winner of the painting ‘brambles’!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

growing and gathering – barriers to eating wild foods

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One of the themes in the poems I have written for my manuscript on ‘growing and gathering’ local foods concerns the ‘barriers’ to eating local foods, especially wild local foods.  Edible wild plants are everywhere around us… why don’t people make more use of them?

The barriers to gathering and eating wild foods are:

1. knowledge – although most people can recognise and even name a few plants, only a few can identify and name every plant they see with certainty.  It you eat a plant, you need to know you won’t be the victim of mistaken identity.   Sometimes very closely related plants are quite different when it comes to their edibility.  A simple example is the Tomato:  the species we eat is Solanum lycopersicum Lam.; a plant from the same genus is the poisonous Common Nightshade (Solanum ptychanthum L.).  The fear of mis-identification and poisoning oneself is a barrier to eating local wild plants.  Also, people can vary greatly in their sensitivity.  One person can eat a plant without effect while another cannot because arthritis is aggravated.

berries of Common Nightshade are poisonous… later in the season, they are red and quite beautiful… children should be warned that all red berries are NOT good to eat

2. access – in order to eat wild plants, you have to know where they grow, you have to be able to go there, and you must have access.  Many people live in urban or sub-urban areas where some species of wild plants just aren’t found.  Even if you have transportation or live in a rural area, access may be a problem.  There may be a lush field of raspberries just up the road, but if there is a locked gate, better get permission!

3. peril – sometimes picking wild plants for food has an unpleasant or dangerous side.  Some plants are poisonous.  Picking berries may mean avoiding sharp thorns!  Sometimes berry picking takes you on a heads-down journey far from the point where you began… you may get lost!  You can look up and not recognise where you are or how to return to your point of origin!

4. contaminants – some locations may not be suitable for collecting and eating wild plants.  For example, plants along busy highways may have high levels of some contaminants.  Berries or other plants growing along the roadside may carry a burden of dust, making them unpalatable.  I wouldn’t make a cup of Sweet Fern tea from the dusty leaves in this photo!

5. convenience – Sometimes gathering or producing wild foods is too demanding of time and energy.  I love collecting maple sap and boiling maple syrup each spring, but it is hard work and takes days to accomplish.  Sometimes you know there is a patch of berries just down the road, but other demands on time take precedence.

6. competition – Wild animals also like edible wild plants.  You may run into a bear while picking berries, or face a moral dilemma when you realise you are keeping the squirrels from a food source!  My garden is always under attack and the battle often seems to outweigh the benefits of having a garden.  This year the enemies are slugs, bunny rabbits and shadows (too much shade).

7. complacency – Sometimes I think, most of the barriers I’ve listed above could be overcome.  But a barrier not so easy to negotiate is one of separation from nature and the associated complacency.  It has become normal not to seek our food in the natural spaces around us.  We go to the grocery store, pick up what we need, and take the easiest route in our exhausted lives.  Even gardens are not as common as they once were.  In my mother’s generation, gardens were the norm.  This partly came from long traditions of growing food, but also from the concept of the ‘Victory Garden’, begun during World War II in order to conserve resources and boost morale.

World War II poster promoting the Victory Garden (Source: Wikimedia Commons, original art by Morley)

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The only way I know to return to a simpler life is to take small steps and take them often, so they become habit.  Here are some suggestions:

  • visit the Farmers Market in your community, to obtain fresh produce and to know the history of your food;
  • stop at those market stands along the road and buy produce in season.  In our area, vendors sell lobster, smelt, fiddleheads, strawberries and apples this way;
  • if you have an apple tree in your yard, or wild raspberries in a field nearby, pick them and enjoy;
  • if your apple tree needs pruning and some TLC, talk to a knowledgable person and find out how to return it to production;
  • dig the fishing tackle from the garage and take the kids fishing;
  • grow a pot of fresh herbs on your back deck;
  • learn about one wild plant, find a place where it grows, be certain of the identification, and use it!   Then find another!
Warning:
1. never eat any plant if you are not absolutely certain of the identification;
2. never eat any plant if you have personal sensitivities, including allergies, to certain plants or their derivatives;
3. never eat any plant unless you have checked several sources to verify the edibility of the plant.

Written by jane tims

July 16, 2012 at 8:23 am

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