Hank Shelley

Column: Make use of nature’s cupboard

By Hank Shelley, Observer contributor

The billy can bubbled over the fire, as I dropped in Labrador tea.

Later, the fishermen all felt mellow and happy. The tea contains a mild narcotic!

Oregon’s Milton Freewater is a vegetable growing region, helping to feed the nation. The Campbell soup company has a plant there, for the abundance of vegetables for their great variety of soups.

It so happens that there are also a good many outdoors men and women who hunt and fish. Some finding their way to our fishing lodge at Postill lake in years past. One cold winter’s morn while checking our trap line towards Karen’s meadow toward Beaver Lake (Winfield), I veered the snowmobile into a large copse of giant spruce trees, to find a small ice covered deep lake.

Next day I took bug samples and depth recordings. We already had boats on five of our lakes but, this would be special.

It should hold a good population of brook trout. Next day I called the Summerland trout hatchery in Summerland, and explained the situation.

Two weeks later, they called back saying they had 2,000 parr (3-4 inch) ready for spring. I then called an old-time timber cruiser for SM Simpson mill named Fred Kistch. He arrived and with compass we blazed a trail right to the lake.

Come spring, we back packed the fish in tanks to the lake. Two years later, we were now taking in our first Oregon anglers. Along with packed lunches, the fire/billycan/brewed tea became a tradition at our lodge’s brookie lake.

A few seasons later, drifting down the Eagle River, counting spawning coho, my boss, Byril, always carried a plastic pail to fill with wild high bush cranberries, hanging in clusters out over the banks.

Part of nature’s larder for those who want to hike winter trails or experiment with vitamin C enriched hot drinks.

Most evergreens are jam-packed with nutrient rich ingredients.To make evergreen tea, place three to four small branches of spruce or fir with needles attached. Place in boiling water in pot or billy can.

Steep until desired strength is reached. Too, rose hips can still be found in winter. Gather. At home, split open and remove seeds. Boil as with tea, strain and enjoy.

With bush teas, one may want to sweeten with honey, or a shot of brandy. Note: Labrador tea bush will be found in spruce tree locations similar to buck brush.

Go online for more information regarding what nature can provide us medicinal and healing properties.

Just Posted

Don’t let mosquitoes take a bite out of summer enjoyment

Tips from Interior Health to limit the mosquito problem

Mercury rises in the Okanagan-Shuswap

Temperatures reach about 36 C with humidex in the Okanagan and Shuswap

Stay safe in the heat

Hot sun can cause burns and life-threatening illness

Commercial/residential development planned for foreshore

Salmon Arm project near regional district building goes to hearing

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

VIDEO: Vernon-area students read for rank

RCMP visited JW Inglis on Wednesday as part of the Read with Me and the RCMP program.

New Jersey forward Taylor Hall wins Hart Trophy as NHL MVP

Vancouver’s Sedin brothers share King Clancy Award for humanitarian efforts

Unfiltered: IPAs explained with Cannery Brewing brewmaster

Checking out the new IPA created by Penticton brewery Cannery Brewing Company

Man gets 2 years in prison for assault on Okanagan Correctional officer

Union rep said inmate sucker punched correctional officer, continued assault after officer fell

50 new fires sparked in B.C. after lightning strikes across province

Similar conditions seen at the beginning of 2017 wildfire season

B.C. woman graduates high school at age 92

Nanaimo’s Joan Deebank the oldest high school graduate ever in B.C., as far as ministry can confirm

B.C. Appeal Court rules lottery winner must be paid back $600,000 loan

Enone Rosas won $4.1 million in a lottery in 2007 and loaned a portion to a friend

B.C. man surprised after used needle falls from sky

A Vernon resident said a syringe fell out of the sky and landed at his feet

Liquor review finds issues with B.C. wholesale monopoly

Report calls for ‘conflict of interest’ in system to be fixed

Most Read