From the Ravages of Fire Come Berries


| 8/29/2016 11:15:00 AM


Tags: off grid living, blueberries, cranberries, berries, Ron Melchiore, Saskatchewan, Canada,

The Off-Grid and Free series recounts Ron and Johanna Melchiore’s experience with ultra-remote living in the Canadian wilderness. Click here for all posts in this series.

'Tis the season for harvesting. Specifically, for me at least, the abundant blueberries and cranberries that are in quantity and free for the taking. When we first moved to the wilderness 16 years ago, both berries could be found in open areas but any open areas were few and far between.

In 1999, when we were first camping out and exploring this area we cut our food a little too close and what blueberries we could find helped sustain us. Johanna remembers flying out of here after our initial stay with nothing but salt and pepper left for food.  

Due to the fires in the area and the openings we’ve created around the house, blueberries and cranberries are literally everywhere. They are one of the first plant species to repopulate the ground after a burn. And for some reason, although the ground did not burn around the house, our “lawn” on two sides of our home, is a carpet of cranberries.

We each have our summer tasks and responsibilities and mine is to go out and harvest these berries. With berry rake in hand and occasional shouts of “hey bear”, I’ll head out into the burn to gather a half a bucket of blueberries in short order. Best to give any bear in the area a heads up that I’m coming in, lest I scare it and end up bear 'rasslin'.

Filled Blueberry Rake




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