Friday, June 24, 2016

Chilcotin Holidays

Wild Potatoes

My name is Marie, I'm guiding in the wilderness of the South Chilcotin Mountain for the Chilcotin Holidays' ranch. 3 weeks ago I brought students from the Guide School to Spruce Lake via the amazing Spruce Meadow. We got a wonderful surprise seeing this meadow full of beautiful small white flowers everywhere. I stopped to have a closer look. I took my knife to dig the ground and check if it's what I think and yes, I've got a nice small potato in my hand. Soon, everybody got off their horses and tried also to dig around those small white flowers to discover more and more of those wild potatoes all around us. This exercise had us experience the nomadic hunter gatherer lifestyle. It's not always easy to get the potato the first time, sometimes not at all if we don't dig deep enough or we cut the stem, or sometimes just half of a potato when we dig our knife too close and unfortunately cut part of the potato. The collection took us some time but with enough effort we brought back with us around 30 potatoes in our saddle bags.

Last week, I brought the students of the second Guide School to the same place to help them discover what nature can offer us. Chance and no chance, the potato flowers were not there anymore but in there place they left fully developed yellow flowers called Balsamroot in the meadow. After a few pictures of this great scenery we continued our way to Spruce Lake and surprise, in all the meadows around the Lake we found again all those small white potato flowers. Forced to stop to not pass up beside this nice experience we began to dig the ground again and went back to the camp with the same amount of potatoes as 2 weeks before. These wild potatoes have been harvested by Natives a long time before us to have a reserve during winter or for celebrations. They would eaten them fresh or boiled.

On the way back to camp, everybody was just thinking about the best way to cook our gathering. And what goes better with wild potatoes than wild onions found in the small meadows next to the trails where we picked them up almost everyday during our lunch breaks. Arriving at camp, dinner became the more important thing to do because the students were really excited to try those wild potatoes and wild onions. So, at dinner time, we've got the chance to test it, baking them on the camp fire and savouring these amazing gifts from the wilderness.

Chilcotin Holidays

About Chilcotin Holidays

We are a licensed guide outfitter and we conduct guided wilderness adventures throughout our 5,000 square km operating area. This guide area has been operational since 1880, making it the oldest in British Columbia. More about us HERE.

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