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Indigenous Food Knowledge Series – Issue #1

We are very excited to announce that Canadian Food Safety Training is working with Indigenous Food Blogger Rollin Baldhead to present our new series of traditional food safety knowledge. This summer we will follow the stories of Elders across Canada, where they tell us all about how they use their knowledge of the land to keep food safe.

It’s The Best During the Fall

“My great grandma would dry the saskatoon berries, she would dry them up in the sun. Then after, she made these little cloth sacks about 2 pounds and hung them up on the ceiling. We would fry them or boil them. It was a good time. I wish you could have lived in my day.” 

“Oh boy those chokecherries were good, that’s why we always go out and get them guys. We would crush them one by one with a stone, and when you get enough we would make them into paddies to crush all day! We used to go by the river, the men would go and fish while we were picking. After they spread the ole tablecloth on the ground that’s where we made our patties or our canvas bags. You fry them, they are good for a feast or a nice spread for bannock. Better than jam.”

Chokecherries, raspberries, gooseberries, blueberries. Blackberries, but you never see them around anymore. We would can, crush, and jar.  We would never freeze because there was no such thing in those days. 

We have to build our log house half in the ground and half up. The stairs were made of dirt. We used to make bins there and we would get this sand and stick our carrots and potatoes. Eh those things would stay fresh all winter long. The onions we would braid them and hang them over the rope, never take that green stuff off because that’s what you use to hang the onions.

Kokum (grandmother in Cree)

It’s always amazing listening to kokum talk. She enjoys it when I ask “Kokum, how do you [fill in the blank]?” Always important to know how to harvest and when the perfect time is. Fall, I chose this because it’s a time of preparation. Back then they had to prepare days, weeks and even months ahead. Though we have the power to freeze now we don’t have to build and dig anymore! Thank god, but the importance of how to harvest berries and to save them for those deep winter months.These berries are not only good to eat but hold important stories essential to our lands and way of life.