This morning we were off bright an early while the air was still crisp. We knew of a field nearby that a harvester had gone through and, because of the wet and soggy soil, the harvester was unable to dig part of the field. It is common folk talk around these parts that once the machines leave the field, scavengers are welcome. So there we were. My kids on their version of "potato break"; a custom not to far forgotten in these parts. I remember as a young child sitting in rows as my mother tugged on the full baskets. I was allowed to tag her barrels. Later on I had my own barrels, and finally a spot on the harvester. I feel today, my children took part in creating their own memories as they dug with hands (not tractors) to unearth the golden goodness. We scored about 150 pounds..and the car was at full capacity.
Up a tree you ask? Well, Might I explain that there is a treasure trove awaiting me at the top? You see, the most abundant chunk of Chaga is what we found over 20 feet high. After spotting it, we stopped into our parents house (which was nearby) to retrieve the essentials to harvest it. A hammer. Rope. Nails. Wood. We constructed a makeshift ladder, and up I go!
Below are the photos of our cash. Cash I say, because weighing in at 5.5lbs of fresh weight, this Chaga rings in at over $200.00 CAN. (that's what the local distributor will pay). I may get a slightly better price by selling direct. The boys were happy to hear that we will be gathering up the total 7-8lbs of Chaga and taking it to pawn off later this month on our way to the Moncton Hospital..A trip we will be making as a family. As reward for their dedication to our foraging and hunting expeditions they will get shares and can spend it when we are in the city.