Wow, I can’t believe it’s been 2 months since my last post! It seems like it was just Christmas and BAM, it’s almost June now!
Every day life has been busy and we’ve been working extremely hard on the lodge. Josh, our oldest son, finished drivers ed, got his license and bought a truck. Josh is 17; he paid for the truck himself as well as the taxes, registration, plates and insurance… the entire thing! We are certainly proud of him!
Mike has shipped out the salmon they’ve grown all year and fry (new little baby fish) are coming in to take their place. Spring wasn’t very nice and I wasn’t so sure if they snow would ever melt, but it did!
The Sugar Shack
In the last few months, we have watched the maple syrup season come and go. Mike’s uncle has a sugar shack and the whole family participates in running it each season. Sadly, in the 30 years Austin has had it, this was the worst season. We need cold nights and warm days for the sap to run and the weather didn’t cooperate this year. They still managed to get what they needed, having over 200 sap buckets out! Sap needs to boil at a certain temperature before it turns to syrup. How much sap does it take, you may ask- it takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup!
I’m not sure when Mike finds the time but he makes all his own beverages too! Blueberry wine is at the top of everyone’s most wanted list. Mike’s wine isn’t your typical store bought wine kit. . Mike’s wine is made from stratch using fresh handpicked berries. We pick 300 pounds of New Brunswick blueberries a year. Mike has his blueberry wine down to a science and it’s just the beginning. He makes all his own beer and liqueurs as well. His beer list includes light and dark ales and even chaga beer…Chaga, what’s that?!
Chaga is a fungus that grows on birch trees. It looks like an irregular burnt piece of the tree. Chaga has been used as a folk remedy in Russia and other North-European countries for centuries. I’m positive that you will hear about chaga and the chaga tea Mike drinks when you are here!
While we are talking about Mike and what he loves to do, here’s another one of his favourites…..making sausage! Bear, moose, or deer pepperoni sticks, summer sausage, farmer sausage. It’s easy and the boys love it! The meat is mixed with a cure, sits overnight, then goes into our meat grinder (with sausage making attachments). From there it’s placed in our smoker and slowly cooks all day. Fresh handmade smoked sausage!
In 20 years, we went through smokers like our kids go through socks… they just didn’t seem to last, until this one,
Everything Mike enjoys evolves around the outdoors. If he’s not hunting, trapping, or fishing then he’s enjoying the outdoors by gathering what Mother Nature has left us. He searches for chaga and then dries it and freezes it for future use. We hunt for wild mushrooms to eat and sell. Each spring Mike picks fiddleheads. Fiddleheads are the furled fronds of a young fern that are harvested as a vegetable. The window of opportunity is short to pick them as they are not edible once they fern out. They are delicious as a side dish with pork, or canned as pickled fiddleheads.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to the outdoors. We enjoy as much as we can by using what nature has to offer- picking seasonal berries for wine, jam, desserts and smoothies, picking tips in the fall, and enjoying the scenery along the way.
Throughout your week long stay at Magaguadavic Lodge, I’m sure you’ll get to try the sausage along with other great delicious foods! The lodge is the perfect spot to get out and enjoy the outdoors. The lodge- we have come a long way in our progress and are so close to being done….. I will tell you all about it, next time 🙂 Until then, don’t forget to check out our Facebook page. Dead Bear Walking’s FB page is filled with tons of photos! While you’re there, give it a like and share away! https://www.facebook.com/deadbearwalking/
Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit –Edward Abbey