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Jackson Station Skills Camp

OWL member Cindy Jackson recently invited a dozen women to her family farm in Ohio to test and share their outdoor skills. The weekend agenda included kayaking and canoeing on the nearby Mad River, archery, muzzleloader shooting, cooking demonstrations, story telling and tremendous fellowship.

Cindy shared the following journal entry and graciously allowed it to be shared here to encourage you to consider joining an OWL event in the future.

"July 1787 - 3rd journal entry

July. Hot, dry July. How can this Northwest Territory be so darn cold in the winter and so blazin’ hot in the summer! Early mornin’ is the best time to be out to check on the livestock and see what the garden has to offer. There are a few black raspberries still on the vines. Their season is almost over. I’m surprised the raccoons and possums didn’t beat me to ‘em. I checked my traps this mornin’; the bait was gone but I didn’t catch any chicken-killin’ critters today. Maybe tomorrow. Blackberries are just comin’ on. The heat and lack of rain are gonna make them small and seedy. There’s still some lettuce that I can wilt with a bit of bacon grease. While I’m gatherin’ some odds and ends to eat for today, I think about some lessons I learned a few weeks ago from my visitors at Jackson Station. Peggy came from up north and brought a lot of knowledge about plants that grow naturally around here. I’d known about Lambsquarters, plantain and dandelions. I’ve always added a bit of those to my greens when I’m boiling or fryin’ a tad meat. But until Peggy showed us how to gather and prepare it, I’ve never considered eatin’ the leaves of stingin’ nettles! It was pretty simple and downright tasty. We gathered a nice helpin’ of the tender, 4-6 leaves at the top of the nettle stalks. Peggy rinsed them a bit in fresh water and then put them over the fire in a pot of water. Those leaves turned the purtiest green I’ve ever seen. She drained the water off real good and chopped the leaves up. Then she mixed ‘em with an egg or two and some hard cheese that she crumbled up. I had some biscuit and breadcrumbs, so she rolled balls of the nettle mixture in those crumbs and then flatten them into fritters. She fried ‘em in a bit of grease in a pan over some hot coals. They were delicious! I learned a lot from those ladies. The way my memory is these days, I need to get some more stories written down real soon!"

Thank you Cindy for sharing your journal and your home with us.


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