The Real Know How

How-Tos, Videos, Tutorials — Ramping Up for the 21st Century

Archive for the tag “canada”

Convert A Shopping Cart Into A Bike Trailer

Tony Hoar, who builds and sells various bike trailers, in British Columbia, Canada shows us how to make a DIY bike trailer from an old shopping cart.

Here’s a work in progress design from armouredcockroach for a shopping cart bike trailer with an inset wheel.

Here Wettke in Europe has made a similar conversion with a shopping cart, but in this case instead of creating a bike trailer he’s put the cart in front and built a trike (warning: spooky organ music).

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The Useful Basswood/Linden/Tilia/Lime Tree

The basswood, also known as the linden, tilia or lime tree has a ton of uses, grows widely (in different varieties) throughout North America and Europe and is easy to identify.

I’d been reading about its use by Native Americans to make fiber and cordage/rope: From NativeTech

“Fibers were stripped from the inner bark of the basswood tree. After long pieces of bark were removed from the tree the sections were soaked to facilitate separating the fibers from the inner bark. Basswood fibers could be used immediately for simple lashing, or the fibers could be dried and stored for future use. Other items made from dyed basswood fibers include tumplines or burdenstraps used to carry heavy loads, fine twined storage bags and closely woven mats used to strain maple syrup. Sheets of basswood bark were also used as winter coverings for wigwams. Iroquois found the wood ideal for carving, the grain being soft and light.”

It’s flowers make a pleasant, medicinal herbal tea.

According to Wikipedia:

“Linden flowers are used in colds, cough, fever, infections, inflammation, high blood pressure, headache (particularly migraine), as a diuretic (increases urine production), antispasmodic (reduces smooth muscle spasm along the digestive tract), and sedative. The flowers were added to baths to quell hysteria, and steeped as a tea to relieve anxiety-related indigestion, irregular heartbeat, and vomiting. The leaves are used to promote sweating to reduce fevers. The wood is used for liver and gallbladder disorders and cellulitis (inflammation of the skin and surrounding soft tissue). That wood burned to charcoal is ingested to treat intestinal disorders and used topically to treat edema or infection, such as cellulitis or ulcers of the lower leg.”

The basswood/linden’s leaves (especially the young, tender leaves), fruit and seeds are also edible.

In the following video Green Deane gives us the low-down on the linden; how to identify it, some of its uses, how to prepare it (he adds young leaves to a salad) — he also points out other edible plants he comes across growing nearby.

Caleb Musgrave in Ontario, Canada who has Ojibway heritage goes even more deeply into the many qualities and uses of the basswood. He says “Very few people look at these trees and think, ‘Wow, you’re really useful.'”

But of course those people would be wrong.

In this video, he covers more of the edible uses for basswood. He also confirms what Green Deane said about basswood tasting like lettuce — tree lettuce.

HerbMentor talks to Lexi Koch in Washington State about how to grow and harvest linden for herbal use (there doesn’t seem to be much to it).

Here Whitney Gerschke talks about linden (basswood) as a useful herb and shows us how to make linden basil ice tea.

Birch Bark Basketmaking

How to make a birch bark basket of any size, step-by-step.

About Labrador Tea

Labrador tea is an important wild, native North American group of medicinal plants. I say group because there are actually three closely related types of rhododendron that are identified as Labrador tea. They are evergreens that grown mainly in wetland areas.

People drink Labrador tea as an all-around tonic (maybe like how some people drink nettle tea), and it’s loved for its flavor both as a tea and as a flavoring for meat.

Note that it can have a narcotic and even toxic effect if it’s taken in large quantities.

Here’s a joeandzachsurvival video explaining where to find Labrador tea , how to identify it and its uses. Joeandzachsurvival film in Minnesota.

Elder Bertha Skye, who is Cree from Saskatchewan, is associated with McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, talks about Labrador tea’s important to indigenous people in Canada.

Fish Fertilizer for Potatoes

Francis Hill farms in Waboden, Manitoba, Canada. Here she shares a tip for using fish guts and bones to fertilize potato plants. She gets the fish bits from anglers.

Apparently fish are a great fertilizer. With all the contamination that has been showing up in ocean and especially in freshwater fish I would probably feel a little nervous about this method.

Meet Urban Farmers from Vancouver, Canada

An intro to several motivated farmers who farm in Vancouver, Canada – their motivations, the rewards and the impact they hope it will have for their community.

Meet your Urban Farmer (trailer) from Fire and Light Media Group on Vimeo.

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