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Leek Patches and Bloodroot Paint


After a fun game, song, and opening circle with the Woolly Bears, we headed to camp in a sprinkle of rain. It was very wet and muddy, but that quickly dried up as the day went on. We put up the tarp over our site, ate our snack, and heard a story about how the Native Americans found wild rice.

The rain stopped, so we went out to plant some wild leeks (or ramps). Wild leeks are very tasty and are fairly abundant if the soil is good. We split into two groups. One group planted in a patch next to the tent, and the other group went out by the willow swamp to add to another colony of leeks.

After all the leeks were planted, we met back at the pond site to discuss our next adventure. We discussed the safe amount of edibles to take from a colony. The rules of thumb are to never take the first plant that you see, never take more then 5% of the population, and always ask the plant before you pick it. We again split into two groups to forage for wild edibles to cook over the coals from our fire.

As Theresa's group crossed the river, they noticed lots of plants with white flowers growing next to the water. The plants were bloodroot. Bloodroot is not edible, but it can be used to make dye, or in our case, face paint! A small group headed back to camp to light a fire. They had 10 minutes to make a fire, but they completed a roaring fire in only eight!

Josh’s group ran down deer trails in the Rabbitat and found a giant leek patch. They also found out that they were not the only ones enjoying the leeks. The deer were also eating the leeks in the giant patch. When their group got back to camp, there was a large fire welcoming them.

We ate lunch, and after lunch we played a few rounds of Sausage. Then Theresa had a challenge for us: shaking a jar of cream into butter. We flavored the butter with leeks. We divided into two groups, the Shakers and the Breakers, and had a friendly competition to see who could make butter fastest. After a long round of shaking, it ended in a tie! We enjoyed some bread with our leek butter and then packed up our bags and headed to the game field, where we played Wolves and Caribou and Bobcat Dodgeball and had our closing circle.

—Owen, Josh, Theresa, and Evan