SHORT STORY - GETTING READY FOR WINTER"
The children in the little settlement loved to venture into the woods near their homes. They never went very far into the woods. There were many wolves and rattlesnakes about.
The children discovered something new each day. It was fun to see who could find the first wild flowers. What a feast they had when they found the first wild strawberries! How good they tasted! I'm sure their mothers knew when they found ripe blackberries. Just one look at their faces told her. Each time they found ripe berries Mother went picking with them.
The first summer the children picked blueberries, huckleberries, and raspberries. The berries they didn't eat were put in the sun to dry. Mother turned them often so they would dry evenly. They must be put away for the next winter. You see, all pioneer mothers started in the spring to get ready for the next winter.
After the berries were gone there were wild crab apples, plums, and grapes to be picked. The crab apples were peeled, sliced, and strung on linen thread to dry. In every cabin you would see the wild apples hanging from the rafters.
Some berries and fruits were preserved with maple sugar and wild honey.
Late in the summer corn was gathered, husked, and hung from the rafters to dry.
The pioneers who had planted potatoes and turnips the first spring were disappointed. When the vegetables were dug in the fall they were small and watery. The pioneers hoped for better crops next year.
After the first frost the children gathered nuts. There were hickory nuts, black walnuts, butternuts, and chestnuts. Every nut was stored away for winter. Cranberries were picked at this time too.
You know Father brought home larger game in the late fall. All
that wasn't used at that time was dried, smoked, or salted. Then
it could be stored away for later use.