Wednesday 31 July 2019

Monday 29 July 2019

Australian Aboriginals. The First Farmers. A New History!

Aboriginal farm near Mount Franklin. Picture Credit: Culture Victoria.

Australian Aboriginals. The First Farmers . A New Australian History.
It seems that what we have been taught about the Indigenous Australians is not true, & this puts a whole new perspective on our history & the resultant Living History in Australia.
“Gammage argues, the first Australians worked a complex system of land management, with fire their biggest ally, and drew on the life cycles of plants and the natural flow of water to ensure plentiful wildlife and plant foods throughout the year. They managed, he says, the biggest estate on Earth”.
“Indigenous historian Bruce Pascoe has spent years looking through these incredible accounts and found the first white settlers documented how Aboriginal people built homes, villages, parks, dams and wells, selected seeds for harvesting, ploughed fields, irrigated crops and preserved food in vessels”.
“Aboriginal people were the first culture on earth to bake, evidenced by unearthed grindstones from 30,000 years ago, meaning Aussies beat the ancient Egyptians by more than 15,000 years”.
“It has been purposefully left out of our history,” he said. “The misconception that Aboriginals were hunter-gatherers has been institutionalised and we are all suffering from that institutionalisation today — not just Aboriginal people but the whole country.”
When explorer George Grey first entered the Victoria District of the central west coast of Western Australia in 1839, he noted yam fields of square kilometres in extent. One tract "extended east and west as far as we could see". Further south he recorded that "the whole of this valley is an extensive warran [yam] ground".
A few years later Augustus Gregory, a surveyor who later became a famous explorer and Surveyor General of Queensland, stated that the local Aboriginal population "never dug a yam without planting the crown in the same hole so that no diminution of food supply should result".
Another colonial explorer, Lt. Helpman, commented in 1849 that the Nhanda and Amangu "are a fine race of men but seem to depend entirely upon warran and gum, of which they have great abundance".
Grey also reported four villages in the region, two of which he observed at Hutt River the day after encountering the yam fields. He wrote: "In this distance passed two native villages, or, as the men termed them, towns". These villages comprised dwellings that were "very nicely plastered over the outside with clay, and clods of turf," and which Grey thought "were evidently intended for fixed places of residence".
According to Helpman, these dwellings were "well plastered outside and the timber which formed it was about 6 in. [15 cm] thickness, about 6 ft. [1.8 m] high inside and capable of holding ten persons easily".

Thursday 11 July 2019

17C American Women: 1668 - Journal of Connecticut Thomas Minor (1608-1...

17C American Women: 1668 - Journal of Connecticut Thomas Minor (1608-1...: A Year in the Life of Thomas Minor, Connecticut Farmer, 1668. Thomas Minor (1608-1690) was born in England & sailed to New England in ...

Trail food bags & containers.

Trail Food Bags & Containers.
 "I have travelled with neere 200. of them at once, neere 100. miles through the woods, every man carrying a little Basket of this [Nokehick] at his back, and sometimes in a hollow Leather Girdle about his middle, sufficient for a man three or foure daies. With this readie provision, and their Bow and Arrowes, are they ready for War, and travell at an houres warning. With a spoonfull of this meale and a spoonfullof water from the Brooke, have I made many a good dinner and supper."

A KEY into the LANGUAGE OF AMERICA By Roger Williams  1643. 

 If their imperious occasions cause them to travell, the best of their victuals for their journey is Nocake, (as they call it) which is nothing but Indian Corne parched in the hot ashes; the ashes being sifted from it, it is afterward beaten to powder, and put into a long leatherne bag, trussed at their backe like a knapsacke; out of which they take thrice three spoonefulls a day, dividing it into three meales. If it be in Winter, and Snow be on the ground, they can eate when they please, stopping Snow after their dusty victuals, which otherwise would feed them little better than a Tiburne halter. In Summer they must stay till they meete with a Spring or Brooke, where they may have water to prevent the imminent danger of choaking. With this strange viaticum they will travell foure or five daies together, with loads fitter for Elephants than men. But though they can fare so hardly abroad, at home their chaps must walke night and day as long as they have it. They keepe no set meales, their store being spent, they champe on the bit, till they meete with fresh supplies, either from their owne endeavours, or their wives industry, who trudge to the Clam-bankes when all other meanes faile. Though they be sometimes scanted, yet are they as free as Emperours, both to their Country-men and English, be he stranger, or neare acquaintance; counting it a great discourtesie, not to eate of their high-conceited delicates, and sup of their un-oat-meal'd broth, made thicke with Fishes, Fowles, and Beasts boyled all together; some remaining raw, the rest converted by over-much seething to a loathed mash, not halfe so good as Irish Boniclapper.
Chap. VI.
Of their dyet, cookery, meale-times, and hospitality at their Kettles.
The Project Gutenberg EBook of New Englands Prospect, by William Wood Wood's New England's Prospects 1634.

Thursday 4 July 2019

Salt Boilers & Salt Licks.

18th century settlers obtained salt from salt springs, also known as salt licks, by collecting the water from the springs in large kettles & boiling it down over open camp fires. The resulting salt was then packed into sacks and bags and transported back to the settlement on horses.
Salt Boilers & Salt Licks.
Late in the year 1777 the Virginia government sent out several large salt-boiling kettles for the use of the Western settlers. Both residents and visiting militiamen were allotted into companies, which were to relieve each other at salt-making until sufficient was manufactured to last the several stations for
a year. It was Boone's duty to head the first party, thirty strong, which, with the kettles packed on horses, went to Lower Blue Licks early in January.
A month passed, during which a considerable quantity of salt was made; several horse-loads had been sent to Boonesborough, but most of it was still at the camp awaiting shipment. The men were daily expecting relief by
the second company, when visitors of a different character appeared. While half of the men worked at the boiling, the others engaged in the double service of watching for Indians and obtaining food ; of these was Boone. Toward evening of the seventh of February he was returning home from a wide circuit with his packhorse laden with buffalo-meat and some beaver-skins, for he had many traps in the neighborhood. A blinding snow-storm was in progress, which caused him to neglect his usual precautions, when suddenly he was confronted by four burly Shawnese, who sprang from an ambush. Keen of foot, he thought to outrun them, but soon had to surrender, for they shot so accurately that it was evident that they could kill him if they would.

Wednesday 3 July 2019

18th Century Herbal Use.

PLEASE NOTE: This list is supplied so that you can check these herbs against up to date/modern information. For instance, we grow comfrey in our garden, but up to date information warns against using this herb for food!

Dictionary of 18th Century Herb Usage
BASIL - Chiefly used as flavoring when cooking. Used dried as snuff to relieve headaches and colds. Also used as a strewing herb. Basil is in the mint family, native to Africa, Asia, India, and Iran. It was brought from Europe to America in the early 1600s and by 1774 was grown commercially in Virginia. Its clove-like flavor made many foods more appetizing. Colonists used this herb, also called St. Josephwort, in salads and soups, especially pea soup.
BEE BALM - Used for bee stings. Bee balm is a member of the mint family. It is native to North America, but colonists soon sent seeds to Europe for their friends to plant and enjoy. Tea brewed from its leaves was called Oswego tea and was used as a substitute for China tea after the 1773 Boston Tea Party. BURNET - Burnet or Salad Burnet was carried to New England by the Pilgrims. Its cucumber-flavored leaves added zip to salads, casseroles, and soups. It was put in wine to which it "yeeldeth a certaine grace in drinking.” CARAWAY - Caraway can be found cultivated and wild in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Seeds were used in bread, cookies, and other recipes, and as a flavoring in cordials. The boiled roots of caraway were eaten by Native Americans and recommended for those with a cold or weak stomach. A tasty tea can be made by steeping seeds in boiling water then sweetening with honey.
CHAMOMILE - Infused as a tea for indigestion, gas, and stomach aches. Also used as a strewing herb and insect repellent.
COMFREY - Early leaves were used in salads. Used medicinally as a poultice to heal wounds and reduce swelling.
CORIANDER - Coriander is an annual in the parsley family. It has become naturalized in this country, but is a native of southern Europe and Asia Minor. Colonists employed this spice in breads, desserts, and pickles. The seeds were chewed as a breath freshener. Early distillers used oil of coriander in flavoring some whiskeys.
DILL - Used in salads and for cooking. Dill was used to flavor soups, salads, breads, stew, fish, potatoes, sauces, pickles, and gin.
ELECAMPANE - Used to treat skin diseases in sheep and horses; also as a diuretic and for coughs. CFHS Chadds Ford Historical Society • P.O. Box 27 • 1736 Creek Road • Chadds Ford, PA 19317 Phone: 610-388-7376 • Fax 610-388-7480 • Website: www.ChaddsFordHistory.org 18th C Herb Vocab, ©CFHS, 2012 Page 2 Dictionary of 18th Century Herb Usage (page 2) FENNEL - Fennel leaves were used in salads, stews, and vegetables. The seeds were used in pies and with other baked fruits as well as in breads. FEVERFEW - For "female hysteria," melancholia, and constipation.
GARLIC CHIVES - Culinary uses as a flavoring.
GERMANDER - For gout, rheumatism, fever, and melancholy. HOREHOUND - Used to make a cough syrup. Often used with honey and other herbs. Mixed with plantain for snakebites. Soaked in fresh milk to repel flies. The leaves are used for flavoring beer, cough drops, honey, and for making tea. Leaves should be gathered just before the flowers open. HYSSOP - Strewn on the floor to prevent the spread of infection; also used to treat respiratory illnesses.
LAVENDER - Strewing herb and insect repellent.
LEMON BALM - Infused as a tea for headaches, indigestion, nausea. Distilled as a treatment to clean and heal wounds.
LOVAGE - Similar to celery in taste, used in similar manner. Also used to treat kidney stones.
 MARJORAM - Used in cooking. Also to cure insomnia, nasal congestion, and loss of appetite. Sweet Marjoram was used to flavor stews and soups. PARSLEY - Culinary uses. Seeds used as a diuretic.
PENNYROYAL - Strewing herb. Flea and mosquito repellent.
PEPPERMINT - Breath freshener. Leaves infused as a tea. Peppermint was introduced early to the United States. It also went wild. However, since it prefers wetter land, it is not as prevalent as spearmint. Peppermint leaves were chewed to sweeten the breath. Peppermint oil was used to flavor tea, foods, and medicine.
PLAINTAIN - Used in salads; also as a poultice to heal wounds, and the seeds to prevent miscarriage. The leaves, seeds, and roots could be brewed as a tea. It was brought by European settlers and spread where they settled and earned the name “White Man’s Foot.”
QUEEN ANNE’S LACE - As a diuretic and for kidney stones; also the seeds were used for birth control. 18th C Herb Vocab, ©CFHS, 2012 Page 3 Dictionary of 18th Century Herb Usage (page 3) ROSE HIPS - These are the round red fruits formed from the flowers of the wild rose. It is the seedpod of the plant. Tea can be brewed from the hips, or they may also be dried. It is best to gather rose hips in late fall after the first frost when they are bright red.
ROSEMARY - Oil used as a rub for sore muscles. Promotes liver functions. Culinary uses. RUE - Externally to cure warts, ringworm, and poisonous bites. Internally as a treatment for colic and epilepsy. Decocted for earaches. SAGE - Culinary uses as a flavoring for pork, sausage, and poultry. Medically in combination with other herbs for headaches. Decocted and as a mouthwash for sore throats and infected gums.
SORREL - Used to flavor vinegars and as a pot vegetable. As a poultice for infected wounds. To remove stains from linen.
SPEARMINT - Spearmint was brought to the United States by some of the earliest immigrants. By 1672 it was growing wild. Spearmint leaves were used to make tea, jellies, and sauces. The leaves were sugared and mixed with sugared rose and violet petals to make candy.
ST. JOHN’S WORT - Leaves used treat burns and wounds. Flowers used as a tincture for melancholy.
STINGING NETTLES - Early spring leaves used in salads. A mixture of the seeds, bayberries, gunpowder, and honey was used for rheumatism. Leaves used to line cheese press, and dried as chicken feed.
TANSY - Seed as a vermifuge (to kill internal parasites like roundworms) for children; the root was also used to treat gout.
TARRAGON - Used in salads and to flavor foods.
THYME - Culinary use as a flavoring. Medicinally for toothaches, gout, headaches, and to cure nightmares. Used as an antiseptic. Thyme was brought from Europe by the earliest settlers. Sprigs of thyme were placed on lard and butter to keep them from becoming rancid. It was used to flavor soups, stews, meat, cheese and egg dishes, seafood, and vegetables. YARROW - Leaves can be chewed for toothaches. Sources: “Family Medicine in Colonial Virginia,” Department of School and Group Services, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (Williamsburg Virginia). The Complete Herb Book (Maggie Stuckey) © 2001.