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Just A Boy And His Helle Speiderkniven Knife

Laura and Hudson
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April 26, 2022
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Last Updated: April 26, 2022

Spring had not yet revealed itself when our family set out into our forest one frosty afternoon to tap our maple trees. A week before we tapped trees, we did two things to help prepare for this event; Firstly Hudson and Papa made a fine packed down snowshoe trail leading to all the maple trees in the woods and secondly, Hudson and I had ventured out one afternoon and gave all the maples hugs, kisses, and loads of sugar to thank and encourage them to produce lots of sap! After a good long effort on all our part, 20 maples were tapped and we were ready and waiting for those warm days to offer maples all the space they required to "flow."

Tapping Trees for Maple Syrup

Maple season was upon us and there would be much work to be done before we got to pour that sweet stuff all over our homemade pancakes and vanilla ice cream! Over the following weeks, we all did our part to collect the sap by hand each day, as we marveled at the changing terrain, the warming temperatures and the wildlife return to the thawing forest.

Before too long we had buckets full of sap, firewood stacked and our outdoor barrel stove set and ready for us to begin boiling!

Our family has coined this time of year "Maplefest" and that is because it is truly the event of the spring season for us, which involves many weeks of us staying up late (very, very late!) boiling sap and entertaining friends and family all while we stoke the fires in a careful attempt to create the magical transformation that is sap to syrup.

During one of our Maplefest gatherings this spring we were grateful to see so many of our friends and their children be able to come over and join in the festivities. To encourage the kids to immerse themselves in the snowless earth and to connect with one another, I created a fun scavenger hunt for Hudson and his friends, which had them looking for various natural items around our yard and forest, everything from gathering cups of mud to beech leaves.

Once they had gathered all the items they were to bring them to a large soup pot to make "stew" all together. There were old potatoes to cut and mash, wood spoons to stir and serve the stew and moss to add in as "spice". How perfect to have the kids immerse themselves in all the bits of earth!

Hudson cutting food with his Helle Speiderkniven Knife.

Earlier in the week Hudson had already been creating his own outdoor kitchen using hemlock beams and various end cuts of wood (from our wood home build years ago) which lended itself perfectly to this activity with his friends!

Spring is such an incredible time of year, for children and adults alike, it is as if all our senses have been awoken all at once. A sensory overload as our hands reach for the moist moss and our heads turn to catch the familiar song of the robin on flight in warmer winds. I watched as Hudson and his friends ran around our yard laughing and preparing their "stew" serving it up to their Moms and Dads, it was a wonderful sight! They were dirty, happy, and free, as the seasons shifted opening up the earth once again for them to explore!

As the week went on after maple fest, Hudson continued to play in his outdoor kitchen, he and his Papa even installed a working sink one Saturday morning!

Hudson cooking in his outdoor kitchen.

He even had a fine tea service going too and during one afternoon took it upon himself to try different filtering ideas to clean the dirty water. The creative possibilities truly are endless when a child is outside when they are offered some space for freedom and imagination to bloom.

Cup of tea anyone?

Hudson used his Helle Speiderkniven Knife to cut everything from potatoes to pinecones over the following weeks, serving more "stew" and a variety of other "natural" food dishes. We gave Hudson this knife as a gift for his 4th birthday, after he had been using his wooden toy knife Chris made for him years ago (from Old North Workshop), we felt it was time for him to have a non toy knife to encourage him to develop his skills further. Since then, he has brought this knife on four multi day backcountry canoe trips and on countless backyard expeditions in our own 50-acre forest over the years.

The first choice of the Scout's for over 50 years, the Helle Speiderkniven Knife is a perfect starter knife, with a double finger guard to keep kids safe while learning how to use and care for their knife.

This spring, his knife has been used mainly in his outdoor kitchen, where he shares tips on how best to use it "you just hold the handle in one hand then stick the tip into the potato and lever it down. It cuts really good Mama!" We explained that Helle designed the knife to have some key features for children, such as the red heel to help kids easily identify the back of the knife and a very sharp blade so that cutting is purposeful and quick without struggling or slippage. Hudson said he thinks all his friends should get one of these knives and after seeing Hudson enjoy using it for so many years I would have to agree with that sentiment!

Although we are all itching to be out on the open water for our next family canoe trip, while we wait for the waters to break up and warm up, a little time at home to unfold our spring wings and play in the yard with our favourite pieces of equipment has been truly wonderful!

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Laura and Hudson

Laura and Hudson can often be found tromping through their 50acre woods, following deer runs, tracking wild turkeys, tending to the forest and its inhabitants and discovering all of nature's gifts from spruce tips in the spring to mushrooms in autumn! Laura and Hudson are avid canoeists, campers, hikers, swimmers, archers and all round adventurer’s! Laura and her husband Chris wanted to raise their son up north, so they built a log home in the forest where they could home school their son and offer Hudson a life full of all things wild and free!
Laura and Hudson
Huntsville, Ontario
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