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Spring thaw redux…


Re-thinking that thaw thing….

Once again the northern Midwest is buried in a layer of snow.

There are signs of the coming spring. Yes, I know there is no excuse for not getting out there and doing something. I will say that the arms are getting one hell of a work out. Since my new/used snowblower broke late last year I am once again back to shoveling.

This leads me to a nagging question of late.

What did Dave the caveman do in these times when the snow was too deep to roam, gather or hunt? I would say he packed his stuff up and moved to Florida or the Caribbean somehow! But, in all seriousness, what did our ancestors do in this climate.

Our diet changes on a month to month basis.

What was “in” in June isn’t necessarily “in” in February. Albeit the Auroch was available year round as were most of the prey hunted by our kin. What made up our hunted and gathered prey differed by the month.


Vegetables are perhaps one of the few things that differed the most month by month through a year. Where you could find potatoes and squash late in the year and leafy green veggies early in the year.

Joining a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), will show you the eclectic difference the season brings. Here in the Midwest I plan to join a newly opened CSA this year. Now, I know not all Paleolithic veggies and fruit are nowhere near what they are today. The same goes for a lot of what we have today they did not have then. As with most things we do the best with what we have.


Wild game, much like our vegetables, changes through the year as well. A moose will pack on the fat in preparation for the coming lean times in winter. Same goes for a bear that will spend the entire winter in a hovel, asleep. Game will inevitable be leaner in the winter months.

So what does all this mean to a caveman wan’a’be? It means we need to eat what is fresh and local. It means we eat with in our environment. Sound familiar? So does this mean I may pack on the weight during the summer and fall to keep me through the winter? I’m not sure we need to do this as a modern (Cave)man.

What it means is what we as “MAN” has done up until the last 100 or so years. We eat with in our environment. If apples, pears and berries aren’t available, we don’t eat them. If grass fed bear isn’t available, we don’t eat it. To that same extent, if we can’t catch the game, we don’t eat it. Spending the weekend walking to the store towing my kids in a sled, I can attest to the difficulties one faces traveling in the winter. (No our roads are not plowed very often so this was on virgin snow pack) Granted, I am not even remotely in the same physical condition as our brethren from another era. I would like to think I am in decent shape and yet it did tire me out. So Tom, Dick and Harry (or Theresa, Diane and Henrietta) go out for the hunt, they spend hours slogging through knee deep snow. They manage to bag themselves a good deer. Now the clock starts! The animal needs to be cleaned and parted in record time to keep the meat, organs and other parts fresh. This means towing the carcass back on a handmade sled. This sled would have been made from surrounding branches and sinew from the carcass. Taking a snapshot of this last winter for us, again in Wisconsin, they could have had to slog through a foot to more snow. You think your calf’s burn from the nautilus!

So without going into more detail about environmental specific eating. This is a good way to segway into a great work out. In fact we have seen some of this in the “Bringing home the kill” WOW from a few months back.

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