A tough harvest!
We harvest cattail hearts in water sometimes up to our waist. Clinging mud prevents easy movement, biting insects torment us and the job of harvesting the tall plants is physically demanding.
In spite of this, we enjoy the harvest which brings us into contact with the water world: turtles, muskrats, birds and insects of all kinds. The marsh is the richest habitat in all our forests.
Marshes where we harvest must be exceptionally clean. Cattails are very efficient filters and they will retain all pollutants. We always work upstream, away from fields and human activity.
A fragile environment to preserve
Although the heart represents a tiny fraction of the plant, the harvest does not endanger the plant populations. It actually allows for a healthy regeneration of the plant. We have been working in a particular marsh for more than 20 years and it is richer and healthier than when we started.