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Message started by Rat Man on Jun 3rd, 2023 at 3:32pm

Title: More Wild Edibles
Post by Rat Man on Jun 3rd, 2023 at 3:32pm
    Throughout my life I've picked Honeysuckle blossoms, bit off the bottom, and sucked the tiny bit of sweet nectar out.  I just found out that the blossom itself is edible.  I'll have to try some on Pandora's walk today.  I also read that some Honeysuckle berries can be toxic if eaten in large quantities.  I don't even know what Honeysuckle berries look like so that's not an issue for me. 
    Also, since I was a small child I've eaten just the seed tops of the Virginia Pepperweed pictured below.  I just recently found out that the entire plant is edible.  I tried eating the rest of the plant yesterday.  It's quite delicious.
     Why do I care about such things?  Because disasters, famines, etc.. happen.  My knowledge of edible plants is money in the bank.  I can eat the lawn and the woods when others don't know how. 
Viginia_Pepperweed.jpg (58 KB | 41 )

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Yfir on Jun 3rd, 2023 at 7:49pm
Good knowledge you have there, I reckon we might all need it in days to come. Unfortunately, there aren't many wild fruits around where I am, though I do know dandelions are good - pretty sure you can eat the flowers and brew a healthy tea from its root.

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Eino on Jun 3rd, 2023 at 9:52pm
I've got to try dandelion sometime. I think I have some honeysuckle in the yard, so I'll have to try that too.

Red Huckleberries are my personal favorite edible plant I have access to, though. The only problem is that I need to be careful while picking them, as the huckleberry bushes are next to some holly bushes... I'm excited for huckleberry season.

Another delicious thing to do is eat mint and herbs from the garden. It's a tasty grab-and-go snack!

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Rat Man on Jun 4th, 2023 at 8:34am
   With Dandelions the entire plant is edible.  Because it has a high iron content it is very good for you but that same iron content gives it a bitter taste.  I like bitter greens but not everyone does.  Your first taste of Dandelion might surprise you but if you give it a chance it grows on you. 
   The list of wild edibles one can usually find around his house is very long. 

Edit:  I should have written that the leaves are bitter.  The flowers are sweeter.

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Rat Man on Jun 6th, 2023 at 8:57am
A few days ago I tried Honeysuckle blossoms.  They're a little bitter but not bad.... about what you'd expect a wild flower to taste like.  They're certainly palatable.

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by StaffSlinger on Jun 8th, 2023 at 10:25pm
I've made dandelion wine.  And like 'ordinary' Southern greens, dandelion greens are good stewed.  Not for hours, just 20-30 minutes with some herb and spices to develop a good "pot likker".

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Rat Man on Jun 9th, 2023 at 8:33am

StaffSlinger wrote on Jun 8th, 2023 at 10:25pm:
I've made dandelion wine.  And like 'ordinary' Southern greens, dandelion greens are good stewed.  Not for hours, just 20-30 minutes with some herb and spices to develop a good "pot likker".

   Last night I cooked Dandelion greens for the first time.  I baked them with some Yellow Squash and spices.  Cooking takes a lot of the bitterness out of them.  They do shrivel up quite a bit though so next time I'll use more. 

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by TOMBELAINE on Jun 9th, 2023 at 12:59pm
Egg cooked in boiling water 7/8 minutes, potato and bacon, and some raw dandelion leaves.
And you find the taste of paradise.

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Rat Man on Jun 12th, 2023 at 3:07pm
     If the stuff ever really does hit the fan my ace in the hole would be acorns.  They are extremely abundant around here and no one eats them.  I would gather and process as many pounds of them as I could from late August through November.  I imagine I could process several times my own weight to get me through the winter. 

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Eino on Jun 12th, 2023 at 7:31pm
Nice! Have you tried slinging them yet?

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Rat Man on Jun 13th, 2023 at 6:40am
   Yes, I have.  Acorns make good but not great non lethal ammo.  They're not heavy enough. 

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Rat Man on Jun 23rd, 2023 at 7:59am
    Here's something you probably won't find in any book.  Most people know that you can make tea out of Sassafras roots.  But most don't know that the leaf buds, new leaves, and inside bark are edible.  As the leaves mature they're still not toxic but they take on a slimy texture as you chew them.  I guess as a last resort you could eat them.  We always found Sassafras berries horrible.  If they're not toxic the sure taste like they are. 

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Rat Man on Jul 21st, 2023 at 3:25pm
   Here in South Jersey the Choke Cherries are ripe.  They are wild cherries;  the ancestors of the cherries we buy in the supermarket.  They are smaller and more bitter than the cherries you're used to and they have a lesser pulp to seed ratio but they do have some sugar content.  They are certainly worth eating and once you get used to them they are quite good. 
    This is another wild edible that no one else in the town bothers with.  They're all mine. 
cc.jpg (149 KB | 28 )

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Rat Man on Aug 1st, 2023 at 2:17am
     Because it's been such a dry year here in the Delaware Valley the wild fruit is damaged.  Both Choke Cherries and wild grapes are withering as soon as they turn ripe.  In a survival situation you could eat the withered, dried up fruit but it's not very good that way. 

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Rat Man on Feb 26th, 2024 at 4:14pm
    I discovered two more wild edibles that grow around here.  Mimosa leaves are edible when cooked, especially the younger leaves.  The flowers can be used to make a medicinal tea.  I also saw the flowers used to make moonshine on TV.  The seed pods are toxic.
https://www.marylandnature.org/what-are-those-fuzzy-pink-things-how-to-harvest-and-use-mimosa-tree-flowers/
     Also both the leaves and flowers of the Rose of Sharon are edible.  Live and learn.
https://eattheplanet.org/rose-of-sharon-a-beautiful-edible/
     I haven't tried either tree yet but I surely will this Spring. 

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Rat Man on Feb 26th, 2024 at 4:30pm
   Another one I haven't tried yet but will this Spring is Poke Sallet.  The plant is generally called Poke Weed.  We called them Inkberry Bushes as kids.  They grow all over the place around here.  I have a nice patch of them growing in my vegetable garden and at various locations throughout my yard. 
   As kids we were told that they are poisonous so other than to stain things with the berries we left them alone.  If you don't harvest and prepare them properly they are toxic so pay attention if you're going to try them. 
    You have to harvest them while they're young shoots.  Once they get over 18" tall and the stems start to turn red it's too late.  To prepare them you have to boil them for ten minutes, drain and rinse them, then repeat the process.  The beautiful, delicious looking berries are not edible. 
    They are very abundant around here and when harvested and processed properly they are good for you.  I've been told they taste something like Asparagus.  In another two months they should be ready to pick.  I'll let you know how it goes.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phytolacca_americana

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by slingbadger on Feb 27th, 2024 at 6:13am
In spring we get wild leeks by me. The entire plant is edible. The only problem is they can vary from year to year. Sometimes they have an almost sweet taste, others they burn your mouth out. I think it has to do with the amount of water they get.

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Rat Man on Mar 16th, 2024 at 9:01am

slingbadger wrote on Feb 27th, 2024 at 6:13am:
In spring we get wild leeks by me. The entire plant is edible. The only problem is they can vary from year to year. Sometimes they have an almost sweet taste, others they burn your mouth out. I think it has to do with the amount of water they get.

   
Around here we get wild garlic.  Locally we call it Onion Grass.  We might be talking about the same thing.  The entire plant is edible.  It grows in great abundance here.
It's a very hardy plant. During a mild winter like we just had in New Jersey it will grow right through the season.  It is considered a weed and an enemy to pretty, proper lawns.  No one harvests it which is insane. 

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Rat Man on Apr 30th, 2024 at 4:32pm
OK, I harvested and washed my Poke Sallet this morning.  I got a whole sink full of it.
It's too hot to process it today.  I'll do that tomorrow.  I let you know how it goes.  It will grow back in the exact same locations shortly.  I can keep harvesting it every few weeks.  I'll probably stop around the end of July to give the plants a chance to mature and reproduce. 
PokeSallet.jpg (112 KB | 18 )

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Rat Man on May 3rd, 2024 at 3:54pm
    The finished product.  It tastes exactly like Asparagus but it's more tender.  It is absolutely delicious.   Now as long as I don't get sick I've found a great, free food source. 
    I was very cautious in preparing it for the first time.  I overcooked it just a bit but it's still fine. 
PokeSallet_001.jpg (99 KB | 11 )

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Rat Man on May 3rd, 2024 at 4:01pm
https://youtu.be/IBfMLmNjFn4?si=mKz_eNB68T5r1DOC

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Rat Man on May 4th, 2024 at 2:33pm
    There is something that is hard to understand.  Someone had to be the first to eat Poke Sallet.  The plant is poisonous.  The berries are poisonous.  So what possessed someone to take just the shoots of Pokeweed and boil and rinse them twice then eat it?  Someone must have been desperately hungry to try such and experiment. 

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by IronGoober on May 13th, 2024 at 10:00am
I've thought the same thing about cassava, and buckeyes. Both are poisonous unless you leach out the toxins and you have to do so for quite a long time.  Maybe it came down to having little else at some point in time and having time on their hands. I also imagine once they knew it could work with one type of food, the method could potentially be applied to other foods as well.

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Rat Man on May 14th, 2024 at 12:07am
Good point, IG.  Out of desperation someone probably tried the process on many plants.  Poke Sallet happened to be one of the ones that didn't make them sick. 
   I mentioned on another thread that the leaves of the Mulberry Tree are edible.  I've read that you should make tea out of the older leaves and eat the new ones.  I tried some young Mulberry Leaves this morning for the first time.  They were absolutely delicious... sweet like White Clover but more mild.
    Last year the Mulberry Tree in my yard bore fruit for the first time.  I was a little disappointed that there wasn't more.  Plus the berries could have been a little bit sweeter.  I chalked it up to it being the first year the tree ever bore fruit.  Hopefully this year it will do better.  There are a lot more berries on it this year.  It will be a few weeks before they're ripe so I won't know if they're sweeter until then. 

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Rat Man on Jun 1st, 2024 at 3:51pm
Ground Strawberries.  They're much smaller than the Strawberries we're used to and don't have the sugar content but they are real Strawberries just the same.  Once you get past the fact that they're not as sweet as you might expect they're not half bad.  You can find them in a natural lawn.
SB.jpg (166 KB | 7 )

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by IronGoober on Jun 3rd, 2024 at 1:18am
2020 was a really wet year for my family's property up in Northern Washington. I went with my mom for about 4 hours and picked a couple of quarts/liters of these. Enough to make a pie for my wife for her birthday. It was a darn good pie too. No extra sugar needed to be added as they were very sweet.

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Rat Man on Jun 12th, 2024 at 11:07am
   When I was a kid everyone ate wild edibles.  Choke Cherries, Mulberries, Blueberries, Huckleberries, Chicken Grapes, etc., etc.   Now no one does.  People look at me like I'm insane.  "Look at that crazy old man eating that tree!!"  Their loss. 

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Rat Man on Jun 13th, 2024 at 4:35pm

IronGoober wrote on Jun 3rd, 2024 at 1:18am:
2020 was a really wet year for my family's property up in Northern Washington. I went with my mom for about 4 hours and picked a couple of quarts/liters of these. Enough to make a pie for my wife for her birthday. It was a darn good pie too. No extra sugar needed to be added as they were very sweet.


   I think you picked regular wild strawberries.  The one pictured is a Ground Strawberry.  It's tiny, like half the size of a pea, and it has almost no sugar in it.  Without some help they wouldn't make a very good pie.  But once you get used to the lack of sugar they're not bad. 

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Rat Man on Jun 20th, 2024 at 9:27am
Please don't try this at home unless you know what you're doing.  I have been foraging literally since I was two.  Often wild edibles have poisonous look-alikes growing nearby. If you look at some pictures online then go off into the woods eating stuff there's a good chance you'll get sick or worse.  It would be best to go foraging with someone who has experience. 

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by joe_meadmaker on Jun 20th, 2024 at 11:03pm

Rat Man wrote on Jun 12th, 2024 at 11:07am:
When I was a kid everyone ate wild edibles.  Choke Cherries, Mulberries, Blueberries, Huckleberries, Chicken Grapes, etc., etc.   Now no one does.  People look at me like I'm insane.  "Look at that crazy old man eating that tree!!"  Their loss.

True statement.  I think most young people now days, if you told them to do anything with their hands other than tap on a smartphone, they would look at you as though you were speaking another language.

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Stabyhoun on Jun 21st, 2024 at 9:42am

Rat Man wrote on Jun 20th, 2024 at 9:27am:
Please don't try this at home unless you know what you're doing.  I have been foraging literally since I was two.  Often wild edibles have poisonous look-alikes growing nearby. If you look at some pictures online then go off into the woods eating stuff there's a good chance you'll get sick or worse.  It would be best to go foraging with someone who has experience. 



That's exactly why no-one eats any of these, they have no-one to teach them. If you aren't sure it is better/easier to tell your kids to not touch anything that isn't from a supermarket.

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by IronGoober on Jun 22nd, 2024 at 1:06am
You're right, they were wild strawberries. I've think I've seen ground strawberries (aka mock strawberries??) but never knew if they were edible. They grow pointing upward, correct?

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Rat Man on Jun 22nd, 2024 at 12:37pm

IronGoober wrote on Jun 22nd, 2024 at 1:06am:
You're right, they were wild strawberries. I've think I've seen ground strawberries (aka mock strawberries??) but never knew if they were edible. They grow pointing upward, correct?

Yes.  They are edible but as I mentioned, they don't have the sugar content of regular Strawberries.  If you know this in advance they're not so bad the first time you eat one. 

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Rat Man on Jun 22nd, 2024 at 12:40pm

Stabyhoun wrote on Jun 21st, 2024 at 9:42am:

Rat Man wrote on Jun 20th, 2024 at 9:27am:
Please don't try this at home unless you know what you're doing.  I have been foraging literally since I was two.  Often wild edibles have poisonous look-alikes growing nearby. If you look at some pictures online then go off into the woods eating stuff there's a good chance you'll get sick or worse.  It would be best to go foraging with someone who has experience. 



If you aren't sure it is better/easier to tell your kids to not touch anything that isn't from a supermarket.


Absolutely.

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Teeth on Jun 29th, 2024 at 11:01am

At the beaches here in Australia there's usually lots of bower spinach. It's got a sour taste to it, but it's very tasty and absolutely packed with nutrition.



This is pigface, another plant I sometimes eat at the beach.

Both of them are juicy, abundant, and hardy coastal trailing plants that have been used and eaten by Indigenous Australians for ages. I haven't seen any fruits yet, but I've heard they both grow tasty ones! Hopefully I'll get round to trying them, and maybe even growing them too.

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Rat Man on Jun 30th, 2024 at 3:30pm
Unfortunately neither Bower Spinach or Pigface can be found near New Jersey.  Pigface does grow on the Pacific coast of North America though. 

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Rat Man on Jul 8th, 2024 at 5:19pm
    There is one gaping hole in my knowledge of wild edibles... mushrooms.  As children Mom made us terrified of wild mushrooms.  She had us convinced that if we so much as touched one then put our finger in our mouth hours later we'd drop dead on the spot.  That fear has stayed with me.  My grandmother had been a Lithuanian farm girl before she escaped to America when she was twelve.  She knew everything about wild edibles, medicinal plants, and mushrooms.  Unfortunately none of her mushroom knowledge was passed down to Mom or us.  I am mushroom ignorant.
    In an emergency I'd take a chance on eating Puff Balls or Hen of the Woods Mushrooms.   They both have a very distinctive look to them.  I'm pretty sure I could harvest them safely. 
     I wished Morphy lived closer.  I could go mushroom picking with him and learn something. 

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by slingbadger on Jul 9th, 2024 at 6:05am
Puffballs are one of the best mushrooms. They grow almost anywhere. They can grow to the size of soccer balls.  They have a good firm consistency. The only caveat with them is that they should be a creamy white in the center. If they are any other color (blue, brown, black) reject it. It's too old and inedible. 

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Rat Man on Jul 9th, 2024 at 3:23pm
Thanks.

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Klydd on Jul 12th, 2024 at 11:03am
This seems to be a continuation of another thread (?) but stinging nettles and red clover are two good ones.

I dry my nettles in a dehydrator then crush them to a powder in a small mixer and use it on pasta. Preferable to basil imho. Also works well to make pesto with. I tend to do a slush-mix of it though by cooking the nettles in water then just adding a tiny bit of milk before mixing it as is.

Red clover nice to eat as is and a pretty garnish as well.

Edit: wild garlic also nice but be sure to go by smell and don't pick Lily of the Valley instead (similar). Also heard that wood ear is a good eat in Asia (was planning on growing these at my grandmother's). Should be dried first and then rehydrated in some way apparently.

Finally, though have not tried these yet either, liberty caps seem fun. 🙂 If any of the above can be found near you depends on where you are obviously. The first two suggestions are difficult to mistake for anything else. Also dandelions (for syrup and lemonade). Try to avoid picking near roads, where people might piss and/or where there might be pesticides obviously.

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Rat Man on Jul 13th, 2024 at 1:35pm
   I love White Clover. It's sweet and delicious.  I tried Red Clover a few years ago and thought it was horrible. Like really horrible.  I assumed it was inedible.  I just looked it up and apparently Red Clover is fine to eat also.  I'll have to try it again.  I don't know what went wrong or why the Red Clover I tried was so awful. 

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Rat Man on Jul 13th, 2024 at 1:43pm
   Here's one that's extremely abundant and easy to identify... Plantain Weed.  It grows everywhere. 

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/plantain-weed
Plantain_Weed.jpg (63 KB | 8 )

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Rat Man on Jul 13th, 2024 at 4:24pm

Klydd wrote on Jul 12th, 2024 at 11:03am:
This seems to be a continuation of another thread (?) but stinging nettles and red clover are two good ones.


We've talked about wild edibles on several other threads. 

Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Rat Man on Jul 13th, 2024 at 7:42pm

Klydd wrote on Jul 12th, 2024 at 11:03am:
Try to avoid picking near roads, where people might piss and/or where there might be pesticides obviously.


Good sound advice.


Title: Re: More Wild Edibles
Post by Rat Man on Jul 13th, 2024 at 8:03pm
    In all of the almost seventy years I've been foraging I only screwed up once.  I might have told this story here before but if I did  it was years ago. 
     I was two years old and playing in the woods by myself.  Today that sounds negligent but back then it was pretty common.  I was about a half mile away from my house in a swamp eating blueberries and huckleberries.  Growing right in with the huckleberries and blueberries were sticker bushes.  These sticker bushes also had berries.  They looked just like one of the varieties of huckleberries I had been eating so I tried some.  They didn't taste anything like huckleberries.  They didn't even taste good.  That should have been an obvious red flag but I was two.  So I ate them anyway. 
     I went home and the rest of the day is sort of a blur... like a dream of constant vomiting.  Lord only knows how much I threw up.  It was all afternoon.  Obviously I didn't die but it was a rough ordeal.  And a lesson well learned. 

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