View Full Version : pre: backwoods menu

01-25-2008, 10:01 PM
Im in need of guidence here. Knowing all the edible plants is really the last thing I don't have a good grip on for survival. I have been looking online and found it harder to know all of the plants and how they are different from their look alike posion plants. How is it that all of you learned about it.

01-25-2008, 10:43 PM
it's not about knowing all the plants or about telling good plants from 'look alikes', it's about knowing individual plant species. start with a few, like burdock, miner's lettuce, dandelion, blackberries for example and learn the features of each that uniquely identify them.

you may be able to look at a dandelion in the yard and know that it is a dandelion but think about how you know it. what features tell it from other plants? it's well distinct from most other plants you are likely to find in a back yard, but how about from other Asteraceaes? the sow thistle looks similar. the flowers are almost identical in structure, the same in color. the leaves are similar. what are the differences?

01-25-2008, 11:06 PM
That just seems to slow isn't there a faster way ?

01-25-2008, 11:16 PM
Yep......just go for it. If you end up in the E.R. then you know that one was bad. Or hire someone to teach you. Good Luck.

01-25-2008, 11:25 PM
uhm, no.

you really just have to think about it. inspect the plants. knowing how they are related can help but it's not like you need to be fully familiar with every group in the particular family. knowing on the other hand how to place it into it's species on the other hand is safe, while knowing how to differentiate it from only those toxic species you happen to be familiar with is not.

01-25-2008, 11:55 PM
To just tail you get a good book is great but and that is what I did , but I all so took classes at school , clubs , the state parks sometimes have walks and talks , the county sometimes .Once someone shows you the plant and talls you all about you will always have that plant with you.. and then on line ...Rick may be of help with some sites ..good luck :eek: ..... just kidding :D

01-26-2008, 12:23 AM
and don't mind me. i decided that the h@#l of it wasn't a good enough reason to make jello shots. consequently i'm pickling along more quickly than might have been.

01-26-2008, 01:33 AM
canid ..ah what are you talking about ??

Last Mohican
01-26-2008, 02:50 AM
Just stick with the cattails.

Actually, I grew up on a large farm on the eastern shore of maryland with woods and fields and streams and so on. I learned from experience what I could and could not eat.

I also have a good collection of books on the subject. I got most of them on line @ alibris.com. most of the books can be gotten cheaper than the shipping and handling.

I have all but one of the books written by Euell Gibbons
The handy dandy FM 21-76 U.S. Army Survival Manual
Outdoor Survival Skills by Larry Dean Olsen
Guide to Indian Herbs by Raymond Stark
Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants by Bradford Angier
and several others.

They all have good pictures or drawings of the plants making it easier to identify them.

01-26-2008, 07:26 AM
Hermitman - Read through this thread:


You'll find some good books referenced. There is no quick and easy way unless you opt for Hopeak's advice. It's a slow process and takes a lot of time to develop good foraging skills. You need to be able to identify a plant across the seasons and learn which ones are good in which season.

01-26-2008, 09:20 AM
:confused: Jeepers Hermitman. Faster? Why do so many people want to do everything so fast these days? What's the damn rush anyway? I think this is NOT the place to see how fast you can do something. All things worth knowing are worth taking the time to learn about them, properly.

Sometimes shortcuts in life work, sometimes you just have to walk the actual learning ramp. If you can walk the ramp fast, that's o.k. but if you want us to lower the ramp and shorten the travel time too, I think you are beat from the get-go. Speed kills! The great wild outdoors, is NOT the place for racing through the experiences you need. S-L-O-W down and learn how to do things right, especially if those who know, take the time to offer you their wise advice.

Anybody can recognize a friggin' Dandelion, even if they just studied pictures of them but could they ID them on the ground in the early spring even, before the yellow flowers show up? Not likely.:( On a similar note to what Candid advised you to do, work on a few common edible plants at a time, until you know them in at least three seasons. Then research another two or three plants in your area and go out and find them in whatever season is at hand. Keep that up and before you know it you will positively know say a dozen plants that can and will safely sustain your life if you are ever called upon to use that knowledge.:)

So buddyman, please save the racing around for the track and slow down and learn when in the bush... Just my 2 cents buddy, hope that didn't come out too rough or rude or whatever. We're all just tryin' ta help ya here...:cool:

Peace brother!

01-26-2008, 10:15 AM
Another good way to find out what type of plant is good in your area is talk to the old timers, they are full of useful information and most love to share it. Serves two purposes, makes them feel useful, and gets you the info you need.

Ole WV Coot
01-26-2008, 10:51 AM
Stick with the old timers in your area. I learned when I was a kid in Eastern KY. Spring was time to "pick greens". There isn't any short cut, I could go with my Grandpa who was born in 1895 and my Dad and learn every plant & tree in the area. Wild plants were always on the table. Maybe I didn't learn the correct name for each plant, just what it was called locally but it works for me.

01-26-2008, 12:10 PM
yo hermitman

check out wildman steve brill he's got books and videos and he's from new york also his website

01-26-2008, 01:07 PM
Yea I have been using his web site (the free part) with some of the edible plants.