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Thread: backwoods menu/Wild tea.

  1. #1
    Senior Member LarryB's Avatar
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    Cool backwoods menu/Wild tea.

    How about everyone lists two or three of your favorite foods harvested from the wilds? Please confine this list to food that you yourself have not only personally eaten, but that you think is great. Now, If you only like and or harvest say, one wild food even, list it! If you have a dozen of 'em, list two or three only and maybe say why they are your favs, even.

    I've been eatin' free food from the bush ever since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Most of this stuff is pretty good tasting food but I think, after all these years, that my top three wild plants of all time are, Morel Mushrooms, Wild Asperagus and Fiddleheads! Any one of these fine foods gets my tastebuds droolin' and can dress up any meal with taste and color. However, every few years or so, I seem to get lucky and manage to score a few baggies of all three of these wonderful foods in the same spring time period, when conditions are just right. Man, served alongside a big thigh of campfire broiled/roasted chicken, it's food for the God's my friends!

    So let's hear from ya'll! Tell us yer favorite wild foods.

    P.S. Let's keep it to just foods from the plant family in this thread, o.k.? I can see another thread, similar but NOT including plants, on the horizon...

    Have a good'n!

    lb


  2. #2

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    Pineneedles (chew needles for vitamin C and tea), yucca flowers, blackberries (eat fruit and make a tea from leaves), henbit (raw or cooked), blanched acorns (prefer white oak, but the orange meat has a nuttier taste after blanching in three hot water baths), bull thistle (raw stem pulp for moisture or roasted root), dandelion leaves, rose hips for tea, violets (flowers and new growth), day lily flowers (leaves used for cordage), wild dill (seasoning), bulb garlic (a perennial transplanted years ago), honeysuckle flowers (vines used for baskets, lowers cholesterol), maypop fruits and tea (very mild sedative) just for starters in free food foraging. I've read that a light syrup can be made from walnut tree sap, but I haven't tried it yet. Suppose to be high in sugar after boiling down like for maple syrup. Sycamore tree can be tapped, too, from what I've read and has less sugar that can cause cramps in folk's stomachs not use to a lot of sugary water. I eat no mushrooms of any kind.

    Working on a kind of tap for getting moisture from wild grape vines. The current method of cutting them clean through kills the vine and I don't want to do that anymore. By the way, if you do cut through a wild grape vine to get the moisture, don't put your mouth on the ends of the vine. It is extremely gritty from the sandy particles soaked up by the wild grape vine. Let the moisture drip into a container or your palm for ingesting. Don't let the end of the grape vine get into your container, too. The grit will fall off the end and you are drinking sandy, but clean water. I'd rather tap the grape vine for moisture and then seal the tap hole so the wild grape vine will heal for later use.

    I've read that the tops of river cane can be cut off, leaned over, and the drops of purified moisture filtering through the river cane is caught up into a container held under the cut end. I want to experiment with that method, too. I'm always looking for new clean water sources.

    I'm working to be very conservative in my hunting/gathering methods. Use, but don't kill anything unless I just have to. Instead of harvesting a dozen fish, just harvest enough for a meal. If I harvest more then I am going to eat that day then I want to practice smoking the meat as a way to preserve the flesh. I want to encourage a "Replace What I Kill" kind of attitude in my heart, too, for the next generation that will follow me to the woods.

    I look for grains, too, whose seed isn't black, mottled, or off-colored in the husk. This indicates molds that can kill me or cause some wild LSD type trip. I can find wheat, oats, and grass seeds along the creek bank in late autumn and mid-spring. I guess these seeds have washed down the creek from hunters and farmers planting them for crops and food plots for deer. Later on, I want to plant some cattails on the pond to create a food source that is very handy for food and cordage supply. I planted some peas once and the deer were very appreciative while they ate the entire seedling popping out of the ground.

    Oh, and plums. I plant plum seeds, apple seeds, and pear seeds from store bought fruit. A few trees survive from all the seeds I start here in town and transplant out on the property. The ones that live to make fruit are fertilized with fruit fertilizer spikes. Sometimes a really bad ice storm will kill the tree, but that's okay because fruit tree wood is a good wood for smoking meats.

    I've been thinking about planting red potato and sweet potato pieces in the loamy soil by the creek, too. The soil drains well, so the potato won't rot if it is a while before I can get to it to harvest. Instead of hauling in store bought foods for a carbohydrate source, I can plant some in the wild to have them waiting for me. Squirrels would be a problem with their constant digging, so I'd have to come up with a way to cover the freshly turned soil and at the same time, let the new shoots come up out of the ground to get sunlight. Probably stack enough fallen tree limbs and such over them to protect them from squirrels and deer, yet let plenty of sunshine through.

    I guess I am more the hunter/gather type who farms a little on the side than a true wild woods roamer. I plant crops in remote places (fruit trees, garlic, and such), but can rely on the free foods, if necessary. A portion of the wild foods we eat today were actually brought here by early Americans (both Native and European) and escaped their gardens. I'm starting my own intentionally allowed to escape garden food crops that won't take over a forest or field the way the viney curse called kudzu does. The silver lace vine is another bad outlaw vine that will completely take over an area. My sister planted silver lace decades ago in the backyard and it's a job keeping it culled back along the fence line and out of places it shouldn't be.
    Last edited by Bowcatz; 03-05-2007 at 11:05 PM.
    With Christ, all things are possible.

  3. #3

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    DEER! haha yes, nothing like it. anyway as far as plants go I'd say blackberrys would probably be number one on my list. 2nd would be wild grapes, if you find a good spot you can gather plenty of both in a short amount of time. 3rd.... it's a toss up. depends on what i'm in the mood for, if i just wanna chew on stuff for a bit I might go for some spike rush if i'm hungry i'd prolly go for some cattail

  4. #4

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    We have plenty of fruits around here. Many are from old homesteads where the house is long gone but the berries and fruits aren't. I love wild mushrooms, fiddleheads and all that stuff. Half the fun is going out to get it!

  5. #5

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    I love berries, here in Oregon there is just about any berry you can imagine and as a little kid I would walk along trails and eat berries until I was full. I can't get enough of them and love jam made from them. I also love duck if that counts hah.

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    I live in a farming community. So grain is everywhere. I like the morel mushrooms alot proably first on foraged stuff. Then my second choice is Mulberries they grow all around here in the wild. I found a few wild grapes around here and blackberries proably be a tie for third. The honeysuckle was my childhood favorite.
    Last edited by Wolf Creek; 03-08-2007 at 03:52 PM.

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  8. #8

    Default good stuff

    fryed dandylions and also morell mushrooms

  9. #9

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    Boiled wild asparagus along with fried dandilion heads. Wild swamp potatos and wild carrots (very small, lol). If anyone wants to learn more about wild food and how to find it and cook it, they should read "Stalking the Wild Asparagus" by Euell Gibbons. Great book.
    BSM

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    My 3 favorite wild foods that I myself have harvested has got to be
    #1 Deer
    #2 Mushrooms
    #3 Freshwater fish

    Keep in mind I grew up in the sticks and hunting and fishing is just a way of life...
    While in basic training one of my Drill Seargents had made a comment about never eating mushrooms unless you ahve been to a survial school course... at which point i spoke up and told him that i knew which were safe which were not.... after a short picture quz from him he released the platoon and sent them back to GI the barraks and he asked me where I learned what mushrooms were edible...
    The look on the mans face when I told him my mom taught me was pricless.
    The object of war is not to die for your country... but to make the other poor basterd die for his.
    General George S Patton

  11. #11

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    He makes a valid point though. There is no test for eating mushrooms and the poisonous ones can have a delayed affect. So if you're not absolutely sure which mushrooms are safe you're better off not gambling no matter how hungry you are. Or, to say it another way, eating mushrooms is for the experts, not the amateurs. He just didn't know you were an expert.

  12. #12
    Senior Member LarryB's Avatar
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    Cool Gettin' hungry just readin' this... :-)

    Excellent! Thanx for all the great replys folks!

    I picked my first little batch of wild Winter Cress yesterday, while walking along the edge of a creek, a few miles from my house. My Spring Tonic ingestion, has begun.

    LB

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    1. morel mushrooms
    2. blackberries
    3. fish

  14. #14
    a bushbaby owl_girl's Avatar
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    Wild strawberries, raspberries and stuffed grape leaves Greek style.

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    Prickly pear fruit, Shaggy ink cap, Champinon

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    Senior Member LarryB's Avatar
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    Cool Good eatin'...

    Hey Bear, what would be your third favorite, if you couldn't have fish? I like fish too, but like I said, we'll probably start another thread for that more MEATY stuff soon.

    Wolf, I like those Shaggy Manes too. Lots of 'em up here in the early fall. Haven't tried the Champs yet though and Prickly Pears don't grow this far north.

    Yes OwlGirl, I agree, it's hard to beat a well stuffed Wild Grape leaf. I pick a few batches every spring. Right now, up here in Ontario, the Wild Violets are just starting to pop up in some of the spots I forage. I take half leaves and half flowers, opened or just the unopened bud. I eat them raw in Spring salads and dried for winter tea. Whenever I pick (harvest) anything, I am a very selective picker. I only pick a few pieces from any one plant and then it's only the ones that are at their peak in looks and health benefits to my body. No second rate berry or whatever gets in my poke. All those are left for the other creatures, who are not so selective. Never, ever, over harvest a wild plant! You are in effect RapeN and Pillaging that species and could even wipe it out with your greedy ways. SO, be selective and thankful and kind in your harvesting methods, fellow wild food eaters. The same plants will come back next year to feed you again if you do. AND, they won't if you don't!

    Good replies ya'll, and thanx a heap for your contributions to this thread!

    Have a good 'un!

    lb

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    Default cooking

    well i love 2 cook so wen ever im out in da woods my friends or family always make me cook i love 2 use stuff around me lyk herbs nuts berrys escpecally berrys because they r so versitle and can b used 4 drinks food and even cooked 2 serve as a sauce
    "why is it that football players spend 90 minutes pretending they are injuried and rugby players spend 80 minutes pretending they are not?" martin johnson former england rugby captian of the world cup squad

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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryB View Post
    Hey Bear, what would be your third favorite, if you couldn't have fish? I like fish too, but like I said, we'll probably start another thread for that more MEATY stuff soon.
    OOPS!!! Sorry LarryB. It looks like I need to pay more attention.

    I think my third favorite would be wild asperagus. A few of my friends from work had a cookout the other night. We had crappie,fried wild turkey,morel mushrooms and wild asperagus. I had never had the wild asperagus before but I really liked it. I am going to start looking for it. bear

  19. #19

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    Frog legs and craw dads!
    ~~ADDITCED TO JESUS!~~

  20. #20
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    black rasberries... lemon balm... garlic mustard

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