Survival Eating: Part 3

This started as an article on foraging wild edible and medicinal plants.  Then Schoeny asked about a “Wild Garden” on the SurvivalCache forum and my mind started asking questions: 1) Why do we just forage what has grown? 2) Why can’t we plant and harvest the very same plants we look for?

By Regulator5, a SurvivalCache contributor
Read Part 1: Survival Eating
Read Part 2: Survival Eating

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The two answers I came up with are:

1. We do not need to “find” the plants

2. We can help Mother Nature by planting these very plants to enhance our ability to “find” and harvest them when needed.

I hope this will help and I am NO expert at planting many of these plants myself.  I have foraged several and have tried to reseed the area when I harvest the plants or wait until after nature has reseeded to try and preserve my “plot”.

I went back through my notes and books to find plants that are not only commonly found by me but are common in most of the United States (sorry to our Outside the United States Survivalists and Preppers) or have shown they will thrive in most soils and climates.  This list and information is not all inclusive but I hope it will offer enough of a start to allow everyone to begin a “Wild Garden” and find other plants that can be added to their personal plots.

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The Wild Garden

The basics with a wild garden are the same as any garden plot, we must find the plant/crops that will thrive in the natural soil Finding Foodconditions for our area or create conditions to allow the plants to grow.  The great thing about planting in a forest is the natural compost that has been building for years.  Many of the herbs and plants were abundant in the mature hardwood forests of the eastern United States and thrived in the natural order of flora cycles (germination, sprouting, living, dying, decomposing, nourishing the next crop).  These plants have shown a hardiness to survive without man’s cultivation and the need for constant attention.  Some of these plants were imported from Europe, Asia and Africa by the early settlers and colonists to be used for landscaping or grown to be a food source as they were in the “old” country.  These plants are used for food or medical purposes and many work in both fields by utilizing the different parts of the plants or they are just multipurpose by “design”.

I will try and give a brief overview of the plant and it’s many uses, whether for food, medicine or both.  On that note, remember to consult your healthcare provider to ensure no harm or death will be caused from taking herbal remedies.  The information on health benefits are taken from different books published on the subject and they will be included at the end of the article. I cannot recommend enough to study several authors, including Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy’s website (www.doomandbloom.net) and cross reference the information to gain as much insight as possible.  Also, field guides with pictures (color if possible) are extremely important to ensure you harvest the correct plant; you do not want Cicuta, known as Water Hemlock (extremely deadly) when trying to harvest water lily.

Amaranth is a great source of plant protein and has grain and vegetable varieties.  The grains can be used to feed livestock, which willEmergency Food help add meat faster with the higher protein count and unlike corn,  Amaranth is digestible for our ruminant friends.  The grain varieties can be used in lieu of other grains for breads and desserts and the leaves can be used as an herb.  Amaranth also has some medicinal properties which help with the blood cleansing and digestive systems.

Burdock is of great benefit and grows about anywhere there is sunlight, dirt and water.  The roots can be dried and ground as a “healthy” coffee substitute, or peeled, boiled and eaten.  The leaves and  stems can also be eaten. Burdock is most useful for its medicinal properties. It was a commonly used antidote for many poisons and still is in use, along with helping as a blood purifier/cleanser, allergies, hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, skin rashes (including poison ivy/oak), and many other inflictions which can be common and debilitating in a survival situation.

Cattails (Typha) are probably one of the most essential “wild foods” we have. The young shoots, roots and even the tops are edible. The fluffy pollen tops can be harvested and used to make a nutritious “mush”, the roots can be cooked and eaten as a high starch energy potato substitute. They are also useful in weaving mats and thatching for shelter coverings.

Dandelions (Taraxacum) are also highly beneficial and they will grow anywhere (ask the homeowner who spends lots of money trying to eradicate them from their lawns).  The blossoms when picked early can be fried and eaten like mushrooms, the leaves and stems can be used as greens in salad and the roots make a very healthy tea.  Dandelion root is high in potassium, a much needed mineral especially when physical activity is high.  It is also helpful in cleansing the liver, one of the body’s main “filters” and helps fight high blood pressure.

Clover has the added benefit of being a highly sought after food of animals such as deer, moose, elk, larks, nuthatches, and many more. It is also edible to humans either raw or cooked.  A tea can also be made from the dried mature blossoms; which is used to help ward off scurvy (illness that can lead to death from vitamin deficiency) and is known as a blood cleanser.

Wild onions (garlic, leeks and chives are members of this “family”) are very helpful in adding flavor to bland dishes and helping make foods more palatable that you are unused to eating.  This is another beneficial plant in helping avoid scurvy.  Drinking a “tea” made from steeping the cut up roots on an empty stomach was purported to get rid of intestinal worms.

Shepherd’s Purse leaves can be used in salads and the seeds ground into a healthy meal.  Shepherd’s Purse is a natural blood coagulant used to help stop bleeding (something to think about if you run out of Quik Clot or Celox) and control blood pressure. It is also effective is stopping diarrhea which can lead to dehydration, especially in a survival situation.

Common Plantain or Soldier’s Herb, is another one of those plants that people spend time and money trying to keep from their yards (commonly found growing in the cracks of sidewalks and driveways). This plant has high nutrition value and the leaves are eaten in salads when young or cooked and eaten like spinach.  Common Plantain is high in Vitamins A and C, was and is used to kill and expel intestinal worms, and as poultices for wounds and cuts to name a few uses.

Alfalfa is a great plant and is highly nutritious. It also makes great food plots for wild grazers like deer, moose, elk, and rabbits to name a few. It is also great for pasture if you are raising livestock, so it is a very beneficial multi- purpose plant with unlimited potential.  Also, most other grains/grasses (rye, oats, quinoa, etc) fall into this category and can be planted and harvested or left for wild animals.

There are several other plants/herbs/weeds that can be planted and “forgotten about” in Mother Nature.  These will have food Emergency Foodand/or medicinal qualities that will be very beneficial to preppers during an event.  Some of these, but not all, are Lamb’s Quarter, cacti, milkweed, chickweed, horseradish, mint(s), dock, chicory, mustard, tiger lily, sunflowers, sweet flag, water cress, hawthorn, sage(s), pig weed, and stonecrop to name a few.

Mushrooms

Then we get to mushrooms but please be EXTREMELY careful when picking and using these fungi for food or medical treatments. I highly recommend books and pocket guides on identifying mushrooms that are carried with you at all times.  Some mushrooms are purported to help with diabetes and blood pressure and reduce cholesterol.

Many fruits can be planted in the wild and will thrive.  Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, mulberries, grapes, apples, pears, peaches, etc are all able to be planted and will normally thrive in open areas of forests and will draw wild life which can then also be on the menu.  If possible, read on local Native American tribes food and recipes for suggestions on what grew in your locale for the best options. Fruits and berries are full of vitamins and minerals, have many medicinal values and will thrive in the wilderness without attention.  These can be preserved or made into pies (sugar is NOT required) and these comfort foods can be a major benefit for morale of your family/group if a long term event occurs.

Trees are another source of wild foods, which can be planted. The seeds from almost every, if not every, tree are edible and nutrient rich.  Oak, walnuts, beech, willow, hickory, pine, maple, and sassafras are all beneficial and have many uses.  The nuts and seeds are edible, some the inner bark can be eaten or formed into natural remedies, needles or roots made into teas for human consumption and wild game will be found foraging these foods so they become “magnets” for harvesting dinner.  Most trees require years before they produce nuts or fruit, so planting now may not guarantee you a food source, but we prep to give our future generations the best for surviving also so this is planning forward for our children and grand children.

I gave only a very small listing of the plants, trees, and fruits that can be grown in the wild with little to no care from us.  These plants have thrived in the woods long before the settling of America cut down our massive hardwood forests and cleared the land for our ever increasing population.

I promote planting trees and other plants to keep a healthy balance in nature and gain back some of our lost forests.  I hunt, fish, camp and enjoy my outdoor activities and conservation is important to me as a user of these resources.  I try not to cut down trees for firewood, but use what has fallen naturally to reduce my impact.  I want my children and their children’s children to enjoy the same activities I do and hope by planting a few trees and plants this will be possible, maybe even to a greater extent than I have.

Remember when harvesting wild plants, if there is no use in the root, leave this to grow again. If possible, shake off the seeds to reseed the plot for the next time you need it.  Also, according to some of the books referenced below, harvest plants by the moon cycle.  If you need the leaves, flowers, stems, etc, pick while the moon is visible and harvest roots when the moon is set.  This falls in line with the moon’s ability to influence the tides; which in respect to plants, a high tide will pull the “juices” up into the plant whereas a low tide will “push” the juices into the root (thinking about some of the old wives’ tales, this made sense to me when I read it).

With so many people harvesting plants whole and NOT reseeding or taking care to maintain balance, we have decimated our naturalwild edibles resources for food, shelter and medicine, not only for ourselves but animals we rely on for food as well.  The game populations are in direct line with food sources in the area, so animal populations will dwindle from starvation and disease, which can lead to our losing valuable resources when needed.  The added pressures of hunting will only create a dimmer future in the event of a situation where people are forced to subsist more on our ancestral foods and not from the grocery store’s shelves.  If you have the time during a hike and the extra money or ability, plant some food plots for the local animal population; their boom in numbers may mean whether you and your family/group eat steak or inner pine bark, which would you prefer?

I am including a list of books I have, or are on my shopping list (which I have browsed in bookstores but had to budget my purchases), for use as references.  It is not a complete list and I add more books every chance I get.  I recently found several books from different authors on Native American gardening, wild foods and medicines and recipes which I will be adding to my library.  If anyone has other books or web sites to offer for the readership, please do so.  We have the platform to offer much information to each other and even if it does not fill the exact need of everyone; it may help 1 person so the time I spend typing a comment is worthwhile and valuable to me.  I only hope the information written will help others in their quest for self sufficiency and survival.  As stated previously, I use my gardening, foraging, fishing, trapping and hunting to offset my grocery expenses to allow the money to be saved, paid on other bills or add extra income if produce or pelts are sold.  These “hobbies” also allow me to learn about the history of our ancestors by “re enacting” their lifestyles to a degree and gives me my most valued asset, Family Time.

Stay Alert, Stay Alive and Happy Growing,
Regulator5

Recommended Reading:

Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants by Bradford Angier

Field Guide to Medicinal Wild Plants by Bradford Angier

The Little Herb Encyclopedia by Jack Ritchason N.D.

Common Edible and Poisonous Mushrooms of the Northeast by C. Leonard and Charles Fergus

Tom Brown’s Field Guide to Wilderness Survival by Tom Brown Jr

Native Plants, Native Healing by Tis Mal Crow

All New Squarefoot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew

Indian Herbalogy of North America by Alma Hutchens

Cherokee Plants and Their Uses (Click Here)

Authentic Native American Recipes (Click Here)

Cherokee Publications (Click Here)

These are but a few of the resources available to begin your own journey in this wonderful and fulfilling skill and past time.  I get several books by different authors to compare notes and cross reference the information to be as accurate as possible.  This also gives me multiple books for each family member to use as a guide if we get separated or split up in our foraging.

Photos by:
BraViper
placeuvm
Justin and Elise
Just Nora
Kettlegun Dan Harris

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48 thoughts on “Survival Eating: Part 3”

  1. Good article, and I will look into the publications you've mentioned. As for the Mushrooms I will still follow the advice of the man that wrote the last survival manual for the Hudson Bay Company, "you can starve to death on mushrooms." So I will leave them off my survival diet.

    Reply
    • Mushrooms can enhance flavor and add a little bit to your diet. I'd not want to subsist strictly off mushrooms, but you can also starve to death just eating rabbit meat, but rabbit meat covered in a mushroom gravy with a baked cattail root, a wild greens salad and washed down with sassafras tea does me good….lol. Thanks for the comment KS.

      Reply
  2. I suppose in a deep woods setting it's less of or not a concern, but I am wary of plants that grow in an average yard (dandelion, clover, wild onions, to call out some common ones) and/or that grow in potentially contaminated areas (cattails in a parking lot drainage pond).

    Unless you know that no fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides have been used in many seasons, I would refrain from picking dandelions/clover/onions from the side of the road or your neighbors' yards. I don't know whether or not pollutants (oil, antifreeze, etc) in runoff from the parking lot actually make it into the cattail itself, but I'd worry about it.

    Thanks for the article, I look forward to conducting more in depth research.

    Reply
    • Jerry, keeping an eye on pollutants is always a worthwhile pursuit. Many of the commercially grown vegetables are covered in chemicals. Cattails and dandelions are filters for whatever soil they are in according to some sources. I agree that the best option is deep woods not spoiled by petro chemicals used lawns and large agribusiness farms.
      Also, if we plant these "crops", we can choose the area they are grow in and hopefully keep them away from major spray areas or other pollutants (as much as possible in our modern era). Thanks for the comment.

      Reply
      • Good point about commercially grown crops. However, those chemicals are regulated and deemed "safe" by the FDA for human consumption. Whether or not you consider that to be trustworthy is another debate, whereas I don't think that anyone would argue that something labeled "weed killer" and sold over-the-counter would be safe to eat at any level.

        Can you elaborate on what you mean by "filters?" I suppose you mean like clams/oysters are filter feeders, thus cleaning the water they are in of pollutants. But I've often wondered where those pollutants end up in the filtering process; i.e. in the clam?

        Reply
        • I am not a botanist, so my simple self could misinterpret what I've read but I'll share my "interpretation". Cattails and dandelions filter contaminates from the ground, whether natural or man made. They leech them from the soil and then (this is where I am unsure), they can process the parts usable into nutrients and then release the rest as inert "soil filler". The book, "Native Plants, Native Healing" by Tis Mal Crow is the last (so more readily remembered reference) book I read that talked of such a filtering taking place. I've tried looking more into the "filtering" but I needed a latin and scientific dictionaries as it was definitely not wrote in terms I am familiar with…lol. Sometimes being a "dumb country boy" has its drawbacks.

          Reply
          • Also, weed killers are applied to most tillable fields in the spring before planting and/or in the fall as well. Certain herbicides will cause the soil to go "sterile" for 5-7 years, so they are not supposed to be used on or near fields or houses but the states use these herbicides to spray "wild" marijuana fields/plots in Indiana along ditches and other locations they are found.

          • I'm not a farmer, so I can't say exactly, but I would hope (albeit foolishly) that those weed killers are somehow regulated and considered "safe." (As you say, certain ones are not to be used on or near fields.)

            When it comes to areas like lawns or landscaped areas of yards, it would be the direct application of chemical fertilizers and herbicides either by a spreader or spray bottle that would worry me the most (although any other application would also give me pause). Whereas treating the soil is more of an indirect poisoning of the crop (instead of directly on the leaves of the plant, for example), and presumably more diluted and considered "safe."

            I don't want to detract too much from the information you have provided. Just wanted to bring it up, that you ought not just go around picking wild edibles willy-nilly, but to give some attention to the surroundings. (I've brought it up before that I live in NYC, and while I may catch fish in the East River, I certainly won't be eating them.)

          • I agree with you. We must always remain vigilant and aware of our surroundings, whether it is to find safe food and water or notice the threat in our area. Great comments.

  3. The title of the article is Survival Eating, which I take to mean that I will starve and die if I do not eat. Since that would be the case is I WAS foraging these items I could give a rats ass what kind of chemicals are in or on the food! Why is there always someone saying BE CAREFUL of the chemicals if you plan to eat this food. If I was strarving I would eat the corn out of someones shit if I had to.

    Reply
    • ok, Bear Grylls, calm down.
      The title is Survival Eating, but some of the context of the article relates more to, say, foraging while hiking Or perhaps "practice foraging" near where we live, especially when it comes to common yard plants like dandelion or clover. I'm also going to disagree with you a little bit about your survival scenario and consuming chemicals. If it's possible that the plants are contaminated with something that will make you vomit, have diarrhea or otherwise compromise your health and abilities, by my measure you're better off not eating it.

      Sounds like you can lighten the load (pun intended) in your BOB and skip the food. Just follow some other well-stocked prepper around with a spork. 🙂

      Look, I'm no card-carrying granola hippie (does the International Hippie Alliance issue a card to members?), just trying to give my fellow preppers a heads-up if they plan on cooking up something from their yard or neighborhood.

      Reply
    • Bob, thanks for the comment. I do not think Jerry was being disparaging to the article only voicing a concern to becareful, especially during "practice". Starvation will cause us to forego our normal concerns during an emergency, but we can try and avoid adding to or creating an emergency also. I know the PC BS and warning labels on everything gets old and I'm anything but PC…lol.

      Reply
  4. Definitely "food for thought", yes pun intended. As always these articles provoke the mind and open our eyes to possibilities. We regularly practice our bugout routes either by vehicle or foot, planting certain edibles along the way certainly seems a great idea, given the growing season here in Texas is exceptionally long. Knowing where a hidden patch of blackberries or watercress can be found would be a nice addition to your cache options no doubt. I admit we spend so much thought and energy on the route, time and distance of travel and landmarks that I have not taken the time to "look around" at whats available. Guess I need to go back and and take a closer look and mark available food sources and potential food plot locations. Great article Regulator5. Thanks

    Reply
    • Stray, I'm glad I offered a tidbit to help you plan. I hope I have heloped others think outside the normal box of prepping (I feel my time is worth the effort if I can help 1 fellow prepper). I look and try and find things that will offer perpetual survivability and keep stocked items for emergencies even during an emergency. I can't afford to buy enough food to last 10 years for my growing (teenagers) kids, but if I plan and start food plots, garden, etc, our chances of going hungry diminish greatly. Thanks for the comment.

      Reply
  5. Very good article Regulator! Thats why everybody should know what wild edibles are in your AO. Helping mother nature by stategically planting native food sources for later use was a strategy used by Native Americans (Eastern Band of Cherokee) in my area.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the comment Dave. We can learn so much from the Natives, I don't think we could cover it all in 100 articles.

      Reply
  6. Good article. This is a subject I've been working on for a while now. I would like to note that there isn't much chance of someone mistaking Water Hemlock for Water Lilies. They are very, very different looking. However, there is a really good chance you could misidentify Elderberry amd Water Hemlock. Elderberry has edible fruit and flowers, but the rest of the plant (shoots,stems,root etc..) is toxic.

    The best advice that could ever be given about foraging is: Learn from a LOCAL expert!!! Go to eattheweeds.com for a list of local wild edibles teachers in your state.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the link and the comment. I know my examples may be way off but I try to use as colorful an analogy as possible…lol.

      Reply
  7. I agree to learn from a LOCAL expert. Our local community college has an extension service that is a tremendous resource for tips on canning foods, fertilizer recommendations; insect, berry, plant and weed identification; information on preserving wild fish and game; information on raising farm animals, etc. Every community has resources which can be very helpful for emergency preparedness. Use them!

    Reply
    • Thanks for the comment dex. I agree there are so many resources out there and by comparing notes on sites like SC and the SC Forum; we all gain more knowledge, even if just learning where we can learn.

      Reply
  8. I agree with learning from locals experts, many state parks offer free seminars during the year. Spring Mill in southern Indiana used to offer "Moccasin Mile" but they haven't had it listed in their events the last few years (maybe the volunteer passed away??). There are several options on where you can learn. Thanks to all who post comments expanding on the article and sharing your experiences and knowledge

    Reply
  9. Another point I had not remembered until reading 1 of my "buckskinning" books this past week is that grapevines can also provide "water". It is something that can be "planted and forgotten" that will yield food and beverage, plus draw game to the area. It is high in sugar and the section I was reading said that on an empty stomach, was a little too sweet, but it helped quench their thirst during a "survival" trek. Just another tidbit that may help in a bad situation.

    Reply
  10. I really appreciate this article, not only the info on the wild edibles…but the comments about reseeding, not taking the whole plant and the whole crop. I have been teaching my children which plants can be eaten, dandilions didn't go over so well! But I think it's important to remember that while you may not be on the run surviving in the wild, we could (another debate) find ourselves in a depression that will have us eating like this to survive in our homes. My suggestion is start doing this now, adjust to eating this way BEFORE it's absolutely necessary and use the money you save on groceries to buy something that will last longer than that loaf of bread.

    Reply
    • I agree Renegade that we should start harvesting these plants and trying them now to stave off the "shock" our bodies will go thru post event. As Capt Bart and many others have pointed out; a change in diet can have adverse action on your body. In the midst of an event, whether personal, local, regional, or global, getting sick can really lower your chances of survival plus as you said, money saved can be put towards other items needed.
      Thanks for the comment.

      Reply
  11. A really great book to accompany the other's you listed would be "The Herbalist" by Meyer. Look it up on Amazon. One of my favorites!

    Reply
    • Thanks Ron. There is also the Kamana Naturalist courses if people have and want to spend the money (believe it's around $900 total for all books, course materials and curriculum. This includes alot of field guides)

      Reply
  12. Great article and I really agree with enkidude. For the best information you've got to seek out a local expert and spend some time with him/her. Books are good for reference info, but there is nothing like a stroll through the wild with an expert.

    I recently spend a couple of hours with one. The time flew by and I'd like to spend even more time collecting wild edibles with him to make sure I really know what is edible, how to prepare it, and most important, any poisonous look-alikes.

    Joe

    Reply
    • Thanks for reading and commenting Joe. Any personal time, especially 1 on 1 with a local expert/instructor/mentor is time well spent. Another place to check is the state parks/forests. many offer some classes/seminars and are free to the public (other than park entrance fees).

      Reply
  13. As a property manager, I can attest with 100% certainty that most all of the products I spray on my properties are extremely toxic and leach into the ground water and soil. Becasue my properties are in an urban enviornent with municipal water, there are few regulations short of pouring toxins dirctly into the sewer. My ant/termite pesticide is poisonous. Coolant, gas and oil puddles are quite common in the parking lots. Dandelion abatement and grass fertilizers are sprayed everywhere. Obviously a survival situation may disallow better options.

    Reply
    • I agree Dan that most herbicides, insecticides and other common lawn applications are not fit for human consumption. Most lawn applications are petro-chemical based and are poisonous. I appreciate the comment and I try to avoid urban areas for most of my foraging but like you said, a survival situation causes us to look places we normally avoid.

      Reply
  14. There is a book written in 1929 , "Tree Crops" by J. Russell Smith. it is a classic and an example of the obvious being ignored. Why plant corn and beans every year when trees can provide ? You can run livestock below or gather hay underneath while not having erosion nor the expenses of planting & fertiliser! It wouldn't be unrreasonoble to plant a few choice specimens here and there!

    Reply
  15. Google "Wildman" Steve Brill. If you live in the greater NYC area, you can go on one of his tours (moderate fee). I haven't gone on a tour yet, but I could see the value of having someone help you to positively identify a plant for the first time. I've been doing it on my own, but in cases where there are poisonous look-alikes, I've held back when I couldn't quite tell.
    It's been quite educational. Once you learn what certain plants look like, and the areas in which you might find them, suddenly you notice that they are everywhere (or sometimes very hard to find).

    Common Plantain is proving to be excellent for itch relief from mosquito bites.
    Lady's Thumb is pretty bland, but a mix with Yellow Wood Sorel makes a decent survival salad.
    Even my kids will eat it after the fun of foraging for it themselves.

    Get out and practice and be ahead of the curve. You don't want to be out guessing when you're stressed. And you can't get out the field guide for every plant you see.

    To follow on to my above paranoia about contamination, etc, I have been avoiding anything near developed properties (a challenge in NYC) and also trying to pick at least a step off the path/trail being mindful of poisoned rodent traps nearby and also avoiding spots that might also be used for impromptu bladder relief (human, canine). Things you may not need to consider as much in the wilds, but a gross reality of city life. Also, I don't eat any of it until I can wash it, just in case. (I dunno, maybe getting it wet just reconstitutes the dried on peepee… but it makes me feel like I at least tried.)

    Reply
    • Jerry, I am glad you have found the fun this skill set brings, plus the added addition of what sounds to be quality family time. I don't blame you for washing the foraged items first, I do even in my "wilds" (at least compared to NYC), except for maybe some berries while scouting or just wandering the woods.
      I hope you can keep adding more useful plants to your knowledge base and keep the family involved.

      Reply
      • You're right, it is a great family activity. I imagine that teaching the kids would help to take off some of the burden of having to care for them in a disaster by helping them to develop self-reliance. Many hands make light work… even the little hands can contribute alot, especially for time consuming tasks not involving heavy lifting.
        Also, don't try to learn or teach everything at once. When we go out, I have about 3-4 new things I will be looking for. If I find one, that will be the focus for the day… maybe a second, it depends on the difficulty of identification and locating. Learn one well, then add to your repertoire.

        Reply
    • Jerry, wash your foraged foods in water with a small amount (a quarter `cup per gallong of water) of white vinegar in it. it's a known disinfectant and safe for your foods. use a Cider vinegar and oil dressing (or make a dressing of choice) on your greens or salad to release extra nutrients and further protect your system.

      Reply
  16. Reg5, I have enjoyed your post at the forum very much and this only adds to that.
    "watch yor top notch"
    BTW, email that fellow trapper from the forum who …….wrote ….alot …..like …..this. before he disappeared.

    Reply
  17. Awesome article and it reflects my primary survival interest of late… learning more about planting, harvesting and storing foods. I think beyond wild berries and plants, we can also look at planting wheat, oats, etc… and do it relatively simply. Anyone looking at long term prepping should look at the broader picture and instead of planning to survive for xx number of days, look at learning skills that will take them even further.

    A book I have come to love is The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 10th Edition, by Carla Emery. You can pick it up at Amazon or most book stores. It's large, and does a great job introducing MANY of the life skills long since forgotten by most people. The breadth and depth of information in it is amazing.

    Another great article here at SurvivalCache!

    Reply
  18. I'm thinking that this is how gardening began in the first place. plant the seeds of the plant you were harvesting, and see if they would grow even more next year.

    Reply
  19. Since this is survival eating, may I suggest that you plant a separate 'garden' of several common edible weeds such as dandelion, etc. so that any intruders (maybe in force) that raid your regular garden (corn, tomatoes, etc.) won't even realize that they are missing part of the available food! Don't make your weed garden look like a garden; no obvious things like rows, garden hoses, fences. Think unkempt lawn look! Tilling won't be necessary, (too obvious anyway) cast out your seed free-hand, aiming for maximum diversity like Mother Nature does and don't forget to water! Also, remember that all known grass seeds are edible, even though humans cannot eat most grasses directly (wheat grass can be juiced) and if the 'weeds' start getting out of hand, any domestic animal like goats can quickly bring them back in line and get some very good feed out of it too! I would not harvest any 'weeds' from the road sides because many plants can absorb petroleum-based toxins readily without any obvious ill effect to them! Another advantage to a separate 'garden' is extra variety, always a good thing, especially on a long term basis. Good Luck!

    Reply
  20. great information I would go a bit further and advise to do a Internet search for wild edible plants and your state

    this will return a more specific groups of wild edibles in your area and that is better than a book that is not as specific
    while the Internet is still functioning print the best pictures and information.

    Some wild edibles need to be processed a certain way to make them edible or only parts of the roots stem or
    flowers are safe.
    Some need to be cooked or boiled and rinsed a few times to flush toxins to make them safe.
    Seeds are not all safe some contain dangerous alkaloids or poisons like cyanide or Strychnine etc.

    Some poisons act quickly some are cumulative certain toxins effect vision heart rate and sweating as well as other bodily functions a search of holistic uses or effects of spices and plants quickly reveals just how much we take for granted.
    Many already know from allergies or taking medications that even simple fruits and vegetables can alter or completely change the desired performance or length of effectiveness of medicine or kill by anaphlactic shock / severe allergic reaction.

    The common tomato was at one time thought to be poisonous some plants like Polk sallet or salad has to be
    prepared correctly.

    Berries are very confusing if your not knowledgeable and just because a bird fish or mammal can eat them does not mean you can.

    Here is a problem your not used to eating wild plants so is it your bodies unfamiliarity or is it a allergy or even you as an individual that are not able to eat it and others have no reaction ?
    We have all experienced this some family member cannot eat corn eggs or seafood without becoming ill and some
    could die just from a single peanut or bite.

    the test for effects listed are golden information if people have children in bad times they need to be wary and not take for granted that their children can eat as they do it could save their life.
    Many children cannot drink cows milk but do fine on goats milk Wheat allergies are more common today than a hundred years ago.

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