Educate Yourself On Foraging

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Tony Koretz 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #9467

    Desiree Munn
    Participant

    Has anyone broached the topic yet of foraging? I have been an amateur forager for the past eight or so years, picking up information where I can and practicing my classification abilities.

    Other than knowing first priority where a water source is located or how to obtain drinking water, it’s equally crucial to be aware of those wild plants that can be used for food and medicine. If you run out of your stock-pile food/MRE’s/etc…or find yourself in a situation where there is no access to food, it is very important to be aware of any possible food source. Not everyone has a gun/bow/fishing rod who can hunt/fish at their leisure. Meat is not the only sustenance and you will only get so far, not to mention the time and mess involved in hunting, field-dressing, hauling a carcass, butchering, cooking, etc….though if you are able to hunt/fish, but all means do so and praise Jesus for His blessings!

    Even if you live in a suburban neighborhood or an apartment complex, chances are there is possibly even a weed that grows in even the tiniest patch of grass that is edible – that you can gather, cook, and eat until you can reach a rural setting. By educating and familiarizing yourself with edible wild plants/weeds/etc… you will at least be that much more secure in your survival, not to mention the benefits of discovering plants that have tremendous medicinal value, in the case that you don’t have access to medical care.

    I am only familiar with the native plants of the Eastern part of Tennessee and the Northern part of Mississippi…in other words, the Southeast U.S.A. So, I can’t give any advice for those living elsewhere – especially since plants vary region to region. I’m not posting to teach specifics, just to make people aware that this is another facet of survival prepping.

    Do your research, but see if you can find a physical field guide (such as Peterson’s or Audubon) that is for edible wild plants in your region/area. Even if you can only find one for your country or continent (rather than region/area), it will still be of tremendous value. Apps will work too, but in the event of a downed grid/EMP, your phone won’t help you. That’s why I recommend a physical book copy.

    When I starting learning about foraging, I discovered all sorts of plants, trees, mushrooms, etc… that I had always taken for granted, ignored, was told was poisonous, etc…. that really has tremendous nutritional and health benefits. I learned how to safely tap trees without damaging them, for water that has tons of nutrients (not to mention a water source!). I learned which mushrooms in my area are edible and if they have poisonous look-alikes (and how to be 100% positive when identifying). I learned that almost half of the weeds growing in my yard are chocked full of vitamins and minerals. I learned which plants have edible roots for a starch source. And on and on…

    To further instill my learning, I started out not just identifying, but harvesting and cooking what I found. I do not recommend doing this full force (as in having a dinner made with entirely wild foods you’ve never eaten before), unless the “event” happens and there’s no choice. But, it would be a good idea to start experimenting with cooking methods of the foraged goods so that way you don’t have to choke and gag down something when you’re starving lol. Try incorporating wild herbs in a dish, add greens to a vegetable, sauté mushrooms with meat, etc…Slowly incorporate and familiarize yourself with the flavors of what you find. A good first impression will do wonders for picky eaters (like myself). But, always always ALWAYS make sure you research if a plant has to be prepared in a specific manner due to toxins or other things. For example, there may be a plant that must be boiled in water, drained, and rinsed in order to remove a mild toxin that causes nausea – where if prepared correctly, will be nutritious and harmless.

    The same goes with identifying/using plants with medicinal properties. Do your research on the preparation/application methods. Don’t assume everything can be made into a tea, tinctured, made into a topical paste, etc…. Different plants will have different properties and means to use them. You don’t want to go drinking a tea made from something that will cause liver damage if ingested, but is antiseptic when the straight plant is placed on a wound…. Use your good ol’ fashioned common sense.

    Learn about cultivating the wild edibles/medicinal plants as well. Start now, so that you can be assured of an annual harvest. Collect seeds when available by drying out the plant, collecting, etc….when in season, the same you would with your domesticated vegetables from a garden. Use little flags and markers to mark a plant or location where the plant grows, so no matter the season, you can find it easily. A lot of plants may be able to be transplanted in season. Think of it as gardening, but instead of vegetables/flowers/etc…, it’s wild native plants. I have an herb garden that I grow both domestic herbs and wild herbs in – it just looks like a neglected garden when really….it’s not! I allowed wild plants to grow up in my vegetable garden and flower gardens that really were of nutritional value. It made my gardens look neglected and “ugly”, but to me it was beautiful and a gift from God!

    So, think about starting the “hobby” of foraging and be prepared to be amazed at what all God has given us. Yeah, wild plants may not taste as great as a hamburger….but God will provide for His people.

    #9476

    Desiree Munn
    Participant

    Ignore the bad formatting everyone. I don’t know what happened. It was normal when I typed it, then appeared all wonky once it was posted. Oh well. lol

    #9610

    Tony Koretz
    Keymaster

    Ignore the bad formatting everyone. I don’t know what happened. It was normal when I typed it, then appeared all wonky once it was posted. Oh well. lol

    The formatting looks fine to me. Great topic by the way! Maybe we could post a few obvious plants that are found in many places. Like Dandelions:
    https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/can-eat-dandelion-greens-raw-4710.html

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    #9637

    Sarah
    Participant

    Thanks Desiree, immediately after I read this I ordered a book for foraging in my area. I think ill take this summer to adventure with the kids and find certain things, this should be a great homeschool activity for us!!!

    #9669

    Desiree Munn
    Participant

    I live in the Eastern part of Tennessee, close to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We have the most diverse flora of anywhere else in the U.S. – which unfortunately causes the highest pollen allergies in the nation too lol. There is so much that is edible here, if you’re willing to look for it, cook it, and eat it. Yes, the most common is the dandelion. Another common one that no one ever thinks about is the common purple violet. It grows in your yard and is about as prolific as the dandelion. You can eat the leaves and flowers, though the leaves are easier to cook if young.

    #9672

    Tony Koretz
    Keymaster

    I live in the Eastern part of Tennessee, close to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We have the most diverse flora of anywhere else in the U.S. – which unfortunately causes the highest pollen allergies in the nation too lol. There is so much that is edible here, if you’re willing to look for it, cook it, and eat it. Yes, the most common is the dandelion. Another common one that no one ever thinks about is the common purple violet. It grows in your yard and is about as prolific as the dandelion. You can eat the leaves and flowers, though the leaves are easier to cook if young.

    And that violet is another plant that is found in many countries (including New Zealand)….so it’s good to know that.

    Here’s an interesting article about making pancakes from acorns:

    https://www.outdoorlife.com/how-to-grind-acorns-into-flour-and-make-pancakes-out-it#page-11

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