Get out There: Foraging and Preserving

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posted on Aug, 12 2014 @ 09:37 AM
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Hello all. This thread is inspired by JacKatMtn's ""Get Out There" thread Get out There

I really liked this member's approach to "getting out there" and observing his/her surroundings and making use of them. I've been wanting to "Get out there" myself, and this past weekend finally had the free time to do so. I hadn't yet made myself familiar with the nature around me, and after much research decided to go hiking on a local trail. At first glance, it's hard to imagine surviving in a nature environment that at first glance looks so desolate!



At first, after much walking and hill climbing, I started to think I wasn't going to recognize much that could be used in a survival situation. Then I came across this interesting gourd like plant. I knew that it must have some beneficial use, since you could tell by looking at it that it was in the gourd family.



I came home and researched it, and I believe what I found was Buffalo Gourd. The root can be used as a soap/shampoo substance, because it contains saponins. The gourd itself can be used as a spoon or ladle. Isleta-Pueblo Indians boiled the root and applied it topically for chest pains, and this boiled root juice was also used as an antiseptic for tooth pains. A poultice can be made from the mashed plant for skin sores and ulcers. That's just some of what I learned about this plant, make sure to do your own research for safety! I wouldn't recommend eating it, it acts as a super-laxative! Again, please make sure to do your own homework on anything you find in the wild! Medicinal Buffalo Gourd

At this point, my poor sweet dog was getting exhausted!



After a rest and water break, we continued onward. And finally, I found what I had really been searching for the whole time!



The prickly pear cactus! This plant is pretty amazing in my opinion. The pads can be eaten, and are called nopales (or nopalitos for the young pads). The fruit can be eaten. The spines can be used for needles. Juice made from the fruit has a cooling effect on the body. It has tons and tons of uses, I encourage you to research the plant more! My goal for the day was to gather the fruits so that I could make jam out of them, as well as Prickly Pear Lemonade. Use caution gathering these! I used long tongs for grabbing them, and had a small cardboard box that I put them into. I covered that with another cardboard box, because the fruits have these hairlike spikes called glochids. Those are nasty buggers, that fly into the air and embed into your skin! No fun. Preparing the fruit requires a bit of work. First, holding them over a flame to get the majority of the glochids off, then several washes and scrubs to get more out. Once the juice has boiled down, I strained it several times through cloth to make sure none of the glochids were hanging around. I haven't tasted the jam yet, but the prickly pear lemonade is delicious! I hope you all take the time to Get Out There!





posted on Aug, 12 2014 @ 09:42 AM
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a reply to: MojaveBurning
I live in PA.
My sister has prickly pears growing at her place. When I visit her, it seems like there are always some of them that are ripe. I pick a few and peel them on the spot and eat them. Then I itch for a bit.



posted on Aug, 12 2014 @ 09:49 AM
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a reply to: butcherguy

Yes! I didn't want to itch so I didn't eat any fresh, lol. It's my understanding that these grow all over, so it's good to know about them I think.



posted on Aug, 12 2014 @ 09:51 AM
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Great thread.
Where I live, we explore the area all the time. I love being in the country! We have so many great plants in the woods and fields around us. Everything from raspberries to burdock.

Except for the snow, I love this state!



posted on Aug, 12 2014 @ 09:58 AM
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a reply to: MojaveBurning

Great thread and enthusiasm!

It is great to research the different sources of food during the different seasons as well. Mother Nature provides you will all things you need, at all times. It is amazing how your body and nature are in sync when you actually live off what the land provides.

SnF
edit on 8/12/2014 by imnotanother because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 12 2014 @ 11:38 AM
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Good thread. S&F. Those things don't grow naturally around here, all we have is hazelnuts, blueberries, raspberries, sugar plums, wild strawberries, blackberries, apples, and pin cherries up here. We got a lot of plants over here that are edible, but most people don't know about them. They only see the fruits and worry about bugs in them so most people buy stuff from the store......no bugs, just poison to kill bugs on those.



posted on Aug, 12 2014 @ 11:46 AM
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Beautiful!! I love that deep ruby color.
This is typically my favorite time of the year because of the forage available. This year has been a massive disappointment. After finding all of a dozen berries after two tanks of gas, I gave up this year on the berries. There is still fireweed though, and this has inspired me to get back put there, thank you! It has been a good lesson for me though, never count on any wild harvest. It is different every year. Luckily there are usually multiple options in any given region though too.



posted on Aug, 12 2014 @ 11:05 PM
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Wow- what beautiful stuff! That color is amazing. Thanks for the inspiring thread and for taking pics of your process. It's so cool to see stuff picked wild, and transformed into delicious and satisfying treats.
Mojaveburning



posted on Aug, 13 2014 @ 08:14 AM
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a reply to: Starcrossd

Thanks! I fell in love with that color too, it just got richer and richer as it cooked. I think I'll be getting some more today, the lemonade has all been drank (drunk?) already! I finally tasted the jam, and I'm quite pleased with it! It was great fun.



posted on Aug, 13 2014 @ 07:54 PM
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Great work and well done for actually getting out there and trying. You wont be able to survive on prickly pear and buffalo gourds but is a start and, like when running from a hungry mountain lion, all you have to do is outrun the guy next to you. But keep in mind that some areas are just not habitable at certain times of the year or even all year round.

Two things I picked up from Survivor Man, the episode in the Badlands of Wyoming?, there just isn't enough to keep you going there. And the other one was from an episode further north - rabbit starvation. I had never heard that before. Rabbit starvation is when you eat only rabbits, the meat is so lean that you cant get enough sterols and you starve even though you feel full*. A lot of wild foods are like that. We have a lot of rabbits around here, so I will have to get some kangaroo too and eat the fat and give the lean meat away to the "health conscious" non-conformists in the area.

*If you eat the brains and marrow of the rabbit you can get enough.



posted on Aug, 14 2014 @ 08:51 AM
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a reply to: Cinrad

Great points Cinrad, thanks for sharing. I too have lots of rabbits in the area, they seem to think my yard is their own personal buffet and toilet, lol. I like to learn about the wild edibles with the idea of them being supplemental to my existing food storage. Also, I like making use of them now, because like with the jam I can put them up now and use them later.

You are absolutely right though, that some places just aren't that friendly to survival. Unfortunately, my area is one of those, but we work with what we have and hope that the crap never actually hits the fan!



posted on Aug, 21 2014 @ 02:03 PM
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You should just plant some!





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