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Edible, medicinal, or otherwise useful Plants.

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posted on Jul, 21 2007 @ 03:50 PM
I think the Survival forum needs a thread like this:

I'm in the sky islands of the Sonoran desert, and this season i've been trying to learn all i can about the plants in my area. I'm working on moving up into the mountains this year and living as primitively as possible in a world scarred with concrete cancer. I've got a few remote places i can go and not be found.

As far as plants, I'm pretty familiar with all the common agaves, mesquite, manzanita, yucca, sotol, broom, and the damned catclaw. Right now the Manzanita berries are ripe and i've been eating lots of 'em while i'm out. I've been finding oaks with acorns, but not the sweet ones, and i haven't leeched a batch of bitter nuts yet.

The thing i really want to learn about is the weeds, herbs, ferns, and other stuff like lichens that may have other uses.

What plants do you use?
Any good sites to learn more about this?

posted on Jul, 21 2007 @ 04:25 PM
Take a look through this site, there is some great info on there and steps to identify edible wild plants.

If you are going to live in the wild, what seeds would you take to start your own plants and herbs?

posted on Jul, 21 2007 @ 05:10 PM
Good thread Idea.Perhaps everyone could post a few plants common to their area and what use they have.
The one that comes to mind for me is evergreen needles made into tea as a way of fighting scurvy.

posted on Jul, 21 2007 @ 05:30 PM
You can make soap from yucca and tequila from agave.
I live in the Appalachians and we have LOTS of native herbs. We have:

American gingseng, for stress and to restore energy
jewelweed (for poison oak),
lemon balm for calming
mullein, not sure what it does
coltsfoot, good for clearing mucous out of the lungs
heart's ease
Queen Anne's lace
valerian, to help you sleep
rose, softens skin

There are lots more, I just can't think of them at the moment.

posted on Jul, 21 2007 @ 07:03 PM
I have been looking a long time to find a good website or book devoted soley to edible plants in my area (Southwestern Ontario), but I haven't had a whole lot of luck.

So far I just have a few. There are others such as violets, but I try to avoid the ones that may be confused with other inedible plants and stick to the ones that are quite easy to tell apart.

Dandilions are the most obvious. You can eat the leaves as salad, the flowers make good fritters, and the root can be ground into a coffee. From what I can tell, these grow pretty much everywhere in every country. Maybe not in the desert though
. Just have to watch that they haven't been sprayed with herbicide.

Others include:

Broadleaf Plantain - I had always seen this plant but never known it was edible. I haven't tried it yet though.

Wild Onions/Garlic - I have yet to find these. If you do, make sure they smell like onions. Only the real ones do.

Wild Asparagus - Apparently it grows on the side of lots of roads, but i haven't found any either, although I haven't looked much.

Acorns - Need special preparation to remove tannins though.

Wild carrot, which I think is the same as Queen Anne's Lace. Same as the onions...make sure this one smells like a carrot. There are many lookalikes that aren't edible, but only the real one smells like carrot.

Thistles/Stinging nettle - Dunno if I'd want to try that one.

There are also several that I have conflicting reports of. I've read that clovers and shamrocks and wood sorrel are all edible, then other sites say you can only eat them in moderation because of high oxalic acid content... others say not to eat them at all.

I want a good, conclusive guide so that I don't have to go through the painstakingly slow process of testing them all... avoid a few stomach aches as well.

People definately need some solid knowledge in edible plants. Plants are far easier to catch and prepare than animals

[edit on 7/21/2007 by Yarcofin]

posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 09:51 AM
The mesquite bean pods were a common staple of the Native Americans of the Southwest. They're usually ripe over the next month or so. They'll be sweet when they are ripe. You'll have to de-seed them as the seeds are not edible.

Prickly pear cactus(new leaf) and their fruit are also great sources of desert manna. Look out for purslaine and nut grass. I saw both growing wild around the Phoenix are when I lived there.

Have you built your jacal(hut) yet? I know the areas just north of Lake Pleasant and west of the Hassayampa River very well. Those little canyons are great places to hide. I found one that looked like it had been not ravaged by the wild donkeys, so I gathered as much of the refuse that I thought useful and set up a little desert compound close to a seep that looked like it never went dry. That's how I found the canyon by watching where the birds flew to in the evening. This was in late June/July before the monsoon came. The seep was to hard for the cattle and donkeys to reach but birds and other small critters had found it accessible.

Good luck, with your gathering.

posted on Jul, 24 2007 @ 01:47 PM
I was going to make a post on this topic a while back, never got around to it.. However, this site may be an interesting read

posted on Jul, 30 2007 @ 08:18 AM
food for free book is an exellent starting point......i forage almost on a daily basis, its supprising how many plants you can eat. i go nettling in the spring, dandilion leaves nearly all year around. i tend to use plants fever few, tomentil self heal, oak, birch leaves etc for sprogs and i.

posted on Aug, 1 2007 @ 07:33 PM
The best time to find edible asparagus is in the early spring. It's one of the first plants to put out shoots, usually the first green thing to pop thru the snow. However, don't pick all of 'em, otherwise you won't have any asparagus for next year.

If it's later in the year, don't even bother. They're no longer edible, and you probably wouldn't be able to find them anyhow. (If I understand right, they grow very tall and no longer even look like the asparagus that we see in the stores.)

The same goes for bamboo -- the early sprouts are edible. Even a delicacy...

Random factoid: The church banned asparagus from the nunneries because it looked very phallic.

Edited to add another plant to the list:

Lamb's ears is a great plant for living in the wild -- the leaves are actually absorbent, and were used by settlers as, in effect, band-aids.

[edit on 1-8-2007 by Diseria]


posted on Aug, 3 2007 @ 07:14 PM
Acorns are awesome! You can sweeten up the bitter ones by boiling them. They make a good flour too.

Good book: Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places by Steve Brill. Amazon link.

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