5 Coffee Substitutes to Forage When The SHTF

Click here to view the original post.

Recently I got on a bit of a health kick, and I decided to stop drinking coffee. I’m sure a couple cups a day is no big deal, but I was drinking it all day long and was starting to wonder what it might be doing to my health, so I quit cold turkey. Big […]

The post 5 Coffee Substitutes to Forage When The SHTF appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

How To Get Rid Of Garden Weeds

Click here to view the original post.

Don’t you hate it when  you go to your garden and find that the weeds took over? I know hate is a strong word, but when it comes to weeds, I think it’s well deserved. Over the years I tried different methods to try and get rid of garden weeds and I came up with …

Continue reading

The post How To Get Rid Of Garden Weeds appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

Crawfish Catch N Cook Survival -Hand Caught / Fire Grilled-

Click here to view the original post.

Bob Hansler,
First collaboration with my daughter Bre as spring starts up. Apologies for the wind, Texas has been uncommonly windy this year and we are actively looking at camera equipment that has a shotgun mic with a wind screen. Looking at models and financing now, your advice would be helpful and appreciated.



The Gee’s trap extender featured at the end of this video is not commercially available. Bre and I plan on making a crawfish trapping vid in the coming weeks to show them off and see if there is any interest. If there are enough folks that want these, I’ll get in touch with the Tackle Factory to get production going. We’ll see.

Wooded Beardsman will be here in a few weeks, everything’s greening up and we’re filming every moment we can. Thank ya’ll for watching, special thanks to those who support this channel through Patreon, and…

Hand Fishing and Campfire Cooking Crawdads! A stream to fire experience with my daughter Bre and dog Huck. BUY TITAN SURVIVAL THROUGH THIS LINK: http://bit.ly/2Exofym If you have the ability and desire to support this channel please visit the links below: Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2838693 Paypal: bobhansler@yahoo.com

Until Next Time,
Bob Hansler

The post Crawfish Catch N Cook Survival -Hand Caught / Fire Grilled- appeared first on WWW.AROUNDTHECABIN.COM.

Lichens: A Survival Food That’s Probably Growing in Your Backyard

Click here to view the original post.

Lichens are a common wild edible, but if you’re not paying attention you might miss them. They usually grow on trees and rocks and have a distinctive appearance similar to a flat, leafy plant. However, they are a unique form of plant related to the algae family. What makes lichens unique is that most algae […]

The post Lichens: A Survival Food That’s Probably Growing in Your Backyard appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

The Wonderful Plant Garlic

Click here to view the original post.

If I could have put one plant to grow, I believe it would be garlic.

Garlic is one of the earliest documented plans to be used by humans in the treatment of disease and to maintain health. From Neolithic times in central Asia spreading to the Middle East and North Africa in 3000 BC, garlic has been used by man. Ancient medical text from Egypt, Greece, Rome, China, and India, each prescribing medical applications of garlic. There are even biblical references to garlic, as well as garlic in the Jewish teachings and the Quran.

The wild plant of course was used first and then slowly domesticated over time, garlic has been worth its weight in gold.
Around 3000 BC, trading parties from India reached Middle East, where they introduced garlic to the Babylonians and Assyrian Empire. From these places neighboring civilizations found the plant to be useful as food seasoning, medical ingredients, and religious ingredients.

Garlic is highly nutritious but has very few calories. A 1 ounce serving of garlic contains, manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin B1, vitamin C, calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, iron, also contains trace amounts of various other nutrients. This includes 42 cal, with 1.8 g of protein and 9 g of carbs.

The medical uses for garlic are too many to name, the fact that garlic has been used for almost every ailment of the human body, is amazing. From cancer to insect bites, from athletes foot to heart problems, garlic has been used to treat almost any ailment you can think of.

There are a few drawbacks when soft prescribing or using garlic medicinally. Garlic especially fresh, may increase the risk of bleeding. Garlic can irritate the stomach and digestive track sometimes causing digestion problems. Garlic can lower blood pressure, people of prescription medication should be careful. And some people may be sensitive to garlic on their skin.

Garlic produces a chemical called allicin. This is what seems to make garlic work for certain conditions. Allicin also makes garlic smell. Some products are made “odorless” by aging the garlic, but this process can also make the garlic less effective.

As for using garlic and cooking, I think that stands for itself. Whether using the bulbs or the leaves, garlic is a wonderful addition to your culinary uses.

Garlic can be grown year-round in a pot right on your windowsill in your kitchen. I believe the fresh garlic is always better than aged garlic. I myself prefer wild garlic to the grocery store variety.

Yes, if I could grow but one plant, it would be garlic. The flavor, the culinary uses, and the medical benefits, outweigh that of any other plant that I know of.

By Rich Beresford
Rich@AroundTheCabin.com

The post The Wonderful Plant Garlic appeared first on WWW.AROUNDTHECABIN.COM.

Why You Should Consume Seafood … Despite the Warnings

Click here to view the original post.

Food & Water

Many people have read the dire warnings about the health consequences of consuming fish and shellfish. These admonishments usually center on mercury contamination—most of which is produced by coal-fired facilities, chlorine production, and mining—which is converted to an organic form of mercury (methylmercury) by the action of various aquatic micro-organisms. This organic form of mercury comes to be located in marine animals and bioaccumulates as one ascends the trophic ladder as progressively larger animals consume smaller ones. Mercury is a real threat because it is linked to cognitive impacts in children (e.g., loss of IQ points, problems with attention, decreased memory function) and various health effects in adults (e.g., cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease). People are frequently told (through various media) to limit fish consumption to prevent mercury poisoning.
These warnings are most often directed toward pregnant women, with the intent of protecting the fetus. And, like most health sound bites, turn out to be overly simplified and mostly wrong.

Health is more nuanced than “do this” and “don’t do this”, and, as usual, the mercury story told in this country is based on faulty science, perpetuates an incomplete story, and leads to worse outcomes than if the health precautions were completely ignored. Therefore, despite the ever-present cautions, I would highly recommend you consume marine fish and shellfish, especially if you are an expecting mother, so long as you understand a few details. Read on.

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a long-chain fatty acid crucial for human health. It is a fat that can be found in a variety of animal foods and some marine algae, occurring most abundantly in some ocean fish and shellfish. While adults suffer a range of problems when they consume a diet limited in DHA (e.g., depression, Alzheimer’s Disease, age-related cognitive decline), it is the fetal impacts I will highlight here. This fatty acid is necessary for brain development of the fetus and the growing child. Deficiencies in DHA affect intelligence, problem solving, and eyesight. I want to be very clear: low intake of DHA by the mother results in lower IQ scores and suboptimal brain development in children. This fat belongs to a class of lipids called omega 3, which are essential to obtain in the diet because the body cannot manufacture them. Like many essential items we derive from our diet, there are different forms that occur in plants than in animals. This is another case where the plant form (called alpha-linolenic acid, abbreviated ALA) must be converted through a complex process to create DHA. This conversion process is inefficient, and even in healthy adults only 5–10% of the consumed ALA ends up becoming DHA. Further, many factors inhibit this process, including high intake of omega-6 fatty acids, which are exceedingly common in the Standard American Diet and in vegetarian diets. Therefore, it is important to consume preformed DHA—which is the kind found abundantly in many fish and shellfish. But wait, aren’t these dangerous to consume?

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set guidelines for fish intake by pregnant mothers to protect the mother and, especially, the fetus from the effects of mercury. For decades, these warnings have limited the intake of foods that are an important source of DHA in the diet.
But, like the fat and cholesterol warnings, the mercury warnings also turn out to be based on cherry-picked data and an incomplete understanding of the topic.

Three major studies occurred in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s to ascertain the safety of consuming fish. Two of the studies demonstrated no negative impacts and one of them (the Faroe Islands Study) did. This latter study was used to demonstrate the harm of mercury contamination in fish and establish the warnings we are all familiar with. Because we are a reactive society that responds to fear-based recommendations, the warnings were so effective that a 2010 study found that pregnant women were not eating the suggested number of fish meals per week.

There are several pieces of this puzzle that must be explained to help you (the reader) understand why the dietary mercury warnings may be misguided. To begin, mercury is not directly toxic to the body, but instead wreaks its havoc by deactivating very important enzymes that contain selenium. These enzymes—selenoenzymes—function as antioxidants to protect fats and proteins from damage by oxidation. If the body contains ample stores of selenium, mercury cannot catastrophically interfere with these enzymes. In other words, selenium is protective of mercury toxicity. Of importance to this discussion is that many fish and shellfish contain abundant selenium in their tissues (or, put another way, the ratio of selenium to mercury is high). Through providing dietary selenium, these foods are not the danger we have been told regarding mercury. While single fish meals are not the issue here (it is the cumulative selenium and mercury ingested in the overall diet), it is useful to note that some fish, such as shark, contain little selenium compared with the mercury they provide (i.e., the selenium to mercury ratio is low). Therefore, such fish might best be limited without a good intake of selenium in diet. On the other end of the spectrum, fish such as tuna, flounder, pollock, and salmon supply much more selenium than mercury. (Note: plant foods such as Bazil nuts, sunflower seeds, and several grains can also supply substantial quantities of selenium and can be part of the overall strategy to protect the body from mercury in the diet).

Now, back to the studies used to demonstrate harm from ocean foods due to their mercury content. The Faroe Islands study turns out to be a terrible study to use for several reasons. Most importantly, the residents of the Faroe Islands were eating pilot whales (genus Globicephala), species that contain extremely high amounts of mercury in its tissues—far too much to be mitigated by the co-occurring selenium. Not to mention, this study had many other confounding issues, including (but not limited to) additional environmental toxins found in the pilot whale that could be responsible for the observed health issues, the study methods themselves, and the genetics of the resident population.

Another important part of this discussion that is not addressed by the warnings to limit fish and shellfish is that some foods help to bind ingested mercury and prevent its absorption by the body (the mercury is ultimately excreted during evacuation of the large intestine). This strategy changes the effective selenium to mercury content of the food as experienced by the body. These foods offer another layer of protection from mercury. Two important foods to mention (among several) are chlorella and plants containing insoluble fiber. Examples of the latter include fruits like strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. These foods are effective at trapping consumed mercury and carrying it out of the body. Chlorella (a blue-green alga) and the insoluble-fiber-rich foods can be ingested in the same meal as the fish and/or shellfish and prevent a large proportion of the mercury from entering the bloodstream.

As are often the case, the dietary recommendations supplied to the public in the United States are overly simplified and lack the necessary nuance reflected by the complexity of issues involved. Whether or not a person will experience harmful effects from ingesting mercury in food depends on many factors, including the species consumed, the intake of selenium in the diet, and the amount of insoluble fiber eaten in the same meal. Importantly, the avoidance of foods rich in DHA have consequences, especially to developing humans, that can limit full intellectual development (among other real risks).
The general tact in many dietary circles is complete avoidance of foods believed to be dangerous, despite the fact those foods supply critical nutritional elements that may be difficult to acquire in sufficient amounts elsewhere.

I suggest it might be advantageous to utilize strategies to minimize the harm from such foods, rather than avoid such foods outright (there is net benefit using this approach). Sustainably harvested fish and shellfish represent some of the only wild foods that can be acquired in the marketplace. These foods that are extremely valuable due to the DHA and selenium they supply, and other items not discussed here (e.g., vitamin D, zinc, magnesium, B vitamins). The story of mercury in fish and shellfish is a good example of what happens when we allow fear to rule our dietary choices.

Source: http://www.learningtarget.com/nosulfites/seleniumgraph.jpg

Tagged: seafood, mercury, health, healthy eating

By Arthur Haines
Original here
http://www.arthurhaines.com/blog/2017/12/28/why-you-should-consume-seafood-despite-the-warnings

The post Why You Should Consume Seafood … Despite the Warnings appeared first on WWW.AROUNDTHECABIN.COM.

“But Wild Food Is…”

Click here to view the original post.

I lecture on wild food frequently, discussing various issues that concern this subject to a wide variety of people. For years, the information was received with interest and people appreciated learning about this part of our collective human history and what wild food can mean for human and ecosystem health. In the last year or so, there has been an increasing number of criticisms about the message of wild food. While these arguments center on important social issues, they are representative of a broader narrative that has become very pervasive and sometimes applied to topics that may not be core to the subject of privilege and power. In fact, it has become customary to disparage anyone who does not demonstrate perfect agreement with all arguments against those assumed to be in power—regardless of the intentions and merits of the arguments presented.

Here, I suggest that views linking wild food to power and privilege have, perhaps, been taken too far by those who seek social accountability. The two most frequently raised arguments are as follows.

1. “But Wild Food is Not Abundant Enough to Feed the World.”

That’s correct, the world is too populated and the wild places too fragmented to feed the entire world strictly on a wild food diet, even though anatomically modern humans consumed wild food exclusively for ca. 315,000 years (i.e., for over 97 percent of our time on this earth). Despite the fact that agricultural and industrial societies consistently degrade the land base through over-population and poor ecological practices, many believe cultivation and animal husbandry are the only strategies that should be used to feed the world’s population. Let’s discuss this idea a bit further.
I generally answer this concern (regarding the abundance of wild food) by noting that there is also not enough organically raised food to feed the earth’s population; however, no one is suggesting we should stop growing organic produce.

Why?

For them, agriculture is our cultural norm—and they always start from this context when discussing food availability (rather than our species’ biological norm—wild food). Because there is not enough undomesticated food does not mean those who can procure it should cease doing so. In fairness, this would mean that some hunter-gatherers would have to stop eating their ancestral diet (though, in general, the indigenous are considered to have rights to local wild foods, but other people living in the same area are not). It would also mean that those of us living in industrialized countries do not get to consume some of the only foods that leave the forests standing, the prairies untilled, and the marshes filled with water. The conscientious gathering of wild foods does not degrade landscapes.

Keep in mind, this argument could be used on a variety of scales. Should those who practice permaculture (a strategy that also cannot feed the entire world) consider ceasing their craft? Likewise, are there enough pumpkins to feed the world? Of course not, but some people still grow these foods and make them available to those who can pay without criticism. It may be important to offer here that there are not enough computers or iPhones for all the world to have one (but we are sure to keep such devices for waging our social concerns).

2. “But Wild Food is a Privilege.”

No, it is not. It is a birthright, one (unfortunately) that very few people today get to experience. It is the biologically appropriate diet of Homo sapiens, and without it, people experience a host of chronic diseases (e.g., cardiovascular disease, obesity, cancer, diabetes, neurovascular disease, depression, digestive disorders) that were essentially absent in populations who consumed wild food (i.e., in hunter-gatherers). Because only some people can now acquire wild food, as any proportion of their diet, it is considered a social privilege by those who do not fully explore the topic at hand. By assuming wild food is a privilege, it can be regarded as something no one should have access to unless everyone has access to it.

Let’s us use a comparison to understand how this argument (that wild food is a privilege) might not be well-supported. Breast milk is the biologically normal food for a human infant (and, in part, for toddlers and young children). However, for a variety of reasons, many children are not breastfed. Approximately 19% of children (according to the most recent CDC breastfeeding report card) are not breastfed in the United States, and, instead, receive some type of formula through a bottle. Formula feeding has a variety of impacts, including an increased incidence of leukemia in people who received this form of nutrition as an infant (see below). Breastfeeding is sometimes influenced by education level, income bracket, ethnicity, and nutritional status of the mom. For example, poorer moms may need to work soon after birth and are not available to breastfeed their infants or pay for a breast pump, malnourished moms do not always produce adequate milk, and some minority women don’t breastfeed because they believe it creates the image of being poor. These issues mean that breastfeeding could be regarded (by those seeking to create a negative label) as a privilege of the wealthier people of European decent. Now, the manner in which human infants have always been fed can be considered a privilege (i.e., provided a negative label).

Using the breastfeeding example one more time, it can help illustrate an important concept in this entire discussion: historical normalcy. Recently, an article was published with the title of “Breastfed children have slightly lower risk of childhood leukemia”. The study demonstrated a 14–19% decreased risk of pediatric leukemia in breastfed babies. You may have missed how this title distorts the idea that humans have a biological norm. Breastfeeding is how Homo sapiens have always fed their infants (until quite recently). To create the image that breastfeeding has benefit misses the point entirely. It isn’t that breastfeeding has benefit, it is that deviating from our ancestral patterns has detriment. The title should have read “formula-fed children have a slightly higher risk of childhood leukemia”. We should start from the perspective of our biological standard, and then discuss deviations from this. Titles worded like this provide evidence of contemporary humans not understanding the ancestral context and how it relates to our health. Likewise, arguments that consider wild food to be a privilege fail to grasp this is how humans have nourished themselves and their offspring for most of our existence. It is not a privilege to consume wild food—it is the re-establishment of our natural diet.

I understand that many people, for various reasons, cannot consume wild food. I truly wish this were different. However, the way we view many issues is becoming harmful to respectful dialogue. When one group of people experience poor conditions, it doesn’t automatically mean that those who don’t experience those conditions are privileged. It may mean, in some cases, that those who experience poor conditions are simply unfortunate. Are cows who are pasture-fed and consume green plants privileged over those that are captive-raised and eat grain? I would emphatically state “no”, the grass-fed cows are receiving the diet they should experience, and the captive-raised cows are unfortunate. (Note: you may not like the example of cows, but it is quite relevant given that both cows and any human reading this are domesticated.)
I would love to have ostrich eggs to consume regularly, but my landscape doesn’t provide them. Are the residents of the Kalahari Desert privileged because this food source is available to them? Of course not.

People always want to apply negative labels—and many who do represent the world’s one percent (in terms of income and privilege). Further, they constantly suggest blanket strategies to solve the world’s issues. However, these rarely succeed in realizing tangible benefits because the lands and people are different. The juxtaposition of locally available foods and the diversity of world views held by the area’s inhabitants means that each region needs to find its own unique solutions to human and ecosystem health.

Suggesting that people follow a diet (of cultivated foods) that harms landscapes and creates chronic illness in such a high proportion of the population isn’t a solution that should be followed by anyone who has a better option, especially when you consider that sick people use more of the world’s resources.

And what about the privilege to purchase cheap food made from crops sprayed with harmful chemicals? These foods have significant external costs and create illness in humans and other-than-human persons who reside near and downstream or downwind of the fields the plants are grown in. Isn’t that a privilege worth discussing (one of no accountability)? I recently met a person who refused to purchase organically raised foods, despite knowing the harm that chemical agriculture causes, because they felt the higher cost associated with these foods represented privilege they did not want to partake in. Using social privilege concerns as a justification to pollute landscapes (when other options were present to the individual) is another example of how slanted this discussion of power has become.

While I do feel this conversation about wild food abundance and social privilege has value, the criticisms waged speak volumes to an attitude that is pervading the entire discussion of privilege and power, overlooking ideals such as personal sovereignty, ecological responsibility, and the need to apply regional solutions. Further, this attitude usually ignores our biological norms. I am not intending, with this writing, to suggest social hierarchy and the consequences of such be ignored. I am meaning to propose that when a conversation becomes more about condemnation than about finding solutions, it loses some of its original values and alienates people who would otherwise be allies.

By: Arthur Haines
http://www.arthurhaines.com/

The post “But Wild Food Is…” appeared first on WWW.AROUNDTHECABIN.COM.

Rabbit Cooking! A Recipe from 1747

Click here to view the original post.

A recipe for “Jugged Hare” right out of The Art of Cookery by Hannah Glass

Help support the channel with Patreon ▶ https://www.patreon.com/townsend
Pre Cyber Monday Sale – 20 Items on Sale Right Now! ▶ https://goo.gl/f65KAA
Twitter ▶ @Jas_Townsend Facebook
facebook.com/jas.townsend
Instagram ▶ jastownsendandson

The post Rabbit Cooking! A Recipe from 1747 appeared first on WWW.AROUNDTHECABIN.COM.

Roasted Possum

Click here to view the original post.

Roasted Possum

Remove as much hair and fat as possible from the animal after he is skinned. Also, they can be soaked in salt water or vinegar water in the cellar overnight before cooking, or if you are fortunate enough to have an icebox, that will work too. You can simmer him for a spell in water with salt and pepper before cooking. Simmer until meat begins to become tender.

Since the meat does have a “different” flavor, you may wish to serve it with sauerkraut, sweet-sour red cabbage, radishes, barbecue sauce, A-1 Steak Sauce, Tabasco Sauce, etc. Possum don’t taste nothin’ like chicken.

1 skinned and dressed possum cut-up
3 cups sliced carrots
6 cups onions, quartered
6 cups potatoes, quartered
1 clove garlic minced
1 can cream of mushroom or celery soup
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 cups water
Salt and pepper

Note: Ramps can be substituted for onions.

Brown possum in a little grease in an ovenproof iron pot then remove pieces. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Arrange possum artfully on top. Bake covered at 350 degrees F for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

The post Roasted Possum appeared first on WWW.AROUNDTHECABIN.COM.

Herbal remedies, You might be doing them wrong.

Click here to view the original post.

I’ve been using herbs all my life, as most of you have. Herbs are such a big part of our life we actually don’t think about them most the time. But the herbs I want talk to you about today deal with our healthcare.

Because of the rising cost in healthcare, or the man-made medicines that people don’t trust, or many other reasons, natural remedies are making a comeback.

One can get overwhelmed with the amount of natural remedies out there on the market. Most people would like to be able to raise their own herbs to treat their families. And for some people such as myself, gathering wild herbs is not only fun, but also very cost-effective.

The largest problem I see with herbal remedies is people trying to gather too many herbs. Instead of gathering 100 herbs to treat one ailment each, I suggest focusing on 10 to 20 herbs to treat multiple symptoms.

Knowing your own body and the loved ones you intend to treat, should come before any herbs are gathered. Finding what herbs work for you and your symptoms, is going to be trial and error that only you can do. Just because someone says some herb is a good one to use, does not mean that you are not allergic to it, or said herb will not respond to your body’s needs.

I do not believe that there is a list of herbs that everyone must have, or even one herb that everyone should use. Everyone’s body is different, what herbs works for me, may not work for you. Your herbal remedies should be very personal.

I’m going to give you one example of an herb that is very pronounced across the world. It is used for a food crop for both animals and humans. It is simple to gather, is probably in your yard, and most people overlook this herb.

Clover is nutritious and relatively high in protein content. Some Clover are high in vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, chromium, phosphorous, potassium, niacin, and the list goes on.

Some of the common uses and health benefits of clover are:

White and red clovers are considered to be blood purifiers. Thus, they can be used to promote the health of the liver and the digestive system.

White clover is also sought after for its effectiveness in healing respiratory ailments. A tea brewed from young clover leaves and blossoms is said to be a good expectorant and reduces the spasm brought on by whooping cough. It is believed to be anti-asthmatic in nature.

The phytoestrogens in red clover account for its popularity as a natural remedy to alleviate menopausal symptoms.

Being a rich source of many minerals, clover is believed to aid in the proper hormonal functioning of the glands in the human body.

The calcium and magnesium content in clover help to relax the nervous system.

Clover is also believed to promote flow of lymph and improve the immunity of the body.

Clover is considered to be a diuretic and thus reduces inflammation in cases of gout. Owing to its alterative and antispasmodic properties, red clover promotes muscle relaxation and can allay cramps and aches. White clover is also considered to be effective in reducing inflammations due to arthritis. It also decongests the salivary glands and reduces ocular inflammations.

Clover is said to be beneficial in treating skin disorders like psoriasis and eczema. In fact, red clover plant is often used for the treatment of various skin ailments.

Clover is said to be a cancer-fighting agent and finds use in alternative medicine for the management of certain cancers such as breast and ovarian cancer and other chronic degenerative diseases.

Red clover is rich in coumarins that are chemical compounds with anti-coagulant properties. Hence, this herb offers protection against heart disease. It thins the blood and does not allow plaque to build up on the walls of the arteries.

Warnings:
Headaches, nausea, and fatigue are some general side effects caused due to excess consumption of clover. Its high concentration of estrogen can also upset hormonal balance in women. Any medication using this herb needs to be administered under the supervision of a medical practitioner.

As I said before, your herbal remedies have to be very personal. As you can read by the list above, Clover as one herb has a multitude of uses.

Will some or all of those uses work for you? This is something only you as an individual, can find out. Some herbs will work better for you than others for different ailments.

Rich@ATC 10/22/2017

The post Herbal remedies, You might be doing them wrong. appeared first on WWW.AROUNDTHECABIN.COM.

Surviving In the Wild: How To Balance Your Eating

Click here to view the original post.

Let’s begin today’s article with the sad story of Christopher McCandless, the quintessential hipster whose decomposed body was found by moose hunters 25 years ago on September 6, 1992 in the close vicinity of Denali National Park.

This guy who became famous after a movie was made based on his diary has died of starvation inside a rusty bus that was used as an improvised shelter (prior to him) by dog mushers, trappers, and various other outdoors enthusiasts.

A note was found which reads:

“I NEED YOUR HELP. I AM INJURED, NEAR DEATH,  AND TOO WEAK TO HIKE OUT OF HERE. I AM ALL ALONE, THIS IS NO JOKE. IN THE NAME OF GOD, PLEASE REMAIN TO SAVE ME. I AM OUT COLLECTING BERRIES CLOSE BY AND SHALL RETURN THIS EVENING. THANK YOU,”
CHRIS McCANDLESS

Obviously, eating a diet based on berries and unicorn tears in an outdoors survival scenario is not the best idea in the world, as Christopher McCandless discovered the hard way. This guy died a horrible death by starvation, because of his naive and idealistic view of the world.

The thing is, Christopher McCandless died of starvation in an area that was bursting with wildlife, but due to a lack of skills and imagination, he chose to try to live (if you can call it living) on an ascetic diet.

An autopsy determined that at the time of his death, he weighed a mere 67 pounds and he had almost zero body fat. It has been speculated that he might have poisoned himself by eating wild potato seeds.

However, the lesson to be taken home is that one can’t rely on weeds and seeds for survival in an outdoors SHTF situation.

 

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You If You’ll Survive A SHTF Situation

 

I mean, okay, eating the inner tree bark, pine cone nuts, acorns, pine needles, leaves, weeds, and other plant-based foods may keep you alive for a while, but in the long run, you’ll get exhausted and maybe even poisoned if you don’t know what you’re eating. Our bodies are not designed to function properly with that stuff (we can’t digest cellulose, for example).

Not to mention that staying healthy and powerful on a raw-vegan elf/squirrel-based diet is nearly impossible because your body needs more protein than you can gather from pine nuts, if for no other reason than you burn more energy extracting them than you gain from eating them.

Even if, theoretically speaking, most people can live for weeks in a row without food, you’ll not be able to do anything of value while starving. And most people are totally clueless when it comes to what to eat when there’s no McDonalds nor a 7-Eleven around. In a survival situation, you’ll require all of your strength and stamina to stay alive. As a friend of mine nicely put it, can you fight a bear while on a grass diet? Forget about it, right?

When it comes to survival eating, one must pay attention to details, especially if you’re an outdoor enthusiast. Don’t get me wrong; I am not downplaying the importance of plants and veggies, but eating grass and berries is not enough.

A true survivalist should master the skill of correctly identifying edible plants in the wilderness. In a survival situation, you don’t want to take any chances such as eating a mushroom or a plant that may poison you.

What to Eat Then?

With only a few exceptions, one may eat anything that swims, flies, walks or crawls the Earth. People confronted with the dire straits of starvation have resorted even to cannibalism, not to mention eating leaves and bugs for nourishment. A survivor must go past his or her personal bias and eat what is available to stay alive.

Plants

When it comes to eating wild plants and fruit, the first lesson to absorb is how to stay away from poisonous stuff. The first rule of wilderness survival eating is to stay away from what you don’t know. If there’s any doubt, don’t eat it. If you’re not the “botanical dude/dudette” type (you don’t have a mental list of wild edibles), the general rule of thumb is to stay away from plants with:

  • fine hair
  • spines
  • milky sap
  • thorns
  • seeds inside pods
  • beans and bulbs with a bitter/soapy taste (read alkaloids)
  • grain heads with purple, pink or black spurs
  • plants with 3-leaved pattern.

Obviously, you can learn a lot about edible plants, but you’ll have to go study the phenomenon thoroughly. And speaking of edible plants, there is one plant that may keep you alive indefinitely, and I am talking about cattails.

Check out this article for further reference. Cattails are an awesome survival food and they’re easy to find, as they grow spontaneously near ponds, lakes and rivers.

Bugs

Though it’s off-putting to think about, when discussing a balanced survival diet, insects are an excellent source of protein and  they also contain some of the most important nutrients required by your body, (besides protein): fat and minerals.

Edible bugs are an awesome survival food, provided you can get past your preconceptions. Regarding commonly found edible insects in North America, here are a few:

  • grasshoppers
  • crickets
  • locusts
  • caterpillars (including when in larvae stage/moth)
  • ants
  • June bugs
  • termites
  • mealworms
  • centipedes

Stay away from brightly colored insects, as they may be poisonous. Generally speaking, insects will provide you with 65% to 80% protein. Compare that to beef’s puny 20% protein, and you’ll see why insects are recommended by many survivalists. Insects can be consumed raw or in a stew. Or, you can mix them with edible plants.

Other Creatures

However, when it comes to putting meat on the table, the name of the game is fishing, trapping, and of course hunting.  Having the skills to set traps, snares, and nets will keep you alive and kicking for a long time in any survival scenario imaginable.

It’s important to realize one simple thing: if you don’t have the tools for hunting large game, you should focus on smaller animals. They’re easier to catch and also they’re abundant. And speaking of small game, fish is an excellent source of fat and protein, and basically all North American fish are edible.

The same goes for amphibians (read frogs, check out this piece) and most of the reptiles. You can DIY nets, fishhooks, and traps for catching fish in a survival scenario.

Field-expedient methods include using wire, needles, and pins (any piece of metal actually) for making fishhooks. Alternatively, you may use coconut shell, bone, plant-thorns or seashells. Another method for catching fish is to use fish traps and gill nets. Finally, there’s spearfishing, but you would require Rambo-like skills for that.

Next, all species of birds are edible (including bird eggs), but if you plan to capture birds, you’ll have to master the art of trapping, snaring, or laying bird traps. In a survival scenario, trapping is the most feasible method to maintain a steady supply of fish and other fresh meat on the table, provided you know the rules of engagement, meaning you are educated on the lifestyles and habits of the animals you’re hunting.

Snares, pitfalls, and deadfalls are among the best known and easiest to improvise traps. Check out this article for further reference.

Another method for hunting small game would be to use a slingshot or a bow and arrow, but you’d require advanced skills in order to use them in a comprehensive way, i.e. you’ll have to practice long and hard with a bow and arrow or slingshot before being able to put meat on the table.

Obviously, if you’d ask me, I’d never go out in the middle of nowhere without my .22 rifle and copious amounts of ammo.

Now, it’s your turn to share your survival food tips with others in the dedicated comment-section below.

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

7 Fall Medicinal Wild Flowers You Must Harvest

Click here to view the original post.

Pretty much anywhere you live in the United States, with the exception of the most desert areas, there are flowers that are rich in medicinal benefits.

As with most flowers, they likely grow throughout the summer, but you need to get in a stockpile before they’re snowed under.

Of course, all of these flowers may not be available in your area, so check their zones. You may even want to consider growing some of these in your yard or your permaculture setting.

It’s important that you know what’s available in your backyard that can be used medicinally, and this is our article for today.

We’ve been using plants medicinally in this country long before it was settled by Europeans. As a matter of fact, many of the plants were originally named by Native Americans, then the name was Anglicized.

They had herbal medicine down to an art and with just a little bit of time, you can build some rudimentary skill in this area. And you should.

This Timeless Collection of Forgotten Wisdom Will Help You Survive!

I’m sure that the last person who ended up in some tragic scenario that required this kind of knowledge didn’t plan to end up in that situation, either.

Now, just to throw in a bit of trivia about the names of plants. As I said, many of them were named by Native Americans or by the settlers.

Those are the pretty or descriptive names like Butterfly Weed or Indian Paint, or Church Steeples. Others, such as hepatica, were named during a period of time in the middle ages when doctors believed that the structure of a plant belied its use.

For example, the hepatica plant was believed to aid with liver ailments because the flower itself had three lobed leaves that reminded the doctor of the human liver. It turns out that the plant doesn’t really have any medicinal properties at all. Fortunately, we’ve moved a little bit beyond that.

Coming back to the US, though, once Europeans started settling and learning from the Native Americans about the plants, they combined their advanced knowledge of human anatomy and medicine with their new knowledge and the modern pharmaceuticals were born.

Even today, flowering plants provide almost 25% of the basic ingredients for today’s medicines.

Now, let’s get to what you should be harvesting for winter.

Foxglove

This beautiful flower comes in lavender, white, pink, red, yellow, and purple flowers that grow up a stem that can get as tall as six feet.

They grow well in many parts of the US and are used medicinally for congestive heart failure and dropsy, aka fluid retention. It’s also used for asthma, heart irregularities (flutters), constipation, headaches, tuberculosis, and epilepsy.

Lavender

This pretty purple plant is grown by the front porch or gat for luck, but that’s not all it’s for. Lavender makes a great tea and is shown to be effective in treating depression, anxiety, and stress-related headaches. Store the plant, stems, and leaves.

Shepherd’s Purse

This plant was carried to the US from Europe and grows well here throughout the country.

The whole plant is edible and also extremely nutritious, but the health benefits make it a must-have in your medicinal herbs kit. The leaves, stems and flowers are used to stop bleeding because it constricts your blood vessels.

It’s also used as an astringent and an anti-inflammatory. You can make it into a tea for the medicinal purposes. You may be better off making this into a tincture because it’s possible that they lose potency when they’re dried.

Evening Primrose

Every single part of this pretty plant has a medicinal use. The seeds are cultivated because they contain GLA, one of the essential fatty acids that your body can’t make.

It helps prevent heart disease, cirrhosis of the liver, skin conditions such as eczema, atherosclerosis, menopause, and PMS, which will definitely be a good treatment for all involved if you’re forced into tight quarters!

Seriously though, it’s a nice tea that’s used to relieve that discomfort. The plant is used to relieve pain and is an anti-inflammatory.

The leaves and bark are astringent and can also help with whooping cough, asthma, skin condition, and GI disorders. Now see why it’s a must-have? Harvest extra!

Purple Coneflowers

This flower is so pretty that many people are growing it in their gardens without even realizing that it’s a medicinal plant.

As a matter of fact, you probably recognize this plant better by its Latin name: Echinacea. This was probably the plant that was used the most by Native Americans.

They used the root for snake bites, bug bites, burns, toothaches, sores, colds, and flu. All of the plant – leaves, buds, stems, and roots, are all potent, but the highest concentration is in the black roots, which can be dried and ground into a powder for use in tea.

Self Heal

As with many plants, this ground weed with small purple flowers is being studied by traditional medicine for its efficacy and is showing great potential for its antibiotic capabilities. It’s so prolific that you can find it just about anywhere in the US.

St. John’s Wort

This is a common roadside weed in almost every state, though most people have no clue what it is. It has what can only be described as frothy yellow flowers and gardeners call it a weed and pull it out mercilessly.

It blooms in the summer and is always in bloom in late June. As a matter of fact, that’s how it got its name back in medieval Europe: The Day of St. John is on June 24th.

Then, it was used to ward off evil spirits and protect livestock and farms from devils, goblins, and witches. Today we just use it to treat depression and anxiety. Boring, I know, but a better use of the plant. As a matter of fact, it’s so effective that it’s often called natural Prozac.

These are the most popular plants that are fairly common throughout the United States and there are likely some plants native and specific to your zone that you should learn about, too.

All of the plants that I listed here are fine to be dried, except where noted, but some plants lose their efficacy when they’re dried. For those, you’ll want to make a tincture, infusion, or salve instead, depending on whether you take it internally or externally.

You just can’t skip these natural cures from your prepping, as they are right at your hand and so much more powerful than anything that Big Pharma would promote. Take advantage of them to stay safe!

Do you have any wildflowers that you’d like to suggest? If so, please do so in the comments section below.

TLW

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

Oak Bark

Click here to view the original post.

The Oak has a long history of being a sacred tree, especially to the Druids.
The bark was not only used medicinally but also to tan leather and to add flavoring to smoked fish.
Oak lumber was formerly used to build naval fleets of European nations. Whole forests were cleared to meet the demands of shipbuilders.
Oak bark has been used since the time of the Aztec empire as an effective remedy for diarrhea.
Acorns were a staple food for Native Americans, and also sustained many wild animals during the winter.
Many cultures have used decoctions from the bark to treat sore throats, coughs, and other respiratory problems.

How can it help us?
antidiarrheal
astringent
antiviral
antiparasitic
heals wounds
stops bleeding

What makes the bark so good?
tannins (15-20% including quercitannic acid, phlobatammin, ellagitannins, and gallic acid).

The outer bark, leaves, inner bark, seeds (acorn) and seed cups are also sometimes used.

NOTE: Over 600 species world wide.

The post Oak Bark appeared first on WWW.AROUNDTHECABIN.COM.

How To Recognize And Use Mushrooms For Food And Fire

Click here to view the original post.

Many people that find themselves in the woods with no edible resources other than mushrooms may be tempted to give them a try. It’s not easy to know exactly which species of mushroom is safe to eat, and which ones can kill you. Making a mistake can kill you, so you really have to know what you’re doing.

On the other hand, you won’t be hurt if you burn the wrong type of mushroom, but knowing what to choose to start a fire will help you for sure.

Take a moment and get a few tips on how to recognize and use this natural resource for food and fire!

General Characteristics of Most Poisonous Mushrooms

Simply assuming that mushrooms eaten by animals will also be edible to humans is a mistake. Consider that humans can consume chocolate with absolutely no ill effect (and may even consider chocolate medicinal and downright miraculously curative), yet dogs can die if they eat even small amounts of chocolate. By the same token, animals can eat mushrooms that have chemicals in them that are poisonous to humans.

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You If You’ll Survive A SHTF Situation

Here are some general guidelines you can use to avoid many mushrooms that are poisonous to humans:

  • Avoid mushrooms that are red colored or have red on them. These mushrooms are like many other living things in nature. Their bright colors are meant as a warning to stay away from them.
  • Some white or dull colored mushrooms are also some of the most deadly. Mushrooms with a bulbous base, or a skirt around the stem can also be poisonous. You should also avoid mushrooms with white gills.
  • If you touch the gills on a Milkcap mushroom, it will emit liquid or “milk”. Even though some mushrooms in this family are safe to eat, most are toxic. It is best to avoid all of them until you know which ones are safe and which ones aren’t in the area you are traveling through.

If you have ever tried to survive on foods gathered from nature, then you know that experimenting with unknown food types is vital. With the exception of mushrooms, you can use the Universal Edibility Test to determine if the item is safe to eat.

The poisons some mushrooms house can take days, or even weeks to kill. Some poisons may slowly attack and destroy your liver, while others will cause toxic, and eventually fatal buildups in other organs. Other mushrooms cause hallucinations, which can lead to accidents, injury, and death. Since just one bite of a poisonous mushroom can get you killed, you just can’t rely on these tests to evaluate them as a food source.

Start Your Own Mushroom Identification Table

If you can get a field guide for the area you are foraging in, they can help you identify mushrooms that are safe to eat, and build your list into a table based on the mushrooms that you encounter.

Here are the basic fields your table should have, or the questions you should be able to answer about each mushroom that you encounter. Keep a few pages for spore prints (once you know how to make them safely) or other tests that will help you compare patterns later on.

  • What season are you encountering the mushroom in? As with many plants, fungi also have set temperature, humidity, and lighting requirements. In some cases, a poisonous strain that looks like a safe one may pop up during a different season. While it is possible for them to overlap if temperatures are unstable, you can still count this data and compare it with other features.
  • Where is the mushroom growing? Contrary to popular belief, mushrooms won’t grow in just any place with sufficient dead material to live on. For example, some mushroom species will only live on a certain tree type, and cannot be raised in fields, or on other wood types or parts of the same tree. Also, edible mushrooms may differ from poisonous counterparts because they grow on different kinds of dead material.
  • How are the mushrooms growing in relation to each other? In some cases, edible mushrooms may grow in a ring, while poisonous ones grow in tufts, or vice versa. Pay attention to where each mushroom of the same strain is in relation to the others. You’ll still need to rely on other tests, as you never know if an animal or something else came along and disrupted the original growing pattern of the mushroom crop.
  • What color is the exposed side of the mushroom cap? What does its texture look and feel like?
  • How big is the mushroom cap? If you have ever watched mushrooms crop up overnight, then you may already know that some emerge as small buttons that quickly form wider, flat cap shapes. Others will emerge almost fully sized and then fall apart within a matter of days. There is still a maximum size for various mushroom species that you can use to help try and identify them.
  • If the mushroom has gills or other markings underneath, what is their pattern? You may notice forks in the gills, or other shapes that will help you distinguish between a poisonous mushroom and a safe one. Make note of how the gills or underside parts feel. Are they brittle or do they bend easily? Do they appear close together? Are the underside structures attached to the stem?
  • What color are the gills, or if the mushroom does not have gills, what color is in the area where the gills would be?
  • Does the mushroom have a bulb at its base? Does it have a ring around the stem?
  • Is the mushroom brightly colored or red?
  • How does the mushroom smell? Does it have a pleasant “mushroomy” odor, or does it smell acrid, like iodine, otherwise unpleasant? (In many cases, pleasant smelling mushrooms are more likely safe to eat. Still, every person’s sense of smell is different, and some people may consider iodine a pleasant smell and actually be nauseated by the odor of an edible mushroom).
  • Pay attention to how the mushroom’s flesh changes color when cut or bruised. If you have some lye available, you can expose some mushroom flesh to it. In some instances, the color change and what the color changes to may be the best test you can use to confirm which species of mushroom you are dealing with.
  • What color are the spore prints? While it can take several hours for the spores to drop onto paper, they will give you some very important information that will help you identify the mushroom you are dealing with.
  • As with potatoes and some other foods we take for granted as being edible, some mushrooms need to be cooked in order to be edible. When scavenging for edible mushrooms, list this information as well so that you know how to prepare the mushroom safely after harvesting it.

14920747 – collection of edible mushrooms on white background

How to Choose Fungus for Starting Fires

Humans have been using mushrooms for survival for thousands of years. Certain kinds of mushrooms were widely favored for medicine, food, and even starting fires.

Knowing the characteristics of polypore mushrooms can give you an enormous advantage if you need to start a fire, or carry a smoldering ember from one place to another. There are also other strains of mushrooms for the same purpose, but they may not be as effective.

Do you wonder how to recognize a polypore? This mushroom type usually grows on rotting wood. You’ll notice ridges of hard material growing out from tree trunks, as well as near areas where the tree trunk is covered with moss.

Polypores usually have hard, almost woody caps that may have a smooth or rough texture. They may also be brown, gray, or multi-colored.

Some polypores also look like “shelves” extending from the surface they are growing on. Depending on the species of mushroom, they can grow quickly, while others may take years to produce a good sized cap.

If you look underneath the cap of a polypore, you will more than likely find tubes or pores instead of gills.

Even though the polypores grow on tree trunks, there are others that grow on or near the roots of trees. In many cases, these mushrooms form a symbiotic relationship with the trees: they can help the tree communicate with other trees in the area by sending certain chemical signals.

Mushrooms can also cleanse the soil of contaminants, or change the pH to one that is more amenable to the the tree species in question. Polypores may also offer increased resistance to disease, insects, and other organisms that might otherwise cause damage to the roots of the trees.

As you learn more about these kinds of polypores, you may be surprised at how many uses humans have for them.

Basic Steps for Starting a Fire With Mushrooms

Overall, you will find that it isn’t especially hard to start a fire using polypore mushrooms. Here are the steps you will need to take:

Start off by locating some woody polypore mushrooms. Do not be concerned if they have a hard outer surface that cannot be broken or cracked easily.

Take a knife or other sharp object, and dig into the cap. You should reach a soft interior that feels something like felt. Pull off the hard outer shell of the cap until you have the felty inner surface to work with.

Next, you can shred the inner soft part of the cap, or cut it into thin slices. You may also want to crush the soft part to make something of a chunky powder. If you can, try to set aside some slightly thicker slices. Later on, once you have the fire going, you can use these bits to make charcoal, and also something similar to tinder cloth.

To start a fire using mushrooms, simply use your favorite sparking method and then use the mushrooms for tinder. Even though the mushroom will smolder quite a bit, surrounding dry tinder will ignite easily enough.

Other Ways to Use Fungus for Starting Fires

Today, many people interested in survival and off gridding make it a point to study as many different ways to start a fire as possible. Human history is also filled with a number of interesting, albeit strange methods and devices. In this case, lets have a look at how the Vikings used Polypores to start fires, and also carry the embers need to start a new fire from one location to another.

As with most other methods used to build fires with polypores, the Vikings also started off by separating the hard outer shell from the soft interior. Next, they cut this cut the softer part into thin slices, and then beat them until the became soft and pliable.

After using a method similar to what you would use to make tinder cloth, only with the mushroom bits, the Vikings went on to boil the mushroom bits in urine. Since urine has sodium nitrate in it, the resulting charred mushroom ignited more easily. It would also smolder for days on end, which made it safer and easier to carry from one location to another.

If you don’t go camping very often, or have not had to try and live in the woods for a prolonged period of time, it is easy enough to dismiss mushrooms as a source of survival food and fire.

On the other hand, mushrooms are some of the oldest and most resilient organisms on the planet. This, in turn means that many catastrophic disasters that will wipe out other organisms may not do much damage to mushrooms.

It might take some work and effort to learn how to classify mushrooms, it will be well worth it. They might save your life one day!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

Stinging Nettle

Click here to view the original post.

Stinging Nettle, plant of many uses.

For many wild food and medicinal foragers alike, Stinging Nettle really has no equal and is one of the many native super foods.

Despite this nettle is most famed and often dislikes for the irritating sting that is appropriate for his name. The leaves and stems are covered with hair like spines that can penetrate the skin. These spines subsequently break off releasing a cocktail of chemicals. The stings are easily disabled in processing by crushing, steaming, boiling or soaking. My advice to you, wear gloves while collecting stinging nettle, you should be okay.

Stinging nettle can be found on almost any waste grounds, country roads or long hedges in and around the city or country. If you cut a patch of stinging nettle back to the ground it will grow back thick and strong within days during the growing season. Stinging nettle has creeping rhizomes which are very hard to contain, unless you replant it in a container.

Stinging Nettle has been used for food, fuel, medicine, and for making things for the household such as sheets and tablecloth. Romans used nettle to thrash themselves, knowing that the rush of blood would provide relief from cold conditions. In World War II the Germans had uniforms made and spun from nettle fiber. Nettle makes fiber that is stronger than linen, and once washed a few times, becomes very soft. As a fuel, any plant matter left over from other processing can be turned into a bio fuel.

stinging_nettle_male flowers

Goats will eat fresh nettle seemingly unaffected by their stinging. Cattle have been fed dry nettle to help improve milk production. Chickens also seem to benefit from dried or boiled or mashed nettle to their diet. Feeding dried nettle to your horses helps improve digestion trouble.

Try hanging a bunch of nettle in your kitchen to dry for infusions, you will have the added benefit of deterring flies! You can also make paper from the nettle fibers!

As a food crop, stinging nettle contains high levels of vitamin C, iron, vitamin A, potassium and trace minerals and proteins. After mid June however, some nettle become grainy, having developed a high level of oxalate crystals.

Medicinally an infusion of stinging nettle is very cleansing and so will improve all kinds of skin conditions. Also widely used and associated with a sluggish, body system. Nettle is used to clean out many toxins that accumulated over the winter. Stinging nettle has been used to clean the liver and blood, help relieve gout, arthritis, rheumatism, and kidney stones.

I should also mention that stinging nettle leaves provide you a green dye, and the roots provide you a yellow dye!

From food and medicine, to so much more, stinging nettle is a wonderful plan to have on your property or in your garden.

I hope you will explore more of stinging nettle and bring this wonderful plant, into your life and into your home.

Written by Rich – ATC 7/5/2015.

The post Stinging Nettle appeared first on WWW.AROUNDTHECABIN.COM.

The Wild Plum – The Wild Edible You Want to Know When the SHTF!

Click here to view the original post.

This is a guest post.

One staple wild edible every smart prepper should be privy to

Two hundred!

That’s the response if the question is “What % RDA of Vitamin A is in a handful of wild plums?”

(*RDA – Recommended Daily Allowance, handful – approximately 7 oz, used for the purposes of this article)

If that fact alone doesn’t dilate your pupils and keep you engaged to learn more about the widely overseen abundance of wild bumper crops that’s all around us, I don’t know what would.

Today, we take a look at one specific Nature’s gift – wild plums (Prunus Americana)

Sure, wild plums are not as sexy to talk about as that new gaudy “Zombie Killer” throwing ax that comes in 15 colors, I’ll give you that.

But this is the point that separates men from the boys, a smart prepper clear on his priorities sincerely looking to prepare for whatever the future holds and a tire-kicking “prepper” (with air quotes) who’s all about being cool.

Now that we got that out of the way (and probably offended a few people in the process) let’s get down to business.

Am I cherry-picking (pun intended) pieces of information for effect?

I’ve heard this one before when I talk about wild edibles…comments like, “Sure, but you can find that kind of sensationalistic bit of info and run with it to get people’s attention…”

So let’s see if I’m doing it here.

Head to head – wild plum vs. a “superfood”

Just for reference, let’s compare the wild plums to the wildly praised “superfood” – broccoli. BTW, I hate the term “superfood.” It means nothing and just leaves you guessing what’s in it that’s so super.

Let us see how the “superfood” fares against the simple wild plum in some of the most essential nutrients.

We’ve put together the tables below to compare the nutrients in 7 oz. of wild plums and the same amount of raw broccoli.

The numbers are based on the needs of 200-pound, 40-year-old, moderately active man. 

  • Naturally, broccoli doesn’t even come close in terms of energy it provides (67 kCal vs. 180 kCal), but that’s beside the point since we know it’s not a calorie-dense food.
  • Potassium to Sodium ratio – an average adult needs about 3500-4000 mg of Potassium per day – a handful of wild plums provides about 1/5th of that. The same amount of broccoli gives you about 10 % less.

Again, that’s not the main forte of wild plums if we’re talking potassium – it’s the Potassium to Sodium ratio.

In wild plums, the ratio is approximately 100 to 1 (milligrams) while the ratio in broccoli is 10:1.

We’re not making the case here that you can overdose on Sodium by eating broccoli – the point is that the ratio in wild plums is at the “sweet spot”, and you don’t have to worry about sodium – it’s as simple as that.

  • Vitamin C – a handful of wild plums gives you about 1/4th of the Vitamin C you need per day. As you can see in the table – it’s the only nutrient where broccoli significantly bests wild plums by giving you 200 % of what you need.

Two thinking points

  1. Think about where you’d find broccoli in a survival situation
  2. Less importantly, but still food for thought – think about how much 7 oz of broccoli is in terms of volume. It takes a plate to get that much of broccoli. With wild plums, it takes about 10 seconds to pick a handful and about 30 seconds to eat it.

 

  • Vitamin A – almost 6 times more Vitamin A in 7 oz. of wild plums than in broccoli. To make my point here – I’d ask you to Google “foods rich in Vitamin A”. I’d bet you a nice red zombie-skull-splitting ax that almost every site you look at will list broccoli among the TOP 10 sources of the vitamin. Take a moment to let that thought sink in.

Why is this important?

Unless you stumble upon a field of pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and carrots or a tree that grows eggs and whole milk, sources of Vitamin A in a survival situation would be scarce.

Wild plums are among the few naturally-occurring foods that are this is rich in a vitamin that’s crucial for all of the below:

  1. Eyesight – It’s a precursor for Retinal, Retinol and Retinoic acid – all paramount for your eyes (precursor means that your body “takes” the vitamin and makes the chemicals it needs to feed the eyes).
  2. The immune system – necessary for white cell activation to fight off infections
  3. Red blood cell production – it’s the vitamin that allows iron to be built into hemoglobin. To put it simply – it facilitates oxygen to be carried around your body.
  4. Sleep – getting proper sleep is not just about getting the hours, it’s about balanced sleep phases and optimal Circadian Rhythm (the 24-cycle of our body).

 

The body of evidence about just how important Vitamin A is for proper sleep has been growing ever since the 2005 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

You don’t need to know the scientific nitty-gritty

If you are bored reading about the chemical mumbo-jumbo, let me tell you, it’s not a fizz writing about it either.

The takeaway from we said above shouldn’t be numbers – it should be the simple idea about the abundant Nature’s gift that is the Wild Plum.

Enough with the broccoli – we get it!

I know, I know…I probably overdid it with the broccoli thing – it was just to make a few points.

Now that we have the basics down let’s move and bite into the “meat” of this article – the actionable part – where the plum grows, how to spot it and discern it from toxic shrubs and whether it can be bad for you.

Where it grows

This is the part where we’ll lose some of you since, as the natural distribution map below shows, Prunus Americana don’t grow throughout the US.

 

Its natural habitat ranges from North Dakota and parts of Minnesota in the North down to parts of Alabama and Georgia in the South, and from parts of South Dakota, Nebraska Kansas and Oklahoma in the West to Virginia and Carolinas in the East.

Not as common as in the states above, it’s also “sprinkled” in some areas of Montana, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and even New Mexico (see the map below).

How the tree looks

The wild plum grows like a small tree or a high-shrub, and it reaches up to 15 feet in height. The crown of the tree is broad with thorny branches and rich white flowers when blooming.

It blooms in mid-spring and its growth is most active and fruitful in the late spring and through the summer.

14346833 – fruit garden concept. freshly harvested wild plum on old wooden background

 

All the blooming trees 

What the fruit looks like
We won’t be getting in all the species and sub-species here – they all belong to the same family and have similar nutritional value.  A ripe wild plum is about the size of a cherry, and the color can be anywhere from the bright yellow to dark purple.

One of the “features” that stands out is the waxy coating of dust-like yeast that covers the fruit. The white coating is similar to that of a domestic plum, and it serves a very specific purpose – it’s a protective layer of natural wax. It keeps the moisture in and protects the fruit from drying out.

When broken, the tough skin has what can be described as a crispy texture.

The taste

If you’ve ever tasted a wild plum, you’re not likely to mistake it for anything else.

The taste is distinctively tart and mouth-puckering, especially if it’s not fully ripe. As it ripens, it becomes sweeter and not as tart.

The Plum-Bum

If I say that there’s a term “plum-bum”, you can probably anticipate what risks are involved with eating too much of it.

How much it too much?

It depends on your digestive system. What I did to come to my “plum-bum-red-line” is gather some and test my stomach in the safety of my home.

In my case, the red-line is about 15 ounces…anything more than that in one sitting is too much for my bowels.

Can it be toxic?

Wild plums are not toxic for people.

Whether it’s relevant to the reader I can’t know but me mentioned it just as well – while the dried or fresh leaves are not toxic, DRYING leaves are, especially for small animals.

When I say “drying”, I’m referring to the leaves of a branch that’s been broken off and is parching.

Always give back

If you do get to a nice ripe bundle of wild plums before a murder of crow does, return the Nature’s favor by throwing the kernels around as you go. Out of the 10 you throw, one will take.

Little things like this do make a difference in the big picture.

This was the first part of the series of article about the wild bumper crops you should know about – in the next chapter we’ll like into the more exotic and, perhaps, more surprising “friend” we have out there – a Nature’s version of a multi-practice – the Cattail.

Until then, stay safe and smart

James G.M.

 

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle PlusYouTube

Wild Edibles Wednesday: Lambsquarters

Click here to view the original post.

Wild Edibles Wednesday: Lambsquarters If you really want to feel like Neo from The Matrix take the time to not only read these articles on wild edibles but also to fully understand and seek out the food in your local area. I always like to gauge my comfort level by my desire to eat certain …

Continue reading »

The post Wild Edibles Wednesday: Lambsquarters appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

MASSH, the tool you need, to Survive

Click here to view the original post.

The MASSH is created out of a solid piece of 3/16 mild steel, heat treated with a Rockwell between 48-52. The tool is 22 inches long and two pounds in weight. The MASSH is a fixed blade with no moving parts. It has a Machete Edge, Axe Edge, Shovel Edge with a convenient boot notch, Hammer head, Cross hatch saw that doubles as a rasp for making saw dust/wood shavings for ease of fire starting. This Survival Tool also has a Fire barring, for easier mechanical fire starting. A quick clip Carebeaner hole and the handle is wrapped with 550 parachute cord and includes a thumb grip for ease of use.

The MASSH is a great all around tool for hunting, camping, hiking, any out door activities including the dooms day preppers. Keep this survival tool on your back pack, in your camper, strapped to your side and it will replace your axe, hatchet, shovel & machete etc.

The MASSH is a great tool for a survival situation. It will handle all of your needs such as cutting, chopping, digging, making traps, constructing shelters, building fires, creating tinder, & splitting wood etc.

What can you use the MASSH for:

Using the shovel to dig your car out from snow.
Start a fire.
Create a snow shelter.
Dig a cat hole.
Divert water
Clear brush
Cut down trees
Secure your tie off
Create wood shavings to make a fire
Dig a hole
Making a Dead Fall trap
Create notches for any type of trap.
Grappling hook
When your up the creek without a paddle, use the MASSH
Brush hook
Home gardening
Removing roots
Tying up a boat
Creating a clothes line
Binding meat to a back rack pack
Fishing line
Prying tool
Construct a floating raft
Build a shelter

Mild steel was used in creation of the tool to bend and reduce chipping. It’s the same reason you don’t hit two hammers together. I provided 550 parachute cord for the handle for multiple functions.

What can you use parachute cord for?

Strip it down, take small cords for fishing line
Mending clothing
Quick build for shelters
Tying boats or rafts
Anchor line
Clothes line

Contact Jackly Gear
To contact Jackyl Gear please go to http://www.jackylgear.com/contact

The post MASSH, the tool you need, to Survive appeared first on WWW.AROUNDTHECABIN.COM.

Finding the Best Wild Edibles No Matter Where You Are

Click here to view the original post.

Finding the Best Wild Edibles No Matter Where You Are This article is part one of a four article woodsman’s course that offers some great information and hi res pictures. I liked this article because it breaks down not only what to eat but where to find it. This is a crucial part of foraging. …

Continue reading »

The post Finding the Best Wild Edibles No Matter Where You Are appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

11 Weeds You Should Be Eating, Not Killing

Click here to view the original post.

As a general rule, weeds aren’t especially well-liked. Even among the prepper community—a group of people known for salvaging everything that can be salvaged and putting to use everything that can be used—weeds are seen as little more than a bothersome obstacle that gets in the way of growing plants that are of actual value. […]

The post 11 Weeds You Should Be Eating, Not Killing appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

How to start foraging … Without killing Your family!

Click here to view the original post.

How to start foraging … Without killing Your family! Austin Martin “Homesteady Live“ Audio in player below! Last year i was super excited when my wife came inside and told me that she thought she found a patch of Morell Mushrooms in our backyard. I ran outside to look, and yes! There were lots of … Continue reading How to start foraging … Without killing Your family!

The post How to start foraging … Without killing Your family! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

WILD EDIBLES of Spring ! Foraging for your CAMP MEALS

Click here to view the original post.

This article was originally published by Tara on backroadramblers.com

Happy Spring, friends! Here in the Northeast US, our snow is finally melting away, the maple sap is running hard, and the sunlight is casting a beautiful glow well into the evening. All of this is a delightful reminder that the earth is waking up and that camping season isn’t far away! Spring camping is a great way to shake off those winter blues.

Spring is also a great season to harvest wild edibles to liven up your campfire meals. Our kids have always loved searching for dinner on our hikes through the woods, and over the years, we’ve learned a lot about foraging and what tastes good. I’ll be the first to admit that we’ve had some culinary disasters after foraging at camp, but I’m not going to share those with you. Instead, here are some of our favorite wild edibles for spring and how to prepare them as part of a tasty camp meal.

Resources for Harvesting Wild Edible Plants

If you’re interested in foraging for wild edibles, the first thing you need is a good field guide. We’ve been using the Peterson Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants for years and years, and we usually keep it in the car so it’s always handy on road trips and other adventures. We also really love Healing Wise by Susan Weed, but it’s less of a field guide and more of an overview of amazing plants.

Harvesting wild plants may seem scary or daunting at first, but most of the plants in this post will never be confused with something poisonous, and they are quite easy to identify. Once you are comfortable harvesting, cooking, and enjoying a wild edible plant, you’ll never forget it.

Wild Greens to Harvest in the Spring

When the days get longer and warmer, I start to crave green veggies in a big way. Luckily, even if we’re packing dehydrated meals for backpacking trips, we can usually find enough wild greens to make a pretty awesome salad. These greens are delicious raw in salads or sandwiches, and most can be added to soups, sauces, and other cooked meals.

  • Dandelion greens – The original spring tonic, these bitter greens are best
    picked young, which means early spring in the Northeast. Our favorite way to eat dandelion greens is in a mixed wild green salad, but we also enjoy them sauteed with extra garlic. Mark Bittman’s recipe is our favorite.
  • Watercress –  A fancy staple for high tea, watercress is abundant in marshy streams and other bodies of
    water throughout the United States. It’s a member of the mustard family, and is widely cultivated for its lovely, mild flavor. Look for a floating plant with three to five oval-shaped leaflets. In the spring, watercress displays clusters of white, four-petaled flowers. It is delicious in raw in salads and on sandwiches.
  • Stinging nettles – Our kids called them “Cat Scratch” when they were little, and you do have to be careful when harvesting nettles. If they come in contact with your skin, you’ll have red, itchy welts for a few minutes afterwards. Wear long sleeves and gloves for protection. Nettles are best
    harvested in early spring, when the stalks are less than a foot tall. Eventually, they will grow to more than five feet tall, and at that point, you should only harvest the tender tips. Store nettles in a bag to keep them from stinging you while you’re hiking. When you get back to camp, cook them with a few tablespoons of water and a little salt — they will no longer be able to sting you. Our favorite recipe is this tasty omelette from Nourished Kitchen.
  • Violet leaves and flowers – Violets are one of the first sweet treats to pop up in the spring. They grow in the temperate parts of the northern
    hemisphere and are easy to spot in grassy areas or woodlands. The flowers come in purple, white, yellow,and pink, and are really tasty mixed with other greens in a salad. The leaves are heart-shaped, with a peppery flavor, and best eaten raw. They’re a bit mucilaginous (slimy) and may be an acquired taste for some (me).
  • Garlic mustard – This prolific plant is actually wreaking havoc across much of the country. It’s an invasive species that grows so dense in woodland
    areas, that other plants aren’t able to grow there. Harvesting and eating garlic mustard will only put a dent in the population if you pull out the whole plant (root and all) before the flowers go to seed. Luckily, garlic mustard is super delicious. Eat it raw, in soups, or make garlic mustard pesto. 

More Wild Edibles To Harvest in the Spring

Now that you’ve got your salad fixins, here are a few more woodland delicacies that you can harvest in the spring. The next three wild edibles are like the fine wines of the forest — sought after delicacies that have very definite seasons. The best way to find them is to ask locally about harvest seasons.

Fiddleheads

Fiddleheads are the unfurled fronds of the ostrich fern, and they’re only available for a couple of weeks in the spring. Once they start to leaf out, they’re no longer fit to eat, so timing is everything. Fiddlehead ferns grow in moist, wild forests all over New England. In Vermont, they start breaking ground in early April.

You can’t eat all ferns, so make sure to positively identify the ostrich fiddlehead with your field guide. Ostrich fiddleheads are deep, bright green, with a brown papery covering. One tell-tale sign that you’ve got an ostrich fern fiddlehead is the deep groove on the inside of the stem.

Cooking Fiddlehead Ferns

In order for the fresh, grassy flavor to shine, simple recipes work best. Boil clean fiddleheads in salted water for five minutes. Drain them well, then saute them with butter or oil, some garlic, and some salt and pepper. Serve them with your favorite camp food – burgers, steaks, or hot dogs on a stick.

Ramps

Ramps are a wild perennial native to northeastern North America. They’re also known as spring onions, wild leeks, or wild garlic. The whole plant is edible – root, stem, and leaf, and they’ve got an incredibly delicate flavor reminiscent of their closest cousins.

The harvest season for ramps lasts about a month, beginning in April or May, depending on where you live. Ramps grow in moist, fertile woodlands, and are often the greenest plant on the spring forest floor. The leaves grow six inches tall, and are quite broad, resembling lily-of-the-valleys. When left to grow undisturbed, ramps will grow a lush, expansive carpet. You can use ramps the same way you use onions. Our favorite way to cook them is to grill them over our campfire and toss them with our foraged wild greens.

Morel Mushrooms

In Vermont, they say to start looking for morels when the oak leaves are the size of a mouse’s ear. These delightful little mushrooms are tricky to find, and once you’ve found a patch of your own, you tend to keep it secret and return to it year after year. Morel hunting is a passion for many foragers, and fun way to spend the day for others. We fall somewhere in between on that spectrum, spending between three and six hours each year foraging for morels.

No other mushroom looks quite like the morel, and they are very easy to identify (but very hard to spot on the ground).  In Vermont, we start looking for them in early May. Hunting for morels is a bit like searching for buried treasure, and the best way to find them is to forage with an experienced morel hunter. If you find one morel, there’s bound to be more nearby.

Cooking Morels

Morels are magnets for dirt and bugs, so before you cook them, slice them in half and soak them in cold, salted water. Pat them dry and add them to a pan of hot oil to sear and brown them. Once they’re nice and brown, turn down the heat and add a chopped onion (or ramps) to the pan. Cook for five minutes and then add a pat of butter, a squirt of soy sauce, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve with rice and a big wild green salad.

I hope this post has gotten you excited for spring hiking, camping, and foraging. Time to shake off old man winter and discover the bounty of the natural world.

 

Source : backroadramblers.com

The post WILD EDIBLES of Spring ! Foraging for your CAMP MEALS appeared first on .

6 Wild Healing Plants You Should Use

Click here to view the original post.

6 Wild Healing Plants You Should Use Nature offers a multitude of solutions to recover, without side effects from some of the most problematic illnesses we can think of. There are medicinal plants that have been used in alternative medicine since the dawn of time. With more than two hundred medicinal plants found in North …

Continue reading »

The post 6 Wild Healing Plants You Should Use appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

A Collection Of Cool Things To Do With Stinging Nettles

Click here to view the original post.

A Collection Of Cool Things To Do With Stinging Nettles Stinging nettles have been around from the beginning of time, they hurt us a kid but these green wild plants can actually be very useful in the kitchen. Here is something that I have just found out today! Stinging nettles actually have a similar flavor to that …

Continue reading »

The post A Collection Of Cool Things To Do With Stinging Nettles appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Five Best DIY Toothache Remedies

Click here to view the original post.

featured_barberry_japanese_toothache

syzygium_aromaticum_-_ko%cc%88hler-s_medizinal-pflanzen-030As is generally the case with any illness, we want to consider the cause of the illness as well as the most urgent manifest symptoms.  There are many possible causes of toothache.  Let us consider for this article one that is undoubtedly a major cause – infection.  Obviously, if infection is causing a toothache, we want to address the infection with antimicrobial agents.  Most of our DIY toothache remedies have some antimicrobial properties.  Barberry (Berberis spp.) will be discussed in this article, though it represents others of the group that are also quite useful and most better-known; such as Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), Oregon Grape Root (Mahonia spp.), and Goldthread (Coptis spp.).  Spilanthes is also a stellar antimicrobial.  It will be discussed here additionally because it has numbing and sialagogue properties – a perfect toothache herb.  Another classic remedy that must be mentioned is Clove (Syzygium aromaticum), usually used as essential (distilled) oil.  Sesame (Sesamum indicum) oil, or another cooking oil, can be used in a remedy called oil-pulling.  And the fifth remedy is the technique of shiatsu (acupressure).

By Nathaniel Whitmore a Contributing Author to SHTFBlog and SurvivalCache

There are many additional DIY remedies that can be found outside in various ecosystems.  It is well worth getting to know your local forests and camping areas in case the need arises to find a toothache remedy.  Toothache is some of the worst pain I have experienced.  It can keep a person awake at night and feeling very miserable.  If you are in the woods or otherwise away from medical care or even your home medicine cabinet, there will likely be many herbal remedies found at hand among the plant life. 

Trees in particular offer many toothache remedies.  Prickly Ash in certain areas is a helpful remedy.  More wide-spread are the conifers.  Pines, Spruce, Fir, and others produce resins that can be very helpful.  Myrrh is another tree resin well-known for treating toothache.  Willlows and Poplars as well are well-known pain relieving herbs.  Among the herbaceous plants there are things like the Mints, Yarrow, and other aromatic and/or antimicrobial plants.  A study in toothache remedies, however abundant they are, might best start with the five classic remedies mentioned above.

Barberry

japanese_barberryJapanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii) is a common and hated invasive in my area.  Though not in every patch of woods, it is widespread and in many areas has taken over to the point that the growth of other vegetation is dramatically suppressed and walking is difficult to near impossible.  There are many other species as well.  Oregon Grape Root was formerly considered a member of the genus, but is now Mahonia.  The constituent credited for the antibiotic and other medicinal effects, as well as the yellow color of the roots and bark, is called “berberine” after these plants.  Goldenseal and Coptis (our native Goldthread as well as Huang Lian of Chinese herbal medicine and others – another name is Canker Root, which indicates use in mouth infections) are perhaps better known, but I focus on Barberry because it is invasive.  Barberry is also of interest as a wild edible.  The fruits are not highly sought after, but they are edible.  …

Toothache Plant

toothache_plantToothache plant is also commonly known by its genus name Spilanthes and by the name Eyeball Plant, for the flowerhead which lacks rays.  It is largely a tropical plant, where it often grows as a perennial.  In my part of the world, we grow Spilanthes as an annual.  I think of it as a quick-growing Echinacea analogue, as Echinacea takes several seasons to mature.  Like Echinacea, or Cone Flower, Toothache Plant produces a distinct tingling as well as an increased flow of saliva.  

If you are lucky enough to have fresh Toothache Plant growing (or smart enough to have planted it), simply pick a flower-head and chew it, or at least bite into it once or twice before stuffing it between your gum and cheek (or maybe under the tongue) near the troubled tooth.  

If you do grow Toothache Plant you can tincture it by chopping and soaking the plant (or just the flower heads) in high-proof alcohol.  After about four weeks (one moon cycle) you can strain the liquid off (perhaps by pouring through and then ringing out through cheesecloth) and store in a tightly sealed jar.  If dispensed from a one or two ounce bottle with a dropper lid, it is easy to drop from a few drops to half the dropper directly onto the trouble area.

Related: Survival Eating

The tingling effects from Toothache plant are quite immediate and strong in effect.  In fact, it can be overwhelming.  If you place too much tincture in your mouth or chew a bit too much of a flower-head, you might find your mouth producing almost more saliva than you can swallow.  Here-in lies some of the benefit, however.  Spilanthes helps to move the saliva and lymph and “wash out” the sick fluids around the tooth. Additionally, Toothache Plant is a distinct antimicrobial.  It quickly helps to resolve the infection that is at the root of the pain.   

Clove

cloveEven the Hagakure“The Book of the Samurai” mentions the protective and healing powers of clove.  Still today Clove is revered for its medicinal uses, and is known as a primary remedy for tooth pain.  Aromatherapists, herb shops, and distributors of essential oils have promoted especially the essential oil of Clove for toothache, and it is indeed a convenient remedy.  The distilled oil is liquid and usually sold in small bottles with a dropper.  Simply place a drop or two on your finger to apply or apply directly from the dropper onto the trouble area.  Clove is quite spicy and warming and will cause the tissue to burn.  Don’t use so much as to cause excessive irritation.  This burning sensation and warming of the tissue is in part what distracts one from the pain.  There is a numbing quality as well, and Clove has antimicrobial properties.

Clove essential oil can be mixed with other essential oils, like Tea Tree (Melaleuca).  Tea Tree is a wonderful antiseptic, though I am not real fond of putting it in my mouth.  It’s antiseptic properties are undeniable and for this reason I usually have some around, particularly for tick bites but also as a general antiseptic for cuts and the like.  Since you should have some around in your first-aid kit (I keep it in my truck, home, cabin, and even motorcycle saddlebags), it is well worth considering as a toothache remedy, especially mixed with Clove.

Clove oil or combination of oils can be mixed in with the oil used for oil pulling, described below.  It is also used in sword oils, for tending to the shinken or katana (sword).  So, depending on what type of survival situation you are preparing for, there are many possible reasons to have Clove oil around.  It can also be useful for digestive, respiratory, and circulatory problems, headaches, and in the treatment of injury.

Read Also: Eating All Your Veggies

Powdered Clove can easily be used by placing a pinch in the troubled area.  It can also be infused into oils, though you would want to allow more time for the oil to extract the medicine from the powder than when using the essential oil.  Even more time should be allowed if using whole Cloves.  Quite likely, you will want to grind them if you have only whole Cloves.  For storage purposes, whole Cloves might be prefered to the powder because of their longer shelf-life.  

Oil Pulling

oil_sesameOil pulling consists of swishing oil, such as Sesame oil, through the teeth and around the mouth in order to absorb the impurities of the mouth and gums.  Any oil will do.  Simply swish until your saliva has thoroughly been mixed with the oil and then some, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Then spit it out.  Repeat for acute toothaches.  Practice daily to avoid toothaches or for minor ones. Sesame oil is a commonly used oil, partially because Sesame has been used to strengthen the bones and teeth.  Of course today using Coconut oil is very popular.  In many areas Olive oil will be the most available.  Grapeseed oil is good too.  For an active infection, you can consider adding small amounts of clove oil, tea tree oil, or other antimicrobial oils.

Shiatsu

Shiatsu (Japanese for “finger pressure”), or acupressure, is also very good for toothache.  There are some points locally – some in the jaw for any toothache, and of course some might be of particular focus according to which tooth is affected.  There are also some points around the base of the skull, neck, and shoulders that help, partially by releasing the tension that often accompanies, and contributes to, tooth pain.  There are also distal points that are located elsewhere on the body.

A primary distal point for toothache is between the thumb knuckle and metatarsal bone of the index finger.  There is more-or-less a muscular mound that when pressed will usually be quite sore.  The point and general area can be pressed or massaged.  

Most of the other relevant points can be  simply felt out by massaging the area of the jaw, occiput, neck, and shoulders.  Especially the joint of the jaw, the muscle there, and the area around the teeth should be palpated for soreness and pressed or massaged.  Likewise, the base of the skull, the neck (especially the muscles and along the spine), and the tops of the shoulders should be rubbed and palpated.  There is one point in particular worth mentioning (the rest have to be saved for an article specifically on the subject).  It can be found by working one’s fingers along the base of the skull.  Although everyone is built a little different, there is usually a soft, and sore, spot between a mound behind the ear and a mound at the back of the neck.  By treating this point with pressure or massage it is possible to relax the whole neck, jaw, and shoulders and bring great relief to the pain.

This post is for informational purposes only.  Please consult your local physician if you have a real medical issue such as a toothache. The author is not a medical professional and does not make any claim to be one.

Photos Courtesy of:

Anna Hesser
Sara Rall
mwms1916
Lynda_2008
Nattu
Yukoinsunshine

Interested in writing for us? Send a sample of your work and an introductory statement to joel@survivalcache.com. Please use subject line: ‘Write for SurvivalCache/SHTFBlog’. If you’re a good fit, we’ll publish your work and compensate you accordingly.

Save

Five Best Toothache Remedies

Click here to view the original post.

featured_barberry_japanese_toothache

syzygium_aromaticum_-_ko%cc%88hler-s_medizinal-pflanzen-030As is generally the case with any illness, we want to consider the cause of the illness as well as the most urgent manifest symptoms.  There are many possible causes of toothache.  Let us consider for this article one that is undoubtedly a major cause – infection.  Obviously, if infection is causing a toothache, we want to address the infection with antimicrobial agents.  Most of our toothache remedies have some antimicrobial properties.  Barberry (Berberis spp.) will be discussed in this article, though it represents others of the group that are also quite useful and most better-known; such as Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), Oregon Grape Root (Mahonia spp.), and Goldthread (Coptis spp.).  Spilanthes is also a stellar antimicrobial.  It will be discussed here additionally because it has numbing and sialagogue properties – a perfect toothache herb.  Another classic remedy that must be mentioned is Clove (Syzygium aromaticum), usually used as essential (distilled) oil.  Sesame (Sesamum indicum) oil, or another cooking oil, can be used in a remedy called oil-pulling.  And the fifth remedy is the technique of shiatsu (acupressure).

By Nathaniel Whitmore a Contributing Author to SHTFBlog and SurvivalCache

There are many additional remedies that can be found outside in various ecosystems.  It is well worth getting to know your local forests and camping areas in case the need arises to find a toothache remedy.  Toothache is some of the worst pain I have experienced.  It can keep a person awake at night and feeling very miserable.  If you are in the woods or otherwise away from medical care or even your home medicine cabinet, there will likely be many herbal remedies found at hand among the plant life. 

Trees in particular offer many toothache remedies.  Prickly Ash in certain areas is a helpful remedy.  More wide-spread are the conifers.  Pines, Spruce, Fir, and others produce resins that can be very helpful.  Myrrh is another tree resin well-known for treating toothache.  Willlows and Poplars as well are well-known pain relieving herbs.  Among the herbaceous plants there are things like the Mints, Yarrow, and other aromatic and/or antimicrobial plants.  A study in toothache remedies, however abundant they are, might best start with the five classic remedies mentioned above.

Barberry

japanese_barberryJapanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii) is a common and hated invasive in my area.  Though not in every patch of woods, it is widespread and in many areas has taken over to the point that the growth of other vegetation is dramatically suppressed and walking is difficult to near impossible.  There are many other species as well.  Oregon Grape Root was formerly considered a member of the genus, but is now Mahonia.  The constituent credited for the antibiotic and other medicinal effects, as well as the yellow color of the roots and bark, is called “berberine” after these plants.  Goldenseal and Coptis (our native Goldthread as well as Huang Lian of Chinese herbal medicine and others – another name is Canker Root, which indicates use in mouth infections) are perhaps better known, but I focus on Barberry because it is invasive.  Barberry is also of interest as a wild edible.  The fruits are not highly sought after, but they are edible.  …

Toothache Plant

toothache_plantToothache plant is also commonly known by its genus name Spilanthes and by the name Eyeball Plant, for the flowerhead which lacks rays.  It is largely a tropical plant, where it often grows as a perennial.  In my part of the world, we grow Spilanthes as an annual.  I think of it as a quick-growing Echinacea analogue, as Echinacea takes several seasons to mature.  Like Echinacea, or Cone Flower, Toothache Plant produces a distinct tingling as well as an increased flow of saliva.  

If you are lucky enough to have fresh Toothache Plant growing (or smart enough to have planted it), simply pick a flower-head and chew it, or at least bite into it once or twice before stuffing it between your gum and cheek (or maybe under the tongue) near the troubled tooth.  

If you do grow Toothache Plant you can tincture it by chopping and soaking the plant (or just the flower heads) in high-proof alcohol.  After about four weeks (one moon cycle) you can strain the liquid off (perhaps by pouring through and then ringing out through cheesecloth) and store in a tightly sealed jar.  If dispensed from a one or two ounce bottle with a dropper lid, it is easy to drop from a few drops to half the dropper directly onto the trouble area.

Related: Survival Eating

The tingling effects from Toothache plant are quite immediate and strong in effect.  In fact, it can be overwhelming.  If you place too much tincture in your mouth or chew a bit too much of a flower-head, you might find your mouth producing almost more saliva than you can swallow.  Here-in lies some of the benefit, however.  Spilanthes helps to move the saliva and lymph and “wash out” the sick fluids around the tooth. Additionally, Toothache Plant is a distinct antimicrobial.  It quickly helps to resolve the infection that is at the root of the pain.   

Clove

cloveEven the Hagakure“The Book of the Samurai” mentions the protective and healing powers of clove.  Still today Clove is revered for its medicinal uses, and is known as a primary remedy for tooth pain.  Aromatherapists, herb shops, and distributors of essential oils have promoted especially the essential oil of Clove for toothache, and it is indeed a convenient remedy.  The distilled oil is liquid and usually sold in small bottles with a dropper.  Simply place a drop or two on your finger to apply or apply directly from the dropper onto the trouble area.  Clove is quite spicy and warming and will cause the tissue to burn.  Don’t use so much as to cause excessive irritation.  This burning sensation and warming of the tissue is in part what distracts one from the pain.  There is a numbing quality as well, and Clove has antimicrobial properties.

Clove essential oil can be mixed with other essential oils, like Tea Tree (Melaleuca).  Tea Tree is a wonderful antiseptic, though I am not real fond of putting it in my mouth.  It’s antiseptic properties are undeniable and for this reason I usually have some around, particularly for tick bites but also as a general antiseptic for cuts and the like.  Since you should have some around in your first-aid kit (I keep it in my truck, home, cabin, and even motorcycle saddlebags), it is well worth considering as a toothache remedy, especially mixed with Clove.

Clove oil or combination of oils can be mixed in with the oil used for oil pulling, described below.  It is also used in sword oils, for tending to the shinken or katana (sword).  So, depending on what type of survival situation you are preparing for, there are many possible reasons to have Clove oil around.  It can also be useful for digestive, respiratory, and circulatory problems, headaches, and in the treatment of injury.

Read Also: Eating All Your Veggies

Powdered Clove can easily be used by placing a pinch in the troubled area.  It can also be infused into oils, though you would want to allow more time for the oil to extract the medicine from the powder than when using the essential oil.  Even more time should be allowed if using whole Cloves.  Quite likely, you will want to grind them if you have only whole Cloves.  For storage purposes, whole Cloves might be prefered to the powder because of their longer shelf-life.  

Oil Pulling

oil_sesameOil pulling consists of swishing oil, such as Sesame oil, through the teeth and around the mouth in order to absorb the impurities of the mouth and gums.  Any oil will do.  Simply swish until your saliva has thoroughly been mixed with the oil and then some, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Then spit it out.  Repeat for acute toothaches.  Practice daily to avoid toothaches or for minor ones. Sesame oil is a commonly used oil, partially because Sesame has been used to strengthen the bones and teeth.  Of course today using Coconut oil is very popular.  In many areas Olive oil will be the most available.  Grapeseed oil is good too.  For an active infection, you can consider adding small amounts of clove oil, tea tree oil, or other antimicrobial oils.

Shiatsu

Shiatsu (Japanese for “finger pressure”), or acupressure, is also very good for toothache.  There are some points locally – some in the jaw for any toothache, and of course some might be of particular focus according to which tooth is affected.  There are also some points around the base of the skull, neck, and shoulders that help, partially by releasing the tension that often accompanies, and contributes to, tooth pain.  There are also distal points that are located elsewhere on the body.

A primary distal point for toothache is between the thumb knuckle and metatarsal bone of the index finger.  There is more-or-less a muscular mound that when pressed will usually be quite sore.  The point and general area can be pressed or massaged.  

Most of the other relevant points can be  simply felt out by massaging the area of the jaw, occiput, neck, and shoulders.  Especially the joint of the jaw, the muscle there, and the area around the teeth should be palpated for soreness and pressed or massaged.  Likewise, the base of the skull, the neck (especially the muscles and along the spine), and the tops of the shoulders should be rubbed and palpated.  There is one point in particular worth mentioning (the rest have to be saved for an article specifically on the subject).  It can be found by working one’s fingers along the base of the skull.  Although everyone is built a little different, there is usually a soft, and sore, spot between a mound behind the ear and a mound at the back of the neck.  By treating this point with pressure or massage it is possible to relax the whole neck, jaw, and shoulders and bring great relief to the pain.

Photos Courtesy of:

Anna Hesser
Sara Rall
mwms1916
Lynda_2008
Nattu
Yukoinsunshine

Interested in writing for us? Send a sample of your work and an introductory statement to joel@survivalcache.com. Please use subject line: ‘Write for SurvivalCache/SHTFBlog’. If you’re a good fit, we’ll publish your work and compensate you accordingly.

For the love of Garlic

Click here to view the original post.

Garlic contained many vital nutrients including vitamins, amino acids, and enzymes. On top of that garlic is also delicious and very healthy, for internal and external use.

Garlic contains the amino acid Allicin, that gives Garlic that potent smell from the sulfur compounds. Allicin is one of the primary components of garlic that gives it its healthy benefits.

Eating garlic raw is more beneficial than cooking garlic, if you can get past the taste. When garlic is cut or chewed and allowed exposure to the air for at least 5 to 10 minutes, the compound Allicin to fully activated. However when garlic is cooked the Allicin is inactivated and not able to produce.

Garlic contains high amounts of antioxidants
Garlic helps lower your cholesterol
Garlic is antibacterial
Garlic is antifungal
Garlic helps thin the blood
Garlic boost your immune system
Study suggests that garlic may help prevent blood clots
Garlic help lower your blood pressure
Garlic helps with joint pain, and osteoporosis
Garlic help prevents some cancer

images

Garlic is both immune boosting and antimicrobial meaning it can fight viral and bacterial infections. The best way to use garlic is to put it into your diet either cooked or eaten raw, garlic benefits are numerous.

Garlic used for many conditions related to the heart and blood system. Garlic has also been used to prevent certain cancers: rectal, stomach, breast, prostate, and bladder.
Garlic has also used for earaches, menstrual disorders, hepatitis, shortness of breath, liver disease, fighting numerous infections, and many skin conditions (ringworm, jock itch, athlete’s foot)
Other uses for garlic include fighting fevers, coughs, headaches, stomachache, sinus congestion, gout, joint pain, hemorrhoids, asthma, bronchitis, and a host of other treatments.

          Word of warning on garlic

Check with your doctor to see if it affects any of your medications.
Do not take garlic if you have bleeding disorders, stomach or digestive problems, low blood pressure or getting ready for surgery.
Women who are breast-feeding may want to stay away from garlic as it may change the flavor of the milk they produce.
Possibly unsafe when applying garlic to your skin may cause skin irritation and some people.
Birth control pills, taking garlic along with birth-control pills may decrease the effectiveness.
Liver medications, check with your doctor.
Medications for blood clotting, check with your doctor
Heart medications, check with your doctor

Whether store-bought or harvested from the wild, garlic is a wonderful herb for us to explore and use. The culinary uses and the health benefits are astounding. I implore you to add garlic to your healthful herbs, and learn more on its benefits and uses, on your own.

And hey, it also fight against vampires!

Written by Rich, for aroundthecabin.com

The post For the love of Garlic appeared first on WWW.AROUNDTHECABIN.COM.

Herbs for Seasonal Cleanse

Click here to view the original post.

A lot of people ask about removing toxins from their bodies or a body cleanse. One of the best things you can to to help your body out is to eat foods and herbs, that are in season.

Here in the United States, we are lucky enough to receive foods from all over the world. Food is shipped in from the southern hemisphere and Europe, from Asia and the Middle East. What I try to eat is food that has been grown local, raised local, or harvested locally.

So my suggestion is to eat local and eat what is in season.

Most people also need to concentrate on drinking more water. Drinking more water helps increase blood volume, and helps to get the lymphatic fluids throughout the body moving. This will help wash your cells and clean fluids, that have built up, and aid in the removal of waste from the body. Basically, a “super flush” going on through your body.

We also want to focus on the gallbladder and the liver cleansing both of them.

Herbs that we can use to clean up the gallbladder and liver are:
artichokes
burdock
dandelions
turmeric
yellow dock
peppermint
milk thistle

These herbs are common throughout most United States and available for most of the year. There are more out there but these are the basics.

Using these herbs in teas, and leave or roots in foods, will help your body to get your blood flowing and your digestive juices moving.

Here we should also mention that you need to have your bowels moving at least once a day. Also check with your doctor before taking any of these herbs if you’re not already taking them, to check that they do not cause problems with any of your medications. (safety first)

If after all this you are still having problems check with your local natural foods store, and/or Dr. They may have a mild laxative formula that will aid you.

Written by Rich, for aroundthecabin.com

The post Herbs for Seasonal Cleanse appeared first on WWW.AROUNDTHECABIN.COM.

How To Survive Eating Wild Winter Edibles

Click here to view the original post.

how-to-survive-eating-wild-winter-edibles

Recently, we’ve been asked a question about what types of foods are good sources of carbohydrates in the winter.

The reader was specifically worried about his son, who is going on a military survival retreat in Maine and can’t afford to lose the 20 pounds that the program has warned him that he will likely lose. His question was about sources of carbohydrates.

My son will be sent to Maine in the winter for a 3 week military survival course. Others who have experienced this say that the participants will lose an average of 20 pounds during that time. He can ill afford to lose 20 pounds, so I was wondering if you knew a good source for carbs that can be found in abundance in the winter? I think he is fairly good at locating small game for protein. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
Best regards,

Everett

Though there are many great wild sources of carbohydrates to eat in Maine, I’ve had a problem finding exact nutritional values of wild plants. Go figure. Since the main goal is preventing weight loss, we’re looking for plants that can be found in a great enough quantity to thrive, versus simply survive.

Therefore, we need plants that are both high in calories and found in enough quantity to make a substantial meal. The first part was easy, the second part, not so much. So, I’ll share what I’ve found.

Cattails

It turns out that these plants are considered a pest by many because they grow so prolifically in marshy areas and around ponds.

Fortunately for somebody foraging, cattails are a great source of carbohydrates and nutrients year-round. In the winter time, the best parts of the plant to eat are the rhizomes, or roots, and the corms, the little shoots that are the beginnings of next year’s plants.

You probably won’t be able to just rip the cattail out of the mud; you’re likely going to have to dig for it a bit. Just run your hand down the stalk of the cattail and into the mud. Feel for the roots, then follow them down a bit and PULL!

Don’t stop with just one plant; grab several at a time because they’re not that heavy and you can carry them or store them in camp. No need to get wet more than once if you don’t have to.

Now, you’re going to notice little shoots around the base of the plant, which are older corms and are the beginnings of next year’s plant.

You’ll also find little pod-like pieces on the rhizomes and around the bottom of the stalks. These are less mature corms and are also edible. You can eat both types of corms raw. Just peel off the outer fibrous part and eat the delicate interior.

The rhizomes are going to look sort of hairy. Wash them as well as you can, then peel them just like you would a potato. Your goal is to extract the starch from the rhizome and there are a couple of ways to do this.

You can break up the rhizome and then put it in a small bowl of water and squeeze the rhizome pieces in the water until the starch is remove. The water turns a milky white. Let the water settle for a couple of hours and the heavy, starchy flour will settle to the bottom. Pour off the water and spread the flour out to dry.

The second way is to use your knife to squeeze the starch out onto a rock. Just lay the rhizome flat and slide your knife down the rhizome, sort of like you’re squeezing toothpaste from a tube. The starchy paste will collect on the rock.

Either way, you can let the paste dry and smash it with a mortar and pestle into a flour, or you can toss it in the pan and toast it as-is, toss it into a soup along with the corms, or you can eat it raw.

Of course, you can always make a bread with it by mixing it with other ingredients, but in a survival situation, you’re probably not going to have access to yeast and all that good stuff.

rose-hips

Rose Hips

These pretty berry-like plants not only add a pop of color to the winter landscape, they’re also a good source of nutrition and can be found in enough quantity to be worth the effort. Rose hips are the fruits of the rose plant and are usually red or orange but can also be dark-colored. Just open them up, pop out the seed, and eat the flesh.

One cup of rosehips has 206 calories, 49g of carbs, and 31g of fiber. It also provides 110% of your RDV of vitamin A, 901% of your RDV of vitamin C, and more than 20% of your RDV of calcium and magnesium. Eat more rose hips!

Pine

They’re not just for Christmas anymore! Pine trees provide a couple of different sources of food. If you’ve ever eaten pesto, you’ve eaten pine nuts, which are found in pinecones. There is some work involved for the amount of food that you get, but there’s also a tremendous amount of calories and nutrition in them.

Just one cup of pine nuts has 909 calories, 92 grams of fat, 23% of your RDV of potassium and 84% of your RDA of magnesium. They’re also a good source of fiber, so that you have a slower digestion process. You’ll feel full longer.

All pine trees have edible nuts tucked into the pine cones, but only about 20 species produce seeds that are large enough to warrant the effort. Still, in a survival situation, something is better than nothing. Fortunately, there are often many different types of pine trees in the same area, so if you don’t get decent-sized nuts from one, try another.

Wild Berries and Fruits

Even if there’s snow, it’s still possible to dig through the snow to get to fruits, and if you’re lucky, you may even find some grapes or berries, especially cranberries in Maine, above the snow.

One of the advantages of having thumbs is that you can dig through the snow a bit if you find a bush to see if there are berries buried. Apples are another great resource that you can find under the snow.

Yes, they’ll be frozen, but they’re delicious, nutritious, and packed with carbs. They also drop late, so it’s probable that they were frozen before they rotted. Other fruits to keep an eye out for include peaches and pears.

Grass and Grains

Believe it or not, most (99%) of all grasses in the US are edible. They’re often tough for your body to digest, but they’re better than nothing. This includes wheat, oats, and wild meadow varieties. The best part to eat in the winter is the starchy base and the seed heads.

1% of the seeds are toxic and need to be cooked before being eaten, and if seeds are blackish or purple, avoid them because that’s a sign of poisonous fungus. Eat them if they’re green or brown.

I often consult a man very close to me when I have questions such as these, because he’s actually been there, done that as part of his army survivalist training. He made it all the way through the training and has described in great detail (and to my dismay) exactly what a bug feels like when you eat it. He says the trick is this – crunch (chew), crunch, crunch, crunch, swallow!

Aside from his advice about how to eat a bug with minimal “biting back”, he also says that the most crucial step to survival is knowing the plants, animals, and insects of your area. Know what’s edible and what’s not, and most importantly, know what will kill you if you eat it.

If you have a problem with being too thin, it’s important to realize that your body uses more than just carbohydrates for energy – it can also use protein and fat. The bottom line is that your weight isn’t dependent upon eating carbs. It’s a matter of calories in versus calories out. It doesn’t matter if those calories are in the form of carbs, fat, or protein.

There will likely be some energy dips while you’re transitioning from carbs to protein, so if you’re planning to use protein as your main source of energy during a retreat, you may want to do that before you leave. In real life, of course, you won’t have that luxury, but until then, do what you can to survive the survival training.

forgetISIS

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

2 total views, 1 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

Winter Wild Edible Mushrooms

Click here to view the original post.

Winter Wild Edible Mushrooms Knowing how to forage wild mushrooms is hard skill to learn. If you are not 100% certain it is edible, I wouldn’t risk eating it. Just because you see animals eating them doesn’t mean it will be safe for human consumption. That being said, mushrooms offer us a lot of nutrition …

Continue reading »

The post Winter Wild Edible Mushrooms appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Paw Paw Pudding

Click here to view the original post.

Ivy and Jon head to the kitchen with a basket of ripe paw paws! This exotic North American fruit is native to nearly every state east of the Mississippi, but we have yet to find them in any recipes from the 18th century. So what do they do with no recipe to follow? They improvise!

This video channel is made possible by the patronage of our customers. Be sure to visit our website: http://www.jas-townsend.com

To order any of the products featured in this video, please click here – http://bit.ly/2e0qooL

Interested in historical reenacting? Click here for our getting started series! – http://bit.ly/2dOYf5S

*****************************
Sign up for our Youtube Newsletter! – http://jas-townsend.com/ytemail.php

Click here for the latest cooking video – http://bit.ly/2cZfIvh

More great information!
*****************************
Our Retail Website – http://bit.ly/2dG72uL
Request a Print Catalog – http://bit.ly/2dG7Z6v
Facebook – http://on.fb.me/1jg6Wq1
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/jas_townsend
Instagram – https://instagram.com/jastownsendandson

The post Paw Paw Pudding appeared first on WWW.AROUNDTHECABIN.COM.

Backyard Edible Or Toxin? Learn The Difference.

Click here to view the original post.

Knowing how to forage and select edible plants from your yard and surrounding areas is a vital skill for a survivalist, but it’s not necessarily an easy one to master. That’s because, though many backyard edible and highly nutritious plants grow all around us, some have poisonous look alikes.

Mistake poison hemlock for wild carrots, for example, and you may find yourself on your deathbed, which will not be the first time that’s happened to someone. Most places try to keep poison hemlock under control, since it’s also toxic to animals, but other common foraging mistakes are easy to make.

Here are a few essential things you need to know about plants when you hunt for a meal in the underbrush.

 

The Right Rhubarb

Rhubarb is very familiar, even among urban dwellers, because many people put it in strawberry pies and jams. What many may not know is that people typically eat only the stems.

That’s not just because the stem tastes better than other parts of the plant, but also because rhubarb contains oxalic acid, a toxin that’s most prevalent in the leaves.

You wouldn’t normally have to worry about the amount of oxalic acid in rhubarb, even in the denser leaves, but when food is scarce, steady consumption of the leaves, even at moderate levels, would cause illness.

About 11 pounds of leaves can be fatal for a 145-pound person and far less than that could provoke serious illness.

 

You Say Tomato

Tomatoes come in many shapes and sizes, and in color may be anywhere from green to purple, depending on the variety and ripeness. But you should be familiar with their toxic copycat, horse nettle.

Like many of the members of the nightshade family, horse nettles are poisonous to humans. Though they’re not likely to kill you, horse nettles can lead to stomach problems and heart and respiratory issues when consumed, so skip those maybe-tomatoes in favor of a plant you’re more certain is safe to eat.

 

Berry Beware

Berries are among the most dangerous — and the trickiest — potential edibles out there, partly because there are so many kinds of them. Sure, even little kids know they should avoid the red berries on their neighbor’s bushes, but what about beautiful purple pokeberries?

Pokeberries grow from a remarkably bright pink stem, which sets them apart, but seen in isolation, they closely resemble blueberries. However, just a handful of pokeberries can kill a child, and since we often eat delicious berries by the bushel, even adults can too easily swallow a lot of this tempting fruit.

The same goes for wild cherries, an appealing but toxic version of a summer favorite. In general, beware of berries, especially if you haven’t picked them yourself.

 

Roasted Over Fire

Chestnuts! What a lovely tradition: a meaty nut roasted during the holidays and shared with family. While these nuts have a special place in the compendium of Americana, the same isn’t the case for buckeye.

The best way to distinguish poisonous buckeyes from other nuts is by cracking them all the way open. Buckeyes cause confusion primarily when foragers aren’t sufficiently skeptical.

From the outside they look like chestnuts, which is to say shiny, and from the inside they look more like walnuts or pecans, with a lot of texture. If the nut doesn’t match one you know all the way through, toss it; it’s probably a buckeye.

It’s essential to practice foraging when you’re not in a crisis situation; that is, when you have the leisure time to do some research on the plants involved. Learn about what grows near your home, and commit what you learn to memory.

Some of the worst mistakes come from assuming a familiar plant grows nearby, when only its lookalike is common to your region.

 

 

 

 

The post Backyard Edible Or Toxin? Learn The Difference. appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Backyard Bounty: How To Eat The Wild Plants In Your Yard

Click here to view the original post.

 

Weeding your garden may seem like a chore, but did you know that those weeds can offer a Backyard Bounty. Weeds are a fantastic addition to your diet. Those pesky dandelions can add some delicious notes to a salad! Plants like Miner’s lettuce, Purslane, and plantain are all just a few of the edible greens you may find springing up among your regularly-planted veggies, herbs, and fruits. The infographic below covers the basics of identifying, preparing, and consuming wild greens, along with which ones are safe to eat, and which ones to watch out for.

Backyard Bounty


Source: Fix.com Blog

The post Backyard Bounty: How To Eat The Wild Plants In Your Yard appeared first on Survival Punk.

Growing Elderberries for Preventive Medicine, Food, Tea and Wine

Click here to view the original post.

Growing Elderberries for Preventive Medicine, Food, Tea and Wine July through October is elderberry harvesting time, depending of course on your zone. Called a bush, that’s actually a tree and yet in the honeysuckle family (!!), elderberries can grow in most areas of the US and Canada. Start looking for them along roadsides and hugging wooded perimeters, …

Continue reading »

The post Growing Elderberries for Preventive Medicine, Food, Tea and Wine appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Survival Mom DIY: Make Coffee from Chicory Root

Click here to view the original post.

make coffee from chicory root

Here’s my story of how I discovered a simple, common weed can be used to make coffee from chicory!

For several years, I’ve noticed a beautiful blue wildflower lining the road during the summer. It starts out looking like a weed, but when it blooms, the flower is the color of a Tanzanite gemstone. I’ve noticed that it also grows well along sidewalks, in gravel, or any other harsh environment you can think of. The plant is a dark green and is about 12-24 inches high. The bluish flower petals are flat at the ends, and slightly “fringed”. The leaves closest to the ground look exactly like dandelion. If you are looking for it on a sunny day, they are easy to see. But, on an overcast day or late afternoon, the flowers close up, and it’s harder to spot.

I decided to take some photos and find out what it was.

To my surprise, I found out it was chicory. I  remembered hearing that it can be used to make a beverage similar to coffee, but wanted to learn more about it. I also wondered  if it had any medicinal properties.

wild chicoryAccording to Peterson Field Guide to Medicinal Plants & Herbs, the root can be mixed with water to make a diuretic or laxative. It’s used homeopathically for liver and gallbladder ailments, it can lower blood sugar, and has a slight sedative effect. Chicory root extracts have been shown to be antibacterial, and its tinctures have an anti-inflammatory effect. You can learn how to make your own tinctures fairly easily.

Next, I wanted to find out what parts of the plant were edible and how to use it to make “coffee”. I learned that its root must be dried and roasted before making a hot beverage. Its’ leaves are good for both salad and cooked greens. The white underground leaves are great as a salad green in the spring, and the outer green leaves can be boiled for 5-10 minutes and eaten. I decided to go dig up some roots and try roasting them for coffee.

chicory root

Make coffee from chicory

I found plenty of chicory right around my house and along my street. I thought I could just pull them out of the ground but I was wrong.

It’s had been dry for the last week and we have a lot of clay soil, so I went and got a shovel. Once I started digging, I found some of the roots are very long. Many broke off as I tried to pry them up with my shovel, but I got a decent sized batch quickly.

I soaked them for a short time, then scrubbed the roots clean, and chopped off the rest of the plant. I put those parts in my garden to add to the compost, which is an ongoing project. I patted the roots dry, and sliced them up. I did have to get a heavier chopping knife because some of the roots have a center that is like wood. The really tough stuff, I just added to my garden, and the rest I put on a cookie sheet.

I thought I’d try roasting it slow and low. I turned my oven on to 250 degrees and watched it for a half hour or so. It seemed to dry out but not really “roast” the pieces. So, I turned up the heat to 350 degrees, and about 20-30 minutes later, a wonderful smell came from the oven. The root pieces were turning brown and smelled like chocolate, caramel and coffee, all in one. The darker it got, the better it smelled. Once I thought the chicory root was dark enough, I turned down the oven to 300 degrees, so it wouldn’t burn but just roast a little bit more. I would say the total time was about and hour and a half. I took the roasted root pieces out of the oven and let them cool to room temperature.

I toground chicoryok out my blender, and used the “chop” setting to grind up the roots. I checked on them after several seconds and found it was still too coarse, but once again, the smell was incredible. I think the blades created enough heat to warm the grounds and send the smell wafting up in the air. I knew I needed a finer grind, so I set the blender to “liquify”, and that worked much better. I ended up with a finer grind that almost had the appearance of cigarette tobacco.

I was finally ready to brew a cup of chicory coffee! I added 2 teaspoons into my coffee filter and add enough water to the pot for one cup of coffee. I watched it brew, and it looks dark , just like regular coffee. By the way, in a power outage, a French Press is highly recommended for every coffee lover. You can get one for less than $30, and it’s worth every penny.

Now, the taste test. First, I tried it black. It tastes just like a strong black coffee (too much chicory?) but with a definite mocha, possibly caramel flavor. I may have used too much chicory, so next time I’ll use 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons per cup when I brew.

Schicory coffeeince I don’t normally drink black coffee, I added a tiny bit of stevia (here’s Survival Mom’s preferred brand) and some Coffee Mate to this aromatic concoction. Oh, my, GOSH!!!!! This is like a fabulous cup of coffee from a pricey coffee house. I really thought it wouldn’t be this good. I can’t wait to go out and gather more chicory root! If SHTF, this will be priceless. There is no caffeine in this drink, so you can have a warm beverage, late at night. I had no idea how easy it would be to make coffee from chicory.

I highly recommend foraging for this wonderful and amazing plant. I can’t believe we’ve lost so much knowledge over the years about living off the land. We all should learn foraging skills. This coffee alternative is  free, abundant, delicious, and a great barter item. Better yet, just try it now to enjoy, but save some for yourself for later!

make coffee from chicory

Goldenrod

Click here to view the original post.

Goldenrod (the Solidago genus, Asteracea family) is a great plant to know.

Distinguishing Features: Long wood like stems with spiky tooth like parts which are widely-spaced, yellow flowers that grow in thick clusters.

Leaves: There can be wide variations in characteristics, but generally, goldenrod leaves are about 4 inches long and about ¾ of an inch wide, tapering to a point at the tip and narrowing at the base, with no leaf stem and small teeth around the edges. Three veins run parallel from near the base of the leaf.. The underside of the leaf is hairy, especially along the veins and the upper side has a rough texture.

Height: Most Goldenrod plants average 4 feet in height.

Habitat: There is no shortage of Goldenrod in September and October. This yellow plant can be found in moist locations, forests, fields, roadsides, compost piles, cultivated fields, and orchards throughout Canada, the U.S., and across the world.

Goldenrod is a perennial plant that is well-known for its healing properties.

The properties of goldenrod are similar to many other herbs: antifungal, diuretic, diaphoretic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, astringent, antiseptic, and carminative. However, the actions of goldenrod to the kidneys, urinary track, skin, allergies, and cardiovascular system are impressive.

Goldenrod is often unfairly blamed for causing hay fever in humans. The pollen causing these allergy problems is mainly produced by Ragweed (Ambrosia sp.), blooming at the same time as the goldenrod but wind-pollinated. Goldenrod pollen is too heavy and sticky to be blown far from the flowers, and is thus mainly pollinated by insects. Frequent handling of goldenrod and other flowers, however, can cause allergic reactions.

Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking goldenrod if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use..

Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Goldenrod may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking goldenrod.

Fluid retention (edema) due to heart or kidney conditions: “Irrigation therapy,” during which goldenrod is taken with large amounts of fluids to increase urine flow, should not be attempted in people with fluid retention due to heart or kidney disease.

High Blood Pressure: There is a concern that goldenrod might make the body accumulate more sodium, and this can make high blood pressure worse.

Urinary Tract Infection (UTIs): Herbal “irrigation therapy” may not work against infections and may require the addition of germ-killing medications. “Irrigation therapy” should be monitored closely. Don’t depend on it for clearing up an infection.

Water pills (Diuretic drugs) interacts with GOLDENROD
Goldenrod seems to work like “water pills” by causing the body to lose water. Taking goldenrod along with other “water pills” might cause the body to lose too much water. Losing too much water can cause you to be dizzy and your blood pressure to go too low.
Some “water pills” include chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Thalitone), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, Hydrodiuril, Microzide), and others.

Dosage: The appropriate dose of goldenrod depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for goldenrod. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician before using.

0960goldenrodtop

Preparations: goldenrod include tea, tincture, infused oils, poultice, and powder.

Goldenrod tonics are easy to make. Harvest any goldenrod by cutting the top third of the plant in full flower on a sunny fall day. Or, respectfully pull the entire plant, roots and all, in the late autumn or early winter. Then follow the simple directions below. Note: You can use any size jar when making a vinegar or a tincture, so long as you fill it full.

To dry flowering goldenrod: Bundle 2-3 stalks together and hang upside down in a cool, shady room until thoroughly dry. When the stalks snap crisply, store the dried herb in brown paper bags. One or two large handfuls of crushed leaves and flowers, steeped in a quart of boiling water for thirty minutes makes a tea that can be used hot, with honey, to counter allergies (especially pollen allergies), fevers, sore throats, coughs, colds and the flu; or taken cold to relieve colic in babies, and gas in adults. Dried mint and/or yarrow are tasty, and useful, additions when making goldenrod flower tea.

To dry goldenrod roots: Rinse dirt off the roots, then cut away all the stalks, leaves and dead flowers. If possible, hang your roots over a wood stove to dry; if not, place them on racks and put them in a warm place to dry until brittle. Store in glass jars. Depending on the difficulty you are addressing, goldenrod root tea may be made with large or small amounts of the roots brewed or decocted in boiling water. Or the roots may be powdered, alone or mixed with flowers, and applied to hard-to-heal wounds and sore joints.

To make a goldenrod vinegar: Chop the goldenrod coarsely, filling a jar with chopped flowers, leaves, stalks (and roots if you have them); then fill the jar to the top with room-temperature, pasteurized, apple cider vinegar. Cap it tightly with a plastic lid. (Metal lids will be eroded by the action of the vinegar. If you must use one, protect it with several layers of plastic between it and the vinegar.) Be sure to label your vinegar with the date and contents. Your goldenrod vinegar will be ready to use in six weeks to improve mineral balance, help prevent kidney stones, eliminate flatulence, and improve immune functioning.

To make a goldenrod tincture: Chop the goldenrod coarsely, filling a jar with chopped flowers, leaves, stalks (and roots if you have them); then add 100 proof vodka, filling the jar to the very top. Cap tightly and label. Your goldenrod tincture will be ready to use in six weeks, by the dropper full, as an anti-inflammatory, a sweat-inducing cold cure, and an astringent digestive aid. Medical herbalists use large doses (up to 4 droppers full at a time) of goldenrod tincture several times daily to treat kidney problems — including nephritis, hemorrhage, kidney stones, and inability to void — and prostate problems, including frequent urination.

The post Goldenrod appeared first on WWW.AROUNDTHECABIN.COM.

Burdock Root

Click here to view the original post.

Burdock root is a medicinal herb and food that has powerful anti-tumor, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties. Burdock root is one of the top recommended herbal remedies for cancer due to the belief that it can stop cancer cells from metastasizing and it is one of the star ingredients of the famous natural cancer remedy known as Essiac tea.

It is also highly beneficial for colds, flu, sore throats, bronchial congestion, ulcers, gallstones, anemia, kidney stones, chicken pox, gout, measles, strep throat, urinary tract infections, bladder infections, hepatitis, and enlarged prostates. Burdock root is an essential blood purifier and detoxifying herb as it can neutralize and safely eliminate poisons and toxins from the body.

Burdock is one of the most important herbs for treating chronic skin problems such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, and shingles. It can also help to stimulate metabolism, re-grow hair, strengthen nails, and aid in edema and weight loss. Burdock root is an effective painkiller that can help alleviate symptoms of inflammation that affect auto-immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, bursitis, lupus, and diabetes.

Fresh burdock can be juiced with celery, kale, and apple or used in recipes similarly to carrots. It is often steamed or added to soups and stews. It has a subtly sweet and earthy flavor that works well with potatoes, mushrooms, and onions. Dried burdock root is often used as a medicinal tea.

Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of dried burdock root and let steep for at least 10 minutes or more, sweeten with honey if desired. Burdock root can be readily found in a cream, salve, tincture, extract, and capsule form. It’s potent healing abilities has made it a vital herb for your natural medicine cabinet.

From our friend at: http://www.medicalmedium.com/blog/burdock-root

The post Burdock Root appeared first on WWW.AROUNDTHECABIN.COM.

Purslane Or Spurge?

Click here to view the original post.

PURSLANE
• Excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids (better than fish oil!)
• An excellent source of Vitamin A, one of the highest among green leafy vegetables
• A rich source of vitamin C, and some B-complex vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine and carotenoids
• A rich source of dietary minerals, such as iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and manganese.
• Decreasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
• Autoimmune diseases such as lupus.
• Maintaining heart health.
• Lowering cholesterol.
• Regulating blood pressure.
• Enriching brain health.
• As an anti-depressant.
• Boosting the immune system
• Inflammatory bowel disease.
• Rheumatoid arthritis.
___________________________________________

SPURGE

IF THERE IS A WHITE SAP, IT IS NOT PURSLANE!

  • Nothing eats it.
  • The sap is possibly toxic enough to cause blindness if it gets in the eyes.
  • It is an annual that doesn’t germinate readily until warmer weather, so pre-emergents are often applied too soon to stop it. (Most pre-emergents work only for 8-10 weeks and are spread in early spring.)
  • Each plant can produce a full crop of several thousand seeds in 5 weeks.
  • The flowers are so non-descript as to be thought absent, so it is easy to accidentally miss flowering and let it go to seed.
  • There are 12 weed species of spurge that are all very similar, varying as little as having a tiny spot on the leaves (Spotted spurge is what I found the most photos of, but was not what was in my yard.)

    The sap of this plant is a mild skin irritant and can cause a rash in some people. The sap is poisonous and considered carcinogenic.

The post Purslane Or Spurge? appeared first on WWW.AROUNDTHECABIN.COM.

Clover and Cyanide

Click here to view the original post.

Question…Why don’t the bugs eat the clover in my yard?

Ok …here we go…

Under ordinary conditions, cyanide is safely bonded to sugar molecules that are sequestered in secure pockets inside each plant cell. The enzyme that separates the cyanide from its sugar lies outside that pocket. When an insect chews the clover leaves, the cyanide-sugars and enzymes mix—like bending and shaking a plastic glow stick—and this releases the poisonous cyanide concoction.

THAT is the answer..

I know, I know,(here it comes)… BUT WAIT, YOUR SAYING WE CAN EAT IT?… Yes, you can.

Cyanide is a naturally occurring chemical, generally considered to be poisonous if consumed in large enough amounts. According to the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry the following foods naturally contain cyanide:

almonds
millet sprouts
lima beans
soy
spinach
bamboo shoots
cassava
tapioca

Additionally cyanide is found in most any fruits that have a pit, or core, like cherries, apricots, and apples. The site reports that no foods are consumed in large enough quantities to be toxic. Cyanide can also be produced by certain bacteria, fungi, algae, and as a by-product of industrial manufacturing and waste. If industry is producing cyanide in your area it may enter local water supplies. If this water is used to grow plants in your area, those plants will also absorb the additional cyanide, so take note of the water and industry in your area. The same risk, thankfully, does not exist for fish in cyanide polluted waters as they do not absorb the cyanide. In general, it is import not to stress too much over cyanide in foods.

*** Small amounts of cyanide may even be good for you by helping to lower blood pressure.

In small doses, cyanide in the body can be changed into thiocyanate, which is less harmful and is excreted in urine. In the body, cyanide in small amounts can also combine with another chemical to form vitamin B12, which helps maintain healthy nerve and red blood cells.

In large doses, the body’s ability to change cyanide into thiocyanate is overwhelmed. Large doses of cyanide prevent cells from using oxygen and eventually these cells die. The heart, respiratory system and central nervous system are most susceptible to cyanide poisoning. (NOT good)

BACK to White Clover..
With all this in mind, clover can be good for you. It is high in protein, has beta carotene, vitamin C, most of the B vitamins, biotin, choline, inositol, and bioflavonoids.

The post Clover and Cyanide appeared first on WWW.AROUNDTHECABIN.COM.

Plantain edible weed

Click here to view the original post.

Plantain (Plantago major) is a weed commonly found in the wild and (much to suburbanites’ dismay) the lawns of almost everyone living in temperate climates. It is traditionally used to treat minor cuts and a wide range of skin disorders, including dandruff, eczema, sunburn, and bug bites.

This herb is also said to be good for soothing inflamed bronchial passages and sore throat. European research supports the use of plantain as a treatment for bronchitis, sore throat, and cold symptoms.

Studies have demonstrated that the juice of the plantain plant is both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Plantain contains allantoin, an anti-inflammatory phytochemical that kills germs, speeds wound healing, and stimulates the growth of new skin cells (many commercial cosmetic creams and lotions list allantoin as an active ingredient).

The best thing about the herb plantain is that it is easy to find and easy to use (there are over 200 species!). Unless you live in the desert or the tundra, there’s a good chance you have plantain growing right in your own backyard. It is readily identified by the green, nubby spikes, which stick up out of a cluster of round leaves.

To soothe bug bites, eczema, poison ivy, or other minor skin irritations, rub fresh plantain leaves on the affected area. You can also make a soothing poultice of fresh, mashed leaves and a little cool water (this one feels good on sunburns). Plantain is also available as a supplement in liquid extract and capsule form at most health food stores—the usual dosage is 1 teaspoon of liquid extract three times a day, or up to 6,000 milligrams in capsules per day for treatment of bronchial symptoms.

There have been no toxic reactions reported with the use of plantain. Be sure to follow the directions on commercial preparations—consuming extremely large amounts could cause diarrhea, skin rash, or other allergic reaction.

The post Plantain edible weed appeared first on WWW.AROUNDTHECABIN.COM.

Questions And Answers Episode 105

Click here to view the original post.

 

James and Mike A Day In THe Woods Autoimmune Diseases

James and Mike

http://www.survivalpunk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/episode105.mp3

Download

Questions And Answers

 

Join us this week as we tackle your questions and answers. Some of the topics include supplementing your camping food with wild edibles. Cooking with grubs, frying grasshoppers.

Matt calls in wanting to know how to stay cool in the summer without air conditioning. We go deep on this question. With tons of info on how to keep cool during the hot months. Shading your house, reflecting the sun back and using the ChiliPAD to stay cool.

 

Topics

  • Supplementing wild edibles
  • Keeping cool in the summer
  • I would love to know yours and mike’s edc.
  • What is your ideal apocalyptic scenario?
  • Why do you prep?
  • What’s your ideal survival firearm?
  • Is technology a help or a hindrance for survival?
  • What are you bug out bag must haves?
  • Please describe the differences and similarities of B.O.B., get home bag, car emergency kit, edc…
  • What would you personally do in a mass shooting scenario?
  • What are your first aid kit must haves?
  • What hand tools do you recommend everyone should have for a grid down scenario?
  • What are some effective diy home security preps both low and high tech?
  • Is there an episode this week?

Links

Bannock Recipe

ChiliPad

Subscribe to the show

Want to hear yourself on the podcast? Call in with your questions at (615) 657-9104 and leave us a voice mail. 

Like this post Consider signing up for my email list here > Subscribe

Think this post was worth 20 cents? Consider joining The Survivalpunk Army and get access to exclusive

 content and discounts!

The post Questions And Answers Episode 105 appeared first on Survival Punk.

A Yummy Collection Of Dandelion Recipes To Try Out

Click here to view the original post.

A Yummy Collection Of Dandelion Recipes To Try Out Dandelions won’t be around for much longer so take advantage of the free food that is most likely growing in your garden RIGHT NOW! I have been eating dandelions for years and years, My poor garden is running low on them now. There are a lot of …

Continue reading »

The post A Yummy Collection Of Dandelion Recipes To Try Out appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Survival Secrets From Your Garden: How to Use Roses

Click here to view the original post.

SVP roses for survivalThey’re beautiful, they smell great, and they’re the chosen gift for everything from saying, “I love you”, to “I’m  sorry”.

Roses are probably the best known of all flowers, but there is much more to them than just a pretty face. They’re a great plant to grow for survival. Read the article so see how many survival uses they have!

Plant Roses as a Defensive Measure

As you know, every rose has its thorns! In this case, that’s a great thing. If given a plain fence to jump over, or a hedge of thorny roses, raiders are going to choose the easy path.

Also, roses provide great cover. You can plant trellises of them around your garden and people will assume that you have a flower garden and be less likely to sneak in to take a peek around. You basically have an edible defense system!

Both rose petals and rose hips, the little berries that show up on the rose bush in the spring, are edible. It’s likely that you’ve heard of rose hip tea but you probably never thought of popping a petal into your mouth. Before we get into some of the great ways to use roses, let’s set some guidelines.

You’ll want to grow roses that are great for creating cover and for use in recipes, so choose carefully. Heirlooms are great, but base your decision on roses that suit your needs for flavor, scent, and defense.

Find Roses that Smell Good

Likely, if you like the way a rose smells, you’ll like the way it tastes. Some roses, such as red roses, tea roses, or endless blooming roses have very little flavor or smell but yellows, whites, and pinks usually have pleasing scents and tastes.

rosa damascenaAnd the most renowned for its scent is Rosa Damascena, which has been brought from Central Asia a thousand years ago.

These roses were traditionally used for making jelly, oil, and cosmetics.

The tip of the rose petal where it joins the base of the flower is often bitter, so you may want to avoid eating those.

Make sure that your roses aren’t coated in fertilizers or herbicides. That would obviously be bad.

The best time to pick your rose petals are in midmorning after the dew has dried up but before the heat of the day has settled in. You can store them in the fridge for up to a week.

Rose Petal Vinegar

This may not exactly be the first thing that you think of when you hear the word “roses”, but rose petal vinegar is relatively easy to make and has some pretty amazing health benefits.

To start, consider the benefits of the base. You can use any type of vinegar that you’d like but apple cider vinegar has a ton of health benefits too, so you’ll get more bang for your buck using it.

Internally, rose petal vinegar is purported to be good for stopping bleeding, discharging phlegm, and relieving PMS, hot flashes and inflammation. It’s also calming and good for relieving depression and mental and physical fatigue.

Externally, it’s good for toning and refreshing your skin, evening skin tone, relieving skin conditions and blemishes, and preventing or reducing wrinkles. Gargle it for relief of a sore throat. Rose vinegar is good for soothing sunburn and relieving the itch of bug bites.

Oh, and it makes a delicious salad dressing! Depending on your preferences, there are many ways to work this into recipes. To make rose vinegar, simply follow these steps:

  • place 3 ounces of rose petals in a jar,
  • cover with 16 ounces of organic ACV (or whichever vinegar you prefer),
  • cover, then let it sit for at least 5 days.

The longer you let it sit, the better. Store in a cool, dark place and it will last 6 months or more.

Rose Petal Oil

Many of the benefits of rose vinegar are found in rose petal oil, but without the smell of vinegar. The thing about making essential oils is that it typically requires a distillation process which is a bit complicated for a beginner. Instead, you can make an infusion by using an oil base.

Good oils to start with include olive, coconut, jojoba, and almond so just go with what you prefer. Use roses that have just begun to open and pick the petals midmorning.

To make the oil:

  • Pick 1/4 cup rose petals and place them in a plastic storage bag. Use a small mallet or can to gently bruise them to release the oil.
  • Place the bruised petals in a small jar and add 1/2 cup oil to them. Seal the jar up and let it set overnight. Strain the petals from the oil and add another 1/4 cup crushed petals and repeat the process until the oil is scented strongly enough to suit you.

Health benefits include nervous system rejuvenation, relief of depression or anxiety, inflammation relief, fever reduction, and antiseptic qualities.

Homemade Soapsoap-635391_640

Rose petals and rose petal oil are great ingredients to include in your soap.

It’s wonderfully relaxing when used in a relaxing bath and it makes you smell great, too.

You can either place the petals directly into the soap, which also makes it pretty, or you can use the oil that you made before.

Rose Petal Syrup

This syrup is delicious to use with everything from pancakes to tea, and it’s easy to make, too. The color and flavor of the rose will determine the flavor and color of the syrup so choose a rose petal that you love. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rose petals, tightly packed
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 cups sugar

Directions:

Put the rose petals and water in a wide, deep pan and let it sit overnight. In the morning, add the sugar to the water and cook the mixture at a simmer until it thickens to syrup consistency. Allow to cool. Strain the rose petals out and pour the syrup into a bottle with a snug lid.

Rose Jelly

Ahh…one of the most delicate signs that spring has arrived is the blooming roses in the yard. That brings to mind my grandma’s rose jelly. She always left a few of the petals in the jelly to make it pretty.

In other words, canning is very effective as a means of storage and, when canned properly, fruits and even flowers will last for a decade or longer.

You want to use really fragrant roses for this, and the color will, of course, determine the color of the jelly. Choose roses that are almost fully open but not fading.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pints tightly packed, cleaned rose petals
  • 14 oz. granulated sugar
  • 3.5 oz. super fine sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 pint water
  • 2.5 fluid oz. liquid pectin

Directions:

Combine both sugars and the water in a large pan. Heat it until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the petals and allow to cool. Let the petals steep in the syrup for 3-4 hours. While you’re waiting, sterilize your jars and get your seals and rings ready.

Strain the petals from the liquid. Add the lemon juice (the color will sharpen), then return to heat. Bring to a slow boil and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the pectin. If you’d like to add a few petals back in for aesthetic reasons, now would be the time. Return to a boil and boil slowly for another 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to rest for a couple of minutes. Pour your brand new rose jelly into your jars and clean the rims. Add the seals and rings and allow to cool.

rose jellyRose jelly makes an absolutely beautiful gift as well as a delicious addition to breakfast!

Scenting Pillows

As we’ve already discussed, roses have a calming, mentally boosting effect that makes them great for scenting pillows. My grandmother used to store rose blossoms in her towel closets and may sometimes even throw a few into the dryer as she dried the pillowcases.

This is only the beginning of a very long list of great uses for rose petals. You can make rose tea, rose honey, and even rose shampoo or just hair rinse. Hopefully, I’ll be writing more on this soon!

If you have any good rose-related tips or recipes you’d like to share, please do so in the comments section below.

the lost ways cover

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

4 total views, 4 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

42 Wild Flowers You Can Eat

Click here to view the original post.

If you have a large supply of survival food, you probably won’t have to resort to eating flowers for nourishment. So what’s the point of this article? The point is the big “if” at the beginning of this paragraph. There could come a time when you have to […]

The post 42 Wild Flowers You Can Eat appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

11 Toxic Wild Plants That Look Like Food

Click here to view the original post.

11 Toxic Wild Plants That Look Like Food This article is exactly why I do what I do. I search the internet for hours and hours a day to hand pick the best survival, homesteading and self -reliance DIY information I can find. This article is a prime example. Being a “prepper” I always pride …

Continue reading »

The post 11 Toxic Wild Plants That Look Like Food appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Foraging for Edible Wild Plants

Click here to view the original post.

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

I believe it is of great value and importance to know about the wild edible plants in your vicinity and how foraging for edible plants can benefit you. You may need this information if one were to be lost or stranded in the woodlands for some time.

The post Foraging for Edible Wild Plants appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

How To Eat Daylilies And A Few Recipes

Click here to view the original post.

How To Eat Daylilies And A Few Recipes I never knew that you could eat daylilies until recently. I feel like I have missed out on so much free food that was just growing in my backyard. Daylilies are a common garden plant that have “gone wild.” They’re found throughout most parts of the United States …

Continue reading »

The post How To Eat Daylilies And A Few Recipes appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

10 Spring Edibles To Look For In Your Backyard

Click here to view the original post.

spring ediblesAre you tired of cold temperatures? Can’t you stand the freezing anymore? Hold your horses, spring is almost here! And with it so are a lot of plants that will invade your garden. But don’t hurry to get rid of them! Some pack a lot of nutritional properties as well as medicinal benefits. So let’s take a look at 10 of them.

1. Dandelion

dandelion

There is no way to miss it and it’s sure to be in your garden. Some people consider it invasive, while others are allergic to it because it contains inulin, but dandelion is still one of the most common spring edibles.

Pick the leaves for use in salads, soups, and tea. Use the flowers to make the sweetest dandelion honey (actually it’s a syrup, but the resemblance is so obvious that it doesn’t even need to be explained). Don’t ignore the root: it’s used as a coffee substitute if roasted, and also for medicine. Dandelion is also used for treating liver disorders, urinary disorders, muscle aches and other types of pains, and even for skin care.

Dandelion can be helpful for diabetics by lowering blood sugar, but using it along with your treatment requires special attention as it could be dangerous.

2. Chickweed

chickweed

Although it’s pretty difficult to get rid of it, due to its heavy seed sets, after reading this you might not want to anymore. Chickweed has several other related plants, but since those lack nutritional benefits, it’s important to be able to tell them apart. Chickweed is the only one that has fine hairs on only one side of its stem, in a single band and on its sepals, as opposed to its relatives who have the stem entirely covered in fine hairs.

Now that you know how to recognize it, let’s see how it will help you. Chickweed is a nutritious leafy green, usually used raw, in salads. Its leaves and flowers are also used in cooked goods such as stews and soups. It has a high content of iron, so it’s recommended in iron-deficiency anemia. It has also been used as a remedy for skin diseases, bronchitis, rheumatic, arthritis and menstrual pain. Fresh chickweed leaves are also turned into a tea that’s recommended for obesity, but also in spring cleanses to detox your body.

3. Garlic Mustard

garlic-mustard

Thought of as an invasive plant, this little garden gem is edible from roots to flowers. You just have to pay attention to when you eat each part of it. Roots are at their best in spring and autumn, when they can be harvested and turned into a spicy mustard. The leaves get bitter in the summer, so they’re perfect in cooler periods and can add a lot of flavor to any salad or pesto. Flowers are a great addition to your salads. The fruits and seeds are used as well in order to add flavor and season dishes.

Garlic mustard has also been used for medicinal purposes as a disinfectant and a diuretic, as well as in order to help wounds heal.

4. Wild Garlic

wild garlic

This wild relative of chive packs a lot of flavor in its edible leaves, which can be used raw in salads or cooked in soups and pesto. However, the stems, bulb and flowers are also edible. The plant is also used to prepare herbed cheese, plus, when used as a fodder for cows, they will give milk with a slight garlic aroma that will make for a very tasty butter.

5. Field Mustard

field mustard

This wild mustard is so widespread all around the world that you would have to live in the desert in order not to have it grow somewhere near you. The leaves are edible and mostly used in salads, as they have a cabbage-like flavor, though they are coarser and some find them indigestible. The roots are also edible, most of the time they’re cooked, but some like them grated in salads, as they resemble radish in flavor.

The field mustard is said to be helpful in different types of cancer, when used in decoctions (root, stem and leaves), as powder obtained from leaves or as salve obtained from leaves against skin cancer.

6. Violets

violet

These pretty little flowers are not just adorable in spring bouquets, but also a good food source that easily grows in your garden. The leaves have a mild flavor and can be eaten raw or cooked, while the flowers are flavored and a bit tart and are mostly used as food decoration. The flowers are also used in poultry stuffing and essence of violet flower is used to flavor deserts such as soufflés and creams.

7. Lesser Celandine

lesser celandine

You’ll find it especially on wet sandy soils, in both shaded woodlands, and open areas. It’s a great source of Vitamin C, but use it before it flowers and make sure to dry it or cook it before eating it as it contains a toxic compound that is destroyed by heat.

The plant was used to treat hemorrhoids (raw leaves ointment), scurvy (due to its Vitamin C content), while dried leaves are used in teas for their antispasmodic and analgesic properties.

8. Stinging Nettle

stinging-nettle

If you allow it, stinging nettle will grow everywhere in your garden, but since it’s a great nutritious and medicinal plant, don’t hurry to get rid of it! It packs a lot of great stuff such as vitamins A and C, iron, potassium and calcium, but you should cook it first to remove the stinging chemicals. You should also harvest it before its flowering and seed-setting season, because after this stage it contains substances that irritate the urinary tract.

It’s usually eaten in soups, purees, and polenta, or used in pesto, and it’s also used in tea to treat afflictions in the kidneys and the urinary tract, gastrointestinal tract, locomotor and cardiovascular system, on the skin, for hemorrhages, influenza, rheumatism, and gout. It is thought to help with lactation and raw leaves are applied locally to provoke inflammation in order to treat rheumatism.

9. Lungwort

longwort

This plant has been cultivated as a medicinal plant for hundreds of years, so if you see it sprout it your garden you should make good use of it. Its leaves can be eaten raw in salads or cooked, but it’s mostly used in teas or tinctures for its medicinal properties.

It’s proved to be efficient in treating chest diseases and asthma. It is also useful in stomach and intestinal ailments, kidney and urinary tract conditions, as well as wounds when applied to the skin, tuberculosis, etc.

10. Lemon Balm

lemon balm

Lemon balm flowers can be eaten raw and the leaves are edible both raw and cooked. It’s also used in flavoring ice cream and teas and it goes great in fruit dishes as well as in fish dishes.

Lemon Balm leaves have been prescribed for internal (as tea) or external (essential oil) treatments of gastrointestinal tract, nervous system, liver, and bile disorders.

These are 10 of the most common spring plants that you can always use for their nutritional and health benefits. If you think of any other plant that didn’t make it to our list, please use the comments section below to share it with us!

TLW_banner1

This article has been written by Brenda E. Walsh for Survivopedia.

7 total views, 2 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

Cool Survival Tips

Click here to view the original post.

Cool Survival Tips

No one wants to imagine something going wrong during exciting travel or vacations, but it’s an unfortunate fact that sometimes accidents happen and we find ourselves caught with limited resources in the wilderness for a few days. These events don’t have to be catastrophic, though, and with a little foreknowledge, you can face up to any challenge. Here are ten cool survival tips we found that anyone can do!

*Here is a link to a broader list of essential survival tips

 

Finding Kindling

  • To start a fire, you need kindling – logs and branches will not start to burn easily on their own. Kindling in the wild, however, is not hard to find at all. Dry pine needles make excellent kindling, as well as the wispy seeds from a thistle plant. Some fungi that grows on fallen dead trees can also be fibrous and easy to burn. For this, look for Coal Fungus (like little black lumps of coal) or Horse’s Hoof Fungus (named for it’s shape and similarity in appearance to a horse’s hoof). These can be used to help start your fire, providing warmth, light, signal, and a way to cook.

 

Keeping Warm with Foliage

  • Warmth is important – hypothermia can be deadly. If you find yourself lost during the cooler months, you can help insulate yourself by stuffing dry – must be dry, this is important! – leaves between layers of clothing. You can do the same between your bedroll and the ground – or your body and the ground, if you don’t have a sleeping bag – to keep off the cold ground through the night.

 

Finding Water

  • Water is one of the most important needs you have, and you’re not always lucky enough to get lost beside safe, flowing water. It is possible to find water – especially after a rainstorm – that is safe to drink by squeezing out moss. It won’t taste amazing, but it will be fresh, and will keep you hydrated. Another option, early in the morning, is to tie fabric – like a shirt that is mostly clean – to your ankles and walk through dew-covered grass. The fabric will collect the dew, which you can squeeze to store and drink.

 

Daytime Signal Fire

  • Obviously one of the biggest goals when lost is to be rescued. Fires tend to have less visibility during the day. However, with green branches – that is, branches that still have green leaves on them, or are green in the stem when you break them from the tree – can help increase the daytime visibility of your signal fire by producing a lot of smoke. Green branches smoke more than brown ones because of the water content contained within. A second perk of smoke from green branches – the smoke can help keep some of the bugs away.

 

Finding Food

  • Food, while not as important as water or shelter, is still a need, especially if you find yourself having to travel long distances. There are a few wild resources available, however, that can provide some sustenance. The dandelion, for example – it grows in a large number of places, and the entire plant is edible. It can be eaten just like a salad.
  • Acorns can be eaten, but should be boiled first – acorns produce tannin, and when boiled, the tannin leeches into the water. This water – a sort of tannin tea – can be drunk to help ease stomach troubles (such as diarrhea) but should be used in moderation.
  • “Berries” are often a quick go-to, but some are poisonous, even deadly. There is a rule of thumb to remember – “White and yellow, kill a fellow. Purple and blue, good for you. Red… could be good, could be dead.” While not completely foolproof, it provides an easy-to-remember guideline.

 

Cattails – Nature’s Walmart

  • If you can find Cattails, you are doing great! These beauties are known as “Nature’s Walmart,” because of the multiple uses provided through the entire plant. The woody tip is filled with fibers that can be used for kindling, and the stalk and roots are edible.

 

Tinfoil and Cleaning

  • If you have to get lost, getting lost with tinfoil is the way to go. Tinfoil has many uses, but the one we’re going to cover here is one that many people don’t think about – keeping cookware clean. This is important because it helps prevent mold growth – which can be very dangerous. A small balled-up piece of tinfoil can be used as a scouring pad to clean any cookware or dishes. without wasting precious water. With this, your cookware or containers can be used for as long as you need them while lost, without having to worry as much about mold-caused illness.

 

Counting Daylight Hours

  • Traveling at night can be particularly dangerous, but there’s a way to find an estimate of how many hours of daylight remain. Hold your hand sideways, flat, with your palm facing towards your face and your thumb tucked in, the base of your pinky at the horizon line. Each finger represents about one hour – if the bottom of the sun is touching the top of your hand, there are roughly four hours left.

 

Directions with Analog Watches

  • You don’t always have a compass along when you wind up in a scenario where you need one. Most everyone knows the simple direction-telling “Sun sets in the West and rises in the East.” If you need slightly more specific directions or are having trouble locating where you are, there’s a way to create a makeshift compass using an analog watch – specific to which hemisphere you find yourself in. In the Northern Hemisphere: Hold the watch face up, parallel to the ground, with the hour hand facing the sun. It doesn’t matter what time it is, as long as the hour hand faces the sun. Halfway between the hour hand and 12 marks South – directly opposite is North. It will be the smaller of the two angles – the direction with the shortest distance between the hour hand and 12. The Southern Hemisphere is almost identical, except it’s 12 that you will be facing towards the sun, with the point between 12 and the hour hand being North.

 

Getting a Spark – Cell Phone Battery Uses

  • These days, almost everyone has a cellphone, while lighters are often in shorter supply. Not everyone knows how to start a fire using other means, either, and the sticks rubbed together we see in movies is actually quite difficult. It’s possible to get a spark using your cellphone battery that can start a fire, though. Using your cellphone battery and a piece of conductive material (such as that tinfoil, or a knife) over a bed of prepared, dry kindling, you can get a blaze going. Just connect the positive and negative terminals of the battery with the conductive material, and it will do the rest.

 

No one wants to have to face survival with limited resources, or being lost in the wilderness. It’s important to be somewhat prepared though, and having knowledge can help you survive in situations where otherwise it might be difficult. Travel is fun, worthwhile, but sometimes accidents happen – that doesn’t mean that you can’t more than rise to the occasion.

 

Hi, my name is Alex and I am the owner of Authorized Boots. I am a blogger in the survival/prepper space. Recently, I have had the pleasure of posting on Survival Life.

 

The post Cool Survival Tips appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Mushroom Cultivation & Foraging

Click here to view the original post.

Mushroom cultivationI love to hunt wild mushrooms in the summer and fall in Northwest Indiana. I usually go out in June through October for Pheasantback (Dryads Saddle), Oyster, Sheepshead (Maitake), Puffballs, Chicken of the Woods, and Boletes. I like having fresh ingredients that I can prepare to eat as soon as I get home. I can also sautee them and freeze them for later use.  It also gives me some exercise, sunlight, and a chance to inhale all the wonderful smells of fall leaves deep in the woods. I’ve also seen a great deal of wildlife while I’m out there. It just restores my soul.

NOTE: This article is about my own foraging and cultivating of mushrooms, but expert Dr. Mart “Merriweather” Vorderbruggen of Foraging Texas recommends being very careful foraging for mushrooms until you can take a class on identifying wild mushrooms and are an experienced forager. Even experienced foragers can sometimes mistake a poisonous mushroom for an edible one.

Health benefits of mushrooms

One of the benefits of eating mushrooms is that they have many benefits. Overall, they have antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. They are also a good source of iron, readily absorbed by the body. This is great for anemic people or vegetarians to keep up their iron levels, which plays an important role in forming red blood cells. Mushrooms containing Linoleic Acid can have an anticarcinogenic effect and and have anti-tumor properties.

Mushrooms are gluten free,  low calorie, low carbohydrate, high fiber, no cholesterol, and have compounds which may help regulate insulin production. Mushrooms are a source for calcium, which is wonderful if you are lactose intolerant, as well as vitamin D, an essential vitamin which helps the body absorb and metabolize calcium and phosphorous. (Another source for vitamin D is sunshine).

Potassium is also found in Shiitake and Maitake mushrooms. This can relax the blood vessels, leading to lower blood pressure, but beware it can increase potassium in people with poor kidney function, or on dialysis. Copper and selenuim are found in mushrooms. They are trace elements that we need for essential body functions. Do read up on individual mushrooms for specific benefits, because they vary between species.

Cultivating your own mushrooms

IMG_3975

If you don’t have a wooded area near you, have a hard time walking, or don’t want to get burrs and bugs on you, consider cultivating your own mushrooms by making “mushroom logs”. I really love Shiitake mushrooms, but they don’t grow wild here, so I decided to create a hospitable environment for them and grow my own.

I needed to find some fresh cut oak logs, about 4-6 inches in diameter.  My husband and I found somebody cutting down a tree after a storm, and we asked for 4 of the medium sized logs which had been cut from it. They were happy to give them to us, because they were going to pay somebody to remove it anyway.

These logs had to sit for about a month to cure them before I could use them.  One site I researched said that freshly cut logs give off some type of protective enzyme after being cut to prevent other fungi or spores from attacking them. Another site stated the moisture content needed to be reduced by 50% internally, but still moist enough to help the mycelium from the mushroom spore to grow into the wood.

In the meantime, I ordered my mushroom “plugs” with the spore on them. I ordered a bag with 100 plugs and placed them in my refrigerator until I was ready to use them. I invited a few friends over and we did this project together. The supplies we used were:

4 oak logs, about 3 feet long

Package of mushroom plugs

5/16 drill bit and drill

Beeswax

Small paintbrush

Hot plate and an old pot or a tiny crockpot

Hammer or mallet

Pallet, 2’x4′, or cement block to place logs on

I warmed up my beeswax in a small crockpot. I kept it plugged in until I was ready to use it. In each log, I drilled a hole that was just slightly deeper than the plug. Next, I gently tapped it in with a wooden mallet, then each hole was sealed with melted beeswax that was applied with a small paintbrush. This would protect my spores until they became “established”. (The weblike structure or mycelium would now grow into the wood). Eventually the beeswax will break down & the mushroom would emerge from this hole.

I drilled another hole every 6 inches until I got to the end of the log. Then, I rotated it and started drilling holes again. I had 3 rows when I was finished, and repeated this with the other 3 logs. I actually ended up with mIMG_4876ore holes than I needed, but not a big deal. Since I did this in February in my garage, I didn’t put them outside yet, due to danger of frost.

Around late April, I selected a shady spot under my deck and placed 4 cement blocks down as a base for my logs. I placed them parallel to each other, then stacked the other two across them, kind of “Lincoln Log” style, then checked to make sure none of the holes were covered during the stacking. It’s important to keep them moist, so I watered them a few times per week and in the hotter weather, placed a tarp over them.

Then, in September, voila! They began sprouting all over the wood. I was very happy to begin my mushroom harvest. Now, I can’t wait until next year! I’m sure I’ll have a few new additions to my mushroom family.

Want to learn more about foraging?

mushroom cultivation

From Past to Present

Click here to view the original post.

I am grateful that my husband Mike has showed me stuff that I didn’t know and encouraged me to love the great outdoors! It was not always that way. I remembered back when we used to live up on the mountain, we had a small piece of land behind our house and I was afraid to go in the woods by myself. I just told him that later!

We didn’t have this kind of setup in the Philippines. We have a jungle over there and I have never been to it either! I grew up in the city of Manila. Yes, a city girl! I remember when I was little, my mother would bring me and my siblings to grandma’s place for the summer. I liked it there although I felt that I was stuck there for two months! :)

What I did like about that place is… grandma Matilde had plenty of tropical fruits in her backyard. That’s all the forest was for me! But wait! I was a little adventurous girl! It does not stop me from going out and explore some areas by the river and hunt for more fruits to eat. I like to climb trees, harvest and eat up the fruits!

PRESENT

So, now I’m in Canada married to a woodsman and I’m glad that I can still cultivate that curiosity of a little girl. The only thing missing is that there are no tropical fruits to harvest but something else.

They have berries and all kinds of edible plants that I had never tried before; like for example the fiddleheads. Never thought in my life that we could eat “ferns!” I do now! :)  Oh, and I love wild garlics!wild edible - fiddleheadswild edible - fiddleheads

There are still so many things to try and I am still learning some more.

Last year I had some wild mushrooms (chanterelles) brought to me by Mike & Billy and it was actually pretty good. I would like to pick some myself now that I know exactly where they are and how to identify them.

wild mushrooms chanterelles

By the way please be careful and make sure that you know enough information concerning the edible plants that you are trying. Mike showed me which good fiddlehead to pick and I always cook them, same with the mushroom. Mike has always told me that if you are sure at 99% that it’s edible don’t touch it, it’s not enough. You have to be sure 100%!

Let me share with you something that I used to do with my grandma. She had pigs back then; grandma would bring me for a walk and we would pick wild plants (weeds). We would bring that home and cook it in a tin pot on an open fire with all our leftover meals mixed with some grains and then let it cool off and feed it to the pigs.

A few memories… eating young bamboo shoots; digging some sweet potatoes; and by the way the leaves are edible and we call them “talbos,” and we still eat them in the Philippines today and many other type of leaves like “kangkong, saluyot, malunggay,” etc.

If you click on each one of these names it will show you what it looks like. I must say that I miss eating them!

I was amazed how grandma knew her wild plants and what was edible and what was not. Now I could tell you many more stories but I will save it for another time.

I was curious and wanted to learn even as a little girl and I’m glad that I payed attention! I was actually blessed with two wonderful grandmothers who knew how to cook with what is available to them. I only realize it now how I wish that I had asked them more questions!

 

 

Food at Your Feet: Wild Onions

Click here to view the original post.

This is about a little adventure my wife and I had during our recent trip to West Virginia. I need to set the stage for this one. Stick with me long enough, and you’ll understand the where and why of it all.
The more I write, the more I realize the punchline isn’t the important […]

Currant Season!

Click here to view the original post.
exc-51ede144e4b0657cca86fdcd

I love the wild currants, but I gotta say the picking is quite labor intensive.

It’s THAT time of year again, when the currants begin to ripen and are ready to be picked and dried for the year.  It always manages to happen when the weather gets hot, meaning any foraging trips require plenty of water, cooling clothing, and in this Ginger’s case, plenty of sunscreen.

But the effort is worth it.

I use wild currants in a lot of my baked goods, including my homemade brioche, muffins, and pancakes.  And earlier this year Dave McCallum soaked them in whiskey for our Valentine’s Day Gluten Free Foraged Cake!

IMG_0363

This is my brioche, mid bake, with dried currants from a nearby park.

So I think this week I’ll be taking Hunny B. out to my favorite currant picking spot to gather and dry enough berries to get us through the year.  I don’t need many, the flavor is very strong so usually less than a gallon is enough to get us through til next season.

But I’d better do it soon.  Carolina’s parents are visiting from Chile at the end of the month and love my Wild Currant Brioche.

Just remember, whenever you forage, to use proper foraging etiquette.

Oh!  I almost forgot – speaking of Chile, we’re back with new episodes on Memorial Day!  We start with a trip to Chile, with urban foraging, a live volcano, and a hike to a glacier that gets us in a little over our heads.  Don’t miss it!