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Post  windrider1967 on 3/12/2011, 2:00 pm

Seems like there may be quite a few of us out there who, in addition to cultivated gardens, also harvest and use wild edibles and medicinals as well. I think that the two go very well hand in hand and that the "gardener" is more apt to see a plant as useful than just as a weed. Figured we could use a place to discuss/show off our favorite wild harvests. Pics appreciated and REMEMBER - if you are not 100% positive what a plant is do not eat or use without verification.

See discussion on http://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t2749-weed-or-surprise-good-thing-plant-id-please#47593 for the thread that spawned this one. Some good info already entered.

My first offering would be the "curb appeal nightmare" - dandelion. Most ppl don't realize that dandelion isn't native to North America and was brought by early colonists as a food source. Leaves are great in a salad, and dandelion jelly is super smooth and good. And then there is always dandelion wine!!! Just make sure that you harvest in virgin areas - no insecticides or herbacides, and at least 100 ft back from heavily traveled roads.
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Post  windrider1967 on 3/13/2011, 9:28 am

K guess it is just me LOL - ah well as MIL is a certified herbalogist/herbalist I will throw up another of the family favorite edibles. Today's topic girls and boys is ....... GREEN BRIER

A nifty little vining plant that is native to most of zone 7 and south, green brier is a great add in to salads or just as a snack. It is vitamin packed and best when the leaves are young and tender. Most easily identified by heart shaped leaves that are a very light green, with a waxy gloss to them,it has a tart crisp taste.

As always - be sure what you are picking. Any questions shoot a pic here and someone may be able to help verify.

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Post  camprn on 3/13/2011, 10:14 am

I am watching this thread! Very Happy
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Post  Lavender Debs on 3/13/2011, 11:23 am

I'm into this too, I was just worried that if it was not about SFG it might be cut off.

Dandelions: Have you actually made wine from these? I was thinking about making a batch this year. I've never even heard of jelly but now you have me going! Got a link to your recipe?

They are so high in iron. I like to get spring leaves (before they flower seems best) to chop and add to hot rice with chives. They go down easy that way. Spring is also a good time to harvest and tincture the root. It is nourishing to the liver and digestive system. A few drops (10 to 20) in a small glass of water is almost as good as beano, good for digestion, healing to the liver and some say it helps in the battle against kidney stones. The flowers are supposed to help normalize hypertension (something I have written in my herbal but had forgotten about.) My notes also say that it gives plant hormones to ease a woman into the change. I had forgotten about that part too. Some of this information must have come from Susan Weed. I was reading her when I was in my 40’s



Deborah….who is into gathering nettles when it is dry enough out.
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Post  windrider1967 on 3/13/2011, 1:03 pm

@Lavender Debs wrote:I'm into this too, I was just worried that if it was not about SFG it might be cut off.

Dandelions: Have you actually made wine from these? I was thinking about making a batch this year. I've never even heard of jelly but now you have me going! Got a link to your recipe?

I figured it's no more off topic than some of the discussions that we get into. Hence the "out of the box" forum area.

Dandelion Jelly - from MILs "Cooking Wild Foods the American Indian Way" cookbook

2 cups packed Dandelion Blossoms
5 cups water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 package powdered pectin
5 1/2 cups sugar

Bring Water and dandelion blossoms to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 4 minutes or until water is a golden yellow. Strain blossoms out. In clean pot bring dandelion liquid, pectin and lemon juice to a full boil. Add sugar all at once and return to a boil, continue to cook for a minute or two more. Fill canning jars while hot and seal.

I am glad you are enjoying. I figured that taking advantage of the bounty that creator has given us - without boxes - is a nice way to add some variety.

Don't forget to harvest your honeysuckle and dry!!!
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Post  camprn on 3/13/2011, 1:10 pm

@windrider1967 wrote:

I figured it's no more off topic than some of the discussions that we get into. Hence the "out of the box" forum area.
That is correct!!! As soon as the snow melts i have a plant I need to photograph and get an ID on... in the mean time, I am still watching this thread!!! Wink
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Post  Kabaju42 on 3/13/2011, 1:11 pm

I've known for a while that some find dandelion useful, but I was surprised yesterday to find dandelion greens at the supermarket yesterday. And if you really want to try them you can even buy dandelion seeds: http://mountainvalleyseedco.com/store/products/Dandelion-%252d-Dandelion.html

just don't let the plant to to seed, your neighbors would not be appreciative Evil or Very Mad
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 3/13/2011, 11:43 pm

An addition to Windrider's dandelion flower jelly recipe: be sure you use only the petals of the flowers, the base of the flower will impart a bitterness you don't want in the jelly. Same goes for making dandelion wine, use only the flower petals. And that's why you don't see more dandelion wine...it takes a huge batch of flowers, and an even bigger batch of time to laborously remove petals from all the flowers.
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Post  middlemamma on 3/13/2011, 11:53 pm

Just to back up Camprn...this thread is fine and "Dandy".

It's about growing and harvesting a plant...no worries!

Out of the box is for things not all SFG...Smile
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Post  walshevak on 3/14/2011, 1:00 pm

And if seed if being sold, it could be planted in the sfg. Sounds like we are wasting a spring green and I just went out to the yard to see what kind of "crop" I've got. Wink
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Post  windrider1967 on 3/14/2011, 1:11 pm

Thanks for the support and interest in this thread. My family and I do alot of educating on both native culture and survival situations. Preparedness means not only stocking but also being able to make use of what is in your native environment.

Today's lesson: FIRST AID

So what do you do for a bee sting, minor burn etc ... Go out to your (non treated) lawn and pick some plantain.

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Most folks think this is another noxious weed like dandelion, but we call it nature's first aid kit. It works best when chewed into a pulp and then applied to a bee sting etc ... If you can't go for the taste or texture you can use a mortar and pestle or similar method. People laugh at me when I pop a few leaves in my mouth and spread it on a scrape or sting, but it works great.
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Post  bettyd_z7_va on 3/14/2011, 9:14 pm

Windrider 1967,

My sister taught me to crush the leaves of broad leaf plantain and rub it on my poison oak rash for instant relief from the burning and itching. It also helps the rash to heal much faster. The sooner you use it, the quicker it will heal. For a bad case I would use it at least 4 times a day.

I didn't know you could just pop it in your mouth and chew it up! Always used the M&P or chopped it with a knife until it released the juice from the leaves and stems.

Betty
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Post  windrider1967 on 3/14/2011, 10:41 pm

I can tell you it tastes bitter and very stringy but there is something in the enzimes in the saliva that really brings out the healing properties. My fondest memory of plantain was at a Pow Wow in WV when one of the dancers got stung in the circle. Everyone else is freaking out, I ran over to the open grass outside the circle, popped a couple of leaves in and plastered it on the sting. A bunch of Indians trying to figure out what the crazy white girl was doing. LOL
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Post  Megan on 3/14/2011, 10:49 pm

Too funny! LOL Laughing
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