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Thread: A mid winter walk

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by riverjoe View Post
    Did a little more research on Tamarack . This is almose definitely what I found . The bark when removed has a pinkish or reddish tinge and the roots grow shallow at right angle to the tree .
    Tamarack is an indian word meaning " wood that snowshoes are made of " Hmmm that sounds like a project .

    Also called eastern Larch . Others have said the inner cambium layer of Larch is edible .
    If you can find a limb to cut that would be the way to try the cambium, rather than scarring up the boles. The bark looks more like cedar than Larch, to my eyes. Does it separate into little hairy fibers, or is it flaky?

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  3. #12
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    Hey riverjoe,
    just thought I'd better 'remind' ya my eyes are 'adjusted' to stuff on the Westside of the Rockies . Really don't much about Eastern Larch at all. But if you do get a limb off one to try the cambium, and it's 'green' and not dead, then must be a Larch tree

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    Aw heck I thought I responded to your last post but I must have pushed the wrong button again .
    Anyway what I said was I thought it was a Cedar at first but even the dead Cedars around here usually retain some of their needles for a few years . Our Cedars are really Junipers and are not like the Western and Northern varieties .

    Ive been meaning to go back there and get some bark but after a huge rain last week that swamp is full of water . I don't think a Red Cedar could survive with wet feet very long whereas every Tamarack Ive ever found is in a swamp .

    You said the bark should shred insteasd of flake or should it flake ? Ill give it a try anyhow , I want to learn this bark eating stuff just in case I have to hide out in the woods for a year or two .
    " Don't take life too seriously , nobody gets out alive anyway "
    Sydney Harris

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    That is interesting; up here, a Western Cedar (Thuja plicata) would like a swamp, while a Western Larch ( Larix occidentalis) can take some wet, but too wet and they usually get infected pretty fast with organisms like Phellinus pini ( another one of those polypores). I'm assuming- oh boy- that the cedar over that way share the same bark characteristics as the Western variety- the bark is composed of little long fibers, rather than flakes or 'scales'. Cedar bark makes good tinder, you can tease the fibers pretty fine, where as the Western Larch bark, like P.pine and Lodgepole pine bark, will flake and crumble.

    Yeah, man, almost always find a tree you can strip bark off of. I do eat some Larch cambium now and then in the Winter, mainly for the larch arabinogalactan content, but also to train myself to find it palatable straight off the tree- which it really isn't- but it does kill hunger pangs and seems to give me a little blood sugar boost when I do my "going out into the woods hungry" thing.

    If it was 'Survival' time, cambium would be a staple in my diet; however I'd keep in mind stuff that was mentioned in that paper I linked to a while back: it is good to eat, but if you are already starving, it will not be enough to save you (K'san wisdom); Springtime is the best time for both ease of harvest and sugar content- Mid-summer, the cambium is worthless as food, due to it turning into wood ( how many people have tried it in the Summer, only to decide that tales of Indians eating bark are just that, tall tales?). Shaping it into little 'cakes' and steam baking it in rock lined pits apparently was the preferred method of many peoples over this way, may make the sugars more bio-available, although drying and pounding into flour is good too. Either way should be good for storage.

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