Elders Challenge II ! Edible Plants

Discussion in 'Tree and Plant ID Database' started by GreyOne, Apr 15, 2011.

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  1. GreyOne

    GreyOne Elder Lifetime Supporter

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    The Elders challenge all members of the tribe to the following task:

    To find and identify 5 edible plants (Non Trees) in your area. Post pictures, a description, the localities they favor, and the main use as an edible plant.

    This Challenge is to run from April 15th to June the 1st.


    Post your responses in this thread.

    All who compete in this challenge will earn an eagle feather for their steadfast effort to gain in knowledge and their sharing of knowledge and skills.

    So speak the Elders.

    [Let it be noted that this open to ALL registered members of the tribe ! And if you are not yet registered , go do it and get into the challenge as well. ]
  2. Farmboy

    Farmboy Scout

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    Very nice challenge, and something I've wanted to learn for a while now. May the tribe hear the words of the elders and learn from their wisdom. :38:
  3. Chamonix

    Chamonix Scout

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    Great challenge! Since I'm new here this is my first challenge...not sure of the protocol, if I need to post here or what, but I'm in!

    Since I'm harvesting morels now, thought maybe I should ask if fungus counts? ;)
  4. Ahnkochee

    Ahnkochee Bushmaster

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    Does this included plants from the sea? Here in the islands we eat a large variety of sea plants as well terrestrial varieties.
  5. GreyOne

    GreyOne Elder Lifetime Supporter

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    Post your replies here in this thread.

    Looking for _local_ and non -tree edibles. If you eat it and can describe how to prepare it, it counts.
  6. alex30808

    alex30808 Guide

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    Cool!!! I'll be on the look out...May the wisdom of the elders shine upon me as I enter into this sacred challenge!
  7. puskin

    puskin Tracker

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    So cool thanks for the challenge I'm gonna get on it tomorrow morning!
  8. Branm008

    Branm008 Guide

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    I greet thee Oh Wise Elders with respect and strong hopes. I hope to appease the gods with my good fortune on this task. Good luck my brethren.

    -Brandon
  9. NorthernBushcraft

    NorthernBushcraft Scout Bushclass I

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    This falls right in line with my current area of concentrated study and my weakest area of knowledge. I thank you for the timely challenge and the opportunity it offers. I humbly and enthusiastically accept your challenge wise elders.
  10. Avair

    Avair Scout

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    I just started a new journal just for wild edibles, This challenge fits better than average. Good times.
  11. madmax

    madmax Bushmaster

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    OK. Got my five. All these were found in the Ocala National Forest.

    Prickly pear cactus. Optuntia humifusia. Everybody in the south knows this one. It likes sun and sandy soil. You can peel and eat the fruit or use it in jams and jellies. Kinda kiwi-like taste. The young pads are de-spined (throw them in the fire for a bit to burn them off or dig out the "eyes" with the spines with your knife), sliced and boiled, fried, or roasted. The sap has a weird characteristic of filtering contaminated water by "latching on" to sediment and bacteria and settling them to the bottom. It may be a great natural water filter.

    [​IMG]

    Coontie. Zamia pumila. Seminole bread. Likes sandy soil and diffuse light. It was harvested for it's root which was made into a bread. Protected in the wild. This is a very young example. I'll go get a pic of a more mature one soon.

    [​IMG]

    Pond lily. Nuphar luteum. Pretty much grow everywhere there's water. North America, South America, Europe, Japan. The seeds can be "popped" and eaten (I liked them). The flower petals can be made into a tea (Blech). The root is rumored to be edible, BUT nowhere can I find anybody that can stomach it. Stick to the seeds. I'll get a close-up pic soon.

    [​IMG]

    Thistle. Cirsium horridulum. First year roots (give ya gas) and leaves are edible. Strip the leaves completely down to the center stem. Eat raw, boiled, or roast. Second year flower stalk is edible and pretty good. Strip off the outer fibers. Eat raw or cooked. Older plants are tough, but better for cordage. Leather gloves are highly recommended. Some people not only get stuck a million times they get a rash.

    [​IMG]

    Deerberry. Blueberry family. Vaccinium stamineum. This is a tall variety. The mature plants in this area are 7-8 ft tall. Likes woods with diffuse light.

    [​IMG]

    A shot of the whole Deerberry plant. As well as 3 other FL edibles. Sabal palm (cabbage palm), Prickly pear (lower right), and coontie that is pretty much impossible to see in the pic (but it's there!:4:).

    [​IMG]
  12. puskin

    puskin Tracker

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    I went out to Cuyamaca State Park which is an excellent place for survival as it is on the border of three distinct ecological zones: A chapparal forest leading up into a high altitude alpine/oak forest and then declining rapidly into the Anza Borrego desert. The mountain range and rain-shadow creates a good opportunity to find many different species of edible plants:

    This is a regular old cattail, they are abundant in the area and the lower part of the shoot is edible almost all year, can be eaten raw or cooked
    [​IMG]


    California Buckwheat; This plant was harvested by native americans in the area, the seeds can be ground to make flour and buckwheat pancakes. Found often in dry meadows and open spaces:
    [​IMG]

    Fern Fiddleheads, found in the shady undergrowth of pine forests. When the fiddleheads are twice boiled they are edible and were considered a delicacy by natives:
    [​IMG]

    Agave Deserti, Found on the eastern slopes of the Cuyamaca Mtns. the agave leaves are put in pit above hot coals and allowed to bake underground for three days, the upper stalk and fruit can be eaten after a shorter baking period:
    [​IMG]

    California Barrel Cactus: The Barrel cactus grows in the drier areas of San Diego County and produces succulent yellow fruits from its top and its flesh can be eaten to gain water (this one is out of bloom):
    [​IMG]

    I included this last one just because I took a picture it's not really edible but it is Ephedra which can be used to make Mormon Tea found throuhgout the desert areas:
    [​IMG]

    Thanks for looking and thanks for the challenge

    Puskin
  13. Prime Zombie

    Prime Zombie Guest

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    Are fungi counted in this contest as well?

    Good idea, btw. I will perhaps participate in this challenge, it is up my alley. :)
  14. GreyOne

    GreyOne Elder Lifetime Supporter

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    Fungi are plants, I believe. :) One question I would ask is , do they have much nutritional value, or are they mostly just flavor and filling ?

    I have never been willing to eat most fungi in the field, my ID skills are not adequate to safely determine the edible from the inedible. A friend used to do so, but I never got much instruction on it.
  15. Creek Walker

    Creek Walker Guide

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    No Fungi are not plants they are classified in their own kingdom.
  16. One Legged Josh

    One Legged Josh Dirt Merchant Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    I got my five this weekend on sotramk's property in Ohio.

    Mayapple---grows all over the place...The fruit is edible when ripe they are yellow-colored.
    [​IMG]
    spring onion grows in wet river-bottoms, and grows in clumps.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Pennsylvania cress. Very common in my area. It will grow just about anywhere. It tastes like broccoli.
    [​IMG]
    Stinging nettles. Also a very common plant. (I dont care for it though) It is best when it is very young, and boiled.
    [​IMG]
    Autumn olive. Pick the fruit before the first frost in the fall. It is very sweet/tart.
    [​IMG]
  17. rogumpogum

    rogumpogum Guest

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    Huh. I always though mayapple was poisonous. My daddy lied to me!
  18. One Legged Josh

    One Legged Josh Dirt Merchant Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    I cant speak for the plant, but the fruit I have eaten (when ripe) many times in or around August every year...
  19. mainewoods

    mainewoods Maine Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Is this open to all member here at BCUSA?
  20. madmax

    madmax Bushmaster

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    I hope so. I just jumped right in!:4:
  21. FreedomoftheHills

    FreedomoftheHills Tracker

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    These are all from my mountains here in Western Colorado:


    Spring beauty (Claytonia virginica) All parts of the plant are edible. Leaves and blooms make a nice snack, and the corms, when boiled up, taste like wonderful, starchy little new potatoes.

    [​IMG]



    Avalanche lily (Erythronium grandiflorum) Corm is pretty tasty roasted or steamed. These lilies were an important food source for the Utes. Many families would gather, pit roast and dry over 50 lb of the roots to eat over the winter, and for trading. They, like the spring beauty, emerge and begin blooming as soon as the snow leaves a patch of ground here in the high country.

    [​IMG]



    Lamb's quarter (Chenopodium album) This one has been up for about three weeks. They're good to eat either raw or boiled/steamed, and taste like spinach, only (to me, at least) better.

    [​IMG]



    Serviceberry (Amelanchier) A great source of blueberry-like berries to eat fresh and dry later in the summer and early fall!

    [​IMG]



    White violet (Viola canadensis) Greens and blooms are edible and tasty, either raw or boiled.

    [​IMG]
  22. GreyOne

    GreyOne Elder Lifetime Supporter

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    It sure is ! Thought we made that clear, this is for all registered members who wish to participate. :)
  23. dayhiker

    dayhiker Scout

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    OK ,my first challenge.

    These were all located in a short 20 min walk in my yard here in New England.


    First up, the easiest.

    Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale). Pretty well known. All edible, shoots ,leaves (boiled or raw), and roots can be dried,ground,and used as coffee.

    [​IMG]

    Next is wild lettuce (Lactuca). Use raw in a salad (kinda bitter) or as a boiled green. Pretty much as usefull as Dandelion.

    [​IMG]


    Another easy one. Wild Onion.(A.Stellatum) Love these raw as a snack.:dblthumb:

    [​IMG]


    Next is good with the leaves(dried then steeped) boiled as a tea ,Yarrow(Achillea millefolium)...

    (Doesn't flower till summer)

    [​IMG]

    Next is a harder to prepare one for emergencies. As in Famine practically.

    Wild Calla ( Calla palustris). Only the roots. Dried and ground for flour for a starch rich bread.( if less than tasty, so they say. I am not really ready to try it yet :26: )

    [​IMG]
  24. tennecedar

    tennecedar Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Wild Onion- add to salads and soups sparingly
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Watercress- add to salads and sandwiches
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Wild Mint- Makes a nice tea or jelly and adds flavor to desserts
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Wild Seven Top Greens- cooked like mustard or collard greens
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Poke Salad- cooked as a green but needs a couple parboilings to remove poison
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  25. One Legged Josh

    One Legged Josh Dirt Merchant Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    Tennecedar,
    I didnt know poke was considered an edible. Its everywhere around here.

    Im going to look into it...
    Thanks
  26. tennecedar

    tennecedar Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Get the young tender leaves of the Pokeweed and wash well. In a big pot bring to a boil and pour off the water with a quick rinsing. Repeat with a second boil and rinse. Third time boil down with bacon grease and salt added for flavor. Goes well with white beans and a baked ham :32::32::32:


    Left overs can be frozen for future meals. I usually cook up enough to make it worth while.
  27. sotramk

    sotramk Guide

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    Finally got a nice day to get out. heres my entries.
    Cheers!

    Field Garlic, widespread, condiment
    [​IMG]

    Violets, widespread,salad green
    [​IMG]

    Ramp, Wild leek, woods, condiment,green
    [​IMG]

    Spring onion, widespread, salad green, condiment
    [​IMG]

    Trillium Flower Buds, moist rich woods, boiled or fried green
    [​IMG]

    Jack-in-the-Pulpit. root can be eaten after slicing and drying
    [​IMG]

    Day Lillies, Bottom Land,root, dried for flour [​IMG]

    For One Legged Josh--Steelhead Trout, creeks and streams, poached
    [​IMG]

    SIL's Chocolate Pudding Cake, Widespread, inedible
    [​IMG]
  28. Whit Spurzon

    Whit Spurzon Scout

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    From my walk this morning

    [​IMG]
    Low (dull) Oregon Grape Mahonia nervosa tart berries best mixed with salal in jams or used to quench thirst. Also used to make wine. Roots make a yellow dye.

    [​IMG]
    Tall Oregon Grape Mahonia aquifolium Same uses the M. nervosa

    [​IMG]
    Miner's Lettuce, edible greens, pleasant flavor and texture

    [​IMG]
    Nettle - Boiled Greens. Very good with butter - spinach like. Dried can be added to soups as a thickener.

    [​IMG]
    Salal Berries are mealy and somewhat bland in flavor. Was an important Pemican ingredient to First Nations Tribes in this area. Mixed with Oregon Grape it makes an excellent jam.

    [​IMG]
    Salmon Berry - Sweet berries among the first to ripen. The shoots of this plant helped sustain the Lewis and Clark expedition.

    [​IMG]
    Thimble Berry- Sweet berry, somewhat dry fuzzy texture. Shoots are also edible. Leaves make an good substitute for TP.

    [​IMG]
    Sword Fern - Rhizomes can be roasted. I haven't tried them for taste.

    Also present
    Nootka Rose, Bald Hip Rose, Honeysuckle (pink and orange varieties), Red Flowering Currant, Siberian Miner's lettuce, Red Huckleberry, Himalayan Blackberry, Thistles...
  29. tennecedar

    tennecedar Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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  30. BillCr

    BillCr Guide Bushclass I

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    The Mayapple is going to be one of my five also when I can get pics up. The roots, stem, leaves, seeds and green/unripe fruit are all poisonous and listed under Peterson's poisonous plant subsection (10). As Josh said and experienced, the ripened yellow fruit is edible (20). Petersons breaks down poisonous plants into those known to have caused death from consumption and those poisonous plants that cause ill effects, not known to have caused death. The Mayapple is under the section of no known deaths from poisoning.
  31. Ahnkochee

    Ahnkochee Bushmaster

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    Wild plants growing nearby:

    Purslane locally called Pigweed (all parts edible)
    [​IMG]

    Sea Purslane locally called Akulikuli (all parts edible with a salt flavor)
    [​IMG]

    Prickly Pear locally called Panini (pads and fruit edible)
    [​IMG]

    Ti Plant (leaves used for wrapping foods to steam, as plates, for making hula skirts, and lei, roots are large and full of sugar, and in the old days used to make a intoxicating liquor similar to Tequila, and called 'okolehau (oh-koh-leh-how).
    [​IMG]

    Hibiscus (young leaves and flower edible, dried flowers make a nice tea)
    [​IMG]
  32. BillCr

    BillCr Guide Bushclass I

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    Five Wild Edibles

    The Peterson's Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants was my primary source for the the information below. I have referenced the pages in the comments. I live in south west Indiana and all of the edibles below were found in my yard except for the morels.

    Marsh Blue Violet (Viola cucullata) pg. 132

    Uses: Use this in a salad, cooked green, or added to soups as an okralike thickener. Best mixed with other greens. The dried leaves can be made into tea. Flowers can be candied. Leaves rich in vitamin A and C. Blooms early spring-spring.

    Where Found: Wet meadows, springs and bogs. Interestingly, a spring is very close to our property and the Marsh Blue Violet was found in my yard.


    [​IMG]

    Prickly Lettuce (Lactuca scariola) pg. 86

    Uses: Salad, cooked green, cooked vegetable

    Where Found: Roadsides, wasteplaces. This was found in my yard.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Common Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana) pg. 30

    Use: Fresh or cooked fruit, jam, tea.

    Where found: Fields, open places. Most of our area. Found in my yard.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Common Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) pg. 84

    Everyone is familiar with Dandelions. I made some fritters with the flowers and have eaten the leaves in a salad. Found in my yard.

    [​IMG]

    Common Morel (Morchella Esculenta) pg. 238

    Uses: Cooked vegetable, outstanding cooked in butter

    Where found: Moist woods, orchards, burned fields. Found in a vacant lot under an apple tree.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  33. GreyOne

    GreyOne Elder Lifetime Supporter

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    Some great pictures and information in this thread. It is a real learning tool, and I thank all who have added to it.

    Still got a month to go, and I hope to see a lot more posts !
  34. CanisKil

    CanisKil Guide

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    Sorry for the fuzzy picture. Found all these on the way to walking the boys to school.

    [​IMG]


    From left to right:

    Prickly Lettuce: An annual or biennial weed with prickly leaves that emit a milky sap when cut. Prickly lettuce is most commonly a weed of nurseries, orchards, roadsides, and agronomic crops and is found throughout the United States. Used in salads and as a pot herb.

    Cleavers: It is straggling annual plant with a slender taproot and weak square stems which clings to other plants with small, curved prickles at the angles of the stems on the veins and edges of the leaves.
    Generally found growing on hedgerows, wood fields, among cultivated crops and on the waste areas. Cleavers is an edible herb normally eaten for its medicinal properties; as an anti inflammatory, antiphlogistic, aperients, astringent, diuretic, tonic, febrifuge, depurative and vulnerary. It is also used to treat various skin diseases such as eczema, psoriasis, and can be used as a detoxifying agent in serious disease like cancer. The fresh plant or its juice is used as poultice for wounds, ulcer and other skin problems. It is used raw in salads and mainly used as pot-herb or added to soups. Its seeds are good substitute of coffee.

    Wild Grapevine: woody vines which can climb over thirty feet tall. They have large, three-lobed leaves with teeth on the edges. They can be found on streambanks, pond edges, roadsides, and in open woods. In woods, the vine is probably very large and has grown up with the tree. It grows large purplish-black berries in clusters of up to twenty. Fruits become ripe from August to October.

    Purslane: It has smooth, reddish, mostly prostrate stems and alternate leaves clustered at stem joints and ends. The yellow flowers have five regular parts and are up to 6 mm wide. The flowers appear depending upon rainfall and may occur year round. The flowers open singly at the center of the leaf cluster for only a few hours on sunny mornings. Seeds are formed in a tiny pod, which opens when the seeds are ready. Purslane has a taproot with fibrous secondary roots and is able to tolerate poor, compacted soils and drought.The stems, leaves and flower buds are all edible. Purslane can be used fresh as a salad, stir-fried, or cooked like spinach, and because of its mucilaginous quality it is also suitable for soups and stews.

    Wood Sorrel: These plants are annual or perennial. The leaves are divided into three to ten or more obovate and top notched leaflets, arranged palmately with all the leaflets of roughly equal size. The majority of species have three leaflets; in these species, the leaves are superficially similar to those of some clovers. It grows in yards and shady woodlands throughout the US. All parts of the plant are edible.
  35. Trekon86

    Trekon86 Guest

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    The edibles are just coming up in this part of the world, and I have yet to have a day off when it hasn't rained. When both coincide, I will get this done;)
    PMZ
  36. Outkast_1B

    Outkast_1B Scout Bushclass I

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    • Bitter Gourd
    • found in Hammocks, Disturbed Sites and Citrus groves
    • Red seed coverings can be eaten and can be made into a tea to control blood sugar.
    [​IMG]

    • Gopher Apples
    • Found in dry oak hammocks
    • Fruit can be eaten raw but not the seed
    [​IMG]

    • Blue Berries
    • Found saw palmetto flatwoods
    • Fruit can be eaten in many ways
    [​IMG]

    • Muscadine Grapes
    • Found in well drained soil with lots of water
    • Can be eaten out of hand as they come off the vine. They can be made into jelly, jam, wine, raisins, fruit leather
    [​IMG]

    • Smilax
    • found in Moist woodlands climbing trees
    • edible tips especially in springtime, cooked or raw, hard root has starch, berries edible but not palatable
    [​IMG]
  37. NorthernBushcraft

    NorthernBushcraft Scout Bushclass I

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    Well, I have been out foraging 3 or 4 times this month and my most productive day was without a card in my camera so I did not get pictures of the species I wanted to show here. I think all in all I was able to come up with 12 edible plants that are not trees.

    Here is the list I was able to document.

    1. Good old dandelion - a perennial, seems to prefer sunny, grassy patches with good moisture content. Does very well on disturbed soils and in particular - lawns :0

    All parts of the plant are edible in one form or another, however I have only ever eaten the young leaves. They can be a little bitter if harvested too big but can still be blanched and added to other foods or salads. Dandelion leaves contain abundant amounts of vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamins A, C and K, and are good sources of calcium, potassium, iron and manganese.

    Petals can be used to make dandelion wine and the roots can be brewed as a no-caffeine coffee substitute. I have not made either.

    [​IMG]

    ..........

    2. Sour Dock - prefers dense, rich, moist soil. I found this at the edge of the forest in mixed sunny / shady area. A quick search of the forest itself revealed no more, and only a few of the plants were present at the edge.

    Sour dock can be used as a leafy vegetable but many recommend a couple of boilings to remove the oxalic acid in the leaves. It can however be eaten raw in moderate amounts. Mature plants are said to be too bitter to eat. Dock leaves contain good amounts of vitamin A and protein, and are rich in iron and potassium. The leaves are quite tart and should not be eaten in abundance as they can lead to urinary disorders and even kidney stones.

    [​IMG]

    ..........

    3. Fiddleheads - These are Bracken fiddleheads and were harvested from the dense forest. I have seen these at the edge of the woods as well as the deepest, most dense parts of the woods. They seem to like rich, moist soil and appear to thrive in areas of indirect sunlight and lots of shade.

    They are a good source of potassium and also contain vitamin C, niacin and iron. I enjoy the taste of these and generally boil them and add them to another vegetable mix as a side dish. I have also eaten them raw on occasion and they have a crisp, grassy flavor with a slight peppery after-taste (according to my own palate of course).

    I will not comment on the debatable toxicity of the Bracken as there are other threads discussing it already.

    [​IMG]

    ..........

    4. Thimbleberry - I most often find these at the edge of the forest, or near the edges of forest clearings. They also seem to prefer moist, rich soil and mixed sunny / shady area.

    They are a decent source of vitamins C and A and also contains small amounts of iron and potassium, and trace amounts of calcium. The berries are fragile, quite seedy, and have a rounder squat shape to them. They have a more tart flavor than salmon berry or blackberry. Not my favorite berries to harvest but I still mange to scarf down a few handfuls every year :)

    [​IMG]

    ..........

    5. Salmon Berry - These seem to prefer denser, more firm soil and I often find them around the edges of the forest, near creeks and rivers, clearings, sides of trails etc. They do not seem to mind if the soil is rocky. They are very hardy, very hard to get rid of and can be very invasive. If not kept in check can take over your entire yard in a few years.

    The berries are usually orange colored, but sometimes I have seen them run into a deeper, more reddish color and even darker. The berries also have "whiskers" sticking out of them and the bigger ones may require some of them to be removed, although I never bothered. I eat a lot of these every year. The berries contain good amounts of vitamins A & C, contain trace amounts of many other vitamins and minerals - too many to list here. It is a good idea to look inside a freshly picked berry to see what else is inside as they sometimes contain small grubs and insects. Everybody loves a salmon berry :4:

    [​IMG]

    ..........

    Other species I found but did not document were:

    Stinging Nettle
    Chickweed
    Clover
    Blueberry
    Minor's Lettuce
    Skunk Cabbage
    - no one in their right mind would eat these smelly buggers as they are supposed to taste as horrible as they smell, even though the young plants have edible parts.
    Cat Tails - out of season and not worth photographing.

    A trip to the seaside would yield a half dozen more.
  38. jimpickens

    jimpickens Tinder Gatherer

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    Around here the following are found
    1. Ramps
    2. Mulberries
    3. Dandelions
    4. Morel mushrooms
    5. Wild cattails
  39. GreyOne

    GreyOne Elder Lifetime Supporter

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    I just want to remind everyone that this Challenge is still running ! You have until the 1st of June, so still about 10 days left. Lets see some more entries !

    So far we have had some really good pictures and information, excellent job !!
    G1
  40. GreyOne

    GreyOne Elder Lifetime Supporter

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    Last Weekend !! Let all who have an entry set it forth, for on the Day of Memorials, the Elders decree the challenge shall end. Heed this reminder, and share with us your knowledge !!
  41. GreyOne

    GreyOne Elder Lifetime Supporter

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    The Elders thank all the members who participated and shared their knowledge in this challenge. Each of you is entitled to a virtual eagle feather for your effort ! :)

    This thread is no closed.
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