Sunday, July 14, 2013

What Wild Plants Are Edible?

Free Survival Foods - Edible Wild Plants

Henry Thoreau once said more than a century ago, “ There is a difference between eating and drinking for strength and mere gluttony.” He went on to say that he derived more substance from the swamps, which surrounded his native town than the cultivated gardens in the village.

Some of the best foods in the world are free. Many of the vegetables that we grow today were once wild plants that our ancestors have domesticated over generations of time. Each time you go out from season to season and recognize more and more species of editable plant life, this knowledge can prove invaluable in an emergency situation. What comes to my mind when I mention an emergency situation is what it was like in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike with no grocery stores open nor any kind of traffic able to travel the roadways for days if not weeks in some areas. During this time, out and about, some of us were able to supplement our diet from some of the vegetation that survived Hurricane Ike. With the Hurricane Season spinning around every year in certain areas, you may want to consider becoming familiar with some of these "free foods".
What other hobby can be such a pleasure with such little effort and produce a yield with such delicious results, such as fruits and vegetables. Each outdoor excursion becomes an opportunity for learning and discovery of more delicious and beneficial varieties. Virtually thousands of varieties of wild foods and medicines grow in the meadows, wastelands, woods, canyons and even our own front yard. Earnest Thomas Seaton once pointed out, “ No one truly knows the outdoors, until he can find with certainty a number of wild foods that furnish good food for mankind”.
Plants like the wild carrot (Queen Anne’s Lace), coffee (Chicory), wild asparagus (milkweed), flour (Jack-in-the-Pulpit), are just a few of the plants that are available for food and medicines just right outside your front door.
Now I know you thinking – why go to that trouble when the super market is right around the corner. True – but what if it wasn’t. What if you were lost in the woods or some remote area could you find these plants? True you may never be in that particular situation, and some of you may. I like the idea of knowing that if this happens to me that I could take care of myself and anyone that was with me. I enjoy picking the dandelions from my front yard for a salad. They add a new taste to a sometimes-boring salad. I would rather sit in my yard looking at the dandelions in my not so perfect lawn and seeing the food value than worrying about how to get rid of them. Besides they are a pretty yellow aren’t they?
Dale's garden extends far a field of just outside my front door or the immediate surrounding boundaries.. Mother Nature’s “green thumb” far exceeds my ability and other gardeners I know. She makes it happen so effortlessly.
Enjoy what She has to offer – become a part of it. You may be surprised at the pleasures you find.
An A to Z Guide of Edible Wild Plants