The Real Know How

How-Tos, Videos, Tutorials — Ramping Up for the 21st Century

Archive for the category “foraging”

Purslane vs. Spurge

How to tell true purslane apart from its toxic neighbor, spurge. This video was created by someone who lives in the US Great Lakes area.

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Purslane – A Common ‘Weed’ That’s a Super Food

A lot of information about the benefits of purslane aka pigweed (it’s a good source of Omega-3 fats, for example) as well as how to identify it. The narrator is growing purslane as a potherb in his garden but this is an extremely common and easy to find plant, even in urban environments.

Finding and Eating “Weeds”

A short primer on finding edible “weeds” in suburban Florida.

Seaweed Harvesters

“Meet John and Barbara Stephens-Lewallen: They harvest seaweed. Operators of the Mendocino Sea Vegetable Company in Philo, California, the Stephens-Lewallens are farmers/fishermen of another stripe. Their catch includes bladderwrack, sea lettuce, kombu, and nori.”

Medicinal Trees

When most of us think of medicinals we think of herbaceous herbs, but Dave shows us how we can effectively use the trees all around us (even in cities) as herbs.

This is a really informative series of videos by Dave Canterbury of the Pathfinders Wilderness School in Ohio. Dave seems like a great teacher.

These videos are focused on trees of the “Eastern Woodlands” but luckily many of these trees grow widely across North America.

Preparing Acorns

This Eattheweeds video gives a lot of important information about oaks, acorns and preparing acorns for eating:

Topics Green Dean covers:

– Choosing a tree (different oaks have different tannin levels)

– Selecting for tannin levels using the look of the acorns

– How often oaks fruit and how to identify their fruiting cycles

– When to harvest acorns and what acorns ready to harvest look like

– The different methods of leaching tannins (bitter compounds that can otherwise make an acorn inedible) and how each method affects what you can do with the resulting acorn mush/flour

Hunting for Jewelweed (Touch-Me-Nots)

Don King of theMushroomHunter.com in Ohio talks jewelweed, a wild plant that is often found near nettle patches. The seed pods taste like sunflower seeds, according to Don, and can be used to stop the itching from insect bites and irritant plants (like the nettles who are often their neighbors).

Pine Resin and Pine Needle Tea

Puma talks about the many uses for pine resin and pine needles. He says “A lot of people don’t know how many uses there are for a pine tree.”

Even more uses of pine trees from thejourneyoutdoors in Michigan. He emphasizes being sure of your identification of the trees before you even think about eating from them.

About Labrador Tea

Labrador tea is an important wild, native North American group of medicinal plants. I say group because there are actually three closely related types of rhododendron that are identified as Labrador tea. They are evergreens that grown mainly in wetland areas.

People drink Labrador tea as an all-around tonic (maybe like how some people drink nettle tea), and it’s loved for its flavor both as a tea and as a flavoring for meat.

Note that it can have a narcotic and even toxic effect if it’s taken in large quantities.

Here’s a joeandzachsurvival video explaining where to find Labrador tea , how to identify it and its uses. Joeandzachsurvival film in Minnesota.

Elder Bertha Skye, who is Cree from Saskatchewan, is associated with McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, talks about Labrador tea’s important to indigenous people in Canada.

Making Walnut Ink/Stain/Dye

The black walnut has a long history of being used to produce a dark stain that can be used as ink, leather making dye, wood and grass stain and textile dye. It’s lightfast, colorfast and doesn’t respond to most solvents, so difficult to get out in general. Scrapbookers now also use walnut ink to give paper an antique look.

To make the ink you will need unhulled walnuts, water, a pot (it helps if it is rusty cast iron as the iron deepens the color), a sieve or cheesecloth and a stirrer. Some people also add rusty metal to the mix to darken the color and vinegar to help preserve the liquid.

Here is Annamarie Malik making a large batch of ink:

She sells bottles of walnut ink from her website http://annamalik.com/

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