The Real Know How

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

Archive for the category “wild foods”

Salmon Jerky

Dennis of white-trash-cooking.com in California makes salmon jerky. He learned the process from his Alaskan uncle.

“A very healthy snack food, salmon jerky is high in omega-3 fatty acid, which is considered valuable in reducing blood cholesterol levels. It’s also delicious and easy to make. Marinate the salmon and let it dry in a warm oven overnight. It keeps well.”

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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.”

Maple Sugaring

It’s maple sugaring season, so here are some videos on how to tap the trees and produce maple syrup and maple sugar:

This is the whole process from start to finish:

Here miwilderness in Michigan talks about when to tap trees, what to look for in a tree you are considering tapping, how many taps you can make in a tree based on its size and how to tap the tree (he uses an electric drill) and so on.

Here vintagevideos2009 in Franklin, Wisconsin shows us boiling and finishing the syrup:

Tony Denning of Maple Leaf Farm in Canterbury, Connecticut talks about how maple sugaring quickly becomes an obsession.

Growing up in New England I used to think of maple syrup as a New England only thing, but now I know that its a Midwestern, Canadian, New England… thing… anywhere maples grow people tap them for their sap.

Forest Garden 411

Martin Crawford of the Agroforestry Research Trust talks about the Forest Garden he planted at Schumacher College, Dartington, South Devon, United Kingdom over 14 years ago.

Forest gardening is an interesting (and new to me) concept – that in temperate climates uses a young forest as a model. Martin explains that in conventional farming/gardening we use a lot of energy just to keep the land from going to back to the wild state it wants to get back to. Using the forest model, he says that very little energy goes into that kind of policing and so forest gardening ends up being much more low-maintenance than other forms of farming.

Forest gardens allow you to grow a mix of food and medicinal plants (for example, nut trees, fruit trees, herbs, vegetables, etc.). He says you may grow up to 200 species of plants in any one forest garden.

Here is a closer look at a food forest garden planted by Robert Hart in the UK.

Barrel Cactus Candy

Barrel Cactus - photo by Vegan Feast Catering on Flickr

From Cooks.com

BARREL CACTUS CANDY
Take the barrel cactus and cut off around until you get to the white meat. Do not use center of cactus because it’s very hard to slice.

Start by slicing one inch strips of cactus. Soak in cold water overnight. Next morning drain and slice into one inch cubic squares.

Cook in boiling water until tender.
For two quarts of cactus cubes, make the following syrup: 1 c. water 2 tbsp. orange juice 1 tbsp. orange juice 1 tsp. orange peel

Stir and dissolve syrup over low heat until thoroughly dissolved. Put in cactus and cool slowly until syrup is absorbed. Roll in powdered sugar.

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.

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