EDIBLE WEED WALKS and PLANT CLASSES Message Board › Notes for February 24, 2013 Plant walk
Thank you for being a part of a lovely day spent in Nature! Thanks for coming out on a chilly day! If you brought a friend, please forward this to them.
This following will get you a good start on your plant studies and info accumulation on each plant. You can find recipes, and medicinal use on the internet and in books.
SAFETY IN FORAGING FOR PLANTS
1. Be certain of identification. Do not taste a plant without knowing what it is.
It is best to confirm your observation with an experienced forager. Second best is reading botanical descriptions and cross-referencing at least 3 photographs or drawings from different authorities. Keep checking until you are absolutely positive. Some plants have poisonous look-similars. Misidentification may result in anything from digestive complaints, to difficulty breathing and death.
2. Be certain of which parts are edible.
3. Know if plants must be cooked to remove poisons or to make digestible. Eat small amounts to check for harmony with your body. Eat moderately. Consuming any plant too often or too much can lead to allergenic reactions or accumulation of otherwise negligible toxins.
When gathering fruits, know what stage of ripeness is edible, and how to identify the stage of ripeness.
4. Gather plants from areas free of animal feces or weed killers. Gather 20 feet or further from heavily traveled roads to avoid soil and plant contamination. Avoid gathering plants growing up against buildings, as the soil is probably contaminated with anything from old lead paint to termite poison.
5. When using plants for medicine, if you don't have an experienced herbalist to consult, check at least three different references for application of a specific plant to a specific condition and doses. Exceeding recommended doses is dangerous.
Chickweed Stelleria media use Leaves, stems, flowers Common Useful Winter Growing Weeds
(Latin for "little star.") grows half or more of the year. Deep
shady places in mild summers. Grows vigorously during cool and cold weather.
Stem elongates as grows. Good to harvest with scissors.
Good in salads, pesto base, or green smoothies, or tea. Rich in vitamins A (carotenes),
B(riboflavin, niacin and thiamine) and C, calcium, zinc, potassium, and magnesium.
Chickweed is rich in minerals such as copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus,
potassium and zinc. It's high in protein Chickweed is an aid for digestive problems —
great for those who are recovering from an illness or surgery or need extra nourishment.
Chickweed helps to balance metabolism and improve thyroid function.
Poultices are good for cooling the heat of infections or inflammations and swollen
glands. Chickweed has a superior capacity for drawing out infection. In general, it
soothes pain, cools and restores the skin and is a nourishing healer of wounds
One item I wasn't sure about: the vine with green leaves hanging down from overhead. It had dark berries on it. On page 196 of Peterson's Guide to Edible Wild Plants, this is a green brier Smilex. I was confused because I didn't see any thorns. There are variants (variations within a species) The briers might have been on the base or on new growth. Smilex is the family. The berries ARE NOT edible. However, the young shoots, leaves and rootstock are. The young shoots are excellent cooked like asperagus. Young shoots, leaves and tendril can be cooked like spinach or put into salads. ( I have munched on the tendrils and leaves during the summer... and they are yummy!) The root stocks can be processed into a red powder which can be used to make mild jelly, used as thickener in stews, or diluted and sweetened for a beverage.
Peterson doesn't show any poisonous look- a- likes for this vine.
Perilla AKA Beefsteak Plant AKA Rattlesnake Weed Perilla frutescens
Use as condiment to season meat. Caution: Ingesting large amount puts fluid on the lungs. Perilla oil, from crushing the seeds is a rich source of omega-3 essential fatty aciad and alpha-linolenic acid. It has been used as a substitute for linseed oil.
as medicine: leaf tea treated abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, coughs, fevers, and colds. An application of fresh leaves rubbed on a wart for 10 or 15 minutes a day can remove warts in 2-6 days. (from p 266 Wild flowers of Tennessee the Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians.
Hen bit Lamium amplexicaule salad addition or cooking greens. Leaves and flowering tops used since middle ages to stop bleeding on the inside and outside of bodies and as expectorant
Purple dead nettle Lamium purpureum (aka Red dead nettle) food use same as Hen Bit
false wild strawberry Duchesnea indica The small, yellow flowers are 5 petaled, first flowers bloom in April and blooms throughout the summer till fall. The fruit is a small, about ½ inch round, edible strawberry. Harvest young edible leaves in spring and fruit as soon as it ripens. Gather entire plant in late summer, dry for later herb use. Medicine fresh leaves can be crushed and applied externally as a medicinal poultice. It is used in the treatment of boils and abcesses, burns, weeping eczema, ringworm, snake and insect bites and traumatic injuries.
Ground Ivy, gill-over-the-ground or Creeping Charlie Glechoma hederacea Medicinal and edible, a light taste very agreeable in salads. Ground ivy is used in alternative medicine. (mint,eat galls, leaves to season, tea from fresh or dried leaves)
Cress Barbarea verna or Cardamine hirsuta See wikipedia on both entries. There are jillion common names.
Closer study of the leaves may determine which this is... so are in the same family and have about the same medicinal attributes and cooking uses.
Burdock # Arctium lappa: greater burdock, gobō
# Arctium minus: lesser burdock, burweed, louse-bur, button-bur Wikipedia has good info on this plant
Money plant, AKA Honesty Lunaria annua It is an annual or biennial growing to 90 cm (35 in) tall by 30 cm (12 in) broad, with large, coarse, pointed oval leaves with marked serrations. In spring and summer it bears terminal racemes of white or violet flowers, followed by showy, translucent, disc-shaped seedpods with a silvery sheen, 3–8 cm (1–3 in) in diameter, which persist on the plant through winter.[from http://www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/herbs/l/lunaria-annua=honesty.php]
Edible parts of Honesty:
Seed - cooked. A pungent flavour, they are used as a mustard substitute. The pungency of mustard develops when cold water is added to the ground-up seed - an enzyme (myrosin) acts on a glycoside (sinigrin) to produce a sulphur compound. The reaction takes 10 - 15 minutes. Mixing with hot water or vinegar, or adding salt, inhibits the enzyme and produces a mild bitter mustard. Root - raw. Used before the plant produces flowers.
Red Bud Tree Cersis canadenis
Flower buds can be pickled, flowers eaten raw in salads, young pods can be sauteed.
About tapping trees for sap
today we saw box elder Acer negundo (Maple Ash is another common name for this tree) See Wiki on this one http://en.wikipedia.o... Box elder wood was used by native Americans to make flutes!
sycamore tree Platanus occidentalis Sap is fine source of drinking or cooking water in areas of contaminated water.
This is in the email archives on the Weed Eaters site.
Posted May 14, 2011 9:28 PM http://www.meetup.com/weedeaters/messages/boards/thread/11113981
You will have to go to this email (the above link on Meetup.com) to get links to the youtubes referenced below.
Both have to do with tapping trees for sap for syrup, beer, or wine, or drinking the sap.
Making maple sap collecting spiles from stag horn sumac. I made some back in the 1980's and we tapped the maple trees on top of the hills here at Rabbit Hole Hollow. Takes 50 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. We did our in a caldron over an outdoor fire... was smokey syrup. I enjoy the partially boiled sap. The fresh sap is wonderful. We hung gallon plastic jugs on spiles made from the stag horn sumac. I still have one of the spiles around.
Maple trees, birch trees, and a few others can be tapped for sap during late winter/early spring.
beer and wine can be made from birch sap.
The link on the meetup site is http://www.meetup.com....[/url]..