Survival Food - Wild Edible Plants

Survival Food - Wild Edible Plants

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Edible weeds such as dandelions, nettles, cattails, chicory, and sorrel all grow in the Pacific Northwest. The early Colonists introduced the edible weeds lamb's quarter, curly dock, and dandelion to the East Coast; they spread across the country and now grow wild in most parts of Oregon. Other wild edible weeds found in Oregon are miner's lettuce, wild onion, and Stinging Nettles.

There are too many other wild plants and weeds to list that are edible as well as very good for you.  We recommend that you pick up a book for your area to learn to locate, identify, and prepare all of the wild edible plants.  You will increase your odds of survival if you are able to rely on this important natural resource.

DandelionMiners LettuceStinging NettlesCattailsChicorySorrelFiddleheadsWild OnionWild Garlicand many more...

Fiddleheads are the ostrich fern’s tightly-curled young fronds that are picked early in the spring, before they open and become toxic.  They are called Fiddleheads because of their fiddle-like shape. They are also sometimes referred to as corkscrew greens.  North American Indians were eating fiddleheads long before the arrival of the first Europeans. The Australian and New Zealand aborigines and the Japanese are very fond of Fiddleheads.  Fiddleheads are picked when they are still tightly curled and do not exceed 2 to 5 centimetres. Depending on the region, fiddleheads are picked between mid-April and June. Once they have opened, they are no longer edible.

Fiddleheads are a super food. They have twice the antioxidant content of blueberries. They are also a non-marine source of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. They are rich in iron, fibre, potassium, niacin, vitamins A and C, zinc and beta-carotene. They are 3-4 times higher in phenolic compound concentration than spinach and contain cancer-fighting agents.  Since there are many different types of Fiddleheads some of which are toxic, it is important to get proper training to be able to identify the edible types.
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Cattails have incredible health benefits

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Cattails are edible upright perennial plants that emerge from creeping rhizomes. They are usually found in a dense group in up to 2 ft. of water in marshes and other wetlands throughout most of the world. Cattails adapt in a variety of ways: They can live in fresh or somewhat brackish water and can live in up to 2 feet of water or grow in floating mats. The long tapering leaves have smooth margins and are spongy. Depending on the time of year, the Cattail can be a very tasty, nutritious plant. Almost every part of the plant is edible when in season and contains beta carotene, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins A, B, and C. Cattails produce more starch per acre than crops like potatoes and yams. Yet unlike potatoes and yams, you can eat more than just the root. Different parts of the cattail plant produce something edible at different stages of development.

Helping with wounds, burns, stings, and bruises, the ash of the burned cattail leaves can be used as an antiseptic or styptic for wounds. A small drop of a honey-like excretion, often found near the base of the plant, can be used as an antiseptic for small wounds and toothaches.
Miner's Lettuce gets its name from Gold Rush Miners who ate it to stave off scurvy and other diseases.  It is high in Vitamin C and can be eaten raw or cooked.  It can be found in many parts of the world as well as in the Pacific Northwest. The growing conditions tend to be cool and moist.  This aggressive self-seeding plant tends to grow in shady areas such as under tree canopies in low to medium elevations.

It grows in patches and could be considered ground cover.  Some species can even grow in sandy areas or gravel roads.  The blossoms, stems, and leaves can all be eaten making it a great survival food.  It is easily identifiable because it has two leaves fused together with the stem and white flowers in the center.  They have a distinct look to them, looking like a circle or heart shape with a deep, green color and little flowers or bulbs in the center.
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