Forgive my late post today. Too many things going on in my life at the moment.
Okay. Have any of you ever heard of Linda Runyon? Taking a page from Mary’s book, I thought I might post about food — survival style — just in case. There’s never a need for anyone to ever starve — if they know what to look for in the wild. Linda Runyon is a woman who spent years living off the land in upper state New York. She has published a book about wild edible foods, called THE ESSENTIAL WILD FOOD SURVIVAL GUIDE, and her website is: www.OfTheField.com.
Did you know that many wild plants that are found in lawns and woodlands everywhere are just as nutritious as plants and foods that we find in our grocery store? The dandelion, for instance is very nutritious for humans — now for cows, by the way. And they are found almost the world over. It’s a perennial herb — grows to about 2 inches and when mature with seeds, has the white, fluffy pompoms that blow in the wind.
Indeed, the last time I was at a Whole Foods Market, I found a section devoted to the dandelion.
Because I have my nose in a history book so much nowadays, I became aware that over the centuries, there are governments that have used food (or lack thereof) as a weapon. The Soviet Union, China, Thailand, Africa, Ethopia are examples of this type of warfare against the people. However, according to Linda Runyon, there is never a need to starve if you simply are educated on the wild plants and know what to look for. In truth, I ordered her book because I decided is might pay someday to know what’s edible and what isn’t.
This is thistle, which is an edible plant. It’s a North American plant and has been used as food or herb by Native Americas for thousands of years. It’s a biennial plant — it is eaten raw or ground to a fine, green flour. It can also be used as a tea or steamed. Even its roots can be used as food and can be boiled for a tea. It also has a medicinal uses. Milk thistle as an herb is known to treat liver problems. It’s a good liver tonic. This plant is found in fields and roadsides everywhere.
The wild blackberry can be used as a fruit (as I’m sure you all know) and is gathered in the summer. It can be used in jams and candies and cakes and cookies and is found all over North America in woodland areas.
Now, I’m wondering how many of you know that clover is also an edible food. If you’re like me, you might not like to see that clover growing in your yard, and yet in times of stress, it could be a food that would stave off hunger. It has a strawberry colored clover (red clover) when it has a long stack — and the most common short stalk is the white clover. It can be used as a cosmetic. It can be ground for flour. The flowers can be eaten raw and it can be used for tea and can be used in soups and stews.
The Cattail is not only a good food source, it can also be used as a fuel source. This plant is about 30 % complex carbohydrates. It’s flower heads also have medicinal use as a control for diarrhea. It is found in swamps and bogs and wetlands. But be sure that the area you gather it from is polution free. Did you know that its leaves were once used to weave baskets and mats?
One thing that is a must — and Linda goes over this in detail in her book — is differientiating between edible plants and poisonous plants. For instance, certain types of summac are edible, while other types are very poisonous. There are, unfortunately, look-alikes in nature. Perhaps this is why in Iroquois culture, it is believed that there were twins that populated the earth with plants — one created edible foods, the other poisonous foods.
For instance field horsetail is very poisonous, yet looks alot like grass, which is food. Or spreading Dogbane is very poisonous, yet looks alot like common milkweed, which is food. Then there’s dallis grass, which is poison — it is a very deadly poison to both cattle and to humans — this looks alot like jungle rice, which is food.
I would highly recommend Linda’s book, which again is The Essential Wild Food Survival Guide. As Linda herself says, “Starvation is impossible with this book.”
I hope you have enjoyed this little post today about food and keeping away starvation, if it might ever come to that. As a girl scout I learned to be prepared. Perhaps this book might help us along that way. I’ll be giving away a free copy of the book, Soaring Eagle’s Embrace and/or War Cloud’s Passion to two different posters who leave a comment for me today.
Do remember, if you haven’t already done so, please pick up a copy of BLACK EAGLE today. It’s on sale at bookstores everywhere.