I first learned about Chaga when I was just a young boy, and my grandfather was the one that taught me everything he knew about this strange mushroom and how to reap its many benefits. Chaga has been used in old folk medicine, and many people do not even know it exists since they mistake it for something else.
I’ll never forget the moment when all of the stars aligned: good weather, a dead apple tree, a south-facing slope, the day before Mother’s Day—and there it was. Peeking up through the dead leaves below me was the first morel mushroom I’d found on purpose, and I beamed with pride. Since that significant day, I’ve become a hopeless, morel-mushroom-hunting addict.
Wild teas and, more generally, wild beverages serve a number of purposes. First, if you are boiling water to make it safe to drink from pathogenic organisms, waiting for your water to cool down – particularly in summer – to have a cool drink can take too long for you to stay well hydrated.
As chokecherries are found in nearly every state and climate, it’s no wonder that Native Americans (who really lived self-reliance to the max) of most tribes used them extensively. And, like ancient Indians, we also rely on these fruits of the wild orchard.
After the Sons of Liberty dumped thousands of pounds of tea into Boston Harbor in 1773, patriots were faced with a difficult question: just what were they going to put in their teapots now? Since they could no longer in good conscience buy the taxed Bohea tea brought in by the British from China, they maintained that the solution could be found in America’s own native plants.
Picking wild asparagus is often the first step a person takes toward learning to forage wild food. Although not technically a “wild” plant, more of an escapee from gardens via seeds and birds, asparagus grows very wild in most places across the U.S. and Canada.
Winter’s dreary end seems to drag on and on into early spring. We itch to get planting the garden, poring over seed catalogs and babying those tiny light green tomato, pepper, and other infant plants in the south windows. How lucky we are that the very first delectable greens that our bodies crave are already growing in sunny, protected areas around the homestead, planted for us by God, himself.
You can’t walk through a field, forest, swamp, or even your own backyard without passing by (or stepping) on wild edible plants. There are various types of wild edibles all around us, and the trick for a meal on the go is to know what to look for.
Life around a campfire is surely one of the most cheerful and happy traits of spending time in the Great Outdoors. So vivid, so peaceful, and yet, it fills you with so much energy.
In a total collapse scenario, seeds can be eaten, exchanged for goods, or even replanted for future consumption.
Foraging is often thought of as a backwoods pursuit that requires bushwhacking and long treks into the forest. But the truth is, wild edibles are all around us, even in the most densely populated urban areas.
Walking along any country lane at different times of the year reveals a pleasing assortment of wildflowers, even in early spring. Many varieties of these flowering plants can contribute a delicate bouquet to many wines.
Harvesting wild rice on the wilderness lakes of northern Minnesota nourishes my soul and spirit long before I sit down with family and friends to enjoy this tasty, nutritious native food.