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Edible Landscaping as a prep

by: Sick_Of_It

Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 19:31:37 PM EDT


Edible landscaping is an interesting idea as a way of shoring up food security in a pandemic.  Basically, edible landscaping is just that - growing attractive edible items in your yard instead of the usual lawn and trees.

http://ohioline.osu....

This is something I'd like to do for my own yard.  I was sitting around moaning and groaning that my yard was far to small to produce enough food to feed me in a crisis.  Then I saw this web site:

http://www.pathtofre...

They're growing thousands of pounds (6000+ pounds per year!) of edibles on 1/10th of an acre, and feeding an entire family plus selling the excess.

If they can do it, then surely I can figure out a way to produce enough food on my small lot to feed myself.  It will take some time, but even if I'm only able to grow a portion of what I eat, it's still better than nothing.

Growing my own is also a way around some of the recent food scares.  I've got a can of Castelberry's (botulism contaminated) stew sitting on my table waiting to go back to the store.  At least if I grow my own, I know what's going into it.

How many of you are considering edible landscapes as a prep item?

Sick_Of_It :: Edible Landscaping as a prep
Poll
Is edible landscaping a good idea?
Yes
No
If only I had the time!

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Yes, I think it's a good idea
I'm interested in references and ideas, although what will grow well will probably be region-specific. 

Anyone know what can be planted to replace grass in areas where you want the yard to look fairly normal and preferably walkable -- A low, green edible groundcover?


A lot of people use thyme.
http://www.gardengui...

You could also use something like Roman Chamomile, although it's not as tasty.

I'd personally like to do away with my lawn since I hate mowing.  For myself, I was thinking about some type of cottage style planting with lots of edibles.  But I'm not sure what all I'd plant, yet.  I guess I'm still planning...


[ Parent ]
rhubarb
Rhubarb is a wonderful edible. It's a very attractive plant, especially the red-stalked kind, and it's a perennial, and it produces loads of tasty stalks for pies, jams, and other things.

[ Parent ]
That website is great
There are some great ideas in there.  I definitely want to expand our plantings next year.  My problem is I am learning by mistakes and am really semi-clueless sometimes.  I also need region-specific informaion.  They have the good fortune to live in southern CA.  What we can grow here in cold CT is very limited by seasons.  DH is willing to tear up more yard but he draws the line at having a massive in-door garden! 

I'm with you. I'm a beginner at gardening and I'm learning as I go.
But I'm also discovering that you plant stuff and it grows.  Imagine that!  I've been eating lettuce all summer that I grew myself (success!), I have summer squash coming along, and my corn is starting to grow ears.

I live in Utah, so I hear you wrt the short growing season.  But I'm still able to grow lots of stuff.

I'm a trial and error type gardener.  I'm planning on planting more of the things that grow well for me.  And I bought some plastic that I could use to cover plants to extend the season a bit.

But I figure whatever I can manage to grow is a plus.  And at least it won't be full of poisons like some of the stuff that's being recalled.  And since I know I'm a beginner, I'm not going to cry overmuch over the stuff I kill.

I can grow tomatoes, too.  Who'd a thunk it?


[ Parent ]
BTW, here are some links that might be useful.
I lurk in these forums all the time:

http://forums.garden...

A lot of knowledgable folks seem to hang out there and don't mind lots of questions.

More links:

http://www.efn.org/~...
http://www.conngarde...
http://www.canr.ucon...
http://www.ctyardand...
http://www.gardentim...

There are lots of gardening resources in your area to help.

I've discovered that when it comes to gardening, the internet is your friend.  If you have questions about how to do something, do a search on the internet and the answer is probably there waiting for you.


[ Parent ]
I forgot to say that using your garden zone is a pretty good
tool when trying to decide which plants to use.  You're actually better off than I am - you're in one of three zones:

http://www.gardentim...

You're in 5B, 6A, or 6B.  I'm in 5A.  I'm still able to grow a lot of stuff, I just have to look at zones when I'm choosing what to plant.


[ Parent ]
Path to Freedom
I started follwing this site for about 6 or 7 years ago though I haven't looked at it lately. it's amazing what they have done. My favorite thing is the rabbit/earth worm set up. The bunnies eat the culled veggies and scraps and their bunnie droppings fall into a vat of earthworms that further process it into prime fertelizer- all organic- all natural- NO waste- what a system. Hubbie won;t let me get bunnies or I'd be doing it too. he may change his mind as the possibility of TSHTF draws closer- can always eat the bunnies if we had to.

I had never seen their web site before, and I was totally blown away
by how much they were able to grow in a small space.  It opened my eyes to the possibilities of what you could grow on a city sized lot.

Now, instead of automatically thinking there's no way I can grow all I need to eat on my lot, I'm starting to think HOW can I grow all I need to eat.

Seeing that someone else was able to do it changed my thinking.


[ Parent ]
Edible landscaping
You might want to take a look at the Victory Garden threads, too.  They included some discussions about edible landscaping.

http://www.newfluwik...
http://www.newfluwik...


Article
Hat-tip to Tweet at PFI for this one:

Front-Yard Veggies Improve Diets, Homes


Eating my yard
I've been practicing various forms of edible landscaping for about 7 years. At my last home, I had a clean slate as it was new construction. I used native plants, with most of them being edible to either myself or wildlife - or both. :) I had a tiny vegetable garden but mostly berries such as elderberries, huckleberries, and highbush cranberry. Edibles like tomato plants were tucked into any open area.

My current home was strictly ornamental when I moved in. It was fun ripping out an excess of rose bushes, rhodendrons, and hydrangea. I gave away many small maple trees as well as anything else of value that was in a prime spot. Instead, I put in things like red currant, Jostaberry, elderberries, rhubarb between arborvitae, grapes climbing up an entryway, Marionberries (a form of blackberry) and raspberries creating a barrier between the neighbor and myself, etc. My property is now a smorgasboard!


still experimenting with what will yield most
My DH is the gardener in our family. We planted 2 types of potato, one was much better than the other. A red skinned tougher variety kept the slugs at bay.The white potatoes were riddled with holes. We have wild spinach which just keeps on coming! Rhubarb, gooseberries, blackberries, redcurrants, onions, chives, garlic. A rosemary bush and mint.I would prefer to focus on a crop that will yield plenty, like the potato, onion and spinach. All of which together  make a good basis
for soup.I don't mind too much how attractive it looks so long as it provides. Having said that , lots of the smaller fruit shrubs clustered together , just look like little bushes in a bed.We have gravel paths in between areas of planting. I'm in the U.K. and I know many people nearby who grow a lot of their own produce on a small scale.

Testing reply
TESTING

Still can't post
Not working for me yet again, but can do a very short, testing post.

I don't understand
since you just posted.  ;-)

If you still have trouble posting, go to your personal page -> profile ->comment prefs and uncheck the Ajax comments.


[ Parent ]
Posting
Maybe my post was too long? (But I've posted longer ones before with no trouble!)

I changed my Ajax thingy.

Thanks! Sorry to be trouble here...


[ Parent ]
Edible landscaping/space-saving gardens, version 4.0!
Ok, this is #4, after losing my 3 previous posts...cross my fingers! :-)

TERSE VERSE TO SAVE TYPING VERSION:

Try using leaf lettuce; Red Sails is pretty; could use lettuce as base plantings for flowers, etc.  Many herbs, such as borage and purple basil, would be nice, too; borage gets star-shaped blue flowers.  Try Crops in Pots (Amazon); many great pics of elegant edible landscaping.

SPACE-EFFICIENT GARDENS:

Built a planter, 9 ft x 16 ft, along corner of fence.  Did square ft. gardening; planted in this:

12 tomatoes
12 bell peppers
12 pumpkins
2 honeydews
4 Summer squash
6-10 herbs
9 cabbages
12 pole beans (planted behind the above)
(all pumpkins, squash, melons & beans are trellised)

At side of the "l" planter:
3 1/2 barrels, w/10 corn
pot of herbs

Next year: plan to buld stacked garden for:
against chimney and the gap between that and house (a 2ftx2ft space); and will plant in planters/pots on the opposite side of the fence, as a pumpkin vine "escaped" and is growning thru the fence happily.  I could actually plant lower-growing stuff all around that 9x16 fence on the other side (high stuff would block sunlight to the other side).  If I didn't have the rose arbor and the narrow flower bed, I could grow even more veggies!  I grow as much vertically as possible, as my back yard is narrow and very small.  I also have stuff in pots on the deck.

If ground space is at a premium, think "up"--trellising, window boxes, stack gardens, etc.
pot of strawberries



[ Parent ]
addendum to my post
Somehow, this didn't "take"

Add: a pot of strawberry plants near the corn.


[ Parent ]
I noticed my little dab of corriander/cilantro looks really
pretty with little white flowers all over the top.  I'm going to plant it in the front yard next year in my flower beds.  I was thinking that it would look really pretty planted with dill.

I love how chives look - such pretty purple flowers, so I already planted some seeds in the front for chives.  I also noticed that onions look really pretty when they go to seed.  I'd rather eat them then let them seed, tho.  But it might be nice for seed saving if TSHTF.


[ Parent ]
Herbs
I like chives, too. In fact, my tendancy with herbs is to forget about picking them, and just enjoying the look and scent!  I often use them in bouquets, because they are so pretty. 

Like I said before, lots of leaf lettuce varieties, and also cabbage, are very attractive--and would make great under-plantings.


[ Parent ]
water
I have a nice little garden , all in containers along my front patio. That way it gets morning sun, and afternoon shade. Next year I`m going to replace the containers with a foursquare type arrangement.
  All is well, but ,I do need to water at least once a day, and often twice.
  In the event that we loose electricity for an extended period, all will be toast. The well is way to deep for a hand pump. Rain is too uncommon to depend on it to water for any extended period.
  I`m a renter, my landlord does have a genny for the well, but hasn`t stocked up on fuel for any extended outages.

There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is in having lots to do and not doing it." -Mary Wilson Little

Cactus -
we have a well also (and it's also too deep) so I feel your tension on that one.  Anyway your landlord would let you install a rainbarrel somewhere?  You can capture 50 gallons pretty quickly.  Ours will be hooked up to a gutter off the house so I wouldn't drink it (who knows what's in those roofing materials!)but it will be used for watering precious gardens. 

[ Parent ]
collecting rainfall
I have a couple of 5 gal buckets that I use to collect rainwater. When it rains, that is.  My average yearly rainfall is less than 10 inches.Makes depending on collecting rain very iffy.
  I also have a couple of kiddie pools, that I could use to collect rainwater. Haven`t tried it yet.

There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is in having lots to do and not doing it." -Mary Wilson Little

[ Parent ]
Were you on Old Yellow when the discussion of tarps was going on?
Staked out in the yard when rain was predicted, so the collected rainfall would funnel into buckets.  (Different-sized stakes to make it slant.) 

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor

[ Parent ]
Yep, got several. n/t


There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is in having lots to do and not doing it." -Mary Wilson Little

[ Parent ]
So far I have the following for edible landscaping
Two grapefruit trees (one pink, one white), a pomegranate bush, and three papaya trees.  That's at my primary location.

The funny thing is that our rural location and our primary location are only three hours apart and in the same state, but what can be grown at the two locations is completely different.

At our rural location I have a whole orchard planted ... four apple trees, three pear trees, two persimmon trees, a fig tree, a pomegranate bush (blooming and hopefully will fruit a couple), a blueberry bush (small but it did try and fruit this year), lots of wild blackberries (could have picked gallons this year), three or four peaches, a three plums.

At both places I would love to plant some veggies - edible landscaping type stuff - but at our rural location it would just be eaten by the wild critters although I am considering an herbal ground cover and a patch of horse radish some distance from the house.

At our primary location I want to get a section of jerusalem artichoke going and a few other things ... but will have to wait until the autumn when it is the growing season.  The problem at our primary location is tree cover.  What isn't covered by tree is our septic drain field or is taken up by the pool. 

The plans I have a slowly taking shape, but require money and time neither of which I have much of lately.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead


I think you can use raised beds over your leach field.
I saw someone on a gardening blog who was doing that.

Raised beds fix just about anything, soil/ground wise.


[ Parent ]
Kathy -
We have tons of critters in our neck of the woods (rural CT).  I put in a 6 1/2 foot high fence covered with chicken-coup wire that I also put way down into the ground.  Mice are the biggest thing that have gotten in so far, and even that is pretty rare.  I watch plenty of little cute bunnies nibble on my oranmentals around the house but they've never gotten to my protected veggies.  And deer (&$&*()#&!%) won't jump that high. 

[ Parent ]
Edible Landscaping: Passion flowers
I just realized that passion flowers are edible.  LOL!  They grow wild on our rural property.  And boy, do they spread without any help.  There weren't that many this year because of the drought, but last year they were all over the place.  They bloomed like mad and I know many of them fruited though we weren't around to harvest any of the fruit to give it a try.  But, apparently the leaves are edible as well according to http://www.eat-it.co...

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

[ Parent ]
Edible Landscaping: Rose of Sharon
And for those of you with Rose of Sharon bushes, check out http://www.eat-it.co...

It says that the petals taste like lettuce, only sweeter.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead


[ Parent ]
easy, with less maintaining plants..
Bhubarb, Peas, beans, spices in pots, fruit, berrys, Jerusalme artishoke, potatoes, tomatoes

Thats my lesson from first gardening summer.. these are the plants who just do it all by them self..

Problem is fighting the weeds, you realy dont want to be an ass using poison chemicals, so you have to go around everyday picking up the unwanted plants.. All the ones I now have listed are the ones easyest to recog from weeds, or they just beat them on the run upwards.

sweet pies, rucula and some salads just grow so fast I dont have time consuming it :D one small pot of rucula in the window is plentyfull for everyday lunch..

Dont forget the potato,, the cornerstone of every foodgarden! Tomatoes are also easy to recognize when sprouting up from the ground


asparagus, sorrel
I'd add a couple more good perma-veggies here to the list. If you can grow asparagus in your climate and have the space, it's wonderful to have because it produces reliably every spring with almost no input. We weed our asparagus patch about once a year and mulch it thickly.

Sorrel is a sturdy perennial (related to rhubarb) that produces nutritious leaves that make a wonderful soup. We eat this very early in the spring, and then again late in the fall when there is little else available in the garden.

Also, I didn't see kale mentioned yet--this is an annual but it produces a huge amount of nutritious food in a small space.


don't forget the potato
I only just recently learned that the potato plant grows potatoes underground, but also produces a green 'fruit' on its leaves above ground which look suspiciously like small green tomatoes but which are very poisonous!

Growing Potatoes
Did you order seed for your potato garden or do it from home seeding?

I was thinking of growing potato this year; however, my soil has too much clay and I figured it would be a ton of work to get the ground ready. I decided to concentrate on three raised beds of tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, and peppers.

Oh, how I wish I had potatoes! Everytime I read about planting them, I think UGH!! For this year, I'm going to purchase bag potatoes from Costco and a metal trash can to bury, to create a sort of mini root cellar for the winter.


plant potatoes in a tire or three.Or a big container,it works.


There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is in having lots to do and not doing it." -Mary Wilson Little

[ Parent ]
Potatoes
You may have to limit yours to baby potatoes, if growing in containers; the same with carrots, or any root veggies.  If you want longer carrots, you can try growing them in tall, cylinder-type (plastic pipe?) containers; however, not sure if this works with potatoes; do they need a larger "footprint" at the top of the plant?

I, too, wish I had planted potatoes and carrots! I even bought carrot seeds, but never got around to them.


[ Parent ]
I planted in a tire, but it only held 5 seed potatoes.
Then put a second tire on top and filled in with the soil and mulch mixes.  But I didn't get to filling the third tire with soil, so I'm crossing my fingers that I get some anyway.  At least the plants have some support from the empty tire.  Or maybe too much heat? 

I buried a bit of veggie scraps once, and now I have a squash plant growing!  :)

My neighbor's tomatoes are ahead of mine, and squirrels have been taking bites out of them when they get a little orange.  Wretched creatures.  Some of my green tomatoes are huge.  I'd hate to lose them.  Any suggestions?  Paper lunch bags to hide them, or do tomatoes need sunlight and ...air... to ripen?  (Air circulation must be needed so they don't rot.  ??)

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor


[ Parent ]
Tomatoes
Hi Jane,

Mom and I used to grow beautiful stuff in her compost heap!  We had 72 tomato plants one year; we had planted only 12!  I once had a pumpkin vine this way, and gourds.

I've never planted in tires--maybe the black rubber heats up too much for the potatoes?  I know you need to mulch them because they don't like excessive heat.

Could you put netting over the tomato plants, to keep the critters out?  I've heard of using paper lunch bags to ripen them indoors, but not outdoors (and they'd get wet).  They like sunlight and air to ripen, I guess, but I believe it's also due to the lower night temps.  Just about any plant likes air circulation. 

Try the green plastic fencing (really a mesh/net) sold by the roll in Home Depot, if metal is too expensive and/or hard for you to erect. Something was eating my strawberries, and I just curved a bit of the net around the pot, just free-standing (in fact, I was too lazy to cut it off the roll, and just wound out a bit, and left it there!).  With the tomatoes, you may need to poke a few stakes into the ground to support the net.  I used bamboo garden stakes to do this with my green beens, to make a trellis fo them.


[ Parent ]
squirrels
Try some predator urine concentrate ie fox, coyotoe etc, the foul smelling stuff can be found at many garden centers.

(Just don't open it inside!)

It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.


[ Parent ]
Carrots & Peas
Whiteswan, I live just north of Detroit and will be planting my second crop of both peas and carrots this week.
If you live south of Canada (or most of it anyway, I'm north of Winsor) you can still get in a short crop of cold loving veggies, i.e. carrots, peas, leaf lettuce.

[ Parent ]
Second crops
Hi Dragonlady,

I live in Southeast Pennsylvania. Due to the heat and humidity down here, most likely I can't do any cold-loving stuff.  Maybe leaf lettuce, as I still have some hanging on; I just keep it semi-shaded on the deck.  Unfortunately, a search for loose-leaf lettuce seeds in the stores was in vain!  I'd actually like to grow it year-round, indoors.  I've read that one can do this, if careful.


[ Parent ]
If I can grow "cold" crops in FL, then so can you
You'll just need to find the right "calendar" for when to plant them.  Cold frames in the really cold winter/early spring might be a way to get a second crop as well.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

[ Parent ]
I have been extreamly pleased with my tire garden.
I found info on the University of Kentucky Agriculture webpage.

Stack tires three high.  Fill the first one with crushed milk jugs. Fill the second one with mulch, then the top one with soil and plant your seeds/plants.  Works fantastically-I planted peppers, tomatoes, summer squash, cucumber-heat loving veggies.  The veggies are up off the real ground so theres some protection against bugs and mildew, and mud spatter.  Too high for bunnies, Im sure mice COULD get in but so far I haven't seen them.  Weeding is MUCH easier-very few, in fact and those come right out, plus you don't have to bend over as far.  The plastic jugs on the bottom help form a water reservoir-you still have to make sure the plants are well watered, but it takes much less water because all the water goes directly to the plant.  I also mulch the top  tire to hold moisture in.  Also, stack three or four tires and pitch in some leaves and all your kitchen scraps (save meat or dairy) and in a very short time you have the most gorgeous compost you can imagine.  Makes me want to swoon.

The biggest drawback is that tires, even stacked neatly are not the most aesthetically pleasing objects.  I'm fortunate that out here, in the boonies, nobody really cares.  I have seen pictures where folks painted their tires in mossy greens to blend in with their yards, and there were some painted in very tasteful terra cotta reds and tans-looked really nice.  I went festive and painted mine in turquoise and purple.


Using store-bought produce to start your indoor garden
Dragonlady's reply made me remember something:  supposedly, you can use leaf lettuce, kohlrabi, etc. from the store, as long as it has a few roots still attached (the lettuce roots may have sealed themselves off, so you'd need to scrape them a bit to open them).  I think you put them in a root-starter solution, and when enough roots appear, plant the whole thing!

Has anyone tried this?  As I can't find lettuce seeds now, I'd like to experiment for the colder months, indoors.


I do this all the time
When I find veggies with roots I plant some of them. I have planted scallions, chicory(sold as italian dandelions) and leaf lettuce. Just stuck them in the garden bed and watered well.

Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

[ Parent ]
I, too, think it's a great idea.
A trick to extend your loose-leaf lettuce harvest: when the weather gets hot, it will tend to "bolt to seed", as my Grandma used to say.  Pinch off the central growing tips as the plant starts to bolt, to divert the energy of the plant back into leaf production, and away from seed production.

A number of horticultural garden plants are edible: e.g. the buds of day lillies are kind of like broccoli, etc. ( I am sure there are books about this.) This makes it possible to have sort of disguised, ornamental food gardens in places where a tomato plant, for example, is not allowed.

Many of the plants we pull up as "weeds" are edible, too.  E.g. lamb's quarters, which seems to thrive in disturbed garden soil, is good in a mix of wild greens, along with dandelions, and, I think, violet leaves, and, if you live more southerly than I do, poke salat.  They steam up like fresh spinach.

There are  Peterson Field Guides to Edible Wild Plants, and another for Medicinal Plants (by region, I think).  These are great starting manuals, with many excellent references for further study.  Wild edible plants is a subject much written about - just check your local bookstore for info appropriate to your area. 

A word of caution, of course: some plants out there are poisonous, so you want to be careful about identification, before you pop something in your mouth or the cooking pot.

There are also many books / classes about creating your own herbal remedies from plants: salves, oils, tinctures, etc., another good skill to have.

An excellent source of info about what will grow where you live is seed catalogs from local companies.  E.g., here in Maine, we have a very short growing season.  Johnny's Seed Co. knows just what will grow well in our challenging conditions, and their catalog tells you just how to go about helping it happen.


recipes for edible weeds
recipes from a Native American site

http://www.aurora-in...

Batter-Fried Dandelion Blossoms

For full, showy blossoms, pick just before using, as blossoms close shortly after picking. The dandelion blssom responds quickly to temperture changes, it opens only in clear weather and closes as soon as temperature approach 90° F. Serves 8
1 tablespoon of water
2 eggs
1/4 cup of nut oil2 quarts freshly picked dandelion blossoms, washed and dried
1 1/2 cups of fine cornmeal
Preparation
Add the water to the eggs and bet well.
Heat the nut oil to sizzle in a cast-iron skillet.
Dip the dandelion blossoms, one at a time, into the egg, and then into cornmeal.
Sauté, turning often, until golden.
Drain on brown paper.
Serve either hot or cold, as snacks, a vegetable side dish, a tasty garnish.
Natural Breads: Indians discovered the special properties of ashes mixed with food or water. They saw corn soaked in water with ashes became whiter and puffier and acquired a unique flavour. This became hominy, which was fermented into sour soup, fried with meats or wild greens, or baked into custard like puddings. Hominy was also dried and pounded into grits, which became various other nutritious dishes.

Indian Cake - Bannock

Its long, slender roots are a sought-after flavouring, confection, and medicine. They are easily dug and are used fresh or dried for their unique flavouring qualities. In some states wild ginger is on the protected species list.  Serves 8
1 cup of white cornmeal
1/2 cup cattail flour*
1 teaspoon wood ashes** or baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
1 cup of sour milk
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons of honey
3 tablespoons corn oil
Preparations:
Mix together the cornmeal and cattail flour in a large bowl.
Gradually add the remaining ingredients, blending well and working into a sturdy dough.
Turn into a well-greased loaf pan (8" x 4") and bake in a preheated 425° F oven for 30 minutes.
The dough may also be shaped and flattened into a greased cast-iron skillet and cooked over an open fire, turning once.
Gauge the cooking time according to the fire, usually 10 minutes per side.
Delicious as a trail bread, it is enhanced by the addition of a handful or two of seasonal (or dried) berries included in the raw batter before baking.
----
###**Ashes have special properties when mixed with foods, or in water, for various preparations. The Indians passed this along to the early Americans and it became a part of their traditional food as well. Ashes of distinctive woods such as cedar, juniper, hickory, etc. were definite flavourings, as well as cleansing and digestive agents. Ashes also bleach and soften some foods and add trace minerals, subtly influencing taste and consistency. Ashes in water create lye, which will harden and chemically change the substances to which it is added.

Spoon fresh ashes out of a fireplace, wood burning stove, or campfire for use in recipes. (In some cases substitutions are indicated) Be sure not to scrape the ashes out of the fireplace, or you will pick up unwanted and harmful tars and residues.###
----
*Cattail Flour: During June the male blossoms, which are located above the female cattail bloom spike, produce quantities of bright yellow pollen. This nutritious, corn-flavoured food substance in easily gathered by wading through cattail marshes and gently bending each bloom spike over a deep bowl or bucket and "dusting" the golden pollen in (thereby pollinating the plant at the same time). This gathering is best accomplished on a still, dry afternoon. Gather as much fresh pollen as you can use soon or put by. It is an important flour extender and makes a good addition to biscuit, bread, and cake batters. It should be added in an equal amount to replace an equal portion of flour deleted from a recipe.

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor


Thanks Jane
I figure if worst comes to worst ... or not so worse depending on your personal philosophy ... having instructions and guidebooks for edible lanscaping and wild foraging will be a very good idea.  We had a thread on that over at PFI as well.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

[ Parent ]
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