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Foraging for Food - Fiddlehead Ferns

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by RightHand, Sep 24, 2006.

  1. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    Definition: Fiddleheads are a New England spring delicacy. They appear on menus and in markets in the region from about May through early July. What exactly are these deep green, coiled vegetables, though? Fiddleheads are actually young fern fronds that have not yet opened up. They must be picked during a two-week window before the fern unfurls. Fiddleheads are named for their appearance, which resembles the scroll at the head or top of a fiddle. The ostrish fern is the species that produces these edible shoots, which have a unique texture but taste a bit like asparagus or okra. Fiddleheads can be consumed raw or cooked.
    What regional forage foods are around your area?

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2013
  2. yonder

    yonder No Despot's Servant

    tastes like okra?

    But like the thing said, it's only around for 2 weeks a year.
  3. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    Add a little olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder - makes a great salad.
  4. CRC

    CRC Survivor of Tidal Waves | RIP 7-24-2015 Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I found them more like asparagus.....When I went to Maine for 22 Summers, ate them a lot.....and loved them!

    (course, I love okra too)

    Most of the foods here that have a short time are citrus...The "Honey Bell" tangerines and oranges....OMG...they are better than any candy , ever...and a short period in which to get them.....

    Because of the warm weather, we have more than one growing season...and can get 2 or 3 crops of veggies...which is great!

    Nothing like homegrown maters, with Dukes Mayo, on sticky white bread...with a little salt and pepper....Little bit of Heaven on Earth....
  5. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Some think that dandelion greens are edible in a white bacon sauce. Get the young leaves, wash and eat. You might try your fav salad dressing. Slightly bitter, but won't make you sick.
  6. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    I eat dandelion greens all the time. Love them. They also make good cooked greens - similar to spinich but not as sweet.

    My mom made gallons of dandelion wine. I still have a dozen bottles left. Wonderful liquor. She also made carrot wine and elderberry wine BTW.
  7. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I enjoy dandelion greens but you gotta remember to boil them, exchange the water and boil them again to get rid of the bitterness. Another favorite of mine is day-lilly blossoms. I love them in salads or sauted in butter with a pinch of salt and ground black pepper. Sumac berries make a decent astringent beverage that is both refreshing and capable of cleaning an infected cut. Birch-bark, boiled into a tea will cure a head-ache.
  8. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    I've had daylillies and birchbark tea but I've never tried sumac. I'll check out some information on that. Lots of sumac around here.

    We can't forget the importance of fat in the diet. In starvation situations, you can eat plenty of greens and fruit/berries and still die of starvation for lack of fat.

    My first choice for fat is nuts, the second would be the insects. I have an abundance of black walnuts and acorns, of course. Nuts would be a great addition to the food cache but kept separate due to the possibility of insect being carried in.
  9. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I enjoy watercress and scallions, wilted with hot bacon grease and served with what my Granny called "dog bread". Dog bread is just plin corn meal with a pinch of salt ixed with water and fried like a pancake. By the way, dandelion greens and sumac tea are both fairly high in vitamon C.
    One of my favorite things in this world is my granny's pecan pie made with scaleybarks instead of pecans.
  10. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    What in the world are scaleybarks? Never heard of them.
  11. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member


    Watercress doesn't do a lot for me, but I can eat a pile of scallions at the drop of a hat. Tried growing onions in the backyard once upon a time. Never did get any, ate 'em all ahead of time.:D

    Honeysuckle tea isn't too bad, either. That is a long time ago, right along with sassafras.
  12. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Around here, there are two primary types of hickory nuts; the pignut and the scaleybark. Scaleybarks are generally larger than pignuts.
  13. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    Thanks SC. We've got Hickory nuts here too but I don't have any on my property so I'm not familiary with the subtleties
  14. poacher

    poacher Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Unfortunatly for me I'm allergic to alot of the nut family. Walnuts,Peanuts etc. would put me down and out for awhile. Thankfully I am not allergic to sunflower seeds so my fat intake can come from them. Just remember when looking at eating some of the wild fauna that you know the base compounds. Your Birch bark tea does relieve pain because it contains a base which is a close cousin to aspirin. Depending on if or how allergic you are to aspirin you could cause a severe allergic reaction or worse yet anaphylactic shock.
    Sorry to put a damper on the subject, Just don't want anyone here to become a casualty because they are trying to eat better.
    Take care Be safe Poacher.
  15. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    Important words of caution poacher.Thanks for the reminder.
  16. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    That's good stuff !!!!!.... Yummy...:)
  17. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I like to be vegitarian largely by proxi. I figure most of my fat intake would come from other critters be it squirls, 'possums, coons or what ever and I know we have LOADS of possums and coons here since I generaly shoot at least 1 or 2 a week just on the front pourch or on or near the back pourch even without trying to bait them and dont seem to even slow down their presence and both are very high in fat.
  18. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    Southern Indiana here, and LOTS of forage available:

    Pecans are native, as are black walnut, hickory, persimmon, occasional paw paws, Wild Cherry.

    Morels - best tasting mushroom on the planet!
    Wild Asparagus
    Cattails (shoots and pollen)
    Wild Strawberries, Blackberries, Onion, Garlic
    Sour Doc and Dandelion Greens
    Wild Grape

    I'm sure I'll think of more once I hit the "submit" button
  19. CRC

    CRC Survivor of Tidal Waves | RIP 7-24-2015 Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    We had yucca this weekend....and it's all around here...

    The root is a starchy, almost potato like tuber...and very good!

    Yucca root has made a home growing in Florida since the late 1800s. Cassava is a bushy perennial that can grow as tall as 8 feet. The white interior of yucca is firmer than potatoes and has high starch content. Fresh yucca has thick, dark brown skin that resembles a tree's bark. Fresh yucca is available year round. Look for firm blemish free tubers. Store whole yucca as you would potatoes, in a cool, dark, dry place for up to one week. Peeled yucca covered with water and refrigerated or wrapped tightly and frozen for several months.

    Yucca can easily be substituted for potatoes in soups and stews and it contains a high amount of vitamin C and carbohydrates. It is also a good source of dietary fiber and contains approximately 120 calories per 1 cup serving.
  20. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    You gotta a lot of prickly-pear there too. The fruit is ok and the leaves will do inna pinch but you gotta watch those needles.:D
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