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Easily identifiable, plentiful, and edible plants in OH...

Wild foods, edible plants and herbs found in the North Eastern U.S. and South Eastern Canada

Easily identifiable, plentiful, and edible plants in OH...

Postby ONUtank12 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:13 am

This might be reduntant for some, but figured it might be new and handy knowledge for some. Here we go...

Dandelions - Leaves good for salad and full of Vitamin C, root is edible and can be used to make tea which has some medicinal value, and the yellow flower top is also edible. One tasty way to prepare them is to simply batter the heads (without any green) in a corn meal
batter and fry them. Of course tastes and pallets may differ and the term "tasty" could be a loose term!

Plantain - Found in most yards that aren't manicured and sprayed, this is an easily identifiable "weed" that grows with its spinach like leaves spread out in a symmetrical, circle fashion. Also later in its growth stems sprout out with small seeds at the ends, and the seeds are also edible. There are two types of plantain...the common yard variety i just described, and also another common variety grows in much the same fashion, but the leaves are long and tapered to a point.

Cattail - Easily identifiable in wet or marshy areas or in ditches along many roadways. To eat these reach down by the base and pull it out by the root. peal away the outer layers and the white inner layers, which will have a slimy substance on it, is tasty. Almost resembling cucumber. Other uses are the heads of the cattail can be shaken inside bags to collect the yellow pollen, which can be used as a substitute flower in baking (note however that it doesn't rise when baked). That slimy substance i mentioned is starch, and can
be used as a thickener for soups and you can also let the substnace dry and collect the starch that is left behind to use in you baking needs. Also, at the end of the growing season the heads,once white and fluffy, can be used as fire tinder or for filler in pillows (make sure its thick material for the pillow or else you may wake up with hives!), and also the long leaves can be used to weave all sorts of things.

Hostas - Planted around many houses as a common ornamental plant, the leaves are completely edible and can be used with other wild edibles to make a nice salad.

Red/White Clover - Easily identifiable growing along many roadways and in "wild" areas, the flower heads are edible and mildy sweet. Also, the leaves are edible, and best before the plant flowers.

White Pine - How to identify white pine...There are 5 letters in the word white, and white pine needles grow in bunches of 5. Easy peasy! Okay, white pine needles are FULL of vitamin C, and they can be used by grabbing 20 bundles or needles (100 total), and tear them in half and steap in boiling water to make a tea. If you are coming down with a cold, or already have one, drink 5-6 cups of tea a day and bombard your system with vitamin C...say goodbye to the cold! Also the pine cones, before they open, can be placed near a fire to warm. The cones will think its spring and time to open up to drop their seeds. Collect the seeds and eat away. Also, if you're desperate, tear away the bark and outer layers of wood to get to an inner layer that is fibress and not so hard. This can also be eaten but isn't so tasty as you might imagine!

Thats a quick run down of what i think are the most widely available and easilt identifiable wild edible food sources growing in Ohio. As always with any wild edibles, you need to do additional research or attend a class so that you know exactly what you are looking at before you eat it. Don't take my word as the gospel and run outside and start eating things and blame me because you got sick! Also, as additional caveats, younger leaves are always more tender and better tasting than older leaves. Although still edible, as they get older and bigger they also get more bitter. Also, i would discourage foraging for wild edibles along roadways where fuel and oil may have saturated the area over the years. NEVER forage for wild edibles in area's where you are unsure of the soil or contaminents that they may or may not be growing in, or what they may have been sprayed with. Of course if it is a true survival situation than you're own discretion will lead you...and it's better to be rescued sick and alive from something you ate instead of dead from starvation. Again, just my opinion. Hope this helps some people or adds to their knowledge. Remember, supplies and hardware can be taken away from you, but knowledge and skills you will always have at your disposal!
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Re: Easily identifiable, plentiful, and edible plants in OH.

Postby Rabid » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:54 am

I'm still working my way through the series, you may like this.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x97jebTQisU
DAMMIT IM MAD spelled backwards is DAMMIT IM MAD
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Re: Easily identifiable, plentiful, and edible plants in OH.

Postby ONUtank12 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:02 am

Yeah, i've watched some of his videos. Great stuff! A great hands on experience to learn is through the Mid-West Native Skills Institute up by Cleveland. I went there a couple years ago for a Wild Edibles/Medicinal Plant class and that got the ball rolling for me. Tom (the founder and teacher) is great. At the end of the 2nd day you have a lunch/dinner that is prepared for the class using foraged plants that are found while out on a couple nature walks.
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Re: Easily identifiable, plentiful, and edible plants in OH.

Postby Hiker72 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:55 pm

ONUtank12 - you might want to think about doing this as a blog, add some pictures...

Great work.
Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
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There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, learning from failure. - General Colin L. Powell
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Re: Easily identifiable, plentiful, and edible plants in OH.

Postby shootermic » Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:24 pm

dont forget the lambsquarter purselane chicory dock burdock all kinds of free grocerys
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Re: Easily identifiable, plentiful, and edible plants in OH.

Postby ONUtank12 » Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:02 am

For sure...i just wanted to give the most easily identifiable ones that people may not have been aware of. My hope is people will take the initiative and learn to identify all the wonderful wild edibles out there...the simple ones and less known ones!
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Re: Easily identifiable, plentiful, and edible plants in OH.

Postby Ajbauer » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:30 pm

Amazing how much info was gained from this! Thank you.
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Re: Easily identifiable, plentiful, and edible plants in OH.

Postby SoundofMadness » Fri May 18, 2012 7:14 pm

One thing you need to be careful on is that if you or a loved one has seasonal allergies, they might be triggered when ingested as well. For me, this is a BIG problem where my son is concerned....unless it is a horse or mold, he is allergic to it. Some things will send him straight to the ER.
"Fate never calls upon us at a moment of our choosing" ~Optimus Prime, Transformers 2
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Re: Easily identifiable, plentiful, and edible plants in OH.

Postby SplatterPark_Sean » Wed May 23, 2012 10:44 am

this is a great list and a great refresher for us old people!
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Re: Easily identifiable, plentiful, and edible plants in OH.

Postby EarWad » Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:13 pm

that was a good list. thank for the info!
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