March 23, 2014 at 1:27 pm #2135
Every part of the cattail, which is found in swampy places, is edible all year round. The heads before they fluff out can be boiled or roasted and eaten like corn on the cob. The fluffy heads can just be picked off the stalky part and added to hot water for a type of gruel or oatmeal.
The leaves can be woven into baskets, hats, shelter roofs and such. The roots can be dried and ground for a type of flour. The inner stalks can be eaten raw or cooked. Wonderful flavors and not at all swampy like crayfish or crawdads or mudbugs can taste. It’s the year ’round grocery store for survival in the woods! And they’re everywhere marshy or swampy conditions are and are very prolific.
The perfect wilderness survival plant, IMO. Don’t forget about trees. If you have trees, you don’t have to be hungry. The inner bark of all trees is edible raw or cooked. Just don’t go all the way around the tree when peeling the bark which is called girdling. It’ll kill the tree. Take smaller strips vertically from different trees. The Algonquin Indians from upstate NY were called “the tree eaters” because all around them were white, peeled trees. Algonquin is Iriquois for “tree eater”. This served two purposes for them. Food and standing, dried timber for firewood, building, and canoes. If they could survive in this area before metal tools, we can too.March 24, 2014 at 12:13 am #2227
Cattail is amazing.
I have a friend and part of his email address is cattailfreak and he is heavily into bushcrafting and living of the land. Just recently when I learned more about foraging I came across cattail and learned about how versatile the plant is and I understood why he got that email address
It is similar to bamboo here in the more tropical parts of the world.
Alea iacta est ("The die has been cast")March 24, 2014 at 12:27 am #2233
That is great! Thank you both for this invaluable information!
Jay, my neighbor’s bamboo plants are taking over my back yard. This is the Pacific Northwest of the US. I am not sure what type of bamboo it is. Can I eat those? *grin*March 24, 2014 at 12:33 am #2235
Bamboo can provide you with water, food (the young bamboo sprouts for example) and can be used to build all sorts of cool shelters. It’s such a versatile plant. I love it.
It can be hard to determine what kind of Bamboo you have. There are many varieties out there. Here is list to get you started: http://www.guaduabamboo.com/edible-bamboo-shoots.html
Alea iacta est ("The die has been cast")April 10, 2014 at 7:15 pm #8039
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