Foraging and Preserving Wild Purslane

This past summer, I found a HUGE patch of purslane thriving in my yard. Usually I can gather a sprig here and there for a salad, but this hull means that I can try preserving some for the winter season. For those not in the know, the  stems, leaves seeds, and flower buds of this succulent are all edible. The ancient plant provides a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids and is essentially a superfood that’s been consumed from Australia to China, the Middle East to Europe and everywhere else in between. Sadly, this beneficial weeds hasn’t  really made the headlines in the US and is generally regarded with annoyance.

According to my Mom, Grandma would blanch the purslane, then dry thoroughly for winter storage. To use, simply reconstitute in water. The plant will smell minerally and still carry a lemony flavor and a hearty texture when chewed. Some people even powderize the dried purslane to add into recipes, but I prefer stick to soups. Here I made a bowl of hot and sour egg drop soup, which married perfectly to purslane’s earthy and tangy flavor.


NOTE: Harvest wild foods with good judgement. Purslane is easily found in every cracked sidewalk and infertile looking wasteland, but that doesn’t mean it’s fit for consumption. Also, eating too much over time can also lead to kidney issues due to purslane’s oxalic cid content. 


FORAGING FOR FOOD - Motëm     shot by C-boz da Plug , tell all ur friends , embrace yr similarities and differences , don’t b afraid 2 b beautiful !!!

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Travel Hack Friday: How to Forage For Food

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Above image courtesy of Jeff Kubina.  The image is of cattails which are super edible plants.  Stalks are like celery and the tuber can make flour and tasty pollen

We’ve lost some instinctual skills over the centuries.  Air conditioned Superstores have made us complacent.  While the thought of having to forage for food is inconceivable for most developed countries, it’s impossible to predict when you may find yourself naked, hungry and lost miles from the nearest Walmart.  And if you’re an avid traveler searching for the remotest corners of the world or a backcountry hiker, the possibility increases tenfold.

Preparation is key to survival. Knowing basic survival techniques, such as how to forage for food, can save your life. If you plan on hunting, don’t count on it. Predators, like Lions, only have a success rate of about 17 to 18 percent. Humans? Probably negligible without the guns, and duck calls.   Knowing how to forage for food is therefore, probably your best bet!

In a previous post, I showed you how to find water in the wild, and although water is the most critical factor to prolonging your survival rate, food is equally as important to maintain strength and reason.

But, although it may sound simple, foraging for food, particularly plants, isn’t without it’s own risks. Urban plants can be covered in pesticides and bacteria, whereas wild plants differ in toxicity levels ranging from discomfort to death.

Plan to Forage for Food? Know Basic Good Sense Rules:

  1. Avoid plant sources that are in potentially contaminated areas: along buildings, roads and private property. These areas may have been treated with pesticides or pollutants like exhaust emissions.
  2. Avoid plants in unclean, murky and still water as they may contain parasites.
  3. Avoid spoiled or rotten fruits because they may contain fungal toxins. Also look for evidence of worms or insects.
  4. Familiarize yourself with the indigenous plants, and be able to recognize them through positive identification.
  5. Avoid MUSHROOMS completely!
  6. If possible, boil, bake, roast and dry all unknown wild plants before ingesting
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Destroying Angel. Very poisonous mushroom often mistaken for edible lookalikes. Image courtesy of Ericsteinert at the German language Wikipedia

Characteristics of Poisonous Plants:

  1. Milky or cloudy secretions
  2. Almond like scent, typical of cyanide compounds (think apple seeds)
  3. Shiny leaves or has leaves in groups of three (think poison Ivy)
  4. White or yellow berries. Remember this catchy little tune: “White and yellow, kill a fellow. Purple and blue, good for you. Red, could be good, could be dead”
  5. Plants with umbrella-shaped flowers
  6. Plants with thorns, or fine hairs
  7. Plants with seeds inside a pod
  8. Plants that have a bitter or soapy taste
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Poisonous Snowberry. Image Courtesy of Anne Burgess

How to forage for food: The Universal Edibility Test

Many plants have edible and poisonous parts, along with poisonous close relatives that appear very similar. In the event you’re unsure if the plant is safe or not to eat, follow the below Universal Edibility Test:

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Poison Ivy. Notice the leaves in groupings of 3. Image Courtesy of Kbh3rd

Contact Test:

  1. Separate the plant into its parts (leaves, flowers, buds, roots, stem)
  2. Crush the part of the plant you plan to test
  3. Rub on the inside of your wrist and elbow for 15 minutes
  4. Wait 8 hours, and observe if it burns, or if any rash (redness, bumps etc) forms in those areas
  5. If no reaction forms, then move on to the next stage

Raw Taste Test:

  1. Don’t eat for at least 8 hours before starting the test (do this part in conjunction with the contact test)
  2. Take a moment and smell the plant part, paying extra attention to adverse smells, like rot and/or almond like scent
  3. Take the plant part you plan on eating and hold against your lip for at least 3 minutes.
  4. If no noticeable sensation occurs from step 3, place it on your tongue, and hold in your mouth for around 15 minutes.
  5. Once a minimum of 15 minutes has passed, chew and keep in your mouth for an additional 15 minutes without swallowing.
  6. After 15 minutes has passed, swallow. Wait an additional 8 hours. If you begin to feel nauseous, you’ll have to do your best to induce vomiting and get it out of your system
  7. If through any of the steps, 3 to 6, you notice a burning, tingling, numbing or an adverse reaction of any sort, spit it out, get rid of it and start again with a different piece of the plant.
  8. If don’t notice any adverse reaction manifesting through any of the steps, eat ¼ cup of the plant part and wait another 8 hours.
  9. If you’re still alive, have yourself a feast.

For each part of the plant you plan on eating it’s important to follow the exact same steps above. As an additional precaution, and if the means are available, boil all plant parts before eating.

To be clear, this is only a rudimentary forage for food guide, and should be complimented with some knowledge of the region you’re going to and its indigenous plants. It would be a massive undertaking to create a portable compendium with every known edible and poisonous plant in existence along with their locations, and so, we need to rely on broad good sense survival strategies like the Universal Edibility Test.  Although not foolproof, you’ll have a much better chance surviving with it, rather than without.

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Wild Cook Off entry from Benjamin Cole.
Would you like to win a Trangia Spirit Burner, 500ml Methylated Spirits & a £10 Gift Voucher to spend at Then enter our Wild Cook off photo competition!
We want to see your favourite outdoor cooking photos. It could be a photo of: preparing foraged food, cooking over an open fire, appreciating a delicious meal around a campfire or anything else to do with enjoying food in the wild.
How to enter via Instagram:

Simply follow our page & tag a photo with @thebushcraftcave and the hashtag #wildcookoff

You have until Saturday at midnight to enter and you can submit as many photos as you like.

Good luck! *Follow the link at the top of our page for more ways to enter and full T&Cs, or visit here -

#bushcraft #survival #outdoorcooking #camping #campingstove #hiking #outdoorgear #trangia #adventure #travel #wilderness #backpacking #mora #morakniv #esbit #outdoorgift #raymears #beargrylls #prepper #prepping #forage #bushcraftknife #mountains #explore #wild #forest #nature

Class - Spring Wild Edibles

saturday, april 30th, 2016
north of ironwood, mi (more details with purchase)

have you been hankering for fresh greens? and not just the stuff in the produce section? join me in the understory of our beautiful forests to find wild leeks, spring beauties, fiddleheads, marsh marigold, or whatever delectable wild veggies we can find. you’ll learn how to identify which varieties of plant are safe to eat, how to harvest, and go home with enough to cook up a fresh wild meal.

please bring some way to record what you’re learning - pen/paper, camera, iphone, etc. and dress for walking outdoors. class fee is $10, with a maximum of 10 students. interested children are welcome along with an attentive parent (kids are free!) - just let us know how many you’re bringing.

if the e-mail address associated with your paypal account is Not the best way to contact you, please include an alternate method of contact in the special instructions to seller when you register.


A very successful forage on one of my favourite bush walks this evening. The blackberries are a devastating weed to the native vegetation but at the moment they are abundant with delicious fruit, so I figure they’re better in my belly then on the forest floor! Disclaimer though: I know these weren’t sprayed with herbicide, make sure you know before you pick berries!

anonymous asked:

Forgive me for asking, but I don't understand the context of that Ghibli post? With the can?

Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

One of the less popular/well-known Studio Ghibli films. The story follows a boy named Seita and his young sister Setsuko (seen above) during WWII as they are separated from their family. Eventually they end up living out of an abandoned bomb shelter, foraging for their own food, with basically no money.

If you would like to watch it, you can do so here: 

Just a heads up this may be the saddest fucking movie you ever see. Trigger warning for war, bombs, violence, death, and some gore.

Otherwise, I’ll try to summarize why that pic was so fucked up below the cut. Spoiler warning, obviously.

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