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Wild edible plants of the Northeast

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Neil Werner

on 7 December 2010

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Transcript of Wild edible plants of the Northeast

Wild Edible Plants of the Northeast Red Mulberry Elderberries Blackberries A little bitter, but a good addition to a wild salad.
chickweed white pine needle tea Elderberries are found usually at the edges of a forest or wooded area. The berries begin as a blossom which turns into a dark purple fruit. Knowing when they are ripe is important because it affects how they taste. When ripe, the berries will be dark purple, almost black and taste juicy. The feather-compound leaves of the tree can have sections of 5 and up to 11 leaves, which are toothed and pointed, ranging from 3-4 inches long. The tree can get up to 13 feet high. The bark is smooth and grey but the branches have a bumpy texture (HollandH). Identifying a red mulberry tree is very distinguishable. The leaves can have mulitple shapes such as oval and having two or more lobes. The underside of the leaf feels fuzzy while the upper side feels rough. During the summer, the berries are colored dark red or purple which can reach a length of 1.5 inches (Hampton). Black berries grow on a thorny stalk forming a briar patch. The berries do not grow as big as mulberries but when ripe, are just as tasty. However, if the anual rainfall isn't much; the berries will be hard and sour (HollandH). Mouse-ear chickweed is coarsely hairy. Common chickweed has stalked leaves Star chickweed's leaves are stalkless. Dandelion Chicory Nettles are covered with tiny, nearly invisible stinging hairs that produce an intense, stinging pain, followed redness and skin irritation, 2-4 feet tall. The somewhat oval, long-stalked, dark green, opposite leaves are a few inches long, with a rough, papery texture, and very coarse teeth. The leaf tip is pointed, and its base is heart-shaped they're a good source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and B complex vitamins. They're ten percent protein, more than any other vegetable (Brill). Nettles can be boiled and within 5-10 minutes, the stringers are deactivated. Field Mustard The seeds,leaf, and flower can be used on the field mustard plant. The seeds can be ground and by adding water a paste is created (Jalic). The flowers and leaves can be cooked in a pan for a half an hour and be eaten as a dish. This plant is very rich in vitamin A (Angier). Wood Sorrel Shamrocks are heart shaped. Many get them confused with clovers, but a clover is oval shaped. White Oak Acorns Burdock The root of the Burdock plant can be cooked for a nutritious meal. The young leaves can also be used (Trails.com). The root should be cut into long thin sections. Then put them in a pan with water and bring to a boil. After that, simmer for another 15 minutes. Once the water is almost gone, increase the heat until all of the water is evaporated. Now the root is servable (Fitzgerald). Big droopy leaves similar to the elephant ear plant. The roots of the burdock. Cattails are found in areas where water collects. Every part of this plant is edible but the stalks are the most desired part of the plant; tasting like zucchini (Brill). Tiny white flowers 1/8 inch across, with 5 petals so deeply cleft they look like 10. The leaves are oval shaped and grown in pairs. Chickweed grows all year round but best found in April and November. This plant is contains high amounts of vitamins A, D, B complex, C, and rutin. Star and common chickweed can be eaten raw or steamed for 5 minutes. The mouse ear chickweed needs to be cooked in so the tiny hairs fall off the plant (Brill). The leaf looks almost like lettuce that grows outward in a circle hugging the ground (Brill). Work Cited
Angier, Bradford. Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants. Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books, 1974.
Brill, Steve. Wild Food. 2010. Web. 8 Oct. 2010. <http://www.wildmanstevebrill.com/Plants.Folder/Plants.html>
Fitzgerald, Chelsea. Edible wild plants in the Northeast. 2 Apr. 2010. Web. 8 Oct. 2010. <http://www.ehow.com/list_6189281_edible-wild-plants-northeast.html>
Hampton, Nan. Ask Mr. Smarty Plants. 15 May. 2008. Web. 12 Oct. 2010.
HollandH. Field Guide to Northeast Wild Berries. 5 Oct. 2009. Web. 8 Oct. 2010. <http://www.ehow.com/way_5493880_field-guide-northeast-wild-berries.html>
Jalic Inc. Forage for Free Food!. 2010. Web. 8 Oct. 2010. <http://www.wildcrafting.net/states.php>
Trails.com. Edible Wild Plants in Pennsylvania. 2010. Web. 12 oct. 2010.
Werner, Neil. "Eating acorns." Project: Report. YouTube, 19 Sept. 2010. Web. 12 Oct. 2010.
Werner, Neil. "Eating Wood Sorrel." Project: Report. YouTube, 19 Sept. 2010. Web. 12 Oct. 2010.
Werner, Neil. "Pine Needle Tea." Project: Report. YouTube, 5 Dec. 2010. Web. 6 Dec. 2010. Any pine needles can be used to make hot tea. Pine needles are very rich in vitamin C. The inner bark can be used to make flour (Trail.com).
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