Saturday, January 24, 2015

Edible wild foods - Hackberries & Chickweed

Our post today is by a guest writer who is a skilled survival enthusiast. He is a hunter, gatherer, Prepper and Expert Martial Arts instructor among other things. 

Hackberries.
By S R

Many folks think they will live in the wild surviving on small game and fish.  Great theory, but if any of you fish or hunt, you know the reality is there's usually only short windows when the hunting/fishing is good. Many days you come home empty handed, especially with limited tech/gear. It can be weeks or months between kills/catches. During these times, in wilderness survival, you forage for food.  But you can’t call yourself an outdoorsman/survivalist/prepper if you don't know what a Hackberry is...just sayin'.

We are going to talk about some little known, potentially life saving foods. Unfortunately, I don't have the space to tell you about all the sweet berries and other commonly known wild edibles.

What I've done is narrowed down to few little known, highly nutritious wild edibles that are abundant and easily identified and can be found most of the year.
  
First up, is the hackberry tree. http://www.foragingtexas.com/2007/07/hackberry.html

I've heard that hackberries very well could be responsible for the survival of the human race throughout times of global despair (ice age, huge volcanic ash clouds, meteors).  Hackberries can provide many nutrients, as one would expect from any berry. Hackberry also contains all three macro-nutrients, protein/amino-acids, fats/lipids and carbohydrates/glucose(sugars). Hackberries can be found in the wild in most areas.

There is no mistaking a hackberry tree; they can be identified by their very distinct bark. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/16402403@N00/5604421681/ ). Hackberries are small fruits about the size of a pea. Much of their size is made up of a very hard seed, which contains much of their nutritional value. Crushing them into a paste and drying, cooking or simply eating the paste will work. Its ill advised to try to crush the seeds with your teeth. Hackberries do not taste bad at all. When you are starving they're amazing. 

Chickweed is another good one. It is a small plant that has the smallest little 10 petaled flowers.  http://www.foragingtexas.com/2008/08/chickweed.html

Actually, it has five petals but each are split in half and it looks like 10. Chickweed is some of the most nutrient packed native edibles in America, if not the most! It is packed with more vitamins than spinach. The big plus is that chickweed actually tastes great, even alone as a salad


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