Recognition should be given to all those who have gone before; family members, friends, and others that may have influenced me in their own quiet way.

Special recogition should go to my father Kenneth (Kenny to all who knew him) and my grandfathers Selby and Chester (Jake), both born in the 1890s. All of these gentlemen influenced me in their own way...with time fishing, hunting, trapping, or just time spent togeher.....

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fall Plants - Edible, Medicinal, Tea

We are fully into the Fall season now; and have recently had temperatures below freezing. Now is the time to get out and gather any plants that you want to stock up on over the winter.

I went out a few days ago, nice and sunny, just a bit cool; and quite comfortable with a light jacket.

I searched an area along a small stream for some Ginseng; that I knew grew there. I did not plan to harvest it, but was just curious if it the plant was still living. I did find one of the smaller plants, that has finished it's yearly cycle. There were other larger plants nearby the last time I was through there, that have probably already died off for the year, but it is possible that someone dug those up, even though it is prohibited on that piece of property.

Here is a bunch of Golden Rod that I gathered a couple of weeks ago. It has now dried and I need to pull the leaves off and store it. I use this for a tea, whenever I have a cold, sore throat, etc. ....sometimes just to have a cup. Whenever you make tea from any plant, just experiment to get the strength you prefer. Goldenrod tea can be quite bitter if too strong.

Dandelion is quite hardy and is still about for picking. It has been a while, but I have picked cooked and eaten the leaves. My mother used to gather these regularly. Although I have never done so, I have read that the root can be dried, ground up, and used a coffee substitute, of course caffeine free.

Late season Dock; another edible. I am not sure which variety of Dock this is, so feel free to identify it if you know. Again, with this plant, I have not done so, but have read that the root is edible....please do your own research. I did not notice till posting this picture, but it looks like Wild Strawberry plants growing around ti.

A plant many are familiar with and that I have posted regarding before; Mullein. I sometimes make a tea from this plant also when I have a cold. It is a strong tasting tea, and I prefer it with honey. Some people also smoke the leaves for the same properties that I use the tea for; but I have never done so. The plant shown, is a first year plant. During it's second year, it will grow several feet tall, with a sturdy stalk that is topped by a long yellow blossom. Look elsewhere in my blog for mature plants.

This is a late season Canadian Fleabane plant; useful for digestive problems. Not the best pictures to identify this, but when you know this plant, it is very easy to spot. This plant, the Mullein, Dock, and Dandelion were all in or around the edge of my yard.

Another plant that I always gather this time of year, and have posted regarding in the past also; is Blackberry leaves. They are now turning red and about ready to drop to the ground. I make tea from these, and it has become just about my very favorite tea. It has a great taste! It is a nice relaxing drink. For my hikes and outings in the fall and winter, it is not uncommon for me to take along a small thermos of this to drink.
If gathering this, I recommend using leather gloves, as there are many thorns to give you cuts if you use your bare hands. I have done so without gloves, but it has to be done slowly and carefully.

This is Spicebush; a small undergrowth bush, that I have just recently become familiar with. There was a nice post regarding it on Paleoplanet, that lead to my interest and investigation and I found that it is quite common in my area. The berries are edible, but I did not find them to be that flavorful. They did leave a spicy after taste in my mouth. Some people use the berries as an additive to some food for flavoring. I was also informed that the leaves can be cooked and eaten...again I have just discovered this plant and have not tried that.

Multiflora Rose Hips.....These are a great source of vitamin C. I picked a hand full of these and snacked on them during a hike a few days ago.

Wild Grapes that I came across while hiking the edge of a field near the river. Early in the season, these are very tart tasting, but now when they are ready to drop to the ground, they are nice and sweet tasting. I picked a couple of bunches of these to eat as I hiked and I also picked more and took home with me.

A couple of pictures of the area I was in where some of the above pictures were taken.

Thanks for stopping by! time for me to get my work day underway!

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