Utah is abundant with wild edible plants, often referred to as weeds in our yard or garden and also more nutritional than what we have in the grocery store. Many of the wild edibles available to us are not native but were brought here by pioneers from Europe and the mediterranean. Of course many of the wild edibles are native to the area as well. The Sego Lily was used by natives for centuries as a staple food and helped save the lives of the pioneers when they came to this state starving in 1848 and 1849. The bulbs they harvested were plentiful and generally larger than we see today. This is likely because the native peoples harvested the plants often and that action helped the plants continue to produce just are caring for our gardens helps our vegetables grow. Now that we leave the native plants alone and don’t know how to use them they often show very little fruit.
Proper foraging is something that we must understand in order to continue to use these plants wisely and for us and the plants to benefit. Learning about these wild edibles and how and when to harvest them will make us better stewards of the land around us and will also prepare us for tough times or simply allow us to live more healthy now. You would be surprised how many things are readily available to us in the wilderness of Utah, even in the desert. Some of the great spring edibles include, Mariposa lily, Yellow bells, Wild onion, Storksbill, Dune Evening primrose, Indian potato, Curly dock, Blue mustard and Wild spinach often known as Lamb’s quarter.
Come learn with Mike Wood from WildUtahEdibles.com and supplement your diet. Learn how to use the plants that grow easily around you and learn what weeds you can throw in your salad. You will be amazed and thrilled by the many edible and indeed delicious plants there are around you.
Our next wild edibles tour is April 26th at 12:00 noon. Exact location and details will be made available through our facebook page closer to the actual date but this tour will be in the Utah desert either in Saratoga Springs or in Eagle Mountain. Bring your friends and bring the family. This is an event you don’t want to miss.
Walking along the book aisle in Costco the other day, I came to a rather sudden stop as a specific book caught my eye. With a name like The Forgotten Skills of Self-Sufficiency Used by the Mormon Pioneers, can you blame me? This was obviously a book stocked for a local audience, so I hope our non-Utah readers can find a copy. Author Caleb Warnock is a local (Alpine, Utah) writer, year-round gardener, and teacher of “Forgotten Skills” classes. It also helped when I noticed one of the people listed in the special thanks section is a friend of mine, and local sci-fi author (how’s that for a tight-knit Utah Valley). Also at only $11 or so, any tidbit that might help will likely pay dividends well over the purchase price of the book.
This book also stood out to me, because I often wonder *how* my family managed to get enough food to live. My mom’s side of the family was that oft-discussed “hearty pioneer stock”. However I have noticed that while many farmed to live, I have a long history of blacksmiths and military. There is no hiding that this must be because I inherited a really lousy black-thumb, they took up other trades because of this family curse. I’m one of those people who has to work really hard to make part of his garden succeed. I enjoy blaming my heritage on this, as it cannot be some failing of my own, right? So I felt driven to read this book, and find out how they managed to live, despite my inability to grow enough of the right foods in the wasteland of Utah.
I read a post at Preparedness Pro recently about the importance of learning skills. Acquiring useful skills is actually something I’ve thought about a lot in case you couldn’t tell by all the crazy stuff I share with you that I’ve been doing. I believe that having a quiver full of skills and things you’ve actually tried is way better than having a library of books about self sufficiency. Now don’t get me wrong, your resource books are very important. It’s just that having experience with something, even if it didn’t go so well, gives you so much more to work with. Continue reading “Living History to Learn Skills”
Corn – You can boil it, toast it, roast it, parch it, eat it raw, grill it, steam it, stew it, cream it, grind it, feed humans or animals with it. You can eat it fresh, freeze it, can it, dry it, drink it or burn it in your vehicle. It’s a diverse food that can serve a prepper well if they know what to do with it.
Parched corn was eaten regularly by American Indians warriors and hunters as an extremely lightweight, high energy trail food long before European explorers showed up and was a typical food or treat for the pioneers as well. It is the original “trail snack” and can also be ground up for stews or soups.
Many know that Utah was originally settled by Mormon Pioneers, I’m a descendant of those pioneers from 8 different family lines on my Mother’s side. The Mormon Pioneers crossed the plains from Illinois to Utah in covered wagons, handcarts and many on foot. Many of them buried family and loved ones under a pile of rocks on their way here. It was a harrowing experience the like of which will hopefully never be repeated.