Arrow-leaved Balsamroot–second in the spring parade.

cabin2-142.jpgThis is the Arrow-leaved Balsamroot. It is the second flower to bloom in the spring, after the buttercup, at my cabin.

According to Plants of Southern Interior British Columbia and the Inland Northwest, “All parts of this plant are edible and provided a very important food for the Interior native people. The young leaves can be eaten raw or steamed. The Okanagan smoked the leaves like tobacco. The taproots were roasted or steamed, hung to dry and then soaked overnight. The seeds are like small sunflower seeds and the native peoples dried and pounded them to use as a flour.”

Ponderosa Pine needles cause abortion… and prevent scurvy.

From needles have been used to produce abortions in many societies, for a long time. Dioscorides and Pliny the Elder, physicians writing almost 2,000 years ago, both reported thatsnow on Ponderosa pine consumption of pine needles caused abortion. American Indians, including the Arapaho, independently acquired and used the same knowledge. During harsh circumstances, a pregnancy had a low probability of producing a healthy child and it endangered the life of the mother; a tea of ponderosa needles was used to produce an abortion.

From the site Ponderosa pine needles and branches may cause abortions and stillbirths in pregnant cows browsing them, and a tea of needles is reputed to cause miscarriages in pregnant women (Turner et al., 1980).

From : “A tea made by steeping young, green pine needles in boiling water (known as “strunt” in Sweden) is high in vitamins A and C.?

Seems like the perfect famine tea, causes abortion and prevents scurvy.

Rose hips

cabin-071-1.jpgI’m interested in foraging for my own food because I don’t think we can ever be free or even adults as long as we have to ask someone else to supply us with food. I don’t want to grow my own food so much as I want to find wild food growing around me that is edible. To be able to forage for my own food seems like taking a step away from this man made and contrived world where everyone, no matter how little substance they get from it, feel that they have a vested intrest in seeing it continue, and taking a step towards a life of my own creation.

From Plants of Southern Interior British Columbia and the Inland Northwest: Rose hips are high in vitamin C, as well as providing calcium, vitamin A and phoshorus. They are eaten by coyotes, bears and other wildlife. Harvest from anytime after the first freeze to spring.

From Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide:
Harvest and preparation: Remove dried flower parts from top of hips, then split open and remove the seeds and eat the rest. Dry whole or halved cleaned fruits for later use( soak overnight in warm water) or finely grate or grind dried hips to yield a slightly fragrant powder rich in Vitamin C and essential minerals. Sprinkle on hot breadfast cereals or use to make hot tea.

Another source of information I found, a website called Native foods- rose hips, said to boil the whole berries until they split, about 10- 15 minutes, drink the tea and then eat the berries alone or in soups and stews. I was wondering about the high temperatures destroying the vitamins. Since they stay on the bush all winter and fresh food is rare in winter why not just eat them raw? No one seems to recommend eating the seeds but I imagine the coyotes and bear eat them.