Wild Edible Plants - Central California - Sierras

Discussion in 'General Food and Foraging Discussion' started by vja4Him, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. vja4Him

    vja4Him Survivalist Noob

    Does anyone know of articles/books on wild edible plant in Central California and the Sierras?

  2. iouJC

    iouJC MAGIC Bullet

    WOO HOOO! One of my FAVORITE topics!!
    I am no where near Cali, but these websites will help you no matter wherw you are.
    I started learning about wild plants about 10 years ago. My DH was 3/4's Cherokee, and he taught me the basics, but then he died (the dirty rat!!) and I had to go it alone. Here are some of the best sites I have found.

    This one is basic. Once you have learned what it has to say (get the book if you can) and digested the information, you are on the way to "looking with different eyes."
    Learning to Identify Plants by Families. An article by Thomas J. Elpel, author of Botany in a Day.

    This one is useful in medicinal plants and it is great because it tells you the chemical properties of the palnts and what they are used for. You need to follow the tab marked Herbal Profiles:
    Purple Sage Medicinal Herbs

    This one is alot of fun, but also contains a great deal of information:

    This one is also fun, but very useful. Again, follow the plant links, (ie. Noteworthy Plants, Botany, etc.:
    Wayne's Word Noteworthy Plants

    Here's another:
    Foraging Pictures, Photos, Wild Edible Plants & Mushroom Images

    There are also Field Guides to different parts of the country. Those are invaluable.
    eat ANY plant until you have made a very positive ID on it. Even then, many people have allergic reactions. For example.....I was wild to learn about wild mushrooms. When I was in college, I picked one and took it to my Botany professor. It was one of the most poisonous ones there is. Later, I met a woman who suppossedly knew all about mushrooms that grew on trees. We picked a whole bunch of them, fried them up, and she was fine, but my mouth felt like it was on fire and I got violently ill. Different people have different reactions. Always follow the rule of: Take the tiniest bite, really, just a nibble, and before you do that you should jusyt put it to your tongue. If it tastes foul or burns, spit it out! The second day, if you are not dead, take a small bite. Then on the third day if you are still OK, have a medium sized bite. Wait 3 days. If you are still OK, try a couple of bites. It is a slow process until you know what you can eat.
    BE CARFUL! Many of these plants are the fore-bearers of plants we use today, but they are very potent. There are MANY poisonous plants! But there are many that are good and very useful. This is the thing that EVERYONE needs to learn. If there really is a SHTF situation, this knowledge will be invaluable!!
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2010
  3. vja4Him

    vja4Him Survivalist Noob

    Thanks so much for sharing! I followed many links and have a long list of books I'll be purchasing ....

    Some books at the top of my list include:
    1) Botany in a Day, by Thomas J. Elpel
    2) Weeds of the West, by Thomas J. Elpel
    3) Edible and Medicinal Plants of the West, by Gregory L. Tilford
    4) Wild Berries of the West, by Betty Derig and Margaret Fuller
    5) The Essential Wild Food Survival Guide, by Linda Runyon
    6) Wild Cards (playing cards!): Edible Wild Foods, by Linda Runyon
    7) Edible Wild Plants: Wild Foods From Dirt to Plate, by John Kallas
    8) A Field Guide to Venomous Animals and Poisonous Plants: North America North of Mexico (Peterson's Field Guide), by Roger Caras, Steven Foster, and Roger Tory Peterson
    9) Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide to Over 200 Natural Foods, by Thomas Elias and Peter Dykeman
    10) Edible and Useful Plants of California, by Charlotte Bringle Clarke
  4. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    Tom Elpel is exellent. Good choices.

    Also anything by Christopher Nyerges, especially his "Guide to Wild Foods". He lives in California and I think he has a couple of other books specific to California. If you get to L.A. try to take one of his wild food identifying classes, or "walks" as he calls them.