Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Edible Plants Class

On Saturday, I took an edible plants class in Montgomery, TX at Deer Lake Lodge and Spa with Foraging Texas.  First, I had no idea that there was a fancy spa in Montgomery.  It was a beautiful location with lots of nice buildings to relax in. (Deer Lake, if you see this, please consider bringing me to the spa and I will feature you on my blog as part of my bucket list)

 I have wanted to take an edible plants class because one day there might be zombies walking around and we can't get food.  I will be able to live off the land but y'all will be sad.  :) 

The class was from 9AM to 1PM so there was a bit of a chill in the air at the beginning.  We started in a building close to the pool and learned the basics of foraging.  He also showed us several books that he recommends if we want to get serious about foraging. I have his book, the Idiot’s Guide to Foraging but haven’t gotten a chance to read it as much as I wanted to.
This is the one I want next!

Mark taught us four rules of foraging:

  • Respect the law-Did you know it is illegal to take anything out of local or state parks?  There is a fine of $500 EACH ITEM you take.  So say you took pecans from a state park, if you get caught you can be fined for each pecan, and that could be hundreds!
  • Respect the land-leave it better than you find it.  If you dig a hole, make sure to fill it before you leave.  Take any trash too.
  • Respect the plant-Bring sharp tools to remove the section of plant.  If you cut a small section, the plant heals faster than if you tear it going all the way down.  There is lots of fungi just waiting to get into the plants and if there is a big tear, the plant can’t heal as quickly and is more susceptible to disease.
  • Respect yourself-Make sure you verify the plant is edible before you eat something.  Look for 5 things that match up to be sure you have identified it correctly. On mushrooms, be sure to identify about 8-10 things to be sure.

We started with the plants along the pathways near the pool and then worked our way to the woods. 

At one point, my A.D.D. got the better of me and I walked away from the group to look at the pond.  I saw some fish while I was close to the pond, but then walked back.  A few minutes later, I went back and noticed a white rock close to the edge. After inspecting it a little closer, it turns out it was an alligator!!!  Oh my.  I ran back to the group and suggested we move.  Everyone was apparently fascinated though and went to take a look.  We think the alligator was either being super still or in a mini hibernation since it was not fully covered with mud and muck.

  • We learned that the Crepe Myrtles are like cinnamon in controlling blood sugar levels.

  • Turks Cap leaves can be cooked and they taste like spinach.

  • Reishi Mushrooms are the best medicinal mushroom and 2 commercial cancer medications use reishi mushrooms in the ingredients. 

  • Pine tree leaves (which are everywhere here!) have a ton of Vitamin C and pound for pound they have as much as lemons and oranges.  Vitamin C is essential for the body but the body doesn’t hold on to it so you need a source every day.

  • Magnolia tree leaves are made into a tea in China that has cancer fighting properties.  The tea tastes similar to ginseng.

He also talked about Lions Mane Mushroom and Hericium Mushrooms that taste like lobster and help with dementia.  We didn’t see that mushroom, he only told us about it along with a semi-local mushroom farm called Indian Creek Mushroom Farm.

1 comment: