Wild Foods

Pine:
Pine trees are great survival food.
You can eat the pine nuts from the cones. 
You can also brew the needles for an aromatic "tea"
that contains a good amount of vitamin C. 
You can strip some of the inner bark
and roast and grind it for flour.
White pine is actually still used in some cough syrups
because of its expectorant properties.
Use it as a base when you make "sickie tea". 

Blackberries & Raspberry:
These grow wild in many places.
They may often be found in power line right of ways
or just at the edges of woods.
They like a little sun so will colonize clearings easily.
They generally produce red berries in the wild state.
They have somewhat softer seeds and the flavor is different too.
If you are lucky enough to have a patch try thinning out the old
or second year canes after harvest (these are the cane that have
just had berries).
The new green canes will have berries the next year.
You can also cultivate around and feed them.
Your harvest will be far superior. 

Mayapple:
Mayapples are beautiful and unique plants which
grow just over a foot high in groves in the woods.
They have one or two large leaves.
The "apples" are produced on the two-leafed plants.
A new patch may not produce any apples for several years.
I almost never catch the apples when they are ripe.
If you do get to eat them they taste a little like an earthy banana.
Non fruit parts of the Mayapple are poisonous!
Mayapples are special and if elves existed you would probably
find them in a Mayapple grove. 

Dandelion:
Another winner, dandelions are
high in minerals.
You can gather the green shoots and leaves
in spring (or anytime for that matter, they are
just less bitter in the spring).
The flowers make a tasty wine.
The roots can be roasted and used as
a coffee substitute or extender.
While you are digging roots, keep the crown
(the part between the roots and leaves) and
use as a cooked vegetable.
Dandelion is bitter and is best boiled in several
changes of water (you lose some of the minerals
and vitamin C though) or you can saute it when 
young and use vinegar or other strong seasoning
to take the bite out. 

Stinging Nettle:
They are very mild with lots of vitamin C
and great flavor.
A source of boron and good for you
in so many ways!
The nettle toxins go away when the plants
are cooked or dried.
Just be sure to wear gloves when you pick,
wash and cut them!
Nettles are also great made into a hair rinse.
Just boil them to make a tea and store it in the fridge.

Violet:
Violets are small woodland plants that
produce little purple flowers in the spring.
The flowers are edible and make a lovely
addition to salads.
Older leaves may have a laxative effect. 
We only use a few of these for obvious reasons.
Just one of the older (stronger) leaves may
be enough to produce the effect.
Easy on the violets! 

Cattail:
One of the most versatile wild plants,
cattails are found in pond shallows and
marshy places all over.
You can eat the green shoots in spring,
the pollen in early summer,
and the roots anytime,
though they are plumpest in the fall.
Make sure that you gather cattail from places
that receive pure water.
They can grow about anywhere,
including beside highways.
Runoff from roads or chemically treated lawns
could make them unsafe to eat.