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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Grinding and Roasting Chicory

Chicory, with their ragged sailor blue flowers, makes an excellent beverage that you can add to your regular coffee or drank alone as a delicious coffee substitute. Ground Chicory is caffeine free so it brings the total caffeine down when added to your regular coffee. Chicory added to coffee makes it darker but it impairs a mild, less bitter taste of pleasant caramel to the brew.

After picking or should I call it pulling the chicory taproot out, I soak them in a bowl of water to get most of the loose dirt off. Don't peel the roots like carrots because you lose alot of the good stuff instead scrub them with a potatoes brush to get the rest of the dirt off of them. Keep scrubbing until you see the whiteness of the taproot.

Next, peel the roots into smaller pieces and put them on a cooking sheet. Roast the roots at 350° for about 2 hrs or until it's dark and looks roasted.

Finally, use a coffee grinder to grind the roasted root into fine coffee ground. These grounds can be added to your regular coffee or brewed into a caffeine free beverage.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Wild Edible - Chicory

Here it is the Ragged Sailor better known as Chicory. To identify, look for the blue flowers. The tap root can be roasted into a great caffeine free coffee substitute or my favorite is adding to to my regular coffee. It's very common and found it waste areas and roadsides.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

How to make a natural wood log planter using Wood Burning Technique - DIY

I played around with a Native American Wood Burning Bowl Making Technique to make a planter for my wife using cherry wood.

The steps to the wood burning bowl method.

First, I cut a section the bark off the top of the wood. You can cake mud around the edge to make sure it doesn't burn.

Second, to start the burning, you place hot coals on the wood. You can use a straw to gently blow on the coals but don't let it start a fire because that could crack the piece.

Third, Dump the coals out of the bowl and scrap the charred wood out. Repeat steps two and third until the bowl is formed.

Finally, I chipped the edges with a chisel and you can sand until smooth.

I drilled holes to the bottom to drain water.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Summer Wild Raspberry Picking

Who says that you can't find wild edibles right around the home! I found that a great place to look is the transition areas with a break of trees. Today, I am picking wild raspberries.

You may ask yourself, "How to I find time to pick wild edibles?" Well, the answer is to make it part of your normal routine. For example, I like to pick some while I walk my dogs.

Even if you pick only a handful a day, you are on your way to a more healthy and natural lifestyle. You can always scale up your activity in a emergency situation.

In this video, I am picking Black capped Wild Raspberries. You can easily identify these by the round white powdered thorn stem and the berries.

I wear long pants for raspberry picking because of the torns and the fact that they tend to be in areas with thorny wild roses.

Happy Berry Picking!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Setting up and drying fruit on a Cattail Mat

Here's a quick set up of my cattail mat for sun drying fruit.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

How to Make a Woven Cattail Mat

Today, I show you how to make a woven cattail mat that I am going to use for sun drying wild cherries. Steps to weaving a cattail mat 1. Trim the bottom portion of the cattails 2. Use an Over Under weaving to create the mat 3. Attach the frame by taking ends around dowels and tucking the ends into the weave. Watch the video for all the great details!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Exciting Find! - The Mazzard / Wild Sweet Cherry Tree

Look what I found while picking sour cherries... It's the mazzard wild sweet cherry. The cherries on this tree where huge and the color was the napoleon style of cream color with a red blush.

Since filming this video, I have found many additional wild sweet cherries mostly dark red cherries. The Mazzard cherry tree is similar to the sour cherry tree with the main different being the reddish-brown bark.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Wild Sour Cherry Picking

I am outside today picking wild sour cherries, Prunus cerasus. These sour pie cherries are ready to pick before the black sweet cherries. In this video, I show you how to identify them.

All wild cherries love the transition areas from woods to a field so look for them on the side of the road and woods next to a farm field.

The leaves are simple sawtooth ovate or oval leaves that are larger at the top. The cherry grows in whorled clusters unlike the choke and black cherry which grow in clusters that resemble grapes. The bark is grey with fairly smooth with horizontal furrows. The grey bark distinguishes the sour cherry from the mazzard cherry tree which has a red-brown look to it.

Cherry trees in the wild tend to be very tall so it's handy to carry a long hooked branch that you can use to hook and pull down the branches to reach the hard to reach cherries.

Monday, August 5, 2013

How to Find Wild Edible - Asparagus

In this video, I am on the hunt for the Wild Asparagus. Watch the video and learn how to find them in your hometown.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

How to Create a Tripod with Bamboo and Dogbane Indian Hemp Cordage

I was interested in creating an all natural trellis for my garden. I found some bamboo and decided to use it to make a tripod along with my Dogbane Hemp twine. The best part about this project is everything was free.

This video demonstrates the tripod lashing necessary to complete the project.