This is a badge bit (BB) that is part of the PEP curriculum. Completing this BB is part of getting the sand badge in Foraging.
Foraging is like gardening but without all the planting, weeding, nibbler protection or watering. If you live in the country there are lots of road sides to search. These must be wild foods - not gleaning or harvesting from an actively cultivated space.
Plant identification is the most important part of foraging. Get one or two good books on the edibles of your region. Be sure you know what you're picking!
To complete this BB, the minimum requirements are:
Make a cup of tea from one of:
- nettle - rose hips
- pineapple weed
- raspberry leaves
- chaga mushrooms - pine needle
- fir tip
- Ceanothus americanus/new jersey tea
- Linden flower
- wild strawberry leaf
- birch bark/leaves
- rose petals
To document your completion of the BB, provide the following:
- A picture of one of the plants in the wild
- A picture of the harvested goods with the remaining plant in the background
- A picture of the yummy tea in a cup
- This is "Foraging" so the plants can not be cultivated by you.
I made some chaga tea today. The missus does it all the time but I figured I'd document doing it myself. Chaga grows on birch trees. If you see something similar on a cherry it is not chaga!
I broke off a small chunk (it almost fell off), ground it up with the mortar and pestle and used a tea ball clasper thingie to steep it in. It doesn't have much taste (to me) but it's apparently good for you.
That's a huge 16 oz mug so that's why it's only half full.
On a bushcraft and foraging course I did a few years ago we made a pine needle tea (I didn't enjoy it!).
The instructors recounted the story of one participant who, after trying pine needle tea decided to make some for himself at a later date. I he misidentified the tree and made a cup of yew leaf tea. Yew is highly poisonous - active compounds in the leaves rapidly stop the hearts of mammals, and the leaves are harvested by pharmaceutical companies for making heart medication. This chap gave himself permanent heart damage and spent a week in hospital.
Make sure you positively ID anything you consume!
Moderator, Treatment Free Beekeepers group on Facebook.