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wild stuff we used to eat when we were kids

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Missjulesdid

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What sorts of wild growing things did you eat as a kid, (or even now?) I was reminicing with my aunt last night about all the things we used to find in the woods to eat when we were kids. I'm amazed were still alive since we used to eat almost anything we could find... He's what we came up with:

Checker berries
blueberries
strawberries
raspberries
blackberries
elderberries (still my favorite)
red sumac
crabapples
grass (cuz it made our spit green of course, and who doesn't want green spit?)
oxalis (we called it "clover")
pine pitch
birch bark
Knotweed (we called them "rhubarb trees"
wild walnuts
grapes

stuff we TRIED to eat but was too gross to eat:
dandelions
buttercups
horse chestnuts
dogberries
helicopter seeds
acorns (though as an adult I finally learned how to get the tannin out of them so that I can eat them now)
 

CPSoaper

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You must have been a hungry kid! lol just kidding. :D

I don't remember forging through the forest to eat or grazing my way across the yard, (lol) but I will admit to eating paste and once my older sister tricked me into eating dog food. O.K., I was only like 5 years old and we are all goofy at that age. roflol
 

Chay

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I guess it depends on where you grew up. My siblings and I certainly foraged the forest. We snacked on nuts and berries all the time. And if we felt confident mom wasn't looking, we'd raid the garden occasionally. Pull a carrot or radish, wipe the dirt on our pants, and munch away. Who had time to go in the house for lunch, we had forts to defend from the enemy (the neighbor kids) Ahh... memories.
 

Neil

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Sweet grass, sour grass, planton, dandellion, pine needles, Grawdabs, fishing worms, black berry, mulberry, elder berry, dew berry, rasberry,wild pear,pine cones, pine nuts, buckeyes, chestnuts,grasshoppers, crickets(brown, mole, camel, black), crab apples,
starling, crow, wood pecker, wild duck, muskrat, ground hog. never opposum or raccoon not because I didnt like it but just couldnt catch it.
Milk weed, jewel weed, horse weed, sumac flower, honey suckle, wild carrots, poke greens, wild grapes, pawpaws, various roots, persimmon,
wild plumbs, wild cherries, Apples from anyones tree we could climb and not get caught. every avaliable fish from a minow to a carp.
We were very poor, The one thing I remember most about childhood is hunger, BUT it didnt kill me. I love the smell of fresh cut grass... It always makes me hungry.
1964 was a good year I was 5 my dad made 2500.00 that year. There were 12 mouths to feed and somehow that year we ate well, but mostly it was good because thats the year my wife was born.
 

Missjulesdid

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Neil, That's an impressive list, I don't know what half that stuff is! If we're counting critters, you forgot turtles, frogs and snakes... I'm sure you ate those as I did. Though I never had a groundhog or starling, but rabbit and grouse was awefully good. I was raised poor like you though never went hungry. My mother had a huge garden and I remember eating stewed zuccini, tomatoes and onions over rice until it came out my ears. She canned it on the wood stove so we had to eat that stuff year round YUCK, I can't eat zuccini to this day.. I did like it when she made eldeberry and sumac jelly on the wood stove that was the BEST (we didn't have electricity so everything was made on wood and this was during the 1970s in Massachusetts.. very unusual)

Also I think I may still be banned from a few orchards for liberating some apples and peaches from time to time...I didn't want to include stolen goods and incriminate myself but since Neil's comming clean, I guess I will too!

I never thought about it but I guess we ate all the wild things because there were never snacks at home, Why would I want to go home and eat zuccini stew when I could have beautiful ripe berries or crunchy rhubarb?
 

CPSoaper

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Missjulesdid now that you mention orchards, we did eat our fair share of fruits from the orchards near my home. I had forgotten all about that. The town I grew up in acres and acres of fruit trees for a winery that was nearby and to take to market. They grew all kinds of fruits. We use to "sneak" onto the property (back in those days, there were no fences) and we would feast. Orange trees, kumquat trees, apricot trees and cherry trees grew in al ot people's yards once orchard land was sold to make way for new housing developments. We use to to get into all kinds of trouble from the homeowners for picking their fruit.

Sad that not one of those orchards remains today.
 

Neil

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Missjules:

We did have a huge Garden but the soil was red clay mud , I called it Gumbo mud, the futher you walked the taller you got, anyway the only thing that would grow was tomatoes.. hundreds and hundreds of tomatoe plants. Mom also canned all we didnt consume. Every hear of Tomatoe dumblings, tomatoe caserole, Tomatoe stew, and the ol stan by macaroni and tomatoes I still like that one with lots of hot sauce. sounds like we came from simular backgrounds.. You know the thing was everyone on the mountain was poor but none of us knew it.
 

Chalk Creek

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Apples, tart cherries, dandelions, lambs quarters, pine sap for gum, gooseberries, currants, asparagus, raspberries, tiny wild strawberries, rhubarb, stuff out of the garden, sweet feed out of the barn, and salt off the salt blocks in the pastures.

Neil, I'm sad to hear that what you remember most from childhood is hunger. But, in a wilderness survival situation, I'd want you in my camp for sure!
 

Neil

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Thanks Deb.
My childhood made me very strong. BTW I forgot Gooseberries.. Im going to have to find some gooseberry palnts this summer to plant here at my new place. I'm glad to see you back at the forum.
 

Chalk Creek

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Thanks, Neil. I get very busy this time of year so just don't have much computer time lately. Had the first calf of the year born Sunday, which was a very cold, snowy day. But they are doing fine.

It always amazes me the stuff we ate and things we did as kids and survived just fine. We always rode around in the back of pickups (never had carseats or seat belts), no bike helmets or pads, played in the corrals in the dirt and manure all day. We were always out with the horses and cattle and never in front of the tv during the day and had no computers, x-box or any of that junk. I was taught to drive a tractor when I was 8, I drove and pulled the hay wagon around the hay fields while the older kids and adults threw hay bales onto it. Stuff most kids these days have no concept of doing.


Neil, I love mac & cheese with garden fresh tomatoes. My favorite sandwich is fresh tomatoes and lettuce or spinach with just a touch of mayo on homemade bread. Ok, getting hungry now...

Thanks for bringing back some childhood memories with this post! :)
 

CiCi

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Dog food and matches :oops: Not all of the time though. I just remember going into the dog food bag and getting some nuggets a couple of times. Nasty, nasty stuff. I ate matches a couple times, too. Ate the red part off of the stick. Don't ask me why. Bad, I guess. Matches were nasty too. Surprised I'm still living.
 

IanT

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haha! matches! thats a new one! yeah ive ate dog and cat food too... again when i was reaaaaaallly young maybe 5 or so... hey i figured my dog went crazy over it so why not give it a try??

I remember i used to eat wild walknuts, chestnuts, acorns, balckberrys, rhubarb, raspberries, any fish i could catch, seaweed (i surfed a lot as a kid so seaweed was a welcomed snack as it floated on by so long as no nasties were climbing on it), I remember trying to eat sand too...that didnt go to well. dot even get me started on the neighboring farms! i used to live next to 4H in riverhead NY, they were fine with us taking what we wantedj because we were also a farm fam who had helped colonize the area and had a relatively good relationship with them. used to get fresh sunflowers, cabbage, lettuce of all types, fresh peaches, apples, corn, carrots, pumpkins (my mother made some gooood pie), squash, zucchinis, eggplants (i aways thought these were so cool because they were grown on a trellis and hung down kind of like little punching bags (i never hit them... i dont like to beat my food, i respect it and thank it !) my mother would make any fruit into a jelly/jam.... i could go on and on... rosehips, beachplums (also kickarse jam/jelly!) i would make sasafrass tea, we had birch trees everywhere (birch beer!...thats how root beer came to be!). im sure im leaving off quite a few things. as for critters, i ate venison on occasion but not too much else.... ducks, lamb, mmmmm



ahhh memories
 
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