INSTANT SURVIVAL TIP: Foraging Inventory

 By  John A. Heatherly, Author of The Survival Template

photo by B A Bowen Photography

Recently a friend of mine invited me on a “plant walk” here in the neighborhood.  I am still new to the area and welcome the opportunity to learn about our local resources.  Less than one mile from my house, we observed the following:

-Yaupon Holly – roasted leaves can be used as a coffee substitute

-Wild Blueberries

-Dollar Weed – it is everywhere, and makes a great salad

-Palms and Palmettos – edible “cabbage and hearts”

-Countless Pines – edible inner “cambium” layer, pine nuts

-Dandelions – all parts edible, roots for tea

-Cattail – edible tubers, shoots, and heads

-Live Oak and Laurel Oak – more acorns than I could possibly process and store!

These are just the examples we were able to catalogue in only a few minutes, but truthfully, these alone could go a long way!  I recommend finding an edible plants class in your area, and documenting the resources that could be easily foraged.  With any edible/medicinal plant, positively identify it with professional guidance before consumption.

When preparing a Sustenance Plan for your family, an Inventory of Local Plants can be a nice supplement to go along with stored foods (canned, dried, mylar bags, etc …) and any home-grown or gardened  edibles.

What edible and medicinal plants are in your neighborhood, and how have you used them?

There may be links in the post above that are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, which does not affect the price you pay for the product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. 

© Copyright 2012 The Survival Mom, All rights Reserved. Written For: The Survival Mom
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John's exploration of wilderness survival includes coursework at Tom Brown Jr.’s TrackerSchool, military service as a Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (S.E.R.E.) Instructor, and the study of leadership as an Officer. He is the author of THE SURVIVAL TEMPLATE and THE CAVE AND THE SEA, A NOVEL which can be found at

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  1. Cindy says

    Well, we pick wild balckberries and black raspberries on our property. There are a few wild apple trees but the fruits are pretty ruined by insects. We also have oak trees and in the woods, some type of nut tree–I don’t know what variety, but it is on my to-do someday list to find out! I have done some morrel hunting as well, with little success.

  2. says

    I feel the same way. I need to learn the specifics of the different palms down here. Some of the smaller palm trees have fruit, but there are also poisonous imitators. I am working to sort those out now. Blackberry cobbler sounds pretty good!

  3. Lori says

    Apple trees burn well, so if you don’t like the apples, you can use the branches to burn. I read this in a survival book.
    We are bugging out & and I’m learning all that I can to help our family survive.

  4. Renae says

    The 2 best books on foraging, in my opinion, are both by Samual Thayer. Nature’s Garden and The Forager’s Harvest.

  5. traumamamma says

    LOVE the acorns that are everywhere in my neck of the woods…available on line, there is a ton of information on processing the little guys. Just search “sprouted acorns”. There is a free printable (50 pages!) manual called “Acorns and Eat’em” by Suellen Ocean that is full of recipes, descriptions of the variety of oaktrees, nutritional value, processing, etc. I made the flour, have bags in the freezer of processed acorns ready to use, and hundreds of big, fat acorns stored to use later. I will sprout as needed in a bucket of water (sprouting increases nutritional value). The leaching process to remove tannin is tedious, but definitely not hard, and the end result is absolutely amazing….free, nutritious food. Pancakes, cookies, stir fry, acorn & mushroom stew (wonderful!!), etc, and the recipes are all in Suellen’s pdf. Hurry up before the squirrels (2 legged and 4 legged species) get them all…happy foraging!

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