Many homesteaders are learning the self sufficiency skill of wild food foraging for Oregon Grape and other free wild foods. Wild foods add a wide variety of nutrients, vitamins and minerals to a family’s diet while reducing a monthly grocery budget.
It is an evergreen shrub growing 3 ft tall by 5 ft wide, with pinnate leaves consisting of spiny leaflets, and dense clusters of yellow flowers in early spring followed by dark bluish-black berries in the summer. It can be found the North American West from Southeast Alaska to Northern California, often found growing closely by Douglas-fir trees. You can find Oregon Grape in the Cascades, Rockies and in northern Sierras. Oregon Grape is resistant to summer drought, tolerates poor soils, and does not create excessive leaf litter. Its berries attracts and feeds birds.
Everyone has heard of the word foraging. It’s probably something you associate with squirrels or wild pigs. But, it’s actually a very effective way for humans to gather fruits and veggies throughout the summer and fall months. One of the best things you can find while foraging is berries. They usually grow wild all over the place and they’re perfect for desserts, jams, and sauces.
This guide teaches how to forage properly for Oregon grapes. Of course, this isn’t going to be a useful guide for everyone, because the Oregon grape only grows in Oregon and other Western states. However, if you have the time to read through it, you might find a few hints on how to forage for other berries in your own home state.
Oregon grapes are little blue berries that are part of the holly family. In fact, they look quite similar to blueberries, but their bushes have more prickly leaves. These grapes are both delicious and healthy, with many medicinal properties being attributed to the Oregon grape.
This guide will take you through the steps on how to find the berries and the best ways to pick them, since you want to be wary of their leaves. It will also walk you through how to use the medicinal properties found in the bark of these berry bushes.
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