I think this summer has finally broken and that is good. It has been a great year for wild edibles though. With all the rain this year, the edible mushrooms have been so plentiful as well as Pawpaws. There are still a few Pawpaws left to find, save and replant the seeds if you do find some. I am no mushroom expert for sure but the Black Trumpets and Chicken of the Woods have been plentiful and they are easy to ID and they have no poisonous look alike. Another one that should be showing up now is Lion's Mane; it grows on Maple/Oak trees where there is a damaged or rotted place. They are large,white mushrooms that really do look like a lion's mane. From what I have read they are a great brain food. Acorns and all the nuts are starting to fall, so there is still plenty to harvest. My grandkids and I made some pretty good acorn flour cookies several years back. Living Earth school in Afton has a good edible workshop going on this fall.
Not trying to be an ambulance chaser on this reminder but go back to my Nov. 2017 blog on 'car' bags. After seeing what Florence has done I feel even stronger that we all need some type of bag in our vehicles. It doesn't have to be elaborate or expensive, it just needs to be available if needed. I asked a great friend one time ( thanks Bob ) what is the best knife, he said it's the one you have with you.
The last Primitive Survival 101 is scheduled for Nov. 03, 2018, rain or shine at the Scheier Natural area in Fluvanna county. We will cover EDC/BOB bags briefly as well as all the primitive skills. Please pass out the word if you know of anyone who is interested. www.stevepullinger.com/primitive-survival-skills-101.html
I understand that some of you don't have/want a Facebook page and with good reason ! However, it is such a good way to pass out information. I do not want to bombard you with emails every week about some cool thing or plant but with Facebook I can post something and you can look if you want or not. Emails kind of stare you in the face until you do something with it. My stevepullinger.com Facebook page is a way of sharing events/knowledge that I hope is not too burdensome like emails. Speaking of emails, if you get tired of these just let me know and I will take you off the list.
First thing, the next Primitive Survival Skills 101 will be November 3, 2018. Location will be Fluvanna County, VA., more details will follow as class time nears.
Don't be a purist ? I think everyone would be more empowered if they knew some primitive skills. Not much is more fun than friction fire !! Having said that, there are some modern items that I always carry with me on long hikes and always go with me on road trips. Think the 4 basic skill sets needed for survival. 1. Shelter, carry a small emergency blanket. They really do work. A small disposable rain parka for shelter. 2. Water, a Sawyer mini-straw will get you through any emergency. They are very compact, light weight and inexpensive. 3. Fire, 2 lighters, a pack of matches and small roll of 0000 steel wool. All this in a sandwich bag ( or two ) to stay dry. 4. Food, carry a couple of protein bars or some GORP. Remember that you can go weeks without food but just for the mental satisfaction it really comes in..... extra stuff to carry, a good Leatherman tool and some paracord or similar cordage. A very small AAA flashlight. An extra pair of glasses, any meds and a tube of Super Glue. Super glue fixes so many things, including backwoods wound care. I know that all this sounds like a lot of stuff but it really does fit in a tiny fanny pack and it for sure could save your life. So, if you are freezing, it is ok to start your fire with a lighter.
For you friction fire folks, the Mulleins are blooming now and as soon as the blooms start falling off you can harvest the flower stalks for spindles. This year has been the worst year in memory for harvesting yucca flower stalks. They have been crooked and many have been hollow inside. Plus, the deer have realized that the new stalks taste good and they are doing a number on them.
Due to lots of interest I will be holding a summer Primitive Survival skills 101 workshop on June 23, 2018. This will be held at Pleasant Grove Park in Fluvanna Co., Va. The April 28 class went really well and was a great group. Last week I did a 2 hour demo for the Crozet library at Mint Springs Valley park outside of Crozet. We didn't do any hands-on but much information was exchanged.
Just a reminder that the yucca's are showing their flower stalks now, by the end of June they will be full length and the flowers will be starting to fall off. That's the best time to harvest, remember to get the straightest ones you can find. Remember, for friction fire spindles less wobble means more success !!
If you are on Facebook, check out my page www.facebook.com/primitivesurvivalskills/?ref=bookmarks for good articles on edible/medicinal/utilitarian plants and other survival info.
Thanks for reading, please pass on the word about my next 101 workshop and like us on Facebook !!
Spring wild flowers are blooming which means there are so many wild edibles already up. I have been posting edible and medicinal plant articles on my Primitive Skills Facebook page but if you don't have Facebook I will post some here as well.
The cattail is probably the most useful plant out there when it comes to food. It has food value all 4 seasons. A Syracuse University study found that cattails have 10X more food per acre than potatoes. www.outdoorlife.com/blogs/survivalist/2013/07/survival-skills-how-use-yucca.
The yucca plant in my opinion is probably the most utilitarian plant to use. Remember Food, Soap, Fire and Rope. www.outdoorlife.com/blogs/survivalist/2013/07/survival-skills-how-use-yucca
Not sure of the plants ? here's a link on how to check plants for safety. www.offthegridnews.com/off-grid-foods/survival-101-the-right-way-to-determine-if-a-plant-is-edible/
My last scheduled Primitive Survival Skills 101 workshop until fall will be on April 28, 2018. There are 5 spots left at this time so please put the word out if you know of someone who may be interested. www.stevepullinger.com/primitive-survival-skills.html
Thanks for reading and please like us on Facebook.
this is an interesting chart on what we carry in our packs today and what folks used 40,000 years ago. I really like having today's 'tools' but it can be empowering to know that you don't need them if you have basic primitive skill sets.
Next Primitive Survival Skills 101 is now set for April 28, 2018. Go to the workshops tab for details.
Winter is almost over and it's time to start doing some workshops. The next Advanced Friction Fire workshop will be March 24, 2018, a Saturday, at the Scheier Natural area in Fluvanna from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. You can go to the 'workshops' tab for more details. Primitive Skills 101 will be scheduled soon.
I want to talk about 'seeing'. Have you ever noticed that as soon as you get interested in something you start seeing it everywhere. Buy a motorcycle, you start seeing bikes around every turn. It is the same way with nature. If you get interested in something it just seemingly starts appearing everywhere. My passion is friction fire. Once I was at Shenandoah River State Park and found a dead snag off of a Cottonwood tree. I tried using it for the fire board in friction fire, it worked amazing!! It is now one of my top 3 native ( out of 16 so far ) woods for the fire board. Now I see Cottonwoods in Fluvanna, there are several on I64 W heading up Afton Mountain, I81 exit 225 has several on the left of the exit ramp. I would have never taken the time to study/get to know the Cottonwood if it wasn't for fire making The best spindle ?? Yucca flower stalks by far, once you start using them you will see yucca plants everywhere. BTW, remember Fire, Soap, Food and Rope when thinking of yuccas. The flower stalk is the #1 spindle, the roots will make a natural soap, the white flowers are edible and the leaves make one of the best natural cordage materials. While hiking, I constantly find the remnants of squirrels nests, the shredded cedar bark, since cedar bark is the best tinder.
My goal is to get kids ( and their parents ) involved with nature, that is the only way that they will develop the desire to understand and protect it. If you can hook them on friction fire, and what kids of any age don't like fire, then you have taken a huge step in getting them outside. When you start seeing all these 'just plants' as useful, whether food-fire-shelter-cordage, then you will be more likely to protect them and the habitats that they live in. Your drives/hikes will never be the same !!
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