The best things about eating cattails. Do you need to eat Cattails?
Beyond the tangible benefits, the experience of wild edibles connects you to nature in a very powerful way. It asks you to slow down from the rushed pace of the modern world and step into timelessness.
Cattail shoots are very delicious harvested in the spring. So, today, during Tourism Week, forage some cattail shoots, rinse, then soak in vinegar rinse and use in your favourite recipe. Today, tour the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, rather than the supermarket, find your ingredient for this recipe. This time we share Cattail Shoots in Cream Sauce.
The white inner centers of the young stems, which can be eaten raw or cooked, are considered a delicacy by both human foragers and aquatic mammals such as muskrats. For muskrats, cattails have the added advantage of supplying the tough leaves used for building their lodges. And for red-winged blackbirds—among the earliest migrants returning to our region—stands of cattails provide the perfect nesting place.
““Be like a tree in pursuit of your cause. Stand firm, grip hard, thrust upward. Bend to the winds of heaven..”
Richard St. Barbe Baker
Artificial stabilization of water levels in the marsh and lake by damming and water diversion has resulted in significant hydrological changes to the marsh and may be enhancing the spread of an exotic hybrid cattail (Typha x glauca) Hybrid cattails are replacing native shoreline vegetation, particularly hard-stem bulrush an important component of Western Grebe nesting habitat.
As the human footprint expands, ecologists and resource managers are increasingly challenged to explain and manage abrupt ecosystem transformations …Our results quantify how, in a cultural landscape where the historical disturbance regime has been altered and diversity has declined, a mechanical disturbance in combination with seasonal drought and flooding has been used to locally restrict a clonal monodominant plant expansion, create habitat heterogeneity, and maintain plant diversity.
So, cattails and you, and why all parts of the cattail plant are amazing for a wild spring, summer or fall harvest. “The shoots or hearts, also known as “Cossack asparagaus,” are best harvested in spring or early summer, prior to the devlopment of the flower stalk” source So after harvesting the shoots, just rinse, soak in vinegar for 15-20 minutes and then rinse. <a href="http://<!– wp:paragraph –> <p>So, cattails and you, and why all parts of the cattail plant are amazing for a wild spring, summer or fall harvest. "The shoots or hearts, also known as "Cossack asparagaus," are best harvested in spring or early summer, prior to the devlopment of the flower stalk"<a href="https://wildfoodgirl.com/2013/cold-hearted-cattail-salads/"> source</a> So after harvesting the shoots, just rinse, soak in vinegar for 15-20 minutes and then rinse. </p> Cold Cattail and Tomato Salad is a great way to start out enjoying your Cattail harvest.
Remember to harvest your cattails alone, and without your puppy dog with you, as spring is nesting time for many waterfowl and animals. Humans are not the only animals who forage on cattails. “Wherever there are cattails, there’s food. The seeds, roots and shoots attract plant-eating animals, and predators that eat the cattail’s visitors. Ducks and Canada geese sometimes eat the tiny seeds, and geese dine on the plant’s new shoots and underwater roots…. Muskrats gnaw on the roots, and use the leaves to build a shelter, called a lodge, to keep themselves safe. It’s common to see red-winged blackbirds hanging around cattails. After the male finds a mate the birds use plants including cattail leaves to build their nest.” source
As you embark on the Cold Cattail and Tomato Salad, consider the nutritional benefits from Cattails, such as Manganese, Vitamin K, Magnesium, Iron, Vitamin B6 and Sodium. According to Health Benefits of Cattail, Uses And Its Side Effects, Cattails, help with mitigation of Anaemia, preventing cancer, controlling hypertension, reducing atherosclerosis risks, controlling diabetes, and is also a natural antiseptic.
Nature is the source of human subsistence but the transformation of nature into food is a cultural process that is not independent of power relations. The colonization of America comprised the systematic repression of indigenous ways of knowing and even after the elimination of political colonialism the relationship between European cultures and the others is still one of colonial domination. The colonial repression of different knowledges also affects the culinary epistemology that informs food preparation and consumption.
Always be careful about safety when around water . So today, is another momentous day to celebrate Tourism Week In Canada. Pop out for a visit to the afforestation areas, enjoy the delightful spring weather, and enjoy this man-made forest on the prairies.
Send in a comment on how you succeed with your foraging adventure! Stay tuned throughout tourism week for more Cattail recipes for your outdoor foraging foray.
“All of these things are food for insects, for birds, for bears, deer, elk and moose, and if we compromise that by our foraging … it won’t be long before these things are no longer here,” … Julie Walker recommends people plant some of these species in their backyard gardens — or at least stop the war on weeds and let and nature take its course. Many native species have qualities that can benefit a home garden, like requiring little to no maintenance and being drought-resistant, she added. People can also forage on public lands, as long as they learn to recognize healthy populations of wild plant species.
Please help protect / enhance your afforestation areas, please contact the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. (e-mail / e-transfers )Support the afforestation areas with your donation or membership ($20.00/year). Please donate by paypal using the e-mail friendsafforestation AT gmail.com, or by using e-transfers Please and thank you! Your donation and membership is greatly appreciated. Members e-mail your contact information to be kept up to date! Canada Helps
In 1957, Richard St. Barbe Baker was “convinced that the vegan way of life is the only sane way of life, and realising that the basic cause of tension is growing populations and diminishing food sources, for the past ten years I have devoted much of my time to studying the question of food production and the problems of large scale land reclamation by tree planting.”
Thomas Malthus notes that with an increase in world population, a pre-requisite is needed, food for that mass of humanity. “Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio. Subsistence increases only in an arithmetical ratio. A slight acquaintance with numbers will shew the immensity of the first power in comparison of the second.
By that law of our nature which makes food necessary to the life of man, the effects of these two unequal powers must be kept equal.
This implies a strong and constantly operating check on population from the difficulty of subsistence.”
“The world’s problem, is not a population explosion, but animal explosion. We’ve got to decide whether we are going to feed animals or humans. To feed animals is a roundabout way of getting food. It takes 18 times more land to feed people on beef than on vegetables, nuts fruits and grains.” Richard St. Barbe Baker.
In June of 2017, the world population is calculated at 7.5 billion. The “latest projections indicate that the world will have around 8.6 billion people in 2030 and 9.8 billion in 2050. Keeping in mind that projections farther into the future are increasingly uncertain, the medium variant projection foresees a world population of 11.2 billion people in 2100.Wilmoth” With every increase of about 5 billion souls there is “another billion hectares of human-claimed landscape, a billion hectares less forest ~ even without allowing for any further deforestation by the current human population.~ Quammen”
Scientists have summarized the increase of population and the ensuing environmental degradation as IPAT, where “Environmental impacts (I) equals population (P) times affluence (A) (usually income per capita) times the impacts per unit of income as determined by technology (T) and the institutions that use it. Kates
“Not even very large losses from disease or war can affect the world’s population in the long run nearly as much as changes in human values do. What we have learned from the dramatic changes of the past few centuries is that regardless of the size of the world population at any time, people’s personal decisions about how many children they want can make the world population go anywhere – to zero or to 100 billion or more.~Singer”
This July 11, World Population Day, do you agree with Richard St. Barbe Baker?
“They’re teaching about The Pyramid of Life in the schools today. There is the ground producing all the soil bacteria, which is in the top few inches. That grows the grass, and a a lamb comes along and eats ten pounds of grass, and that makes one lamb, and then a tiger comes along and eats ten pounds of lamb, and that makes one pound of tiger. We have too many tigers. The Pyramid of Life is upset, and one of the things we must do is to turn from an animal economy to a silvan economy. We’ve got to have tree crops, instead of wasting all this land for raising beef and bringing money to the beef barons, who are proud to call themselves beef barons. It takes eighteen times more land to feed people on beef than it does on nuts and fruit. Eighteen times more land. When half the human family today are dying from starvation. I don’t feel justified in making these demands on the earth. I, myself have been a lifelong vegetarian. ”
BIBLIOGRAPHY 11 by Paul Hanley Quote: “Eleven billion people will crowd this marvelous planet by century’s end. If the global economy were to grow five-fold during this period as predicted, humanity’s ecological footprint would exceed Earth’s biocapacity by 400%. We need to chart a new course to the future.”
Kates, Robert W. Population and Consumption. What we know, What we need to know. Annual Edition. Environment 02/03. Editor John L. Allen McGraw-Hill Dushkin. page 36-41
Quammen, David. Planet of Weeds. Annual Edition. Environment 02/03. Editor John L. Allen McGraw-Hill Dushkin.
Singer, Max. The Population Surprise. From the Atlantic Monthly. August 1999, pp.22-25. Annual Edition. Environment 02/03. Editor John L. Allen McGraw-Hill Dushkin. Page 30-31.
If the armies of the world could be redeployed in planting in the Sahara desert, in eight years a hundred million people could be rehabilitated and supplied with protein-rich food grown from virgin sand. If we could only accept the challenge and make that a One World Purpose, this would unite East and West and be the scientific and physical answer to the world’s dilemna.~Richard St. Barbe Baker
Please help protect / enhance your afforestation areas, please contact the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. (e-mail)
Support the afforestation areas with your donation or membership ($20.00/year). Please donate by paypal using the e-mail friendsafforestation AT gmail.com, or by using e-transfers Please and thank you! Your donation and membership is greatly appreciated. Members e-mail your contact information to be kept up to date!
“The science of forestry arose from the recognition of a universal need. It embodies the spirit of service to mankind in attempting to provide a means of supplying forever a necessity of life and, in addition, ministering to man’s aesthetic tastes and recreational interests. Besides, the spiritual side of human nature needs the refreshing inspiration which comes from trees and woodlands. If a nations saves its trees, the trees will save the nation. And nations as well as tribes may be brought together in this great movement, based on the ideal of beautifying the world by the cultivation of one of God’s loveliest creatures – the tree.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker.
Our task must be to free ourselves … by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.~Albert Einstein
. We have a motto in the Men of the Trees. TWAHAMWE. It is an African word meaning ‘pull together’ and I pass this on to all those concerned with conservation in this country. I would like to call you to silence for a moment with the words of Mathew Arnold:
“Calm soul of all things, make it mine,
To feel amidst the City ‘s jar
That there abides a peace of thine
Men did not make and cannot mar
~Richard St. Barbe Baker