Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bushcraft - Central Texas Style - Natural Food Sources - The Pecan

Being able to recognize and find natural food sources in a survival situation can be a vital skill. This is a skill that can help you to survive. Depending upon your geographic location, natural food sources can vary in their type and their availability. In Central Texas, one of the most easily recognized and widely available natural food sources is the pecan.

Pecan trees (Carya illinoensis) are native to many parts of Texas and are the official state tree of Texas. They can be found growing in river bottoms throughout much of the state. The pecan tree is also native to many other parts of the United States. They produce a sweet, edible nut that is usually a dark brown in color and can be eaten as is with no cooking or other preparation needed. Mature pecan trees can grow to be as tall as a 100 feet or more and sometimes reach heights as great as a 150 feet.

Many Native Americans used pecans as an important food item and pecans were an important part of their normal diet. They used wild pecans which were ground up to thicken soups and stews and carried roasted pecans as a trail food. Roasted pecans were an excellent source of sustenance when traveling or when other food sources may have been scarce or non-existent. They also used pecan trees as a source of firewood, for medicinal purposes and to make handles for tools and many other implements.

Pecans are also a great source of fiber and contain numerous vitamins and minerals essential to a good diet. They can even be used to make a homemade non-dairy milk product for persons who are lactose intolerant or who don’t like the taste of rice or soy milk.

Got nuts?

Staying above the water line!



Anonymous said...

Thanks Riverwalker. I wish we had pecan trees down here. I think its too hot for them, the closest ones I've seen are between Laredo / Del Rio.

idahobob said...

Got nuts? Hmmmmm....I think that I will leave that one alone.

But back to your post, in my AO we have wild fruit trees and berries, galore. It amazes me that when the DW and I are out harvesting these free fruits and berries, we are usually the only ones out harvesting. Just Saturday, last, we were out cutting firewood, and came across the mother lode of wild, Black Caps (Black Raspberries). We will be going back there in about a week, when they should all be ready to pick. And I am talking about a whole mountainside!

I do not understand, especially where we live, that there are not more folks out harvesting the free stuff that is out there.

Are people so couch bound to that one-eyed monster, so brainwashed to think that the only place to find groceries, is in the supermarket?

God help us all.


Anonymous said...

No Pecan trees where I live but I could fill a pickup truck with black walnuts. Black walnuts are stronger tasting then English walnuts, smaller edible meat per nut and the shell is like iron. But other then that it is good food. The shell is so tough that the recommended way to husk them is to drive over them with your car, it destroys the husk but leaves the nut intact. A hammer will break the shell but wear safety glasses. After you beat the shell and meat to death trying to get the edible portion out you have a mess to seperate but it can be done. Where gloves or expect your hands to be stained dark brown for about a week or two.

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 7:32

If the drought keeps up in my area, there is going to be a lot lees trees in my area...including pecan trees.

I've lost quite a few good pecan trees on my place in the country to the drought and hate to think how many more I might lose if we don't get some rain soon.

Thanks anon.


riverwalker said...

To: idahobob

We've got quite few wild berry patches and wild grapes also that can make some good eatin' if you take the time to pick them when they are ripe.

Nature's grocery store just doesn't have any shelves but is usually well stocked.

Thanks bob III.


riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 10:29

While most pecans are pretty easy to shell, they are actually part of the walnut family of nuts.

I think I'll stick with pecans, especially if those black walnuts are a tough nut to crack!lol

Thanks anon.


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