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Eating pine

Suzy Bean
steward

Joined: Apr 05, 2011
Posts: 940
Location: Stevensville, MT
    
    8
I went on a naturalist walk a few years ago with a man that said the Native Americans would make pine bark into flour for food. Recalling the walk, I just looked it up with the following finds:

Did you ever eat a pine tree? talks about what part of the bark is used, and how it is prepared. The author writes about Finnish people, they removed
the brown outer layer and hung the strips of white inner bark under the eaves of their barns to dry. If food was plentiful the next winter, this bark was fed to their dogs and cattle, and was reported to be very fattening, but if other foods were scarce, the Lapps would grind this dried bark and make a famine bread of it, which was very nutritious, but, to Linnaeus's taste, not very palatable.
Apparently, people have made pinebark candy, and of course, tea from the needles--but there is another thread for that.

I had just watched Paul's youtube on doug firs being weeds, and thought--can you eat any part of doug firs? That's what inspired me to look all this up.

Just for fun, here are doug fir and orange blossom butter cookies (shaped like christmas trees of course): trim the christas tree and at it too cookies

Would be curious to hear if anyone has has something made with pine bark.


www.thehappypermaculturalist.wordpress.com
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame


Joined: May 23, 2010
Posts: 488
Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
    
    3
The inner pine bark contains pycnogenol, a powerful antioxidant as well as vitamin c.

A French maritime pine bark extract of OPCs, Pycnogenol, has been shown to improve microcirculation, retinal edema and visual acuity in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy.[31] Further study has shown that Pycnogenol maintains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, selectively binds to collagen and elastin in the body, and aids in the production of endothelial[32] nitric oxide. Pycnogenol has also been shown to help normalize blood glucose (sugar) levels,[33] and delay sugar absorption.[34]
that's from wiki

So it's worthwhile as a medicine, but considering the damage you do to a tree in harvesting the inner bark, I wouldn't plan on using it as a major food source, unless I had an overgrown forest that needed thinning, or I was cutting trees for some sort of building project - or both.

There is an old story about a band of native americans under siege, without food, from enemies in winter. They survived on white pine bark that gave them the stamina to defeat their foes. Sorry, lame storytelling.

I do happily nibble the soft white tips of pine needles, discarding the rest of the needle.
tel jetson
steward

Joined: May 17, 2007
Posts: 3081
Location: woodland, washington
    
  52
pettuleipä. not exactly delicious stuff, but I don't think that's really the point with famine food.


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Suzy Bean
steward

Joined: Apr 05, 2011
Posts: 940
Location: Stevensville, MT
    
    8
yukkuri kame wrote:
So it's worthwhile as a medicine, but considering the damage you do to a tree in harvesting the inner bark, I wouldn't plan on using it as a major food source, unless I had an overgrown forest that needed thinning, or I was cutting trees for some sort of building project - or both.


You are right, it might do damage to the tree. After watching Paul's pine youtube though, I thought maybe it was even beneficial to bring down some doug firs.
tel jetson
steward

Joined: May 17, 2007
Posts: 3081
Location: woodland, washington
    
  52
Suzy Bean wrote:
yukkuri kame wrote:
So it's worthwhile as a medicine, but considering the damage you do to a tree in harvesting the inner bark, I wouldn't plan on using it as a major food source, unless I had an overgrown forest that needed thinning, or I was cutting trees for some sort of building project - or both.


You are right, it might do damage to the tree. After watching Paul's pine youtube though, I thought maybe it was even beneficial to bring down some doug firs.


paul doesn't like conifers. that's a personal grudge that he's taken a bit too far, at least as far as I'm concerned. the single-species plantations created by timber outfits are, of course, abominable, and conifers aren't always the best neighbors, but that doesn't mean they aren't very nice and very useful in the right setting.

many conifers are host to (or are hosted by?) delicious mycorrhizal mushrooms. they provide shelter and food for plenty of handy critters, some of which are tasty and some of which eat other critters that eat our food. some bear edible and nutritious seeds or fruit. many grow fast and straight and make great building material, fiber, and fuel. ancient specimens are incredible to be around. down trees enrich dirt and nurse new plants over many, many years. standing dead trees are home to butterflies, bats, birds, more delicious mushrooms, &c. there is also an abundance of other edible and otherwise useful plants that grow very well in conifer-dominated forests.

all of this is to say that if a conifer is causing more trouble than good, by all means go ahead and take it down. if there are some other plants that might be nicer to have around, go for it. but not because it's a "weed" or because some (perfectly nice) fellow who made a youtube video doesn't particularly care for them. and if it's a choice between starvation and eating pine cambium, go ahead and make some pettuleipä. just don't expect a delicacy.


moving on from that minor rant: I've had delicious Doug-fir tip tea. tasted very pleasantly like a tree and a bit of citrus.

it is also my understanding that Finnish beer is traditionally filtered through juniper branches during sparging. adds a mild and very nice flavor. I don't know how many brewers still do this, but the examples I've had were lovely. certainly worth trying for the curious home brewer. I believe it also has some preservative effects on the beer.
Suzy Bean
steward

Joined: Apr 05, 2011
Posts: 940
Location: Stevensville, MT
    
    8
tel jetson wrote:
it is also my understanding that Finnish beer is traditionally filtered through juniper branches during sparging. adds a mild and very nice flavor. I don't know how many brewers still do this, but the examples I've had were lovely. certainly worth trying for the curious home brewer. I believe it also has some preservative effects on the beer.


Thanks for what you had to say, Tel, and yes, filtering through juniper branches sounds delicious.
richard valley


Joined: Aug 18, 2011
Posts: 195
Location: Sierra Nevada mountain valley CA, & Nevada high desert
Never eaten a pine tree but I do eat parts of fir trees. I'm talking about the fresh tender tasty ends that start in spring before they turn dark and tast like tar. We have on type of fir that is lemon tasting. Good right off the tree and mixed with other greens.


[Thumbnail for IMG_2256.JPG]

                            


Joined: Jun 10, 2011
Posts: 55
I don't know about eating Pine but...

Larch powder (Larch Arabinogalactan; ARA6) is one of the healthiest things humans can consume for improving the immune system (and other things). Unlike echinacea it is safe for everyone.

What I can't find is an explanation of how to make your own.
 
 
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