Category Archives: In the Woods

7 plants to forage in summer

By Karen M. House

In the middle of summertime, plants are producing. Berry plants produce berries, and flowering plants produce blossoms. The God-given purpose for the plants in producing the colorful display of fruit and flowers in the summer is to perpetuate itself — to produce young plants. The benefit to us humans is that the plants produce far more than they need for simple reproduction, and a lot of what they produce is beneficial to us. Most people, though, have no idea what is growing right around them, or how to use it.

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Catching and cooking crayfish

By John Murray

In North America, there are more than 300 different species of crayfish. This crayfish is known by many different names, mostly depending on the geographical location of the country. Among the common names are crayfish, crawdads, crawfish, and mudbugs. Classified as a crustacean, the crayfish is a cousin of the lobster. Crayfish require clean water to survive, and can be found in ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams, where they live as bottom dwellers among the rocks.

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Harvesting wild blackberries

By Karen M. House

It was late spring, and there were bushes along the sides of the road sporting tiny white blossoms. I knew, as I had known for decades, that this was a precursor to berry cobblers and jelly. The blackberries were in bloom, and from the abundance of blossoms and the mild weather at the time, I knew it was shaping up to be a really good blackberry year!

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Dangerous snakes of the backwoods

By John Murray

All people who spend time in the backwoods will have an encounter with a species of snake at some point in time. Most are harmless to humans, but there are several species of snakes that must be given a wide berth due to their potentially dangerous disposition. A bad encounter with a dangerous snake will result in a life-threatening situation, especially for people that are not aware of the consequences.

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Harvesting wild plants for food and medicinal purposes

By Karen M. House

There is much talk these days about preparing for hard times. Survivalism has gone mainstream. But one of the most important facets of preparing for the worst is knowing what lies at your feet.
Not long ago, my husband and I were living in a large Southern city, and we were discussing what might happen if some “simple” catastrophe happened, such as the electricity goes off and stays off.

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The many uses of the slippery elm tree

By Rev. J. D. Hooker

 All three of my grandkids went to see their first ball game and wound up so hoarse from screaming and shouting, they could barely speak at all the next morning. Yet with a just a few tablespoons of tea brewed from the inner bark of the slippery elm tree, their throats cleared up in minutes. When they were infants, their mothers had rubbed this same simple remedy on their gums to ease teething pains, just as their mothers had once done for them.

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