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One thing to think about if SHTF; some crops, even though they are not "heirloom" will sometimes "volunteer" from crop that fell to the ground during the last harvest, or if the crop wasn't harvested at all (for whatever reason). So even if a crop field was harvested last growing season, and then SHTF, it would pay to check that field again during the next growing season. Or say the crop wasn't harvested and was left to rot.
 
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We have a lot of salal in the understory of our small forest. The berries aren't bad eaten fresh. Mrs. Merkt puts them up as jam, it has a wonderful slightly earthy taste. The young, light green new leaves may be eaten as greens. The mature, dark green leaves may be dried and used for tea.

We've also got quite a bit of salmonberry, as said above, it doesn't have a lot of flavor but it is food.

Other than the two above, our best crop is firewood.

books for when the shtf.
Wild Game Cooking, American Legion Auxilliary, Weed, CA, 1988.
 
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We have a lot of Oregon Grapes. The beries are a little tart, but add some sugar and they become quite edible.

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I had a lot of salal around my house but then when I cleared most of the brush, where I cleared, the salal did not come back. Still have a lot of it though. Very common bush in the PNW woods where it is wet. Thimbleberries too. I have some Oregon grape. Used to have a lot of Himalayan blackberries but I killed off most of them - very invasive. There are fields and fields of them - birds/etc. eat them then crap out the seeds, spreading them far and wide, then they grow in big clumps that spread on their own.

There are also the native blackberries that grow along the ground instead of in clumps - much smaller and much fewer berries per vine, but they are everywhere it seems (to me at least).
 
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There are also the native blackberries that grow along the ground instead of in clumps - much smaller and much fewer berries per vine, but they are everywhere it seems (to me at least).
the primary preferred source of food for blacktail deer, very nutritious leaves. Im guessing the leaves are herbal and can be eaten by us humans as well (see comments above).
 
Potatoes:

Its not called Oreida for nothing. Oregon cultivates a ton of potatoes. The plants themselves aren’t known to many. They only get 6-12” in height and can grow to about a 1-2’ diameter. Usually grown in long rows running the whole length of the property.

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Potatoes are simple. Only the tuber is edible. The leaves and roots can be toxic in large quantities and shouldnt be consumed. They can be eaten raw, or cooked. I think most know many variations of how to cook a potato. One thing that should not be disregarded in a SHTF scenario is potato water. Drink the water you cook them in, it should not be discarded. Lots of sugars and starches will be in that water after cooking the potatoes in it.
Potato plants are usually two to four feet high depending on variety. The spuds form on shoots that are above where the spuds or chunks of spud are planted. So tubers are usually planted in trenches and are hilled up as the plants grow.

Most potatoes should NOT be fed raw to humans, pigs, poultry, or other monogastric animals. There are a few special varieties, none available commercially, that supposedly can be eaten raw by us monogastrics. I've tried two or three such varieties and they tasted awful and are not anything I would eat raw. Not making you sick and actually being digestible are not the same thing. Cattle and sheep and probably all other ruminants can eat raw potatoes. However, they should not be fed green potatoes or improperly stored potatoe or rotten potatoes. These can have high levels of poisonous glycoalkaloids. The glycoalkaloids taste bitter and are harsh on the throat. So you are unlikely to poison yourself or your animals unless the potatoes are mixed into food and diluted so the animals are forced to eat them or starve.

Potatoes get criticized because their starch is digested very easily directly into glucose, the sugar our body is designed to run on. That is, potatoes have a very high Glycemic index, which is a rating of how fast your blood sugar rises after eating the food. Or would if you eat a big meal of potatoes by themselves with no other food and no butter or gravy or oil from frying. But who ever eats potatoes that way? If you eat your mashed potatoes with butter like God intended, the glycemic index is very much tempered. And even more so if the buttery potato accompanies a nice steak. And you are not required to eat a huge plain potato for breakfast, when people who have trouble regulating their blood sugar have the most problems. You can eat a smaller helping in the morning. Or eat your potatoes later in the day. Or make your breakfast spuds hash browns fried in duck fat accompanied by a couple of scrambled duck eggs.

If you grow potatoes you're likely to have culls that can be animal feed. For ruminants we're advised to introduce the potatoes to the diet gradually. When I had a duck flock I fed them large amounts of cooked potatoes. They love cooked potatoes. The simplest way to feed cooked potatoes to poultry is to give the birds a smorgasbord where different foods are in different buckets. In winter my birds would get a bucket of cooked potatoes, A bucket of whole corn, A bucket of chicken unmedicated broiler feed with no fish meal, and two smaller pails of grits -- one oyster shell and the other granite grit. The birds foraged actively, and whenever the ground wasnt frozen or covered with snow, also got lots of earthworms, slugs, snails, and greens. The female ducks were laying ducks, so needed oyster shell grit for their gizzard stones and for extra calcium. The male birds needed the grit without the extra calcium. I used chicken feed instead of duck feed because its way cheaper and less likely to be stale. The broiler chow is high protein. The corn is high carb. The ducks vary how much they eat of the two basic foods depending on the temperature and their forage. Ducks in maritime nw with good forage can scrounge nearly all their protein but not all their carbs. On very cold days they eat more corn. If theres snow and they get no earthworms or slugs they eat more high protein chow. The broiler chow must be unmediated because ducks don't need the meds, and can be killed by them. And the chow should not contain fish meal because duck eggs seem more susceptible to picking up off fishy flavors than chicken eggs. I don't use layer chow because the calcium is right for laying chickens, not for male birds or growing duckings. (Actually the calcium content is actually right only for confined chickens eating only the commercial chiw. If they are free ranging they eat a diet thats only partially commercial chow. So youll get soft shelled eggs unless you give the laying hens oyster shell grit anyway.) The biggest difference in nutritional needs of ducks and chickens is ducks need much more niacin. However, there is plenty of niacin in the greens free range ducks eat. And we add niacin to the drinking water of ducklings.

To add potatoes to the duck diet I fill a canning kettle with spuds, add water and some salt, cover with an upside down steaming rack with a weight on top to hold the spuds under water, and bring water to a boil and cook till done. I remove some for my own dinner and breakfast. When feeding ducks unfamiliar with potatoes I mash the top layer in their bucket a bit. Once they learn they won't need the help. When given all the cooked spuds they want, my ducks would eat only a few bites of their expensive high protein chow and little or no corn. by comparison, when given cooked winter squash the birds would eat no corn but ordinary amounts of broiler chow. So the squash provides plenty of carbs but little protein. The potatoes provide good amounts of both.

Always give ducks any new food in a separate container in addition to their ordinary foods. Ducks will usually try only a little of a new food the first day. I think this is a behavior that helps prevent poisoning. If they like the food and it doesn't make them sick they will eat more tomorrow. If you mix the spuds with their ordinary food, they may eat only a bite, and basically go without food almost totally for a day or two.

My duck flock loved cooked potatoes. On a dry weight basis, potatoes have about as much protein as hard wheat. And of course have plenty of carbs and vitamin C. The calories are about the same as an equal weight of apples until you add butter, cheese, etc. Many potato varieties can be grown without irrigation in the maritime NW. Unirrigated potatoes tend to have higher specific gravity and much more intense flavor.
 
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Ive always wanted to learn how to forage for wild food but when I read about it it seemed difficult to learn and most edible plants have a toxic or deadly look alike.
Ive learned the obvious berries, and the chantrell... is everywhere in the fall and delicious. I foraged about 15lbs of chantrells last fall while out deer hunting.

if shtf I wouldnt know what to do with all the agriculture crops. Seems like the harvest window would be short if you even had one crop close enough to you to scavenge and then have the resource and knowledge to preserve for use.

I just learned from this thread I can eat or make tea from my raspberry plant leaves. Id guess we can do the same for wild blackberry leaves growing everywhere.
Certainly some plants have poison lookalikes. The vast majority of edible plants actually don’t have poison lookalikes in their area.

What you often see is something that is edible in one location has a poison lookalikes over the mountains, or in. a different elevation.

When getting a solid ID on plants knowing your elevation and general location is very helpful.

That being said this thread seems to not be focused on surviving a winter. There is less edible food in the winter compared to berry season.

Before that of course you need safe water.

One major tip I can give you is that the growing “season” is different at different elevations, so if you are high altitude and it isn’t berry season yet go down in altitude, berry season over? head towards the mountains. You can go forward and backwards “time” or “time travel” through the seasons this way.
 
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A easy way to find what's edible in your area is to find out which native tribes lived there and then do some research on what their diet consisted of. A lot of different tribes history before and after the white man has been documented, oral history into words, university studies, etc, etc. Interesting reading if you do a little searching.
 
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One major tip I can give you is that the growing “season” is different at different elevations, so if you are high altitude and it isn’t berry season yet go down in altitude, berry season over? head towards the mountains. You can go forward and backwards “time” or “time travel” through the seasons this way.
Yes - I see differences in what is growing/blooming all the time between my elevation (900') and what is growing/etc. in the valley. I lag by about 2weeks+ in the spring and throughout rest of the season until it gets hot, but I don't need irrigation most of the year, although that is changing as the years get hotter.
 
Maritime Oregon and Washington have few edible native plants that produce starchy tubers compared with other areas. Mainly camas and wapato. There were berries in season. Mushrooms in season. Acorns. OTOH, they had rich harvests of multiple salmon species, steelhead, and other fishes. And rich harvests of deer and elk. There was no formal agriculture. However, much of the maritime NW was deliberately burned by the Indians every fall. Especially Willamette Valley. This kept the land largely passible and gave a mixed stand forest and wetlands that supported much more game than an old growth forest does. Fall buring also selects for and supports the camas wetlands. Camas has dried down and is dormant during the fall buring. Meat and fish were a much bigger part of the diet compared to other places. But humans need some plant food too. And the Indians native to the maritime NW went to ridiculous lengths to forage for and prepare what few plant foods they had.

Camas, for example is a perennial wetland plant. The tubers are up to a couple inches across. However, the starch is inulin which people can't digest. (Some say people can digest shorter chain inulins. I'm not convinced.) The Indians prepared the camas tubers by steaming the roots in underground fire pits for DAYS. Then they dried the roots, pounded them into a powder, and baked them into cakes. The cakes were slabs that were actually a candy. What apparently happened is the starch (inulin) would break down into sugars by itself with all this processing. So if you prepared camas that way you could make a long storing candy. Camas cakes were one of the main items prepared by Kalipuya Indians of mid Willamette Valley and taken to the annual trade fairs on the Columbia River and traded for dry salmon and other goods.

Acorns were another important plant food in the NW and California. They have a lot of tannin in them. They are shelled, submerged in running water for days to leach out the tannins, dried, ground, then baked in cakes. Bland tasting cakes, from what I have heard.

The native edible berries are mostly pretty unthrilling too. The "wild" blackberries are an exception. They are both delicious and very productive. However they are actually an import escapee, not native.

When the Lewis and Clark expedition reached the NW they were living largely on dried salmon and game. They mostly had chronic diarrhea and severe indigestion from the lack of plant foods. Early European settlers were desperate to start gardens. They did so, bringing all sorts of fruit trees as well as cabbage and many other vegetables.

When it comes to foraging in the maritime NW, the best pickings are actually feral versions of non native species such as apples, pears, plums, cherries, blackberries, and edible European weeds such as lambs quarters, chick weed, dandelions, "wild" fennel, and "wild" radish.
 
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Thanks for the posts everyone.

Please post pictures if able to. Of the plants in there multiple stages of life if able, and the parts that can be eaten or used. With that information, I feel that this thread can become a very useful resource.

Also, this thread was in hopes to educate on FARMED crops. Those that the PNW farmers cultivate in mass. That you likely drive by daily. There are plenty of threads here already about foods that can be foraged. Not much about farmed drops.
 
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I suggest eating some of the items you identify as potential food sources.

A few years ago, we picked a mess of organic dandelion leaves and sorted them into two batches (small-young and big-old), and then we made a salad with tomatoes and cucumbers and carrots and croutons, and then we all 5 tried it.
Nope.
Dandelions do not make good salad. Nobody would eat it.

Several years before that, my brother and I tried to get some water and food out of prickly pear cactus by burning the thorns off it and squashing it through a sieve. Nope. Not enough water or pulp-food to help anyone for any length of time, and nasty to boot.

Stick with food crops. :D
 
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I suggest eating some of the items you identify as potential food sources.

A few years ago, we picked a mess of organic dandelion leaves and sorted them into two batches (small-young and big-old), and then we made a salad with tomatoes and cucumbers and carrots and croutons, and then we all 5 tried it.
Nope.
Dandelions do not make good salad. Nobody would eat it.

Several years before that, my brother and I tried to get some water and food out of prickly pear cactus by burning the thorns off it and squashing it through a sieve. Nope. Not enough water or pulp-food to help anyone for any length of time, and nasty to boot.

Stick with food crops. :D
Some is what I'd call "adjusted pallet" and some is knowing when to eat what you find or process. Dandelion should be eaten with the youngest leaves (so I"ve read) because it contains the least of the bitter taste. I've had some leaves in mixed salads and even then I do find it somewhat bitter but not to what I'd consider inedible remotely. If you can enjoy an IPA, you can eat a salad supplemented with dandelion.

A good example that comes to mind is typical herbs and spices like thyme and oregano. If you grow them in your garden and harvest them too late they aren't quite up to snuff and have an "off" taste, especially if it is beginning to flower.

But I wouldn't eat a salad of strictly any single green. You get the best and worst of the elements. But I am spoiled and whenever I eat my forgeables I can still doctor them up with butter, salt and whatever spices I have on hand.
 
Some is what I'd call "adjusted pallet" and some is knowing when to eat what you find or process. Dandelion should be eaten with the youngest leaves (so I"ve read) because it contains the least of the bitter taste. I've had some leaves in mixed salads and even then I do find it somewhat bitter but not to what I'd consider inedible remotely. If you can enjoy an IPA, you can eat a salad supplemented with dandelion.

A good example that comes to mind is typical herbs and spices like thyme and oregano. If you grow them in your garden and harvest them too late they aren't quite up to snuff and have an "off" taste, especially if it is beginning to flower.

But I wouldn't eat a salad of strictly any single green. You get the best and worst of the elements. But I am spoiled and whenever I eat my forgeables I can still doctor them up with butter, salt and whatever spices I have on hand.

Exactly! Many of the foraged food sources listed here (Salal and Oregon Grape come to mind from personal experience!) are not something you are going to entirely replace your current diet with. However, in a survival situation especially, it is good to know that it can be eaten and sustain you in the absence of your "typical" food.

This thread is shaping up to be an excellent resource!
 
I suggest eating some of the items you identify as potential food sources.

A few years ago, we picked a mess of organic dandelion leaves and sorted them into two batches (small-young and big-old), and then we made a salad with tomatoes and cucumbers and carrots and croutons, and then we all 5 tried it.
Nope.
Dandelions do not make good salad. Nobody would eat it.

Several years before that, my brother and I tried to get some water and food out of prickly pear cactus by burning the thorns off it and squashing it through a sieve. Nope. Not enough water or pulp-food to help anyone for any length of time, and nasty to boot.

Stick with food crops. :D
I have eaten the wild greens crops I mentioned many times. I even encouraged dandelions in the lawn before I had ducks. But ducks eat the whole plants, including the top of the root too, killing them. Ducks love dandies. I eat quite a lot lambs quarters because they are a common garden weed. And one place I lived in Corvallis had an empty lot behind that was almost solid Chick weed. I ate many pounds of it that winter.

Dandelions are a cooking green. Not to be eaten raw in my opinion.. They have a bitter latex juice. You pick only young freshly grown leaves, not ones that reached full size days ago. The older leaves have much more of the bitter juice. One is told to pick leaves only before plants start flowering in spring and to cook them in several changes of water. In the mild maritme NW ive foundThe former can be cheated on, and the latter is unnecessary if you do it my way. My way is to focus on plants that are mostly shadeD. These produce much bigger leaves with more broad leaves, so each plant and leaf provides more food. Second, these shaded plants produce less latex. I just drop the young leaves into soups and stews and skip all the cooking in multiple changes of water. But young leaves only. Third, if plants are in full sun, even young leaves are too bitter to eat the way i Eat them after the plants start flowering. if the plants are shaded you can continue harvesting the young leaves for a few weeks after the plants start to flower. Dandy leaves are a spring crop only though. By late spring they produce too much bitter latex for any of the leaves for be palatable. Every edible plant, domesticated, wild, or feral, has only certain parts you eat that are harvested at the right stage and prepared particular ways.
 
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This thread is shaping up to be an excellent resource!
He did specify he'd like to focus on "farmed" crops, and as such, I'll honour that and try to step off the gas on forageables.

I like the cut of his jib, and if I knew more I'd offer more. Unfortunately, I'm a consumer with hobbies that occasionally feed me and mine. The moment I find someone I trust who will teach me to hunt with what I have access to, I'll pick that up in a heartbeat. I've already developed a curious palate for squirrel
 
The best way to learn what NW food crops look like in the field is to visit some gardeners and ask them what everything is. And then watch as the plants develop. Photos don't really convey much.
 
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The best way to learn what NW food crops look like in the field is to visit some gardeners and ask them what everything is. And then watch as the plants develop. Photos don't really convey much.
As someone who is almost exclusively self taught, save an old timer here and there, pictures are a monstrous boon. The better the variety, the better I can be sure to boot.

Beating a horse to death on this thread, I like to mushroom hunt, and pictures are nominally how I identify, coupled with intrinsic details such as spore print and growing specifications. I won't misidentify if it "grows exclusively under conifers" and I find it under a shrub. Don't knock the pics, man. Especially in this day and age where phones are on par with a lot of decent cameras. Get a variety, that is the key.
 
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I suggest eating some of the items you identify as potential food sources.

A few years ago, we picked a mess of organic dandelion leaves and sorted them into two batches (small-young and big-old), and then we made a salad with tomatoes and cucumbers and carrots and croutons, and then we all 5 tried it.
Nope.
Dandelions do not make good salad. Nobody would eat it.

Several years before that, my brother and I tried to get some water and food out of prickly pear cactus by burning the thorns off it and squashing it through a sieve. Nope. Not enough water or pulp-food to help anyone for any length of time, and nasty to boot.

Stick with food crops. :D
My mom used to make kimchee with dandelion roots and leaves. Its a favorite with Koreans. Another plant which is pretty much sought after by Koreans is bracken fern shoots. Before the branches develop, cut the shoot and set it out to dry. It turns brown. Spread sesame seeds over it and eat. It has the consistency and taste like spinach.

If you see hordes of Koreans attacking a beach, they are harvesting kelp. Its very common type with the large bulb at one end. The kelp is dried and used in soup.
 

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