Monday, July 14, 2008
CATTAILS...I GOT LOTS OF CATTAILS
I started not to put this pic on, or you might think I never cut my grass, but this is on the backside of our property and it is always a little wet back there. I have Bamboo and cattails growing together happily. I just found out they are edible. That is good to know with prices going higher and higher for food. Who knows? They might keep us from starving some day but if they don't, they sure are great little plants to grow. I love every stage of their growth. Here is what Wiki has to say about them:
"Cattail has a wide variety of parts that are edible to humans. The rhizomes are a pleasant, nutritious and energy-rich food source, generally harvested from late Fall to early Spring. These are starchy, but also fibrous, so the starch must be scraped or sucked from the tough fibers. In addition to the rhizomes, cattails have little-known, underground, lateral stems that are quite tasty. In late spring, the bases of the leaves, while they are young and tender, can be eaten raw or cooked. As the flower spike is developing in early summer, it can be broken off and eaten, and in mid-summer, once the flowers are mature, the pollen can be collected and used as a flour supplement or thickener".
So, while you are laying in those emergency supplies for hard times. why not plant these and enjoy their looks now and eat them later. : ) or you might want to use them as stuffing...no, not to eat,, for a pillow or vest or baby pack..
The disintegrating heads are used by some birds to line their nests. The downy material was also used by Native Americans as tinder for starting fires.
Native American tribes also used cattail down to line moccasins and papoose boards. An Indian name for cattail meant, “fruit for papoose’s bed”. Today some people still use cattail down to stuff clothing items and pillows.
The down has also been used to fill life vests in the same manner as kapok.
If using the cattail for pillow stuffing you may be wise to use thick batting material, as the fluff may cause a reaction similar to hives and will be very itchy.
Now how is that for a plant that earns its keep? A soft place to lay your weary head and ......A supermarket on a stick!