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Step 1: Bristly Greenbrier

Bristly Greenbrier is a common woody vine here in the Midwest. Ernie claims that these wild plants are also readily found in his homeland of Laos. Habitats include moist woodlands, openings in wooded areas, woodland borders, thickets, and stream banks. Stems are covered with weak, bristle-like prickles that turn distinctively black with age. Their young leaves, shoots and tendrils are edible and make tasty additions to salads and other vegetable blends.

Step 2: Pick young upper leaves

We just pinched off the young, upper leaves and tendrils for the dish we were preparing.

Step 3: Solomons Seal

Typically found in areas that are moist to slightly dry deciduous woodlands, shady seeps, young flatwoods, woodland borders, or fencerows that are overgrown with shrubs or trees. It is edible and medicinal. The young shoots are an excellent vegetable when boiled and eaten like asparagus, for example.

Step 4: Harvest Young Top Portion

As with the Bristly Greenbrier, we just snapped off the young, upper portion of the plant.

Step 5: Maple Seeds

That overflowing lot of seeds on your maple trees are edible. They can be eaten cooked, raw or dried...a lot of people like to toss them into their salads. They are best harvested in the spring while they're young, green and tender. The smaller they are, the sweeter. The bigger and older, the more bitter they get but can still be eaten. Simply run your hand down the branch and gather by the bunch.

Step 6: Burning Bush (Wahoo)

Ernie brought with him the young, tender top leaves off the burning bush plants growing in his brother's yard. You will see a lot of non-edible lists that have Burning Bush on them warning people not to eat, so always use your discretion or substitute any of the other more common wild edibles. Note that we harvested the young, upper tender leaves very early in the spring, combined a sensible portion with other greens and they were cooked before eaten. It's also important to note that Ernie's family has been eating these wild edibles for years and shared their recipe accordingly. Burning Bush was once widely used as an herbal remedy. An infusion of the leaves is used as a tea substitute and is a good digestive. A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh leaves.. It is used in the treatment of female complaints and constipation.

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