halifaxearthtech: photo by Marlene Thyssen (Water)
Yesterday I went to Cow Bay with the intention of gathering on Rainbow Haven beach but wound up instead discovering Silver Sands beach. I was there at about dusk and didn't stay long. The tide was fully in and the place was deserted.

I found some shells of Jonah crabs, surf clams and blue mussels, and took home some bullrush roots. I gathered carageenan seaweed but lost track of my little pile of them and since I have plenty at home I did not gather more.

The sprouts I've peeled and steamed. The outer leaf layers were fibrous and inedible but the core was sweet, potato-like and delicious. It was a bit fishy too but these were saltmarsh cattails.

The roots I also peeled and rinsed in cold water. I cut the roots crosswize but this was not helpful ultimately. The starch really does rinse directly into the water and the fibers dissolve out. Cutting the roots just made for more little pieces to keep track of.

The water is strained and allowed to settle. Besides starch, the water has dissolved out lots of stringy, slimy polysaccharides, and in a survival situation could also be eaten, or fermented ;) ;) ;)

I've dried out the starch on the stovetop because air-drying I think would cause it to go moldy. I think rendering starch for flour would be a waste of time and fuel. However it can be boiled down to a nourishing pudding-like substance that tastes sweet and breadlike and would probably make good papier mache. The yield was 1 part starch starting from 2 parts root, which for a wild food is pretty good. Cattails hold promise, at least until you can grow a first crop of wheat.

As a biscuit. It looks very gluten-free.

I rinsed some dulse in tapwater and am drying it in the oven and I will see how that goes.


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May 2017

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