Friday, December 26, 2014

Eastern White Pine

Eastern White Pine
Pinus strobus
I think it's always good to learn about wild edibles, never knowing when you'll have to fend for yourself. White Pine trees have been planted all over the place and so when someone told me they were edible, I thought I'd give it a try.  Basically all you do is boil the needles to make some tea.  It didn't really fill me up, but it was a pleasant tasting tea packed full of vitamins A and C.  Feeling healthy and proud of myself, I cooked up a bacon-wrapped pork loin to go with it. :-)

Eastern White Pine is only native to the very northwest part of the state and was not too common. However, it has been planted extensively all over the state, pushed by the Soil Conservation Service and then the Soil & Water Conservation Districts in the state as great trees for wind breaks and re-foresting areas.  There are jillions of them all over the place now.

They're not hard to identify, the needles in groups of five, softer feeling to the grasp than other pine species.

Needles in whorls of five
Some of the needles turn yellow and fall off every year

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