How to Eat a Pine Tree - #SolutionsWatch

01/25/202259 Comments

Michael Hoffman of Food Forest Montana joins us today to introduce us to the concept of food forests by teaching us . . . how to eat a pine tree? Learn about the abundance growing right under your nose in this edition of #SolutionsWatch.

Watch on Archive / BitChute / Minds / Odysee or Download the mp4

SHOW NOTES:

Food Forest Montana

Food Forest Abundance (use Michael's discount code if you order a service)

Michael Hoffman on Declare Your Independence

Creating Abundance In Your Backyard - Jim Gale On The Highwire

I Am A Sustainable Free Trade Globalist

Filed in: Solutions Watch
Tagged with:

Comments (59)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Duck says:

    That was really nice to watch and I will def check this guy out.

    just to reiterate for anyone cutting pine bark NEVER GIRDLE ATREE which means do not cut all the way 360 degrees around the tree trunk because the tree needs at least some uninterrupted route to transport nutrients to the top…. take strips that do not girdle the tree.

    If you girdle a tree it will generally die and not be useful next time.

    https://www.thespruce.com/what-does-girdling-a-tree-mean-2131055

    • lekp says:

      I was going to write the same thing after seeing the video. 👍

    • Aodh says:

      Hi Duck, girdling is a different term for what I knew as “Ring- Barking” and one I learned from a former ( thence reformed, and since deceased) Aussie cattle man. They would ring bark the huge existing, shade casting trees to kill them off and make way for grazing. The dead trees would stand petrifying for decades and eventually come crashing down, inevitably as a result of, and during a bush fire, as happened to me…quite a bang! Thankfully not on my cabin in that instance.

      • Duck says:

        Aodh
        Thanks, that’s interesting to know. I had no idea they cleared land like that in Australia…. it sounds like a good way to turn land into a desert since I bet those lg big trees pumped water up from deep underground and respired it into the air

    • Gavinm says:

      @Duck

      I appreciate you taking on the role of the Lorax and speaking for the trees here 🙂

      Are you familiar with the concept of “The Honorable Harvest”? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDAPis_GA_s

      And since you are taking on the role of the Lorax, I also feel compelled to ask if you have read “To Speak for the Trees” by Diana Beresford-Kroeger? https://www.penguinrandomhouse.ca/books/575305/to-speak-for-the-trees-by-diana-beresford-kroeger/9780735275072

      Thanks again for caring about our photosynthetic elders enough to ask that people exercise restraint and show respect when foraging.

  2. Facundo Merciadri says:

    Pine cake?! I’ve been living in Sweden for almost 5 years and have never heard of it. I’ll investigate more.

    Here we eat the pine sprouts in spring and also make tea. The citrus flavor is strong and fresh.
    Another good tea can also be made with the leaves of bjork and I know some people make a soap out of the same leaves.

    Thanks for this Solutions Watch episode, James. It was a good reminder of the abundance of food in the forest.

    Hope you can do one episode about housing (i.e. Super-adobe)
    Here’s a documentary I like about it:

    https://youtu.be/o0gkUIUT5hI

  3. Duck says:

    This is a good video, but anyone wanting to do something right now for cheap should buy some sprouting lids (perforated screw tops) and some jars. I use the wide mouth canning jar and lid off Amazon (yeah… I know) and then sprout seeds for healthy salad greens that take no storage space since they are in the seed… buy dedicated sprouting seed so you know it’s not treated with chemical
    I never had much luck with beans TBH alfalfa and other stuff works easier.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DHp45rZQ_IM

  4. Fact Checker says:

    This week on Solutions Watch: an easy Five-Step program to independence and abundance:

    1.) Have idea to go off grid
    2.) Look into sustainable models
    3.) Move to New Mexico
    4.) ???
    5.) Somehow wind up with 11 acres in Montana eating a pine tree!

    Start today!

    • Duck says:

      Yes… if you lack drive, insight and ability it is totally impossible to become independent.

      You can buy 11 acres of land with your paper round money if you will buy land that is uncomfortable to live on and hard to get to. What you can not do is easily get off grid and live as easy as you do now.

    • Zzzap says:

      FACTChecker:

      Hilarious!

      L O L! & STILL GROCERY STORES ARE SPARSE!

      Its the 21st century and I was sold ‘The Jetson’s’ cartoons growing up, instead, I’m waiting for an episode where I learn how to turn feces into steak.

      Maybe explore and find more land – explore flat earth?

      Please note: we have also trained our bodies to reject the food that earth provides us. Some poor souls who have a hard time digesting gluten will have a very difficult time eating what the earth provides.

      • Duck says:

        If you are gluten intolerant but have not been tested and are just going off the effects it has you may want to try some hipster super organic brand of flour since I know a couple of people who only get the bad effect when they eat regular flour so we suspect it’s pesticides.

        • s511 says:

          I buy 5 gallon buckets of Einkorn wheat at Azure Standard. Grind the wheat manually and bake.
          “Einkorn has a much higher protein content (30% more than modern wheat) and less starch (15% less than modern wheat), along with a higher concentration of minerals and flavor. … The difference is the gluten structure (in einkorn) is weak, making it remarkably different than our modern wheat.”

      • anniees says:

        I’m gluten intolerant and what the Earth provides is 95% of my food intake. I don’t understand why you would think that everything made by Mother Earth contains gluten….

  5. HomeRemedySupply says:

    Entrepreneurial Endeavors – Pine Pollen

    I was about 5 or 6 years old when my younger brother and I tried to sell a handful of pretty rocks (pebbles) and some crumpled bubblegum baseball trading cards from the front porch of our house to passersby. We kept our treasures in an old Velveeta Cheese Box.
    That 10 minute enterprise in the hot west Texas summer sun didn’t bring in any revenue. The car and the bicycle rider who passed by did not stop and walk up to the porch to ask what we were doing there. We had no signs. However, one time I did yell “Pretty rocks for sale!”

    Regardless, I have always had a bailiwick towards trying entrepreneurial endeavors. I’ve tried well over a hundred business ideas with most of them flops. But some turned out well.

    In my area of Texas, there aren’t many pine trees because the climate doesn’t suit them. However, pine trees are prolific in east Texas, where I once lived.
    Anyone who lives near pine forests can tell you about the pine pollen season. Daily, the cars become coated with a dusty layer of pollen.
    There are ways to harvest that pollen.
    Personally, I like the taste.

    I’ve always thought that this might be a nice little money making gig on the side if I still lived in the Piney Woods of Texas.

    Pine Pollen Benefits
    https://wildkingdomextracts.com/blogs/mushroom-education/the-top-5-health-benefits-of-pine-pollen-extract

    Pine Pollen Marketing has a magic keyword: testosterone
    That magic keyword is certain to attract and interest a segment of the male population.

    EXCERPT from the website:
    According to laboratory studies, pine pollen contains:
    Amino Acids, DHEA, Brassinosteroids, Gibberellins, Phenylalanine, Polysaccharides, Testosterone, Tyrosin, Vitamins B & E

    [I am not promoting that particular website…I just grabbed that one. There are other websites and studies out there.]

    • lekp says:

      Of you don’t have pines, maple leaves are also edible.

    • artemis says:

      I was wondering myself, why he left off pine pollen….I am in Washington state…LOTS of pine. The pollen is SO medicinal, i have harvested it and used it myself to excellent effect… Got rid of my hot flashes…Pine pollen is a Golden treasure. Especially if you are older…shame not to mention it. It is even Good tastin.

    • klhop777 says:

      I also grew up in the Piney Woods of East Texas and moved South to Houston area and my property had 18 Pine trees that unfortunately I had removed. I really enjoyed this segment and had no idea of a Pine trees usefulness! When Hurricane Rita dropped a huge Pine tree on my house and destroyed it, which I barely escaped, my love of these majestic creatures waned. The Pine trees I know about have one long tap root that keeps them grounded. I would suggest not having them near your dwelling if you live in ‘hurricane land’. I had named this very large Pine tree ‘Big ‘un’ and while I loved the shade it provided, I was unaware I could have eaten it! Maybe I should have…haha. I now live in Central Texas surrounded by Cedar trees. Once again James is on his game with these Solutions and I am grateful for all of them! I think I will pass on the Pine tree solutions personally…just be aware they do not have the added stability of lots of roots to keep them grounded in high winds.

      • HomeRemedySupply says:

        The other week when in the grocery store I was chatting with a spry old petite lady of around age 80 or more. I helped her get a jug of distilled water from a top shelf. She uses it to rinse her nose from the Cedar pollen.
        With the recent winds and a dry spell, the Cedar Tree pollen is playing havock with many people in Texas.

        I’m old enough to remember the stories which I heard from my elders when I was younger. The Cedar Tree stories and the Texas language which came from it. Or, how as a kid, the guy hid in a Cedar bunch when the revenuers were breaking up the family’s hidden still.

        This is a good read…
        Texas Cedar Choppers
        “Meet the Unruly Clan That Once Ruled the Hill Country”
        Living hard and free, cedar choppers clashed with respectable townsfolk in the mid-20th century.

        https://www.texasmonthly.com/being-texan/cedar-choppers-once-ruled-texas-hill-country/

        An aside: The above article is in the iconic Texas Monthly magazine. To the publication’s credit, over a decade ago they were very cooperative and accommodating when I wanted to place a “9/11 Truth” ad. We were having a big 9/11 Truth event in North Texas, and at a token cost they gave us some great exposure.
        Circa 2009, shortly after the event is this descriptive: –On July 11th, from hundreds of miles away, six architects and engineers came to the Dallas area to help rally support for an all day 9/11 Truth Event.
        Entitled “WHAT YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO KNOW ABOUT 9/11: Building 7 – Gone in 7”, this Building 7 Symposium took place at a conference center in the Dallas suburb of Plano, Texas and was sponsored by members of “North Texans for 9/11 Truth”….

  6. Jed says:

    Great episode, very informative. I live in a wood house, keep it warm with wood, but didn’t know that wood is edible and nutritious as well. I’ve had pine needle tea brewed by a survivalist friend, it tasted like sour owl piss, but in all fairness maybe it was, I didn’t see him wash it. I didn’t know about the nutrition in that sub-bark layer. Michael Hoffman does a great job delivering this knowledge, he’s upbeat and to the point.
    It was nice to spend some time out in the Montana woods away from the usual dystopian Bill Gates of hell world. Speaking of survival food and Bill Gates, I wonder if he’d feed a family of five, and for how long? How would he best be prepared? Most likely ground up, put in a sauce. You’d eat him if you were starving, maybe could be delicious as taco meat, in the crunchy shells with three cheeses and hot sauce. Now Soros could be smoked, you could carve slices off that fat wrinkled bag for a whole winter — everything smoked tastes ok. Biden? I don’t know, maybe if prepared and cooked like chitlins, which are intestinal tracks filled with you-know-what. I think they’re breaded and deep fried. Bon appetitè

  7. padraig says:

    ive tried cambium a couple times while camping with forager types and it is not great. sorry. I’ve heard frying it makes it slightly more edible though I’ve not tried it prepared that way. i suspect drinking the oil/butter straight might be better…..gag. not a terrible idea to learn how to find/harvest it…. but i’ll be pretty much toasted before i’ll be able to choke that stuff down. the pine and/or the spruce tea are great. i drink it every evening whilst canoeing. highly recommended.
    some great ideas tho. thx.

    peace

  8. HomeRemedySupply says:

    Michael Hoffman mentions terpenes (7:30 mark), tree bark, cuttings and other things about the Food and Health Forest.

    While probably a lot of readers already know this, I’ll toss out a few tidbits…

    Many plants contain terpenes and volatile aromatic chemicals.
    Forest bathing is a thing and the naturally occurring terpene chemicals play a role.
    We’ve all heard of turpentine. Pinene is a terpene. Pine oil is a natural deodorizing disinfectant and a chemist capitalized on it with the synthetic product Pine-Sol.

    Gin is made with Juniper berries.
    Personally, I very often use the terpene called limonene (d-limonene), or commonly known as orange oil. I use it to kill bugs, remove gummy substances or to clean with (not on acrylics which will melt), and to freshen the air. It smells like oranges. It is also sold as a supplement because of the health benefits.

    Underneath different types of trees, a person may notice that there is not much other plant growth.
    This is something to take note of if a person is planning long-term.
    For example, the pine needle drop beneath the canopy with their attendant chemicals can inhibit other plant growth.
    Oaks with their acorns can do the same thing. Acorns contain a lot of tannins which will wash out into the soil following rains and thus inhibit plant growth. I’ve wasted a fair amount of money and time putting down sod grass below Oak trees.

    The barks from different varieties of trees can have herbal health benefits. Most people have heard of Willow bark (an aspirin like quality), but other barks such as pine, oak, catuaba, cinnamon, magnolia and others have been used for health benefits.
    Steve Smith and I talked about Olive Tree leaves the other week. https://www.corbettreport.com/holidayopenthread/#comment-126762

    Michael Hoffman mentioned “cuttings”.
    I don’t like spending time on maintenance. Here is what I’ve done with success. I spotted a Mulberry tree in a vacant lot 2-3 years ago. I cut off a variety of thin twig like branches. I put the small branches in about 5 pots of soil, with perhaps 3 or 4 twigs to a pot. I watered the pots. I took a clear empty one gallon water jug and cut off one end. I used this to make a “greenhouse” and weighted the top. I now have two 4-5 foot trees which I need to transplant.

    • HomeRemedySupply says:

      TERPENES are a large and diverse class of organic compounds produced by a variety of plants. Terpenes are what give each flower, herb and fruit its own unique scent and flavor…
      …There are more than 20,000 terpenes in existence…

      …some natural sources of alpha-pinene include pine trees, other coniferous trees, eucalyptus, sage, rosemary, frankincense and ironwort…

      …Our terpenes are extracted via steam, expression, or vacuum distillation methods and fractionally purified…
      …Using Terpenes…A little at a time – Terpenes can be added to aromatherapy blends, diffusers, lotions, edibles, tinctures, cocktails, homemade cleaners, bug repellents, plant extracts, etc…

      …It might surprise you to know that terpenes are used in the development of food flavorings, incense, cosmetic products, organic gardening products, household cleaners, natural medicines, and perfumes….

      Shop by Prominent Terpene, 100% Natural Terpenes, Terpene Effect or Terpene Flavor
      https://trueterpenes.com/
      True Terpenes

  9. mkey says:

    Here’s what Mrs. Doubpfizer twatted about vaccines.

    https://imgur.com/gy98eI3

  10. lekp says:

    Pine needles contain suramin that Dr. Judy Mikovitz said is good for helping with autism. Also saw a cute story recently of a Chinese lady that collects maple leaves every fall and sells them tempura at a little cook stand she has. Even gave the recipe.
    I began my food forest a few years ago. I was surprised at how many perennial vegetables actually exist. Then mentally go around your yard to check the plants you already have to see if they’re edible, such as roses, day lilies, hostas, maple trees, etc.

  11. lekp says:

    One more suggestion. If you want a fruit or nut tree that isn’t self-fertile, still the first year just buy one. You never know if someone else in the area has a pollinator for it. And most of the nut trees will produce a smaller amount with just one tree. I was also thrilled last year when I found a self-pollinating almond tree. I think it was called “All-in-One”.

  12. alexb says:

    I’ve never thought about foraging pine but will certainly give this a go. There are many edible plants that occur naturally and I’m looking forward to late March / April, when the wild garlic comes out.

    You have to be careful when foraging and if you’re not 100% certain of whether a plant / fungus is edible, it’s better to leave them alone. Having said that, if you take the time to research edible plants / fungus you can mitigate a lot of risk by targeting easily identifiable varities, for example boletes. Fungus and plants do vary from location to location, rules that keep you safe in the UK and Europe might not apply in the US or Asia.

    Two sites I have found really useful for foraging:
    https://www.wildfooduk.com (UK)

    https://learnyourland.com (Although Adam is based in US, watching some of his videos helped me safely identify common fungus here in the UK. For example the honey fungus, turkey tails and grey oyster mushrroms)

    • cu.h.j says:

      Good advice. If you’re not 100% sure, don’t eat it. People have destroyed their livers eating poisonous mushrooms.

      I took care of a patient who took some herbs she got from a Chinese medicine practitioner (this is what she told us anyway) and ended up needing a liver transplant. She got one because she would have died without it. But any herb or plant that a person does not trust, should not consume.

      Thanks for the link. I would like to be able to able to identify mushrooms in particular.

      • alexb says:

        You’re welcome, happy to be able to share them and my limited knowledge of foraging. I find foraging certainly adds to enjoying nature – it makes walking more fun.

        There are fungus here in the UK, like the destroying angel, that if you ate there is nothing anyone could do for you which is why you need to be very careful. Having said that, as long as you do your research for your location, you can target fungus which can be nothing else.

        For example the bolete family of fungus is a safe bet in the UK as there are no deadly boletes – some horribe stomach upsetting ones though but also many gourmet mushrooms like the porcini mushroom, in this family. The boletes have sponge like pores under the cap – nothing else does. The hedgehog fungus has firm flesh and tooth like spikes under the cap – nothing else does. If you do the research for your location bearing in mind the above is only applicable for the UK, you can safely enjoy free fungus.

        Some areas are lucky enough to have foraging clubs which have experienced foragers that can help impart their knowledge and keep you safe.

        Happy foraging

  13. yanm says:

    Hi folks !
    Being a professional arborist and permaculture fan, I would like to add this. 1st, cambium seems to gain in popularity. People shall know that when bark is removed on a tree, it becomes an opening for pathogens, especially on leaves trees (angiosperms). This will produce on mid to long term the tree to decay and perish if it can’t close the wound. Removing / harvesting cambium without having this in mind can be very harmful to a tree or forest. Also like Duck mentioned in previous comments, girdle (removal of bark on a 360 degree periphery will kill the tree. It’s like cutting the main artery of your heart.

    One should be able to clearly identify the tree he’s harvesting from. For example Yew (Taxus in latin which is the proper identification in botanic) which as been mentioned is highly toxic on some parts like needles, even though it’s fruits and other parts contain the most anti-cancer molecule called taxol. I would not eat those. Bottom line is: Know what you’re doing.

    As for nitrogen fixers mentioned, all the Locust family is. (Gleditsia, Gymnocladus, Robinia pseudoacacia)
    Remember that trees are living things and are precious.
    Cheers !

    • alexb says:

      Totally agree, you have to respect trees and other plants and try not to negatively impact upon them by causing tree death or over picking plants / fungus so that they do not return.

      Another thing worth mentioning about yew trees – you shouldn’t eat any fungus growing near their roots or on them (chicken of the woods) because they can take up the yew’s toxins. The flesh of the yew berry is said to be edible and delicious but the pips are poisonous.

      Cheers

  14. Steve Smith says:

    What a pleasant fellow and interview. And a subject very much a part of my daily life.
    I was taken aback at the cost of converting a suburban plot into a food forest but I am constantly underestimating how much money most people have these days.
    Fortunately, you can avoid much of that cost by doing a lot of work and having lots of patience. You just don’t get instant results and things might be a little rougher around the edges.
    But I like it that way.

    One thing that I have come to believe is that there is never a need to buy fertilizer or mulch if you treat your land the same way that nature treats the land.
    There isn’t anything that the land produces that I consider waste. Therefore everything that grows here stays here. One way or the other. Compost, worms, bio-char or simply chop and drop. When I have to deal with big limbs then I make Hugelmounds.
    Supplemented by animal byproducts like chicken manure and worm castings and the energy from the sun. I figure that the soil can only get better. As long as its not poisoned by chemicals.

    I have been in this house for almost seven years and when we moved in, we had almost all of the trees removed. Mostly because they were non fruit bearing and many were planted too close to the foundation or were weak and dangerous. We did keep the big live oak in the front though. It gives me free bee colonies every spring.
    So I almost had a blank slate to begin with.

    Today I have two mangoes that produce more than I can consume. An avocado that started producing last year. A star fruit that produces almost year round. That one is located above the chicken run. They eat everything that I don’t. There’s lemons, tangerine, figs, coconut, olive, lychee. loquat, macadamia, kratom, moringa, date, Concord grape and bananas. There’s dragon fruit, pineapples, papayas, perennial spinach, sweet potatoes, oregano, peppermint, chives and turmeric. Plus all the annual stuff.
    My wife keeps telling me that I don’t have any room for more trees. I keep surprising her.

    I agree with Duck about the sprouts too. Good advice.
    I was growing sprouts and making my own yogurt thirty years ago when I was sailing. I still keep jars and seeds on hand.

  15. nc says:

    Producing your own food, that’s mighty. A good solution. This permaculture method is one way, but not the only way; €20k, no, no, no, no, no. Go and start growing anthing, in any manner that grows food. Put foot to sod.

    Check out David the Good fir example; hes not a radical fanatic for any one method and just grows food for him and his 10 kids the cheapest way possible; https://youtube.com/c/davidthegood
    https://www.thesurvivalgardener.com/

    Grocery row gardens, permy style, to single row old school farming crops.

    Want fruit trees, pluck the seeds from bought fruits and grow them. I have over 100, 1 year old seedlings like this growing around the place, apple, cherry, pear. Simple stuff on mass. It’s €25 to buy a potted fruit tree, €15 bare root if you can get it. Hazelnuts can’t be got here this year; but I have seedlings.

    Keep your conkers, and grow chestnut trees. Learn to prune and root. €10 per potted black current seedling in shops this year, I got 30 seedlings rooted and growing last year from trimmings, and they are easy.

    Grow spuds, and high calorie crops and roots. Get your beds started, a bit of every method gives you anti fragility.

    It’s very satisfying and enjoyable when you get into it, and cook meals from your garden to feed your family. Your becoming more independent and you learn new skills. Keep learning!

    Thanks

  16. Aodh says:

    This is the sort of thing that really enthuses me…foraging, self sufficiency, natural abundance. What a welcome blast of positivity.
    Much appreciated James and Michael.

  17. kimjam says:

    Foraging is great! Thanks for the pine tree talk. I make pine needle tea regularly and eat the needles as well as use them for mulch in the landscaping. Please look up how to make tea before you try. Michael also referenced rose hips. If you’re not careful, you end up racing to the bathroom. Don’t ask me how I know. Keep on learning.

  18. Octium says:

    I prefer the term self-sufficient over sustainability. Because self-sufficiency is selfish – IE it’s all for your own benefit so there is a strong motivation to succeed. You’re not trying to save a “planet” that doesn’t give a damn about you anyway (just ask anyone who has been buried under a volcanic eruption)

    Self sufficiency is about sourcing resources locally as much as possible, from an environmental point of view if you pollute or deplete your local resources you will have to resort to importing your needs ( so you will have failed at self-sufficiency)

    Any successful self-sufficiently plan will look after the environment anyway so we don’t need “sustainability”

  19. beaudarc says:

    off topic , but still.
    Some time ago James noted that what really changes things in the world is the right story. Get a particular idea infested in enough brains, and the world changes. That, I submit, is precisely what is occurring, real time, now, with of all things, the Canadian Trucker Convoy. Of course the way to infest brains is not generally through presentation of facts and information. That only works on a minority of people with brains so disposed.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDzHtBZO5wE
    This is actually from 2020, so the ideas have been fermenting awhile.

  20. Steve Smith says:

    SURVIVAL GARDENING WITH DAVID THE GOOD – ICE AGE FARMER BROADCAST (PART ONE)

    https://www.bitchute.com/video/5Caul0mPLNUu/

    I’d not heard of David the Good before. But he seems to be a very practical gardener with good advice.
    And ten kids! Wow.
    Pretty funny too.

  21. beaudarc says:

    Times like this I am so glad that I was a kid raised in the countryside by an old man that had this all sussed out 50 years ago. Independence he called it. I honestly didn’t eat a vegetable bought from a store until I was 20 and moved from home. Old man did his forty hours at factory, then at least another forty, growing garden, raising pigs and cows and feeding 7 kids with food grown, not bought. You don’t know what you had till it aint.

  22. rob.h says:

    Internet gold as usual. Keep the solutions coming!! Thanks for all your hard work!!

  23. DR says:

    Thank you James!!!
    This is what we all need to keep us inspired!

  24. anniees says:

    French-Canadian brewers still make pine and spruce beer here. Yummy and nutritious beer – gotta love it! Some with and some without alcohol. My dad hates it. My mother, who despises the idea of living on a farm or living of the land somehow, is the one who introduced me to this delightful beverage. I sometimes wonder about her.

    • Gavinm says:

      That is excellent! I imagine it is high in vitamins and shikimic acid. Medicinal brew, I think I shall try making a mead with pine needles or spruce tips next year 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration.

  25. Gavinm says:

    Thanks for this James. I believe that learning basic food forest design is extremely important in these times we are living in. Every one of us should take active steps to learn and apply concepts like forest gardening in our daily lives for a number of reasons.

    In our urban suburban yard in Southern Ontario we are using Malus Sieversii (wild apple), Asimina triloba (Paw Paw), Pinus strobus (Eastern White Pine, which we coppice annually due to limited space) and Amelanchier canadensis (Service Berry Tree) as the top level of our multi-layered mini-food forest.

    For anyone curious about the history of this form of food/medicine cultivation… food forests are ancient horticultural systems that were utilized by some Native American and First Nation peoples (as well as others on different continents). I feel these ways of cultivating food and medicine are extremely important especially now because they are ways of cultivating which can offer us an effective method to create resilient food/medicine production systems that are less likely to be raided by degenerates, mercenaries, government thugs or brainwashed soldiers as they are by the very nature of their design, ‘camouflaged’ to the untrained eye. We can augment ancient practices with modern science to optimize our food forest gardening endeavors. As Michael concisely stated, these “Food Forests” become permanent gardens that (as James commented) require very little (if any) work to keep alive and producing once they are established. These systems contain a wide spectrum of species suitable for harvesting food, medicine, building material and other important resources. The mature Food Forest, looks like it sounds, and so because the modern eye has been trained to see food production systems as big fields, many would not recognize what they were looking at if they saw it and would ignore the forest garden as ‘just another useless section of forest’ and move on.

    I will share links to a few examples below to living examples for those interested in learning more.

    https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/ancient-indigenous-forest-gardens-still-yield-bounty-150-years-later-study

    http://www.daviesand.com/Papers/Tree_Crops/Indian_Agroforestry/index.html

    https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/what-is-permaculture-food-forests?fbclid=IwAR0xQQGjfgvRgpI8BFw5YcYzJfRbiX1Ao7mv9z0KgQAQ2mK4J8gamh5C05A

    https://returntonow.net/2018/08/01/the-amazon-is-a-man-made-food-forest-researchers-discover/?fbclid=IwAR0-XsOZCldwRzlMG_mkBxxqqYAeZ90TAVEsO4nB-noboHGqX1TZS_nn0xo

    https://www.sdvforest.com/agroforestry/the-fascinating-story-of-human-made-forests?fbclid=IwAR3OVHhCywwzOiCSBMWyk6_Bdy_q-GRRN2N7-525iqdnYmc_BqtKeyu6Wz4

    https://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol26/iss2/art6/

    https://canadianfeedthechildren.ca/what/food-security-projects/indigenous-food-forests/

    (continued in another comment…)

    • Gavinm says:

      (..continued from above)

      When I talk about food forests or setting up regenerative gardens some people tell me they think that arming themselves and fortifying their position is more important because they feel that the descent into fascistic government oppression and collapses of major infrastructure are inevitable.

      So, lets say hypothetically (for the sake of argument) the worst case scenario happens (total overt totalitarian technocracy involving out in the open democide of dissidents and desperate starving hordes of people roaming around stealing other people’s stuff). Even if that were to come to pass my answer would be the same… because for me in that hypothetical situation the question becomes “How do I want to spend the time I have left on this Earth?”

      Do I want to spend the time I have been gifted to wield the weapons of man in violence?

      Or do I want to embody faith in that which the Creator of all things gave us (or for you atheists out there “do I want to use my one life to fight and kill, or give hope and food to my grandchildren) and plant the seeds of hope, love and abundance by working with my hands in the rich Earth?

      Investing some time in learning to defend one’s self, family and community against violent aggressors is a good idea, but I feel it should not be number one on our priority list if we want to gift a world worth living in to future generations.

      Therefore, I see creating regenerative gardens and food forests as a viable, honorable and practical path forward in these uncertain times. We can forge alliances with the more than human world through planting food forests and regenerative gardens all over, and in doing so provide not only for ourselves, but countless future generations in the process.

      If we cultivate food forests like the ancient peoples that lived in what is now called Canada, the US, Morocco (and many other places where indigenous peoples created similar permanent food production systems that blended with existing ecology) we are building up food security and doing so in a way that is essentially ‘invisible’ to the ignorant. These systems provide habitat for diverse wildlife, replenish the water table, stabilize the soil and feed humans at the same time. It is likely most roaming thugs would not be able to recognize a food forest if they saw one and even if armed thugs were to kill those that tend the food forest, history teaches us the food forests gain their own momentum and continue to live on and feed others for many generations.

      For anyone interested in beginning to cultivate a food forest/’forest garden’ I can share an excerpt from my soon to be published book which offers a list of ideal plant species for incorporating into a food forest (with separate lists of plants/trees that are specific to a range of different climates). Just reply to this comment or email me at my website if you are interested in learning more.

  26. Gavinm says:

    Oh and James you said you would appreciate some recipes for Pine trees and other conifers with edible parts in the comments (and that you were looking forward to learning more about the nutritional properties of these trees). I offer some recipe ideas and lots of info on the nutrition and medicinal compounds that are found in the needles and other parts of pine, spruce and fir trees in the following substack article:

    https://gavinmounsey.substack.com/p/an-encounter-with-an-ancient-healer

    Some of the recipe ideas I share in the article include:

    – Pine (or spruce) needle infused sauerkraut (or kimchi)

    – Pine needle infused gummy candies.

    – Pine and/or spruce tip and/or cone syrup

    I also include info on an edible pine native to Japan 🙂

    Here is an excerpt from the article “Eastern white pine tree needles (Pinus Strobus) contain many beneficial constituents useful for the prevention of colds and flu such as Suramin, Alpha-Pinene, Beta-Pinene, Beta-Phellandrene, D-Limonene, Germacrene D, 3-Carene, Caryophyllene, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Eastern white pine needles also contain shikimic acid, the same molecule found in star anise herb used historically in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat plagues and respiratory illness.”

    For further reading and inquiry, here is some related research and studies regarding the health and medicinal benefits offered by pine needles and the compounds they contain:

    Antioxidant activity and analysis of proanthocyanidins from pine needles:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7153330/

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7827367/

    Shikimic acid as intermediary model for the production of drugs effective against influenza virus (2020):

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10482-014-0340-z

    Shikimic acid, a base compound for the formulation of swine/avian flu drug: along with its application as an antibacterial agent

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jocd.14136

    Shikimic acid in the light of current knowledge:

    https://www.dovepress.com/current-perspectives-on-applications-of-shikimic-and-aminoshikimic-aci-peer-reviewed-fulltext-article-RRMC

    Current perspectives on applications of shikimic and aminoshikimic acids in pharmaceutical chemistry :

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S027869150900266X

    “Effect of extracts from pine needle against oxidative DNA damage and apoptosis induced by hydroxyl radical via antioxidant activity” (2009):

    https://assets.researchsquare.com/files/rs-99513/v1_covered.pdf?c=1631846105

    “Structural basis for repurposing a 100-years-old drug suramin for treating COVID-19.” (2020):


    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.10.06.328336v1https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32513797/

    “Suramin Inhibits SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Cell Culture by Interfering with Early Steps of the Replication Cycle” (2020):


    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7526844/

    Ten Health Benefits Of Pine Needle Tea:

    https://familyhealthadvocacy.com/10-unbelievable-things-you-never-knew-about-pine-needle-tea/?fbclid=IwAR234rgOMPpYvF2I3QCD98uEGstJce7n4d_EhyUjzbb3ry_637UNU2CW524https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28461070/

    Suramin inhibits Zika virus replication by interfering with virus attachment and release of infectious particles (2017):

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41594-021-00570-0?fbclid=IwAR3cBMT63HtNrXFpMudmSYImYhTnB3ALhDNvPR6Bwlp0NCalZ8eExVz8KH0

    Henß, L. et al. Suramin is a potent inhibitor of Chikungunya and Ebola virus cell entry. Virol J 13, 149 (2016):


    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4185360/

    suramin identified as a clinical candidate for the treatment of EV71 infection—suramin inhibits EV71 infection in vitro and in vivo :
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7294092/

    Suramin exposure alters cellular metabolism and mitochondrial energy production in African trypanosomes :

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3951423/

    Structural Bases of Norovirus RNA Dependent RNA Polymerase Inhibition by Novel Suramin-Related Compounds :
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6362832/

    Repurposing suramin for the treatment of breast cancer lung metastasis :
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3103726/

    Suramin Inhibits Renal Fibrosis in Chronic Kidney Disease –
    https://www.koreascience.or.kr/article/JAKO199324457070772.page

    Mooon, Jeong-jo, Young-bok Han, and Jin-suk Kim. “Studies on antitumor effects of pine needles, Pinus densiflora Sieb. et Zucc.” Korean Journal of Veterinary Research 33, no. 4 (1993): 701-710:

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16411766/

    [SNIP – Please keep comments to 500 words or less. Longer comments can be split into multiple posts. -JC]

  27. Gavinm says:

    Last but not least here is info on an efficient and relatively cheap method for extracting potent forms of the beneficial compounds and essential oils found in Pine, Spruce and Fir needles.

    I began using an espresso machine to extract essential oils and other beneficial compounds after I came across two studies where researchers had utilized an off the shelf espresso machine to extract potent medicinal phytochemicals (such as Eugenol from Cloves and Shikimic Acid from Star Anise).

    An espresso machine creates conditions similar to the conditions used in industrial essential oil extracting processes (pressurized hot water extraction at approx 90.5 to 96 degrees Celsius with water/steam at 7-15 bars of pressure).

    https://pages.uoregon.edu/chendon/coffee_literature/2015%20Org.%20Lett.,%20Shikimic%20acid%20extraction%20from%20anise%20using%20espresso%20machine.pdf (here is a link that works https://bit.ly/3qtRUT5 the comment cutting function of this website appears to have broken the other link above)

    That paper is published in Science Direct and was also published in Organic Letters in 2015, and appears as a PDF at the University of Oregon website.

    From the abstract of that study:

    ABSTRACT: A new, practical, rapid, and high-yielding process for the pressurized hot water extraction (PHWE) of multigram quantities of shikimic acid from star anise (Illicium verum) using an unmodified household espresso machine has been developed.

    This operationally simple and inexpensive method enables the efficient and straightforward isolation of shikimic acid.

    In other words, they are taking advantage of the pressurized chamber of an espresso machine to conduct a heat + pressure extraction of shikimic acid from star anise.

    And then this second study using similar methods to extract another beneficial compound: https://www.scribd.com/document/475104899/37-11

    I share this info relating to using off the shelf espresso machines to extract essential oils and beneficial phytochemicals so that any of you DIY-ers and intrepid herbalists/natural medicine enthusiasts out there can experiment with using this technique increase your ability to make powerful homemade medicines with your favorite herbs.

    I used this method to make an extract for making my Pine needle infused tree shaped gummy candies, which I gave to my brainwashed family members for christmas gifts last year in the hopes it could undo/prevent some of the damage the mRNA injections are doing to them internally. My own covert way to try and help them out, they said they really enjoyed them! 🙂

    • Gavinm says:

      (ps – I say “covert” because If I were to tell my brainwashed family members I was giving them pine needle extract infused candies because they contain compounds to inhibit platelet aggregation, synthetic spike protein synthesis and help detox the other detrimental contaminants which are now in their bodies thanks to the synthetic mRNA injections they all took, they would likely turn their nose up at them, rather than eating and enjoying them as they did).

  28. Gavinm says:

    I recently discovered Yet Another way one can “Eat a Pine Tree” 🙂

    Mature White Pine cones contain edible seeds (“pine nuts”). The pine nut you buy at the store is from pinyon pine (Pinus edulis) and while not as flavorful, white pine nuts are edible. But they are small. It’s a lot of work to open the cones and collect the teeny tiny nuts, which are in shells.

    Other species that produce edible seeds include but are not limited to: Scot’s Pine aka “Baltic pine” (Pinus sylvestris) and Japanese/Korean Red Pine (Pinus densiflora)

    Collecting seed from pines cones:

    You can white pine seeds in late summer after the long, curving cones dry out and the scales begin to lift.. or..

    Seeds can be collected once they fall from the tree in autumn, usually between the months of September and November.

    Depending on climate (and depending on the fluctuations in growing conditions of a given year) you can also collect seeds from almost mature and open pine cones in late summer. That requires a wind storm or climbing the tree if lower branches are not present as the cones will still be firmly attached to the tree.
    I found that I was able to extract more viable seeds per cone from cones I collected in August than I was able to collect from cones in September or October (those being some of which had fallen to the ground and some that were still on the tree). The ones that had fallen to the ground had often already released over half of the seeds inside on the wind.

    In order to ensure higher seed counts per cone (for either propagation or eating), collect white pine seeds in late summer after the long, curving cones dry out and the scales begin to lift.

    If you miss that window and end up collecting them from the ground in Autumn that works too, you will just get less viable seeds per cone.

    (continued in another comment..)

    • Gavinm says:

      (..continued from comment above)

      White Pine seeds as food:

      White Pine seeds (or ‘nuts’ if you will) are usually a little smaller than store bought ‘pine nuts’ (and do require quite a bit of effort to extract from the cones unless you have specialized equipment or get inventive) but these are nevertheless a very worthwhile food that can be added to the long list of foods, medicines, materials and other useful compounds that Eastern White Pines can provide in the context of being part of a food forest design.

      𝗘𝗮𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗻 𝗪𝗵𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝗣𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝘀𝗲𝗲𝗱𝘀 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗶𝗻 𝗺𝗲𝗮𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴𝗳𝘂𝗹 𝗾𝘂𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗼𝘄𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗻𝘂𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗯𝗲𝗻𝗲𝗳𝗶𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱𝘀: Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Vitamin E (tocopherol- alpha and Tocopherol-gamma), Calcium, Copper, Selenium, Vitamin C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, Vitamin B-6, Folate, Choline, beta-Carotene, Beta-sitosterol, Tryptophan, Threonine, Isoleucine, Lysine, Phenylalanine, Tyrosine, Valine, Glutamic acid, Glycine and fiber.

      I was not able to find information on whether or not the seeds contain Shikimic Acid (as the foliage and bark does) but it seems likely to me that they would given a seed is a template for all those parts of the adult tree to form.

      In addition to what was listed above, one serving of white pine seeds (28 grams) contains:

      -169 milligrams of potassium (4% of the daily value)

      -9 grams of protein (7% of the daily value)

      -1 milligrams of thiamin (7% of the daily value)

      -6 milligrams of iron (8% of the daily value)

      -7 milligrams of vitamin E (9% of the daily value)

      -8 milligrams of zinc (12% of the daily value)

      -163 milligrams of phosphorus (16% of the daily value)

      -71 milligrams of magnesium (18% of the daily value)

      -3 micrograms of vitamin K (19% of the daily value)

      Some of the Health benefits offered by eating White Pine Seeds include:

      1. Promoting heart health:

      Pinolenic acid is a polyunsaturated fatty acid isolated exclusively in pine seed oils.

      Pinolenic acid may help lower LDL cholesterol levels in the blood. Rat studies have suggested that pinolenic acid causes the liver to take up and metabolize more LDL cholesterol from the blood.

      2. Enhancing Brain Health:

      As stated above, White Pine seeds are rich in iron, which is a mineral required for storing and transporting oxygen. However, iron is also important for brain health too.

      Also, research shows that other nutrients in White Pine seeds, like magnesium, can help treat anxiety, depression, and stress. One study proved that dietary intake of magnesium could help improve the condition of adolescents with depression and anxiety disorders. Higher levels of magnesium can lead to lesser emotional outbursts and other behaviors associated with mood disorders

      (continued in another comment..)

      • Gavinm says:

        (..continued from comment above)

        3. Lowers Cancer Risk:

        The cancer health benefits of White Pine seeds can be attributed to their magnesium content. This mineral has been linked to a lower risk of various types of cancer. One study shows that a decrease in serum magnesium by 100 milligrams per day can increase the risk of pancreatic cancer risk by 24 percent. Therefore, increasing your blood magnesium levels may help to lower such risk.

        4. Strengthening Bones

        Calcium is well-known for its bone health benefits. Did you know, though, that vitamin K can help bones too? One study talks about how this vitamin can help in the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis. It not only increases bone mineral density but also reduces fracture rates.

        And here’s something quite interesting. One very common reason for the deficiency of vitamin K is the intake of cholesterol-lowering pharmaceuticals. But when you take White Pine seeds, you may not need any cholesterol-lowering medication since the nuts have cholesterol-lowering potential, not to mention that they provide a rich source of vitamin K.

        5. Boosts Immunity:

        The manganese and zinc in White Pine seeds can do a great job at boosting immune health. While the former helps maintain the body’s hormonal balance and strength of connective tissue, the latter boosts immunity and aids wound healing.

        As per one report, additional zinc in the diet can help boost the immune system in older adults. Zinc is associated with an improvement in the function and number of T-cells, which are a type of white blood cells that destroy invading pathogens

        6. Improves Vision Health:

        White Pine seeds contain a lot of lutein, which is an antioxidant also known as the eye vitamin. Several surveys have revealed that most Americans taking the Standard American Diet don’t consume adequate amounts of lutein.

        There are about 600 carotenoids your body can utilize, of which only about 20 are transported to your eyes. Of these, only two are deposited in your eyes in large amounts. One is lutein, and the other is zeaxanthin. Both these nutrients help prevent macular degeneration and glaucoma by fighting free radical damage.

        For those interested in learning more: I also offer info on how to eat (and/or make medicine/gather food from) a range of different species of trees in this article: https://gavinmounsey.substack.com/p/unlocking-autumns-abundance

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Back to Top