Yellow Birch – Betula Alleghaniensis: Wintergreen Tree of Edible & Medicinal Plants

Yellow Birch - Betula Alleghaniensis

In Ojibwe, wiinizik, yellow birch has a lot in common with other birches, but along with black/sweet birch (which isn’t in Haliburton) yellow birch has a subtle wintergreen scent and taste, making it one of the few wintergreen-y edible and medicinal plants around Haliburton. Yellow birch is common around Haliburton in tall mixed woods. I notice …

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Serviceberry – Amelanchier SPP.: Early Bloomer of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Serviceberry - Amelanchier SPP.

In Chippewa, guzigwa’kominaga’wunj, referring to the shad fish spawning when the serviceberry blooms. The English name serviceberry has origins related to when one can finally have funeral services/burial for winters dead. They’re also called juneberries even though you’ll be waiting until the end of June or later for ripe berries. Here around Haliburton, Ontario you’ll …

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Lowbush Blueberry – Vaccinium Angustifolium: Super Berry of Foraged Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Lowbush blueberry - Vaccinium angustifolium

In Chippewa, minaga’wunj, blueberry. Lowbush (also called “low sweet”) blueberry is common here, as is velvet-leaf blueberry (vaccinium myrtilloides) which thrives around marshes. I’ve heard a few personal anecdotes from locals about picking blueberries all the while watching a black bear or bears doing the same nearby. The shorter species of “vaccinium” are cranberries and …

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Balsam Fir – Abies Balsamea: Most Resin-ating of Local Foraged Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Balsam Fir - Abies Balsamea

In Chippewa, a’ninandak’, balsam fir is an edible and mostly medicinal tree that’s the closest local plant to frankincense that I know of, scent-wise. (But it’s not a sedative.) Its resin can also be used to make Balm of Gilead, mentioned in poplar posts. A little ecological history: When the fight against eastern spruce budworm vs …

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American Beech – Fagus Grandifolia: This Old Tree of Foraging Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

American Beech - Fagus Grandifolia

In Ojibwe, gawe’mîc, beech is the oldest tree name in the world! It’s also an antique edible and old school medicinal plant. The beechnut tree scarcely grows fruit before it’s 40, 50 years old and produces more with age. Even then, good seed crops won’t happen every year. They tend to hold onto their leaves …

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White Pine – Pinus Strobus: Ontario’s Tallest Edible & Medicinal Wild Plant

White Pine - Pinus strobus

In Chippewa, jingwak’, white pine was the most towering of edible and medicinal plants here 200 yrs ago. Imagine forests of 200-ft tall, 4-ft wide powerful evergreen medicine. Like the now “trending” and controversial sage smudge, pine needles are said to clear negative energy when burned. This tree has so much positive energy. It has …

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