[NAFEX] What's safe to eat and what isn't
voltaire at islandnet.com
Tue Nov 30 13:11:16 EST 2004
>There is an old saying:
>Berries red, have no dread
>berries white, poisons sight.
I have masses of poisonous red berries in my garden - yew and daphne.
I trained my children, and now grandchildren, to browse my yard
safely. When they were toddlers, they could identify strawberries,
and we would go around the yard (which has hundreds of alpine
strawberry plants growing everywhere), and I'd point to various red
berries and ask if they looked like a strawberry, and they would eat
the safe berries. As they got a bit older, I added other safe
fruits, and then they were old enough to actually identify the
poisonous ones. At this point, I would hear them instructing visiting
I thought about all the berries that grow in this area, both wild
ones and garden ones, and came up with an all-encompassing rule for
small children. "Bumpy berries are safe." This has been picked up by
leaders of children's groups here, and the children are taught what
they can safely eat in the woods. It leaves out the smooth berries
that are safe,(huckleberries and blueberries), but those can be
taught to older children when they can identify the whole bush.
I don't know whether this rule applies elsewhere. Here, all the bumpy
berries are members of the rose family: strawberries, raspberries,
blackberries, salmonberries, thimbleberries. Does anyone know of any
poisonous berries that could be considered "bumpy"?
Diane Whitehead Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
maritime zone 8
cool mediterranean climate (dry summer, rainy winter - 68 cm annually)
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