Category Archives: Gardening

A little something for those that love the outdoors, enjoy getting dirty, want to eat what they grow, and are not living on acreage.


by Woodsbum

In continuing my ongoing foraging and edible plant series, I have picked the bitterroot as the next installment.

Bitterroot is an edible plant when cooked. It does, obvious through reading the name, have a bitter taste although it is best when gathered just before the flower blooms.

To prepare it, remove the dark outer layer and the orange-red core of the root. You can either dry them for later consumption or you can cook it immediately. If you dry it and then reconstitute it, the root will grow to about 5 times the previous size. It also will have a jelly like consistency and a bitter taste.

You will find bitterroot in dry, open grassy areas in the foothills or mountain regions.

This plant is also the state flower of Montana and has shares a name with the Bitterroot Mountains there.

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Miner’s Lettuce

by Woodsbum

As a way to introduce more foraging subjects into my site, I give to you: Miner’s Lettuce. Miner’s lettuce is also known as claytonia perfoliata and is a single green leaf coming from a disproportionate stalk. It looks like this in summer:


or this in spring or fall:


It is best harvested in spring or fall, but if you need some nutrients it is perfectly fine to be eaten during the summer months as well. It does taste a bit “tinny” compared to spring or fall, however. This might just be my taste bud’s opinion because I have heard other people deny that they had the same experience.

This plant is actually quite nutritious and will supplement your diet quite nicely. From what I have been told, many people actually grow and harvest it at home in their own gardens. I will admit that it does go nicely with a “spring mix” salad and a few croûtons.

Here is a great video about miner’s lettuce that gives you about any info you could ever want on the subject.

Have some fun and see if you can find any on your next outing. It is always fun to reach over and start eating things as you walk by if for no other reason that to freak out your hiking partners.

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Oregon Out Of State Concealed Weapons Permit

by Woodsbum

This is a little off topic in some regards, but after some scouring of the Internet I found that there is a distinct lack of information about which counties will sign off on an Oregon out of state concealed weapons permits. Most counties, especially in and around Portland, will not process them. According to Oregon law out of state residents are able to procure permits, but you have to find a sheriff office that will process it.

For what it is worth, there are several counties that do process them in southern, eastern, and around Corvallis. Unfortunately, this is a bit of a drive and a pain in the rear end since you have to be present during the application process for fingerprinting. This is when I stumbled upon Columbia County with the main offices in St. Helens. Apparently they not only process out of state permits, but they even show up at places like the Puyallup Fair to process applications. It also happens to be only a short drive (30 miles) from Portland.

There are a few things to note about Oregon’s concealed weapons application process. Not only do you have to show up in person, but you also need the following:

  • The actual application. You can get that here.
  • 2 letters of reference. The forms are here.
  • Compelling reason form. The template letter is available here.
  • Some sort of training. You can attend several different types to include online training, but if you were in the military and received pistol qualifications that are on your DD214 this qualifies. If you do the online course there is an additional form you have to fill out when you get to the sheriff’s office.
  • Be a resident of either California, Idaho, Nevada or Washington. They will only issue non resident CHL permits for residents of those states.
  • A copy of your current concealed weapons permit from whatever state issued it. For example, a Washington or Idaho concealed weapons permit.
  • $75 for the application per a phone conversation with their office staff. I also have seen where there is an additional $10 administrative fee, but I am not sure if the $75 includes that. Depending on the website, the total cost is either $85 or $75. Either way it is around $100 when you factor in fuel costs, so sell that to the wife if you have to budget.
  • Call the office and find out when the next available appointment is for processing applications. Their number is 503-366-4651. Normally applications are accepted and processed on the last Saturday of every month. Again, I would call to confirm because their website has not been updated.

Having dealt with many government organizations over the years, I went ahead and made copies of everything and put it all into a nice folder for ease of processing. The office will probably want to see the originals, but having the copies already made for them will hopefully help out the whole application process. I suggest anyone dealing with a government organization do the same and be completely prepared for any contingency. They are doing me this favor so I will make them have to work as little as possible……

I will be off to submit my application this Saturday. According to online accounts, it takes this office about 7-14 days for you to receive your actual permit. This is even better than many Washington departments, but again I have no hands on experience about this as of yet. I will after this weekend and will update this post as to how long it takes for mine.

I am really excited to finally get this process completed and procure my OR permit. It will make it SO much easier while traveling. If you find any more counties in Oregon (around Portland especially) that will process permits for out of state residents, please hit us up and we will include them here.

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Another Foraging Resource – Eat the Weeds

by Woodsbum

Although I am one heck of a hunter, fire builder, shelter constructor, decent at tracking (how I recover game due to color issues with red on green), fisherman, and all around outdoors guy I do have a problem with foraging. This has been one area of my training that I have really been lacking in and I know it. Unfortunately, I also have no one that I hang around with in real life that is capable of pulling me along and training me. It has really become a lost art and difficult to learn on your own. This is why I buy so many foraging references and am constantly on the lookout for good references. Since I found another place that I have been creeping around in hopes of learning a bit, I felt compelled to include it here for my own future reference…..  If you find it helpful then I am also happy about that.

Eat The Weeds is a blog by Green Deane that I stumbled across a few days ago. He also has a YouTube channel that you can head over to if you so desire. It is really very good and well put together. The only problem is that he assumes that you have a starting knowledge of botany and plant identification. It is actually getting to the point where I am thinking about taking a few plant identification classes at our local college to get me started. This would be an expensive way to overcome the knowledge deficit that I have regarding greenry, but it might be the most beneficial considering. I will keep you updated if I decide to take that path.

I am also waiting to get my “acceptance” email from his forums. I hope to be granted access to that section of his site fairly soon so that I can start hitting up those bubbas about plant identification resources for us “filet and release” types.

Green does offer classes at a reasonable price, but you have to be in Florida to attend. That really does not do me any good considering I am on the entirely opposite side of the continental United States. This also doesn’t take into account the fact that the plant life down there is going to be much different than what we see up here.

As I get more information or resources, I will post them here on AOD. If you have any suggestions or good places for me to check out, please add a comment.

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Food Dehydration – NewB Guide

by Woodsbum

To make life easier in my family, I finally decided to get a food dehydrator. “How would this make your life easier?” many will ask. It is quite simple: jerky……..

My family LOVES jerky and “snack” type foods. Not necessarily junk food, but snack type items. We love veggies that are cut up and ready to eat. Fruits that are cut up and easy to pop in your mouth. Popcorn is also a favorite. The absolute, top shelf snacking chow at our house happens to be beef jerky.

For those that are not familiar with the “jerky” world, it can become quite an expensive habit to have. A small package of Jack Links (our household favorite brand prior to the homemade stuff I did over the weekend) can run $10 for only a few minutes of taste bud Utopia. Couple that with the expensive dehydrated fruit that we get on occasion and a hefty bite can be taken out of your bank account. What we did was purchase this:

Excalibur Food Dehydrator

Excalibur Food Dehydrator

In only a few minutes of work and several hours of wait time, I ended up with some INCREDIBLE beef jerky. Here is how I did it:

  • Purchased a steak block from Cash and Carry, a local restaurant supplier that is open to the public. I got round steak for around $3 a pound.
  • I cut the meat into thin slices. Mine ended up between 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch depending on how steady my hand was.
  • The meat was marinated in Frank’s Red Hot buffalo sauce, soy sauce, lemon juice, liquid smoke, black and red pepper, garlic, and Tabasco sauce for 24 hours.
  • We set the device’s temperature setting to “Jerky” and the timer to 8 hours. about 6 hours into the process, we flipped the jerky over.

That was it. It came out delicious and we now have a great way to keep jerky in the house for a mere fraction of the price.

We also did some apples and mango. To help with the prep work and hassle, I picked up these from Amazon:

Apple Core and Peeler

Apple Core and Peeler

Mango PItter

Mango Pitter

These things made quick work of the fruit and allowed me to get it prepared and into the dehydrator in a matter of only 5-10 minutes. It was SO quick and simple that even my daughter was interested in at least watching, but not helping. This is definitely a step up from being completely ignored while doing things in the kitchen, so it must be really simple.

Once I got the fruit prepped and onto the trays, I sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on the apples. The mango was skinned, but left alone to dry. The drying process took about 10 hours for a good, complete dry. The product was definitely worth the wait, however. Over the course of 2 days the late teen/early 20 year olds in my home ate a full 1 gallon Ziploc freezer bag full of dried fruit. It was amazing and so very simple.

When I get home tonight, I will be prepping some more jerky and drying out some more fruit. As time goes on and I experiment with even more recipes, I will post them. The best combo for fruit I have found thus far involves a medium to heavy sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar mix. I will try more things, however and report back. Later on, I also plan on making some of my own backpacking soups from veggies and meat. We will have to see how it goes, but I have some faith in the process after having done the fruit and beef jerky this last weekend.

If you have any interest in getting into the whole dehydrating thing, I highly suggest you pick yourself up one of the Excalibur systems from the very beginning. The ease and simple design, the timer, and the even drying of the food really make it worth the money. This is definitely a recommended product. Also, let me know if you come up with some good recipes along the way. We get good, inexpensive produce so I can afford to play a bit.

Happy dehydrating!!!!

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