Primitive Skills with Invasive Species

Has anyone seen any discussions (links?) that talk about using primitive skills with Invasive Species mostly? I am sure this idea has been thought about before. It would be great if there is some focused discussion about experiments with this.

1 Like

Scotch Broom is incredibly invasive here in the NW. However, it makes awesome kindling when it is dried out and someone I know made a killer bow-drill set with it and madrone (a native species).

I read something recently that you could roast and eat Scotch Broom seedpods as well. I’ve been harvesting lots of invasive clovertops and yarrow lately. I’ve also kind of wondered what people think about sustainable vs. non-sustainable harvest of invasive species. I’ve been of the mind that I can pick however much of this shit as I want, but am curious if others have different thoughts.

english ivy needs some partnership. i’ve seen some english ivy baskets…

I had a discussion today with a friend who’s been using/eating Japanese knotweed, an invasive that was brought here as decoration. Apparently, he’s been using it to help with his lyme.

i have found that alot of the invasives around here (mi) are edibile. i think i could live off garlic mustard, thistle, and hedge parsley if i didn’t get tired of the taste. honeysuckle’s inner bark makes some perty good cordage. it’s branch’s have a nice curve that work well for bow drills and probably a regular bow but i havn’t tried. garlic mustard also seems to work at keeping bugs off. i hope that helps and keep experimenting

ahh garlic mustard! I spent a summer pulling that stuff in MI… but yes, edible, that’s why it was brought over the ocean in the first place… probably better to put on and flavor something rather than to just eat… hence the name obviously…

IMO, a lot of invasives are here to stay. I mean, seriously, can anyone really picture dandelion or plaintain leaving North America any time in the next few centuries? I can’t…

My preference for interaction w/ flora & land is to encourage natives over invasives when possible, but bottom line is that if there’s a need not getting filled, better an invasive fill it than an even more crippled ecology.

For example, in my area Autumn Olives are often considered invasive, but I just can’t hold it against the plant. The berries are tasty, help support innumerable birds; the roots fix nitrogen in the soil which helps a wide variety of other plants (many natives).

I’m pretty sure scotch broom is entirely poisonous.

There is a difference between exotic and invasive. Plantain is exotic, but fully naturalized in NA now. Some researchers are having some success using burning to discourage invasives. But the real trick is to deny them their niche. If their preferred habitat is not abundant they won’t crowd out other plants. One of the beauties of permaculture is that it shows how to do this.

i respectfully disagree. i’ve read about the seeds being used as a coffee substitute.

Penny Scout says that you can use the seeds as a substitute for coffee, but that it does have toxic properties. So you’re both right!

Brief side note: The book Wild Health talks about “toxins” in plants serving as medicines from time to time. It all depends on when, how, and why you eat something.

And most importantly, how much. There are loads of such chemicals. (ex: atropene = eye medicine and pain killer, too much = violent, painful death.) :wink:

Well, of course, I had put “how much” in there originally, but I thought it would be redundant next to “how”.

scotch broom outter bark peeled off of mid sized plants can be used to make cordage and you can make bow drill with it.dont huff the smoke though…its all nasty.

Interesting, Scotch Broom is also a very big pest species here in Aus now.

I was at a ‘bush regeneration’ site last week, after some backburning done by the Fire Service (necessary) there was a mass blooming of this stuff along a river, it outcompeted every other plant and it took months of work from pros and volunteers to get rid of it. One reason being you can’t just rip every piece of vegetation up from a river bank or you will destroy the bank itself and its soil, the invasive needs to be replaced slowly with natives, but done before the broom layed down its seeds.

I’m not sure about what invasive plants are useful here that grow wild but I do know there are plenty (sometimes in plague proportions dependingon the species) of rabbits, hares, cats, foxes, pigs, goats, horses, camels, deer running wild now.

In SoCal, one of the worst invaders is the feral Artichoke or Cardoon. Despite the worst spines I have ever known about on any herbaceous plant, it’s flower “hearts” are just as tasty as the cultivated ones (harder to harvest, smaller than cultivars). In addition, the large flower stalks and massive tap roots when peeled and boiled are a good vegetable. The Plants for a future data base lists huge amounts of medicinal uses.

Old thread. New info!

For a couple years now I’ve been working with various invasive species in various capacities.

Nutria: fur! That’s what it was brought here for!

Mostly weaving though. English Ivy, Scotch Broom, Himalayan Blackberry bark, Flag Iris are the main four plants I’m weaving with these days.

1 Like

Is that the Yellow Flag Iris?