Thursday, June 26, 2014

Wild Edible Taro Plant

The widely distributed Colocasia genus' most commercially famous member is the Taro plant. It's extremely easy to find in the wild.  The 'corms', the bulky stalk above the tuberous roots, are higher in calories than potatoes: 100 grams of corm has over 110 calories.

Therefore, as the average adult can easily get by on 1,500 - 2,000 calories per day, especially in a survival situation, this could prove to be an invaluable source of energy. This is also a slow-burning complex carbohydrate, so the energy will sustain.

The entire plant is edible and the different parts provide different necessary nutrients. The corms and tubers are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The tubers are a good source of Potassium as well.

The leaves contain good amounts of the B vitamin complex and 100 grams of cooked leaves provide over 100% of the RDA for vitamin A. Good levels of the antioxidant Beta Carotene are also present.

wild edible Taro plant
Wild Taro... easy to find, easy to pull up, and packed with energy

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Coastal Survival Wild Edible Plant - Tropical Almond

Tropical Almond trees (Terminalia catappa) are common on beaches throughout Thailand and the general region. Though not really easy to open, the nut inside is edible.

It does not taste like an almond. I think it's called an almond because the outside seed looks like an almond. The tropical almond is a different family and genus.

Image Thailand tropical almond
The very common Tropical Almond Tree.

The very useful Sea Hibiscus tree - coastal survival

The very common Hibiscus tiliaceus (Sea Hibiscus) has an edible flower. You can make tea with it or eat it raw.  Though considered famine food, you can eat the young leaves, inner bark, and roots. They don't taste good, but they are edible.

Sea Hibiscus wood is also very useful. It's a light wood that is excellent for starting fires as both tinder and kindling. The bigger pieces are perfect for making bow & drill sets and for fire plough.
Edible Sea Hibiscus flower
Edible Sea Hibiscus flower.

Thailand wild edible food plants
Sea Hibiscus Flowers are red or yellow. Both can be on the same tree.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Creek Trekking, easy access through the thick tropical jungle

There is no shortage of lovely little creeks in Southern Thailand. They offer a fun and generally easy way to access otherwise difficult jungle.

In Phang Nga Province, we've got several creek hikes. There are small waterfall encounters from time to time. Some of the more formidable ones usually have an optional way around via the jungle. Some of the waterfalls are quite climbable.

We don't take risks unless they are calculated in our favor and all safety precautions are in place. Several of our treks are extremely easy.

The other nice thing about hiking in creeks is that the riparian region (near water) tends to have the most biodiversity.
Thailand image caterpillar
Really pretty caterpillars... that we didn't touch.

Phang Nga jungle trekking image
Really comfortable and easy hiking through a beautiful creek.

Thailand jungle hiking in creek
Walking sticks help a lot. I made a bunch.

Southern Thailand waterfall trekking
This is one of our favorite lunch spots.

Thailand waterfall and pool
There is an easy trail through the jungle that goes around this waterfall.

Trekking in Phang Nga Province - discovering unique critters

The Phasmida family (stick insects) offers some really unique specimens. This is a Leaf Insect, so called for very obvious reasons.

As with most stick insects, you have to really pay attention to spot them. I'm always on the lookout for them and other insects and I spot quite a few, but I'm sure I'm missing a lot more.
Thailand trekking, Phang Nga Province
This little guy (girl?) was a champion at standing still.

Thailand Leaf Insect image Phang Nga