With the finale of the super-popular TV show, The Walking Dead, behind us, have you stopped to think about how you would survive a post-apocalyptic scenario? The Grounds Guys® may not be able to help you fight off a zombie attack, but we CAN help you learn to live off the land so you’ll have the energy to fight - or run from - zombies.
Plants and trees can be used in a variety of life-sustaining and lifesaving ways. The tricks that were sharing with you are from trees and plants that aren’t indigenous to any particular area. Most of them can be found anywhere in North America, so they should be easy to find whenever you’re roaming around in a post-apocalyptic world.
Tree bark might be bitter tasting depending on the species and growing conditions, but it’s a calorie-packed power food. We’re not talking about the crusty outer layer of the bark, but the layer under it, called the cambium layer. It’s full of digestible starches, vitamins, minerals, and some sugar. The trees with the best cambium layer include most Pines, Slippery Elm, Black Birch, Yellow Birch, Red Spruce, Black Spruce, Balsam Fir and Tamarack trees.
Yarrow, mullein and cattail plants have multiple medicinal purposes. Yarrow leaves can be applied to bleeding wounds to stimulate clotting, and drinking a tea from its flowers can be a remedy for colds, flu, headaches, diarrhea and stomach ulcers. Tea made from mullein leaves can be used to treat coughs, sore throats and bronchitis, and a few drops of oil from the plant’s flowers can be used to relieve pain from earaches. The gel found between cattail leaves makes a good topical anesthetic.
Dried mullein leaves and cattail fluff are great kindling for starting fires. The long leaves of the cattail plant can be woven into shelters, mats and baskets. Bonus! The large, soft, hairy leaves of the mullein plant are a good substitute for toilet paper. In fact, it’s often called “cowboy toilet paper.” And since bark and plants are high in fiber, you might think about packing a few extra mullein leaves in your cattail-woven basket just in case.