High in vitamin C (one cup is about five times a human’s daily needs) and energy-boosting, this idea was brought to us by a fellow wwoofer who basically breathed this stuff. He’d go out every morning to harvest bunches of pine needles fresh from the young trees. After bringing water to almost boiling, he would pour it into his mug full of pine needles to steep for a few minutes until the needles lost their bright green and turned more of a faded, washed out color. Then he’d add the finishing touch: a heaping spoonful of honey. It’s good stuff straight up as well, and has been used by people living on this land forever. The sap of the pine also heals wounds, both cleaning the cut and holding it together.
The bark of many pine trees is also edible, and apparently delicious roasted or dried with spices added. In parts of Scandinavia people traditionally added bark to their rye breads, and in some areas of North America it was dried as a staple food. Apparently, there are settlers’ accounts of first coming to this continent and stumbling upon large areas of pine forests with trees stripped of bark.
Other trees with edible inner bark include: Black Birch, Red and Black Spruce, Black and Yellow Birch and Slippery Elm.
If, like me, you find this super fascinating, check out: