Monday, March 21, 2016

Cattail Dissertation

I've been reading Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, a gift from my friend A in Vermont. One section of this wonderous book is about cattails. "Meh," you say? Well,  I am here to educate you on survival should you ever find yourself in a great dismal swamp with only a Swiss Army knife.
I used to (stll do) play a game with various of our kids and grands about what to eat and drink and shelter in if we were stuck in these woods overnight ..  J and I decided pine nuts and hickory nuts plus mint leaves and dew drops would keep us alive.  After reading Kimmerer 's book I know how to build a hut, make a fire, find protein as well as carbohydrates to eat, weave a sleeping mat and even a raincoat, stuff a cushion and pack a diaper around an infant-- all out of cattails.  Just enlarge the two pages and read the notes!  Better still, check out this book.


  1. so glad you are reading this fantastic book! cattails also make lovely paper, both the leaves and the tails (seed heads). so add that to the survival list, and with a piece of your fire-charcoal you can write your poems on cattail papers.