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Pokeberry Ink


fiberdrunk
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Lol, I thought Pokeberries were an invention of the guys that made Pokemon. I just realized that I only knew different names for the Phytolacca.

 

Someone said you should pick them before they turned red, but I once learned that the poison concentration is lowest in completely ripe berries.

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Lol, I thought Pokeberries were an invention of the guys that made Pokemon. I just realized that I only knew different names for the Phytolacca.

 

Someone said you should pick them before they turned red, but I once learned that the poison concentration is lowest in completely ripe berries.

That makes sense. Otherwise the birds would die. I suppose then seedless jam would be okay. Just a wild guess. I'm an adventurous eater, but I'm not ready for pokeweed.

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I suppose then seedless jam would be okay. Just a wild guess. I'm an adventurous eater, but I'm not ready for pokeweed.

 

Susan Weed, the herbalist, mentioned that she dries the berries for medicinal purposes and swallows them whole (dosage of one berry). Even that made her feel "spacey". I wouldn't make jam out of them.

Find my homemade ink recipes on my Flickr page here.

 

"I don't wait for inspiration; inspiration waits for me." --Akiane Kramarik

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Pokeweed wasn't eaten because it was good, but because it contains vitamin C, and is abundant early in the season. It is native, so in the pioneer days replaced dandelion leaves for early greens in areas where the dandelions had not completely colonized yet (they came over as food, not as a weed. Bees love them too!). Get you dandelion greens extremely early as well -- boiled socks would be a huge improvement of the bitterness of full sized dandelion leaves!

 

I'd not go out of my way to eat pokeweed -- lettuce is so much nicer, and we now don't have to worry so much about getting scurvy from eating smoked salted meat and dry beans with cornbread all winter any more.

 

Peter

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Susan Weed, the herbalist, mentioned that she dries the berries for medicinal purposes and swallows them whole (dosage of one berry). Even that made her feel "spacey". I wouldn't make jam out of them.

So, curiosity got me looking for pokeberry jam. Most results were of a music band. But the first link was for Susan Weed. She said that she's had pokeberry jam and pie and that the seeds are too strong to be broken by human teeth. I'll take her word for it and just stick to making ink with them until I watch someone eat them first hand. I already eat mulberries from the tree and I might be slightly allergic to them.

 

Pokeweed wasn't eaten because it was good, but because it contains vitamin C, and is abundant early in the season. It is native, so in the pioneer days replaced dandelion leaves for early greens in areas where the dandelions had not completely colonized yet (they came over as food, not as a weed. Bees love them too!). Get you dandelion greens extremely early as well -- boiled socks would be a huge improvement of the bitterness of full sized dandelion leaves!

 

I'd not go out of my way to eat pokeweed -- lettuce is so much nicer, and we now don't have to worry so much about getting scurvy from eating smoked salted meat and dry beans with cornbread all winter any more.

 

Peter

Isn't vitamin C water soluble? Wouldn't all that boiling leach it out too? I've tried dandelion. Tastes like arugula or some of the fancy bitterish lettuces. I tried growing lettuce and they looked like relatives of dandelions. I thought they were weeds!

 

Me I like my sunshiny dose of Vitamin D. Gotta stave off rickets.

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Peter's certainly entitled to his opinion -- I take responsibility for no-one's taste but my own. Plenty of people do like the flavor, which isn't quite like anything else I've eaten. Fiberdrunk, do let us know what you think next spring!

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Just an update on this ink in the Platinum Preppy (both the Marker and Fountain Pen): after a few days of filling, the ink ate both pens and began to leak! So I think this ink is too acidic for pens. Stick with a J. Herbin Glass Pen... the writing turned out nicer with the glass pen, anyway!

Find my homemade ink recipes on my Flickr page here.

 

"I don't wait for inspiration; inspiration waits for me." --Akiane Kramarik

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Killer ink from a killer plant. People in Arkansas eat Poke salad as well. I've never had it and will NEVER try it. Yuck.

But the fact that it killed your preppies is kind of funny. It is poisonous after all. :roflmho:

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How is it possible ? How is your IG behaving in your fountain pens ? I never experienced any corrossion in my fountain pens with cheap stainless steel pen nibs. And I already refilled one of my fountain pen 5 times over a period of 6 months and still going strong without flushing and my ink contain a tiny amount of hydrochloric acid: a very strong acid which consumes alot of metals in concentrated form. It appears the pokeberry ink must be very, very acid indeed. Maybe you should fountain pens with gold or platinum nibs.

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Could not figure out how salt would be a positive thing in a FP.

1 Homo Sapien BA Maxi & Mech Pencil, HS Misnight in Florence, 2 Van Goghs 1 Blue Ocean Midi S Nib/1 Cappuccino Midi 14k Trim, 3 MBs 149/144/221, 2 Wm Phileas 1 Blue w/ mech pencil, 1 Demo, 1 Snorkel Sent., 3 MVs Regatta/Invincia/Artista,2 EB J - BSP,I am Not Affiliated with any website, company or product I might mention on this site."
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:o Which parts got eaten? Nib or feed or section or barrel?

 

It looks like it ate the plastic feed... it leaked all over, lol.

Find my homemade ink recipes on my Flickr page here.

 

"I don't wait for inspiration; inspiration waits for me." --Akiane Kramarik

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How is it possible ? How is your IG behaving in your fountain pens ? I never experienced any corrossion in my fountain pens with cheap stainless steel pen nibs. And I already refilled one of my fountain pen 5 times over a period of 6 months and still going strong without flushing and my ink contain a tiny amount of hydrochloric acid: a very strong acid which consumes alot of metals in concentrated form. It appears the pokeberry ink must be very, very acid indeed. Maybe you should fountain pens with gold or platinum nibs.

 

My homemade iron gall is holding up great in my Pilot Parallels, Pilot 78Gs and Parker Vectors. No leaking or corrosion yet. I guess the pokeberry must have been really acidic.

 

eta: I haven't tried any of my iron galls in a platinum preppy. Maybe I ought to. Call it the "acid test," lol.

Edited by fiberdrunk

Find my homemade ink recipes on my Flickr page here.

 

"I don't wait for inspiration; inspiration waits for me." --Akiane Kramarik

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This thread made me think of rhubarb (pieplant), I haven't had it in a long time. I want rhubarb tart now, yummy.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This thread made me think of rhubarb (pieplant), I haven't had it in a long time. I want rhubarb tart now, yummy.

My mother is here visiting, and she brought about 50 lbs of produce from my grandmother's garden with her, 30ish stalks of rhubarb included. She stewed up a bunch (basically just boiling it down with water and a bit of sugar to make a sauce/non-preserve jam), and I've been enjoying it mixed with french vanilla yogurt or over vanilla ice cream. We like it quite tart, so the contrast is great. Wish I could share!

 

And to try to remain OT, if the poke berry ink is acidic enough to eat the plastic feed, have you noticed any dramatic effect on paper thus far?

 

Ryan.

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And to try to remain OT, if the poke berry ink is acidic enough to eat the plastic feed, have you noticed any dramatic effect on paper thus far?

 

Ryan.

 

This year's batch of ink still looks vibrant on the page. But samples written last year already show considerable fading, despite being stored in a dark, cool room. This is definitely not an ink if your goal is longevity. I haven't seen it eat the paper yet. I believe there is correspondence written with pokeberry ink from colonial times that still exists out there that only shows browning/some fading (and no holes in the paper, so far as I know! But perhaps their rag paper was of better quality, too!)

Edited by fiberdrunk

Find my homemade ink recipes on my Flickr page here.

 

"I don't wait for inspiration; inspiration waits for me." --Akiane Kramarik

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Have you tried drying it down to powder?

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Have you tried drying it down to powder?

 

No, I hadn't thought to try that. Could be an interesting experiment.

Find my homemade ink recipes on my Flickr page here.

 

"I don't wait for inspiration; inspiration waits for me." --Akiane Kramarik

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Uh, I just remembered that I forgot to send you some notes and stuff, sorry about that, I'll do it tomorrow evening.

 

Walnut-inks and Thorn-inks are preserved by drying it completely out, it works really well. I'd try it at least with a tiny amount, because beeing able to store it for years is really nice.

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