Foraging


The fields and hills are a table constantly spread.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Isn’t that a lovely quote? Yet, I wonder how many of you truly understand it and how it relates to prepping.  

Once a month I’m going to post some information that just might help you WHEN (not if) disaster strikes. A disaster could be ‘natural’, like a hurricane, tornado, earthquake or flood or it could be financial/economic collapse (personal or national). A disaster could even be a zombie/Kardashian apocalypse (sorry, Walking Dead Fans).

This month, let’s talk aboutForaging.
Scientists warn the Pacific Northwest are due for a catastrophic earthquake. If you live in that area and were to experience an event like that, what would you do? How would you provide for yourself and your loved ones should all commerce screech to a halt?

Conventional wisdom dictates that each person should have enough supplies (water, food, medicine…) to last 72 hours – 3 days. That’s the typical amount of time it takes for infrastructure to get back up and running – power back on, roads open, outside assistance arriving. But what if the event is so catastrophic those 3 days turn into a week or two weeks or two months or longer? What if you’re caught in a location without your supplies? What then?

A hundred years ago, our grandparents would know what to do – they didn’t have modern conveniences to rely on, they turned to nature and the abundance therein. Rather that shop in the aisles of their local grocery, they shopped right outside their doors. What we, now, call weeds – they called sustenance! Dandelions, clover, nettle, lambs quarter, nipplewort, chickweed, purslane…

If you are already a forager, below in the comments, please share your stories and recipes. If you’re not, you really should consider it… If not for now, for later. A disaster isn’t a ‘maybe’, it’s a ‘when’. Now is the time to prepare. Do one small thing every day or every week, to prepare yourself and your family.

This week, I’ll do some of my own ‘foraging’ and share what I learn. I hope you will too!
If you are already a forager, please share some tips and recipes below in the comments.

Join us in our Adventures of Foraging at Misty Meadows

 

 


Content and Photos by Misty Meadows Homestead and S.Lago © All Rights Reserved


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11 thoughts on “Foraging

  1. I quit growing spinach … there is an ample supply of lamb’s quarters available for free that is higher in vitamins (and tastes better!)
    I prefer purslane raw when it is still small, (one of my snacks while out in the garden). The larger plants are still good stir fried.
    Red clover tea is my all time favorite!! I pick enough blooms to dehydrate, coarse grind and fill a gallon jar. That lasts about a year. I brew it with a bit of ground stevia & lavender for a naturally sweet tea.

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    1. I’ve yet to see lambs quarters or purslane on the property. I’m hoping some tagged along in one of my pots. We have a limited amount of red clover. Any suggestions for solving this little problem?

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      1. The cheapest thing I can think of (I’m all about cheap!!) is when you find a stand of red clover on your place to feed it with wood ash mixed into the soil around it. The potash is a good fertilizer for red clover.

        I did some research and the cultivars good for the western U.S. are ‘Pennscott’, ‘Chesapeake’, ‘Kenland’, ‘Cumberland’, ‘Dollard’, ‘Midland’ and ‘Lakeland’. ‘Altaswede’,‘Norlac’, and ‘Craig’. I don’t know if anyone sells it by those names any more. Probably your best bet if you’re looking to buy seed is to get a Mammoth red clover (all those cultivars are mammoth).

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  2. Should you plant any clover….be careful you don’t plant Alsike – it causes photosensitivity in horses (as a result of its effect on the liver). You may not have horses or intend to get any (neither did we) but we now have drafts – and many many years ago alsike inadvertently got seeded with some field grass. It’s wretched to get rid of. 🙂

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    1. The photosensitivity shows up with their muzzles & pasterns being red & blistered, especially if the horse has pink skin.
      Liver disease has been linked with long-term exposure but not all horses that graze alsike will develop a liver condition.

      What breed of drafts do you have? We’ve had Percheron & Belgian teams over the years that we farmed with. We don’t have any now.

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      1. We’ve a Shire/Percheron cross team 🙂
        My understanding is that no more than 2% of the horses diet should contain alsike. I personally know of one horse that died of alsike poisoning (liver failure) after a few weeks in a new pasture, and a friend of mine – her paint mare became blistered over all the area that were white. You can still easily see the scarring years later.
        You’re right, alsike doesn’t affect all horses…..and nobody seems to know exactly why that is. The latest explanation I found is that under certain conditions (hot humid weather following a period of rain) causes some sort of toxic fungus to thrive on the underside of the leaves. Possibly this is why it seems some horses are able to graze it. 🙂

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