Monday, October 11, 2010

Do You Forage For Food?

...cause it's kinda exciting and fun. Not to mention probably some deep biological drive that feels super satisfying to fulfill. While I am working on having much of my own food growing at the Luck Cabin by planting dwarf fruit trees, having seasonal veggie gardens, planting a variety of culinary herbs, and learning about edible forest plants... I also am a food foraging scout for at least 2 miles around me.
Meaning, alot of the folks who live in these parts don't actually live here anymore. Farmers get old and die, the family holds onto the land but doesn't want to live there, or there are the once popular vacation homes that are for sale & abandoned now. These people just are not around, and with all the walks I take in the area I can't help but scope out every plant, fruit tree, nut tree and take a mental note of when it will be ready to drop a good meal.
Pictured above are a ton of small white peaches on the ground at a house no one has lived at for quite some time. I picked through them to find the best looking ones. I wanna make peach sauce! :)
Pictured below are HUGE delicious turnip greens I found in a field down the road, the cabin & property there is a vacation spot I have yet to see anyone stay at. The field is mostly overgrown.
There are some places where neighbors DO live, and have such an abundance of apples and chestnuts they are willing to share. :)
Another "food" I forage for is seeds. I find seeds to other herbs, plants, and wildflowers that I want to take back with me to my cabin. In my hand (pic below) is the seed head for the herb YARROW. I use yarrow alot during the summer in the natural bug repellent I make for my skin.
Usually while I am out on these walks I find tracks from native animals, and sometimes I find the real thing...
These are wild turkeys that were very close and within perfect range to get for dinner, but I don't have those kind of hunting skills yet. Or rather I only had a big knife on me at the time and not a gun, or a bow & arrow. But the potential to forage some good turkey meat is easily available...and for me personally one turkey would last me 6-8 months.
I got a pretty good variety of free foods to eat. Think about it.. it's FREE. Free food and free therapy because giving in to your inner hunter/gatherer just feels good, feels peaceful, and right.
And since these foods are wild, they are not only organic but they are even better then organic!
Chestnuts, apples, peaches, acorns, turnip greens (and wishfully a turkey, maybe next time)! And there is so much more to be had, this is just what I can fit in my backpack and carry on each trip. Had I bought all this at the health food store I would have spent a fuckin' TON of money, just organic apples alone woulda broke me.
But now i can have yummy peach and apple sauce, and enjoy the fruits & nuts of my scouting labors. :)


Teresa Evangeline said...

Fantastic! " in to your inner hunter/gatherer...the fruits of your scouting labors..." Indeed. I am so grateful for your life and all it teaches us. Thank You, Leslie!

Lou Cheese said...

You could always trap the turkeys and build an eco-version of this:

There's some how to's on the web that involves digging trenches and what not, but when there's a will, there's a way. You'll think of something.

kirk said...

I picked 2 packbaskets of free range apples so far this year--made out well with the chanterelles too--last year I had more than I needed so I sold my surplus for extra $. I harvest wild rice in the lake--going out deer hunting in next few days if weather improves. Lots of turkeys out here too.

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Aw Teresa... sweet sentiments :)

Mr Cheese ---> fabulous idea. I wasn't even thinking of trapping but actually there are some easy ways to trap turkeys! Some are not very sporting, but that depends on if you are taking more then you should, and if you care about sport. I usually care about my belly & perfecting skillz.

How cool that you know how to hunt. I could easily have all the meat i need for a year or more in my freezer when i learn to hunt.
Deer and turkey run all around my house all the time. I dont think catching some other small critters would be too hard either.
The only hard part for me now, if finding someone to teach me.

treefrog said...

info on acorns if you need it: