I have been thinking that this distinction is important to me -- to know what I CAN eat in dire circumstances AND to know what is deeply life sustaining and supports me and my family to THRIVE in the best of circumstances. So this is a question I will keep in mind as we go. I like to explore best practices for getting the most nutrition out of food sources (wild or otherwise) and appreciate knowing how a plant is used traditionally by those who've used it over multiple generations. Also, sometimes current scientific understandings are helpful, but not always.
The Friday night walk with Arthur was full of information and interesting flavors. Thank you, Arthur! I'm really glad we went in depth, and I tasted the plants carefully, in small amounts and with awareness.
Later I made a stupid mistake, I think, when I ate a good sized chunk (though small, really) of the mystery berry "cake". The cooks were not present to describe the ingredients. I wound up in the wee hours of the morning with a bad case of the runs. I wonder if it was all the little seeds? Something else? It would be great to know what, specifically, I was reacting to!
Did anyone else have this experience? I have to say my digestion can be sensitive, so I may be the unique case.
My learnings: Know and trust the food source and the ingredients (something I already apply consistently elsewhere -- why did I suspend this then? I was hungry, I was in the mode of tasting new things, I went "unconscious".....) Sheesh. This also leads me to wonder if tasting only a very few new things (or even ONE?) on each walk is a good idea. ??
Deep Nourishment and trust vs survival foods is a subject I appreciate much more today.
I had been attending a local survivalist / prepper group. I sorta got banished from said group as being a distraction because my focus was gardening and helping people feed themselves.
They wished to focus on survival in black swan events.
This experience has shown me that I am more the deep nourishment person. I just do not have what it takes to be a survivalist at all costs.
Maybe that is not such a bad thing.
Hopefully I will have plenty of time to ponder this as I continue my permaculture activities this summer.
I am new here but I agree with Tyler Alex, also when it comes to prepping would it not be better to be able to hunker down instead of expose yourself by wandering around? Sure protect what you have but them not wanting to learn how to be self sufficient just seems idiotic...community is strength especially in a black swan event...check out Hugelkultur on this site looks pretty easy and fast.
When man became a farmer he produced a surplus of food at harvest that he had to store. What is stored can be taken by others. People found that they could raid those with a surplus and take their food. Hunting parties could just as easy become a raiding party. So cities with walls developed.
It requires a critical mass to have enough resources to defend any type of stored resource. The only alternative is to hide said resource.
History shows countless examples of stored resources being taken by force.
It would seem that a functional community is critical to defending a stored resource not to mention producing said resource.
There also seems to be and advantage in forest gardening due to the fact that food can be produced at different times of year and some can be available year round.
If an annual crop dies or is destroyed it can be a major setback. Trees and shrubs may not fruit well in a given year but may do well in following years.
Using diverified crops also makes it less likely that all food plants will be discovered and taken where a root cellar is likely to be cleared out.
Another factor is that resources can be increased over time. Think of a tree growing, a herd increasing, farm assets being added, soil being improved, etc.
I see the advantage of functional community but I would add in the advantage of multiple food sources a food forest can offer instead of just annual crops.
"this experience has shown me that I am more the deep nourishment person"
what is the definition of "deep nourishment"?
im not too sure about some of the terminology being used, but i think gardening and survival foods can be very close if you do it right. im no expert, but i imagine, say you find a stand of burdock, you could take care of it and increase its flavour/size through decreasing external stresses on the plant. mulch it, take away competitive plants, go trim a tree and increase the shade, etc/whatever. you could have a circuit of invisible gardens that you would tend in a territory and thus have a garden as well as being nomadic. not really sure if this is applicable to the topic at hand.
anyway, what i do know is this, it is wise to eat only one new plant at a time. if ive never eaten wild foods before and eat poke salat and elderberries at the same time then sprint to the bathroom, i wont know who the culprit is. personally i am a glutton for punishment and disdain wisdom. theres too much to eat and winter is upon me. so its really up to you.
I am finding that Deep Nourishment requires deep understanding
I am working with my burdock. It only lives two years, and blooms in the summer of the second year. Everyone around me sees it as a weed.
Yet the whole plant is edible. The root is edible, the young leaves are useful greens, and the flower scape can be peeled and cooked.
This weed produces deep roots that can both lossen soil and bring up nutrients.
The plants produce large leaves that crowd out weeds so make it a good cover crop.
It also provides food for predatory insects by providing a home for aphids farmed by ants.
I am currently working on the ant aphid part of the equation. The ants take aphid eggs and move them to the burdock and farm the aphids.
In my garden the ants make there home in my old stack of flower pots. By providing the pots the ants produce a colony. By having the ants the burdock will have a nice group of aphids on it. By having the aphids the fireflies, ladybugs, etc. will come to feed. By having an existing population of predatory insects I do not have major spikes in insects when I plant my vegetables.
Deep Nourishment requires deep understanding. For I am not just taking from the environment, I am working to create an ecosystem that will nourish more than just myself.
Yes, most homeowners in the U.S. consider burdock a weed - but what a glorious weed !
Very few plants will produce as much biomass in a year in such a small space.
Their deep tap roots are great accumulators of calcium and potassium.
When I look at real SHTF events around the world, yes you have to survive the event.
However, in many of these situations it is the people who depend on weekly or daily shopping who are impacted the most.
Assuming you do not have to leave your nurturing area. For example people along the Gulf coast who have lived through a bad hurricane generally will do things like board up the windows, secure their property, and get out of path if it is really going to be bad. Or you can take for example all the floods that have forced people to evacuate. One can look at the people fleeing Syria and Ukraine to escape violence. There are situations where staying put can mean endangering one’s life.
So assuming you can stay in your nurturing area, if you are growing your own food you likely also have to preserve some of what you harvest because it is seasonal. So having a working pantry and maybe a root cellar tend to come naturally to this type of lifestyle. If you have the pantry and root cellar it is only a step away to stock up on certain items when they are on sale. A well planned pantry will generally have space for purchased items that have long shelf lives like many canned goods. A key step to canning is proper labeling of items with a date. So proper rotation of the pantry also comes naturally to this lifestyle. Depending on the time of year one can expect so many months of surplus food maintained is such a system. So this lifestyle tends to create a food buffer that can be drawn upon when needed.
As for water those living off the grid know how important a dependable water supply is. Most Americans just take their plentiful water for granted. But if you have to depend on a cistern or pay to have a well drilled you quickly find out how important a dependable water supply truly is.
However, the nurturing lifestyle is not something you can just decide to do at the drop of a hat. Saying you are going to grow even a third of the food you consume and actually being able to do it are two different things. Just take a look at all the postings in Permies blog. Look at all the failed experiments, the projects that had to be modified many times before it became workable. Image the amount of learning and understanding that is taking place to get to these nurturing environments. It is very likely that if you are not engaged in such activity before a SHTF event you will likely not be in a position after a SHTF event to achieve a nurturing environment. One thing I found from talking to people around the world is that SHTF events tend to be a come as you are party. If you have the skills to provide something of value you increase your chances of survival. It can be how to make kerosene from plastics. It can be how to grow food. If all you have are things that can be taken from you than your survival depends on your ability to keep those things.
A little knowledge can make a big difference. One can think of the people in WWII who survived starvation by someone publishing what flower bulbs could be eaten and how to safely prepare them.
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