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integrating wild foraging into permaculture design  RSS feed

 
Tony Scheck
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Sergei, have you integrated your wild foraging into any permaculture design or are you just wild harvesting?
I'm on 5 acres and have started to identify natives but they are limited. Have you introduced/seeded plants into an area?
If so, which ones would you recommend as I am at 8000' in CO. Thanks
 
Sergei Boutenko
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Tony Scheck wrote:Sergei, have you integrated your wild foraging into any permaculture design or are you just wild harvesting?
I'm on 5 acres and have started to identify natives but they are limited. Have you introduced/seeded plants into an area?
If so, which ones would you recommend as I am at 8000' in CO. Thanks


Tony, I've definitely done a fair bit of edible weed cultivation. It's way easier to eat the weeds when they are close by.
In addition to a conventional garden I try have a large wild edibles patch for green smoothies and salads.
My last weed patch was full of miner's lettuce (during the months of March, April, and May), lamb's quarters, dandelions, clover, plantain,
mint, green amaranth, pursuance, dock, and chicory. I intentionally planted some of these things, but most of them came up on their own.
When you train your eyes to spot good weeds, you'll find that they are all around you and you don't even have do anything but let them grow.
This is one of the base principle of permaculture is it not?

At your elevation you might have to experiment at little bit to see how things grow. I'm sure you can grow some sort of weeds on your land.
All of the plants I mentioned are pretty hardy. Have you walked around your property looking for edible plants? If so, what did you find?


 
Tony Scheck
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Sergei, only one that I'm sure of is the thistle. I may have some type of amaranth, plantain, and variation of lamb's quarters, and one that tastes like it's from the mustard family (which a friend had me try). I am familiar with most of these plants from Connecticut where I was raised. But all the ones here look different. I guess I need to get a copy of your book to help me. Would like to get a signed copy if possible. : )
Thanks for sharing this great info.
 
Heather Ward
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Tony, "cultivation" of weeds is an old and honorable practice. After all, our distant ancestors did it, which is how we come to have agriculturešŸ˜‰. Five highly nutritious and useful weeds that I know will grow in your area, because they will grow anywhere, are amaranth, lambs-quarters, stinging nettle, dandelion, and dock. See if you have them already, and if you don't, four of them are easily introduced from seed and the nettle is best started from root cuttings, which you can get on EBay. I don't know how arid your location is, so you may need to supply some water, at least to get things started. Once you have them, though, you tend to go on having them. I live in a very dry area at high elevation and I have them in abundance. I do have to supply some water on an ongoing basis or the only "weed" I would have would be prickly pear, which is certainly edible but which I don't like that much.
 
Tony Scheck
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Hi Heather thanks for your post. I am in an arid area and we also have a lot of prickly pear. I think you are correct that I'll need to water plants the first year get them started.
I've gotten goji bushes started this way. I'm still finishing the building of our house, and will be able to start giving some serious time to this project next spring.
We had above average rain this year so far. I'm going to be busy collecting piƱon this fall, the trees are loaded.
 
Sergei Boutenko
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Heather Ward wrote:Tony, "cultivation" of weeds is an old and honorable practice. After all, our distant ancestors did it, which is how we come to have agriculturešŸ˜‰. Five highly nutritious and useful weeds that I know will grow in your area, because they will grow anywhere, are amaranth, lambs-quarters, stinging nettle, dandelion, and dock. See if you have them already, and if you don't, four of them are easily introduced from seed and the nettle is best started from root cuttings, which you can get on EBay. I don't know how arid your location is, so you may need to supply some water, at least to get things started. Once you have them, though, you tend to go on having them. I live in a very dry area at high elevation and I have them in abundance. I do have to supply some water on an ongoing basis or the only "weed" I would have would be prickly pear, which is certainly edible but which I don't like that much.
Rock on Heather!
 
Heather Ward
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Hey Sergei, thanks for joining us! What would you like to say about foraging that nobody has asked you yet?
 
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