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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Survival Food Prospecting

I have been an avid wild foods enthusiast since my childhood.  I've hunted the elusive Oregon Black Truffle in the Santiam Valley, collected Giant Puffballs in Ohio and Michigan, munched on Miner's Lettuce in Colorado, eaten Strawberry Spinach in Palmer, Alaska, and Thimble Berries near Marquette, Michigan.  This and much more over the course of my 47 years.  I've been around.

I was thinking about the times in which we live, how so many are out of work.  I thought about the fact that our country is in reality bankrupt, and how so many are struggling to just get by, myself included.  I have, without really putting much thought into it over the past decade or more, collect info regarding the whereabouts of quite a number of unused fruit trees, "decorative" sweet potato plantings, cattail stands, arrowhead colonies, pawpaw thickets, Apio americana stands, and much, much more.  I know where most of the blackberry, black raspberry, and strawberry patches are in my area as well.  So, I came up with an idea that I'm going to put in to action, namely, mapping out all of these resources on an actual map, as well as on google maps.  I want to have a database that can continually be added to by my family.  I'm pretty much the only person in my area that I know of who actually has an interest in, or knowledge about, this sort of thing.

A second thought also came to me, and that is that I want to sow seeds of as many different, edible plants and fruits, and seed-producing crops in as wide an area as possible throughout my area of the country.  I want to select plants that are specialists at reproducing themselves reliably, year after year, without any input from me.  I am looking for meadows tucked away in parks, abandoned factory areas, abandoned farm-sites, roadsides, creek beds, and other, out-of-the-way places.  I'm talking MAJOR seeding.  The idea is that I should be able to, secretly, create an insurance plan for my family.  I don't own much land, although what I DO own I am diligently working toward putting into use in multitudes of different ways.  This despite the highbrow area in which I live.

So stay tuned, and I'll report back on my progress on this front over time.