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Eating off the grid

By Patrick follow Patrick   2022 Jun 19, 10:30am 452 views  35 comments           share      

https://www.rebelnews.com/eat_off_the_grid_with_julie_walker_of_full_circle_adventures


Foraging, which means gathering wild food for free, is a sustainable and completely off the grid way to get some healthy options on the table.

Food supply chain issues are generating an atmosphere of uncertainty and government overreach is branching into more and more facets of everyday life. Meanwhile, global institutions like the World Economic Forum suggest we should own nothing, be happy, and probably stick to eating crickets. All of this means people are more and more interested in decreasing their dependence on the systems and structures they’ve grown reliant upon.

Ensuring there is food on the table is a basic requisite for carrying on living, but is it possible to break away from the grocery store chains and still eat in a healthy and affordable way? Many are increasingly wanting locally sourced and organic products, but the cost is often untenable, so what do you do?

Here is an idea: check your backyard for food. In other words, go foraging.

Foraging, which means gathering wild food for free, is a sustainable and completely off the grid way to get some healthy options on the table. It is a practice that is increasing in popularity with everyone from Michelin-starred chefs and hippies to hardcore survivalists, and we wanted to get in on the action.

We met up with foraging expert Julie Walker of Full Circle Adventures to learn about some of the edible items you are likely to be able to find in your own backyard and how they can be used and prepared.

A foraged salad is a great side to compliment a burger, but the federal government doesn’t even want us to enjoy that without weighing in. The Trudeau Liberals are vilifying red meat and ranchers with plans to label Canadian ground beef as unhealthy.


1   RC2006   2022 Jun 19, 10:35am  

Everyone with a backyard should be growing something even a little garden, onec that is going its easy to scale up.

2   Tenpoundbass   2022 Jun 19, 12:14pm  

The industrial sized garden production they would need for a backyard garden weed salad, for a family of four everyday for every meal. Would require acres of land, crop rotation, ploughing, and tilling on several acres of land. Hardly a back yard operation. At best you get a couple salads during a brief period in a year.
3   Ceffer   2022 Jun 19, 12:28pm  

I'm sending bags of cricket paste to my neighbors. Hopefully, they will plump up nicely for the grill.
4   RC2006   2022 Jun 19, 12:51pm  

Tenpoundbass says

The industrial sized garden production they would need for a backyard garden weed salad, for a family of four everyday for every meal. Would require acres of land, crop rotation, ploughing, and tilling on several acres of land. Hardly a back yard operation. At best you get a couple salads during a brief period in a year.


4000+ sqf backyard can make enough to not starve for a while if utilized properly. The real reason to do it would be supplementing store bought food. My old backyard I only used about 30-40% of my 3000sqf yard and plenty of veggies, herbs and berries. I had fruit 9 months out of the year and had way more than my family could eat and can, always gave away half.

I'm slowly building up my new yard but one negative of were I live now is I only have about 6-7 months to grow without a greenhouse vs 10 months where I lived before.
5   Ceffer   2022 Jun 19, 1:02pm  

Green houses can be stacked and racked for intensive growth. I have a friend who has a fairly small green house in Oakland and grows tomatoes (tomatoes don't ordinarily grow very well outdoors in a place like Oakland). He grows all kinds in abundance in rotations, has it down to a precise art with light, fertilizer, humidity control, heat, timing etc. The ones he has given me are delicious to eat raw, and many have peppery flavoring. I gather he has become a supplier for a restaurant.
6   Hircus   2022 Jun 19, 6:14pm  

I don't think foraging is very realistic for prepping purposes. I do think it would be useful in the event of a food crisis as a way to help get some potentially badly needed nutrient variety, but the type of stuff I think you usually find when foraging are low in calories. Greens are for nutrients, not calories. Maybe aside from greens/salad, you forage some mushrooms, fruits, or berries, which are a little more caloric dense. But if there's a food crisis, you'd probably have to go very far out to find unharvested forage. Hope you live in norther canada or alaska where pop density is low.

I do think people can grow worthwhile amounts of food if they have a backyard. Corn, potatoes, beans etc... but they will still need other food sources.

To feed a family of 4, you probably need 3-4M calories per yr. That's a lot. Hunting a deer only provides you ~25,000 calories of meat, so a family would need a deer every 2nd or 3rd day. Very unrealistic.



I want at least an acre of decent land, with its own water source. A creek, or maybe a spring is even better? Plant a ton of different types of fruit trees, and many rows for lots of different veggies. Build fencing to keep animals out. Build some greenhouses so you can grow all year. Ideally keep a variety of animals around, and include something like rabbits or cornish hens, along with a way to feed them, because they can be rapidly multiplied on demand to provide meat. Go full homestead.

If we have a food crisis, will the woke magazines start telling us how beautiful and healthy the malnourished/starvation body type is?
7   RC2006   2022 Jun 19, 6:51pm  

Also sock away 3+ months of food at all times. There are lots of ways to store food that will last 20 or more years. You can also can a lot of fruits and vegetables to last a year or more.
8   AmericanKulak   2022 Jun 19, 7:06pm  

You can raise quite a bit of Tilapia with aquaponics, and then filter the fish's water through a hydroponic system to grow veggies which in turn treat the fish water for sending back into the fish barrel.

This guy has the best videos/instrux on it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2tgrUvSnbM
9   richwicks   2022 Jun 20, 3:42am  

Haha - I grew up in the sticks. NONE of you know how much land you need to sustain yourselves.

I had great uncles who were subsistence farmers. This is what it's like.

* you never leave your land
* you work from sunup to sundown
* there is no such thing as a "vacation"
* you better goddamned well love your job

Farming is the hardest job in existence. If you do it for profit, one year you make 3 million dollars, the next, you lose 4 million and the government determines what you grow, and you better be good at commodities trading. Government already completely controls the food supply. They pay farmers to destroy crops and animals in some years.

You can thank FDR for this.
10   Reality   2022 Jun 20, 5:21am  

IMHO, for vitamins and fiber, vegetable sufficient for a family of 2-4 people can be grown in a sun room or less than 1/50 of an acre if local weather allows. The key is "cropping": snipping the leaves that you want for the day while leaving the roots and stems alone to grow more the next day/week while rotating among the plants. A dozen plants is all it takes.

For protein, fat and calories in general, the most time/acreage-efficient would be eggs and fish (if the local weather allows). Egg-laying hens can live off the land (crab grass and insects) inside a mobile cage that gets moved around the yard, with dogs/goats/pigs/guns to chase off hawks/foxes/coyotes/human-thieves. Fish would need a pond and suitable local weather (Tilapia requires warm weather and grain supply external to the indoor raceway, so the much worse-tasting mud fish types like carp and catfish might be better at living off the land; need to grow seasoning plants in order to make the fish palatable). Growing grain is not sustainable for family-sized operation without trading to smooth out year-to-year fluctuations due to rain-fall and pestilence variations (which was why all major grain civilizations were founded on the banks of major rivers: not for water supply but for ease of transportation for trading among different areas experiencing different feast/famine phases).
11   AmericanKulak   2022 Jun 20, 7:05am  

Potatoes and Sunflowers, too. And bees. A nanny goat and a few chickens, and then a fishpond/indoor aquaponics system would be the top priorities for protein. Goat and chickenshit and fishmeal are fantastic soil additives. The latter can be powered with solar/renewables, since pumps don't require much electric and you can have a battery system powering it.

Goat shit is better than cow shit. Goats also ram threats, including humans. As long as you don't have roaming dog/wolf packs or bears, they can handle just about anything, including pesky Cyclists:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jgjk3DsN7c

You can grow quite a bit on an acre if it's intense and modern and I hate to say it, sustainable (worms, composting) - not overfertilize, insectide spray and pray mid 20th Century monocrop tractor farming. Once you start using massive doses of chemical fertilizer it's like a drug, you can't stop because all the microbes in the top soil are burnt out.

Being a farmer for mass production leading to a cash income != intensive gardening/farmette for household consumption/local farmer's market

It all depends on what you are looking for - If you are looking to earn cash on 2-5 acres by growing wheat, good luck with that. But if you're looking to grow most of your food, with possibly a little extra to sell or selling byproducts and you don't have a mortgage/big mortgage, you can certainly get by on very little outside inputs, like a single full time job.

From Poland to the Congo, people survive on "farmettes" fairly easily most of the time.
12   Bd6r   2022 Jun 20, 10:20am  

AmericanKulak says

From Poland to the Congo, people survive on "farmettes" fairly easily most of the time.

In N. Europe it was (is) customary that wife works in local town while husband farms. Some (not much) income from her salary in case crops fail.
13   Robert Sproul   2022 Jun 20, 11:52am  

This guy is a Woke Goofball but his experiment I found interesting. 100% grown or foraged food for 1 year. Seems much easier in FLA than in bone dry CA.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nX4kq4QfYRA
I am always inspired by the 'food forest' 'perma-culture' guys on youtube but I have never had much gardening success.
Maybe caloric deficiency will focus my attention.
14   Ceffer   2022 Jun 20, 11:54am  

One thing about the swamps in places like Louisiana, you can definitely live off the land to a large extent and a lot of people still do with hunting, fishing, foraging. Take out the pirogue and come back with lots of stuff to eat.
15   Shaman   2022 Jun 20, 4:45pm  

My backyard isn’t large, big enough for a pool and some trees and a couple of eight foot planters I built. I’ve grown zucchini and tomatoes in the past. This year I’ve been cultivating strawberries in one planter and tomatoes in the other. The strawberries are now producing enough that we don’t have to buy strawberries anymore. Maybe a pint every other day. Seems sustainable. They keep growing and taking over more of the planter.

The tomatoes are just getting to the flowering stage. Good for salads and whatever I guess.
16   AmericanKulak   2022 Jun 20, 5:19pm  

Try Potatoes next. I'm doing it for the first time. I'm getting 5x the seed potatoes I planted by weight.
17   rocketjoe79   2022 Jun 20, 5:43pm  

When eating out, don't eat food with a barcode.

Big box restaurants, called "stores" internally, exist to extract as much per table per hour as possible. Massive corporations deliver food, partially prepped to save time. Food is tasteless and full of salt, sugar and junk.

Try to go for mom-and-pop places. I've NEVER had food poisoning after 30 years on the road.
18   AmericanKulak   2022 Jun 20, 6:36pm  

rocketjoe79 says


Big box restaurants, called "stores" internally, exist to extract as much per table per hour as possible. Massive corporations deliver food, partially prepped to save time. Food is tasteless and full of salt, sugar and junk.

I ate at Chili's for the first time in a decade a few months ago. The Burger was utterly tasteless. I couldn't tell between the bun, lettuce, tomato, etc. Only the onion had a bit of flavor.

Truth about Big Box Restaurants like Olive Garden, Chili's, etc.? "My compliments to the microwave". Overpriced frozen dinners, basically.
19   Robert Sproul   2022 Jun 20, 6:56pm  

Even 'higher end' local joints have a dumpster full of Sysco cans.
20   RWSGFY   2022 Jun 20, 7:40pm  

It all works if you're willing to be doing it most of the day. And not much else. Because you won't have time an you'll be fucking tired.
21   Shaman   2022 Jun 20, 8:17pm  

AmericanKulak says

Try Potatoes next. I'm doing it for the first time. I'm getting 5x the seed potatoes I planted by weight.


That’s a really light yield. Either you didn’t cut up your seed potatoes or you didn’t fertilize? Or they really hate your soil.
22   AmericanKulak   2022 Jun 20, 8:19pm  

Shaman says

That’s a really light yield. Either you didn’t cut up your seed potatoes or you didn’t fertilize? Or they really hate your soil.

It is - I didn't fertilize and it's mostly random dirt, because I'm a cheapass this year. Also my first time growing them.
23   ad   2022 Jun 20, 11:06pm  

Hircus says

I do think people can grow worthwhile amounts of food if they have a backyard. Corn, potatoes, beans etc... but they will still need other food sources.


Have chickens for the chicken eggs. Plus they will eat table scraps and bugs. If you have a stink bug infestation, the bugs can be collected and fed to the chickens.

Plus chicken manure is very valuable for gardens. I know of major chicken and turkey farms that convert manure to natural gas and fertilizer in biodigesters.

..
24   Patrick   2022 Jun 20, 11:52pm  

From experience, chickens are great and very efficient at producing protein in two ways, but someone has to put them in at night or they will get eaten by raccoons, etc.
25   richwicks   2022 Jun 21, 2:45am  

AmericanKulak says

Shaman says


That’s a really light yield. Either you didn’t cut up your seed potatoes or you didn’t fertilize? Or they really hate your soil.

It is - I didn't fertilize and it's mostly random dirt, because I'm a cheapass this year. Also my first time growing them.


Try burying food you'd otherwise throw away in the trash in your garden, and BURY it.
26   Hircus   2022 Jun 21, 9:04am  

richwicks says


Try burying food you'd otherwise throw away in the trash in your garden, and BURY it.


I heard people pick up roadkill like deer to take it home and bury for fertilizer.
27   Bd6r   2022 Jun 21, 11:35am  

richwicks says

AmericanKulak says


Shaman says



That’s a really light yield. Either you didn’t cut up your seed potatoes or you didn’t fertilize? Or they really hate your soil.

It is - I didn't fertilize and it's mostly random dirt, because I'm a cheapass this year. Also my first time growing them.



Try burying food you'd otherwise throw away in the trash in your garden, and BURY it.

Before we bought farm, we composted all food scraps and leaves in back yard, and it was enough for a small plot (grew okra and beans).
28   EBGuy   2022 Jun 21, 7:38pm  

AmericanKulak says

You can raise quite a bit of Tilapia with aquaponics, and then filter the fish's water through a hydroponic system to grow veggies which in turn treat the fish water for sending back into the fish barrel.

Thanks, that barrel system looks interesting. Now add add Black Soldier Fly larvae to feed that fishes and take care of kitchen scrapes. The larvae will climb a 30 degree gang plank and self feed the fishes...
https://tainofarm.com/aquapoincs-in-the-caribbean/black-soldier-fly/
https://gardenpool.org/beneficial-insects/black-soldier-fly-composter-automatic-chicken-feeder
29   AmericanKulak   2022 Jun 21, 7:42pm  

EBGuy says

AmericanKulak says


You can raise quite a bit of Tilapia with aquaponics, and then filter the fish's water through a hydroponic system to grow veggies which in turn treat the fish water for sending back into the fish barrel.

Thanks, that barrel system looks interesting. Now add add Black Soldier Fly larvae to feed that fishes and take care of kitchen scrapes. The larvae will climb a 30 degree gang plank and self feed the fishes...
https://tainofarm.com/aquapoincs-in-the-caribbean/black-soldier-fly/
https://gardenpool.org/beneficial-insects/black-soldier-fly-composter-automatic-chicken-feeder


Nice, and that's more natural than feeding them soy or corn pellets, and leavings from the veggie garden wouldn't be enough or well balanced...
30   AmericanKulak   2022 Jun 21, 7:44pm  

richwicks says

Try burying food you'd otherwise throw away in the trash in your garden, and BURY it.


Sure, but I'm in a very small space so not this year. I've composted before and did bury some grinds, veggie waste, and egg shells in the tomato bags.
31   Patrick   2022 Jun 21, 8:03pm  

We have a compost heap and it's fun to spread the dirt on the garden, when seeds from previous food sprout.
32   EBGuy   2022 Jun 21, 9:06pm  

AmericanKulak says

Nice, and that's more natural than feeding them soy or corn pellets, and leavings from the veggie garden wouldn't be enough or well balanced...

Hmmmmm... I just found something that suggests the "self harvesting" method might not work for fish (but it seems like the chickens would like it). That said, you just might need to get your hands dirty harvesting the younger, white-coloured larvae for fish...
Black Soldier Fly, a future for Tilapia feed?
Use of fresh (rather than dry) larvae by the authors also raises issues around potential commercialisation. First, fresh larvae reduce the dry matter and protein intake compared to a "dry" diet. Secondly pre-pupae were used, as it is the easiest larval stage to collect because of their wandering and "self-harvesting" behaviour prior to pupation; at this stage they bare insensitive to light.
However, they have a highly elevated chitin content; an almost-indigestible sugar and the main constituent of insect "skin". Younger white-coloured larvae have negligible chitin content and are correspondingly more digestible, but efficient harvesting from feed-substrates is much more challenging due to light avoiding behaviour. This results in a requirement for mechanical separation of younger larvae from the substrate.
...
A more recent study on Nile Tilapia (Devic et al. 2017) used the white larvae dry meal to formulate isonitrogenous and isoenergetic diets with maggot meal inclusions at 0, 30, 50 and 80 g/kg substituting gradually three conventional expensive feedstuffs: fish meal, fish oil and soybean meal. Results showed no significant difference in growth parameters (final weight; weight gain and SGR), feed utilization efficiency (FCR and PER and feed intake) between treatments. Similarly fish whole body composition (dry matter, crude protein, lipid, ash and fibre) was unaffected by the treatments except the fatty acid compositions which mirrored that of the diets.
Thus, the study confirmed the substitution potential of BSF white maggot meal as a potential replacement for other commonly used dietary protein sources with respect to biological (if not economic) performance.
33   ad   2022 Jun 21, 11:54pm  

Patrick says

From experience, chickens are great and very efficient at producing protein in two ways, but someone has to put them in at night or they will get eaten by raccoons, etc.


Good point Patrick, as I would keep them within a chicken house and use chicken wire to keep them protected from predators. A chicken lays about 1 egg a day so all you need is about 2 to 3 chickens per person.
34   ad   2022 Jun 21, 11:55pm  

Hircus says

I heard people pick up roadkill like deer to take it home and bury for fertilizer.


yep, and also use fish scraps for fertilizer

,
35   WookieMan   2022 Jun 22, 6:02am  

ad says

Patrick says


From experience, chickens are great and very efficient at producing protein in two ways, but someone has to put them in at night or they will get eaten by raccoons, etc.


Good point Patrick, as I would keep them within a chicken house and use chicken wire to keep them protected from predators. A chicken lays about 1 egg a day so all you need is about 2 to 3 chickens per person.

My Puerto Rican neighbor has his chickens in his house.... Odd fellow, but he's direct from PR. I don't know if that's a good solution, but he was doing it when he first moved in 2 years ago. I have not been in the house since he bought it, so it could smell like chicken shit and an animal living in your house. Our town does allow chickens outside though. He just didn't know.

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