So, you have a stockpile of food and water that will sustain your family for a year. That’s great, but what happens when you want to eat something fresh. Raw veggies are something we take for granted in this day and age. When you are forced to live weeks or months on canned foods or freeze-dried foods, you will appreciate something as simple as a tossed green salad.
Learning what plants are edible and safe to eat will give you the option of munching on crunchy greens now and again. You don’t have to have a garden to get the greens you will be craving. Foraging is one way you can assure yourself you can survive, even if your food supply goes low or runs out. Often times, preppers get this idea in their head they will hunt for food to feed their families. That is a shaky plan. Hunting takes time and energy and there are no guarantees you will get something to eat.
Foraging may not fill your belly and roasting leaves doesn’t exactly give you that warm fuzzy feeling a roasted rabbit will, but it will keep you alive and it will give your body the nutrition it needs to keep going. Hunt for animals, but make sure you are munching on plants as often as possible.
Some edible plants that are found in the wild are often found in your own backyard. You probably don’t look at them like a tasty dinner. No, you look at them as intruders. Weeds that need to be eradicated. Before you grab the weed killer, check out what weeds you could actually be putting on your table.
- Shepard’s Purse
- Pigweed (amaranthe)
These are just a few of the most common weeds found in nature. There are hundreds more, but these are some of the most familiar and recognizable. Do what you can to learn as much as you can about edible plants.
You have been busy stockpiling food and are probably pretty comfortable with what you have amassed thus far. Maybe you are one of those who has calculated your food stores right down to the serving and the amount of days you have on hand. Or you may be one of those who just kind of eyeballs your shelves and guesstimates how many days you have on hand. Both methods are really estimates because you never know who is going to be home when it hits the fan. What if you happen to have relatives visiting or a portion of your food supply is damaged? You need to have a backup plan to supplement your food supply after disaster strikes.
Foraging is going to be your best option. You may envision yourself as the great white hunter, but hunting large game is not easy. It is time-consuming and zaps your energy. Energy is not something you can afford to waste when you are low on food. You need to learn what plants you can eat that will help sustain you while you set traps or go fishing for a bigger source of food. There are literally thousands of plants you can munch on. However, nearly every edible plant has a doppelganger that just happens to be poisonous or will cause some nasty side effects. You need to spend some time learning what is safe and what to avoid. It doesn’t hurt to have a manual with your food stores to use as a reference tool. Going through the testing process to determine what is safe to eat and what isn’t can take a full day. You don’t have that kind of time.
You may be short on ammunition and unless you have spent time learning how to use a bow and arrow, you are going to have to rely on setting traps. Traps are best used for small game, but you can certainly attempt to trap deer, bear and wild hogs. Small game is easier and more prolific than the large beasts we are used to putting on our dinner tables. Every little bit helps. Along with your book about edible plants, download and print a few instructional guides about how to build various traps with the items you find in your surroundings.
It doesn’t matter if you have enough food to last a year. You have to be prepared to supplement your existing food supply just in case things go wrong or the disaster completely turns the world upside down and you will be forced to survive on your wit and skills for longer than a year. Prepare and practice today to make your uncertain tomorrow a little easier.
I have had the opportunity to try out a new app from naturalist “Wildman” Steve Brill and I couldn’t wait to share it with you.
The app is called Wild Edibles and it is available for iPhones and Android phones. I have it on my Android, and I have to say, this is a great app to use if you want to learn about wild foods that you can forage for. Continue reading
Building a food supply is probably one of the most important things you can do to make sure your family is cared for during hard times. I always felt like, even if I couldn’t buy new video games or new outfits for every occasion, if I could feed them and feed them well, I was doing a good job.
Storing freeze dried food is important, but it is only part of a successful food storage program. I have mentioned making your own mixes, and that is a great addition, too. But what about other ways to keep your family fed? Continue reading