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Food Foraging
The art of foraging for foods in the wild (off grid food sources)

After food storaging and farming for food at home, the next area of study for a Happy
Prepper is food foraging. As a supplement to the food supply food foraging can help
provide essential phytonutrients, which are natural plant compounds of great
beneficial health value. Even a small amount of herbs, such as chives, will provide an
edge to survival edge. Food is energy!

The course of study on food foraging should be personal and based on local
vegetation. While books provide the resources for proper identification and harvesting,
Happy Preppers should include a few afternoons of hunting to identify specific edible
plants. From these findings, Happy Preppers include actual pictures and general
locations of these plans for inclusion in the Personal Survival Manual, along with a map.

The library of a Happy Prepper should include a variety books on the topic of food,
including small plot gardening or apartment gardening in addition to foraging for edible
wild plants for food, herbal antibiotics and medicinal values.

Foraging for foods in the wild
Preppers who live in more rural areas, can take advantage of a more vast supply of
food found in nature. The hardest thing about foraging for foods in the wild is
recognizing edible plants at their various stages. An excellent guide is
Edible Wild
Plants
, by John Kallas, PhD. While an excellent resource, this book isn't for the feint of
heart -- on the cover is a wild salad garnished with dandelion. The book will lead you
on wonderful hunt for wild spinach, wintercress, turnip greens, and field mustard, and
soon you'll be dreaming of stalking wild asparagus or stumbling on  patch of western
blue elderberry. You'll discover edible greens from the tart, the pungent and the bitter.
As with any book on the topic, the author offers a lesson on safety in consuming wild
plants.

Foraging for foods in the neighborhood
Mother nature can provide you with a supplement to your freeze dried pantry canned
food storage, and homegrown vegetation. After the masses have looted all food
sources and have raided every yard for vegetable gardens, and scavenge trees for
lemons, apples, plums and figs, there will be dearth of edible garden plants. That's
when a little knowledge will go a long way.

A fun activity Happy Preppers do with their family is to walk the neighborhood to spy
edible vegetation: rosemary, chives, and even dandelions may lurk in unsuspecting
places. What will you find? Below are some ideas:

Acorns: The earliest Native Americans of California ate acorns for breakfast, lunch and
dinner. Acorns are plentiful in many parts of California. They are not easy to eat
however, because they contain bitter tasting tannins. If you're handy and can forage
enough of them, you can boil them for two hours and make a paste, dry them, and
finally grind them into flour. Yum! Beware however that an abundance of tannic acid
can lead to kidney failure.

  • Birch trees: you may find an edible sweet sap in your birch trees. Just hammer a
    hole and collect the sap by nailing a container to the tree.

  • Cattails. High in carbohydrates, which is important for energy, you can safely eat
    cattails (not the cat kind of tail, silly, but the plant kind of cat tail).

  • Chives: Look carefully in the grasses. Chives might be lurking there. The great
    thing about chives is that they'll grow in the same spot for years to come.
    Consider growing chives in containers. Again, consult the Apartment Gardener
    book above for details on where and when to plant, pot size and more. Here's
    an article on foraging for chives.

  • Dandelions: Did you know Dandelions are edible? This is dandy to know, isn't it?
    In addition to vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium, they pack a healthy dose of
    iron. Who knew? Add them to your salad, but only after you've washed them
    correctly identified them. Beware that dandelions soak up toxins! So don't eat
    dandelions near roads or in public parks where pesticides, herbicides and other
    contaminants may make them unhealthy or dangerous to eat. Consider planting
    them yourself! They're nearly impossible to keep out of your garden anyway.

  • Maple trees: You don't have to live in Vermont to own a maple tree. The edible
    sweet sap of maple trees. Again,  just hammer a hole and collect the sap by
    nailing a container to the tree.

  • Pine needles: Pine needles and provide vitamin C!

  • Rosemary: Rosemary provides a wonderful smell for the senses and can evoke
    memories of a bountiful table set with a lovely roasted chicken dinner. The
    addition of this herb, can provide a hint of fresh greens to a diet in Winter.

  • Spruce needles: Spruce needles can provide vitamin C!

  • Wild berries: Yum! Foraging for edible wild berries is a lucrative endeavor for
    the Happy Prepper! There are wild blackberries, blueberries, cherries,
    cranberries, dewberries, juneberries, elderberries, huckleberries, raspberries,
    and wineberries, for example, but you've got to be careful. The pokeweed berry
    looks similar in appearance to a blueberry, but it's highly toxic!Here's a field
    guide to foraging for wild berries.

  • NOTE: If find a bounty of wild berries, then get to canning your berries! Your
    Preppers Pantry should include pectin, sugar and plenty of jars, and the
    equipment necessary to sterlize.

    Before you eat any vegetation in the wild or in the neighborhood...
    Happy Preppers study and consult a book on edible food sources before trying
    any food sources! Oleanders, for example, are deadly flowers: do not eat them.
    You should also avoid all wild mushrooms. And finally, you must be aware that
    greens can contain parasites or even deadly cyanide. An apple cider vinegar
    solution can help you avoid parasites on greens, while knowing what to avoid is
    the best prevention against cyanide poisoning.

Apartment gardening or hobby farming
Even city dwellers can participate in community gardens to harvest vegetation. And
Preppers who live in an apartment or condominium can start an apartment garden to
harvest windowsill squash, wine barrel arugula or asparagus in a milk crate.  Happy
Preppers start small and gain confidence in gardening whether it's a sprouted seed
project in the kitchen or growing corn in a large planter box, anyone can learn to grow.

Apartment growers are among the a happiest of Happy Preppers because these
gardeners can harvest an array of fruits, vegetables and herbs without much nuisance
from pests, such as aphids or slugs!

You don't have to live in an apartment to appreciate Apartment Gardening, by Amy
Pennington, top left.  Growing food an in urban home is a delight thanks to this helpful
guide. Learn to grow arugula, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs, lettuce, sugar snap
peas, squash, strawberries, and zucchini.

  • NOTE: Another good book by the same author is Urban Pantry, also above left.
    Filled with recipes for the thrifty that even gourmet cooks will love, this is not a
    survival book, and yet you'll appreciate the practical tips for stocking a pantry
    and everyday cooking. It won't be long before you realize the value of glass jars
    in many sizes. Buy both books and love the food you grow and make!

Growing at Home
Happy Preppers know how to forage for food and even grow their own. Even
apartment dwellers can have a garden on the balcony or in their home harvesting
herbs, sprouts and even vegetables or fruit.

Here are some ideas to get you started thinking about what you can grow at home:

Sprouting your own food: Get a food Sprouting kit and start enjoying sprouts year
round. There are mung beans, peas, alfalfa and so many more ways to enjoy a crunchy
addition to your diet. The only caveat is that people with a weakened or sensitive
immune system should avoid eating sprouts, including the elderly, children and
pregnant women. Visiting foodsafty.gov for more information on
food safety of sprouts.
Sprouted beans and seeds are subject to bacteria and there are reasons to be
concerned for Salmonella, E-coli or Listeria, even on home grown produce.
  • The four-tray Kitchen Seed Sprouter, pictured left, is an easy way to
    produce fresh, high-quality organic sprouts in your own kitchen.

Random tips for food foraging.
  • A wine barrel is perfect container for lettuces. Try a medium barrel to grow arugula.
    Ordinarily arugula grows to two feet, but in a barrel it grows the size perfect for
    a Happy Prepper salad. The Apartment Garden book, above, tells you where and
    when to plant, how to harvest, and even the best size pot for growing.
  • Fishing Bug Out Bag: Check out the fishing kit, immediate left, ideal for a bug out
    scenario.

Suggested reading:
  • The Forager's Harvest: A Guide to Edible Wild Plants, by Samuel Thayer, immediate
    left.
  • Apartment Gardening, by Amy Pennington, top left.
  • Edible Wild Plants, by John Kallas, PhD., top right.

Supplements to any food systems:
    Finally, be sure to supplement your food storage with crystalized foods and
    powders, dry herbs,and alongside also stock your family's calcium, iron and
    vitamin needs:
  • True Lemon, True Lime and True Orange are crystalized versions of the real
    thing. One packet is equivalent to a slice of these citrus fruits.
  • Wheat grass comes in a powder!
  • Dried herbs
  • Calcium, iron and vitamin supplements.

To supplement and sustain food storage, Happy Preppers plan to supplement their
diets with edible food sources found locally in nature. Learn how to forage for food in
the wild!

We're happy to hear your prepping ideas and link to your site. Please drop us a note on Twitter
at HappyPreppers.

Remember, our family survival system is free! Learn how to store food, water, fuel sources,
survival medicines, plus tips on  sanitation, self defense and more a happypreppers.com
Apartment gardening
Urban Pantry - Tips and recipes for a sustainable kitchen
Small-plot, high-yield gardening
Edible wild plants
Forager's Harvest: A Guide to Edible Wild Plants
herbal antiobiotics
Seed sprouter
Healing herbs and spices
Bugout-fishing-gear
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