National Preparedness Month Daily Challenge: Day 15

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This topic contains 16 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  sionnach 8 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #22706


    Today’s Challenge

    Today’s challenge is to find some food.  You don’t actually have to harvest it because most things are not yet in season.

    But spend some time walking around to find local sources of food.  In a bad situation, what could you find to eat?  This is a thought exercise with a bit of footwork.

    What could you hunt, snare, trap, or forage?  Is there a place to fish nearby? Remember, you may be doing this on foot.  Try to think outside of the things we’d normally choose to eat.

    What is nearby that could keep you sustained? How would you harvest it? I look forward to some creative answers in the comments.

    • This topic was modified 8 months, 3 weeks ago by  Selco.
  • #22708

    Old Critter (aka, Hubby) and I have a lot of live traps so we can live trap a raccoon, squirrel, or whatever… hopefully not a skunk!  We also have Hickory and Oak trees so we can get nuts.  We have a lot of plantain (not the banana looking kind), and pennywort, and poke greens around.  In season we have some blackberries and once in awhile the huckleberries produce.  If we beat the deer and opossums to them it would be awesome!  We also have wild cherries and once in a blue moon some opossum grapes.  We have a lot of deer around here too.  We live next to a cattle ranch so if the SHTF in an extreme way, there is that as well.

  • #22718


    Passion fruit vines on the property, as well as chickweed. The nearby pond holds fish, ducks, turtles.

  • #22719

    Jessee Jones

    I am in about the same position as Old Ozark County Woman. We have plantain, poke, peppermint, lemon balm, rosemary, basil (all have gone wild as I made the mistake of planting them in the flower bed:). There are apples and wild plums on right not. The pears will be ripening in a couple of weeks too. I have lots of deer and an occasional turkey comes across the field. Also the rabbits and squirrels are plentiful around here too. The walnuts and other nuts are dropping in the field at this time. All is dependent on the time of year. There is wild asparagus, grapes, acorns, wild strawberries, blackberries and raspberries, white and red clover, dandelion. Even honeysuckle is a sweet treat (according to my daughter). There is lake that has blue gills in it if I want to walk a little farther. This is a good exercise in keeping my eyes open.

  • #22723

    OldMt Woman

    Welll….  Not abundance here but I’ve found some things over the decades:

    I’ve harvested the wild currants near us for this year.  There would be few cattails on the pond near us…for that pollen stuff to stretch flour and the roots.  [young roots better, I’ve eaten the old ones]

    Inner bark of trees…but we’ve only got the evergreen/pines..and aspen, willow.  Vit C in pine needle tea..I’ve used that.  Aspen or willow bark tea is like aspirin. Can ‘tap’ an aspen tree for sap…have never tried that…yet.  Pine nuts…don’t believe we have a kind with any abundance but…

    …anything helps.  Unless you’re spending more calories in gathering…than you get by eating.

    Yarrow is good for clotting blood.  Used to have a lot of wild rose…rose hip tea.  But deer ate it all during the droughts.

    Roots of thistles are said to be edible…haven’t tried that one.  Lots of thistles available.  The Lambs Quarters (like spinach) is dried up by now but available earlier.  I’ve eaten that.

    Our small wildlife is not abundant but: squirrel and rabbit..I’ve eaten both.  We have a number of different birds and in great need, they’d be an option……{do they all taste like chicken? lol }  Mt Blue Jay.  Um – the black and white ones.  Black birds.  Sparrows.  One carrion bird: Turkey neck Vulture.  That one might be nasty?

    One ABUNDANT small critter is our pasture varmints.  Just the other day I was threatening to put them on the menu.  Those just might be our main course cuz they multiply like crazy.  Might still have night time voles here too.  Then too…the other bane of our house:  mice.  If it keeps you alive…

    I have live traps, wire traps, mouse and rat traps.

    Of course there is deer and even elk but those are obvious targets and will be dead or will have run for the very high country quickly.  MtLion, bear, bobcat, fox, and coyote…they’re all meat. They’re seen rarely tho…..except coyote.   A pressure cooker would take care of tough texture.  Taste likely depends on what they ate last.

    Our pond/creek do not have fish.  It freezes over in winter.  It would be a long way to reach a trout stream or reservoir with fish.  But our water draws the wildlife.

    Can’t think if any bug [I’d have to be really desperate]…are crickets edible?  Snakes are very few and small.  No big rattlers here.  [for which I am everlastingly grateful!!!  Hate snakes!}

    Oh….we grow a lot of ball mushrooms. [forgot the official name at this moment] They are edible but aren’t really tasty.  Yes, we’ve tried them too.  Tasty doesn’t matter as much if you need it.  AND I just looked up dock.  Leaves are edible…and dried seeds after soaking to cut down on bitterness.  I know my goats loved them in the fall.

    I may be forgetting some things I’ve found here in the past decades….

    Due to harsh climate and altitude, we are not “lush”…meaning: “great variety and profusion of life”.  I’ve always taken note when I hear of something up here that is edible or medicinal.  Probably way more than I’ve heard about yet.


    • This reply was modified 8 months, 3 weeks ago by  OldMt Woman.
  • #22726

    Livingthe Dream

    If I had to go foraging I would probably starve.  Around the neighborhood are some great looking gardens but in a situation it probably wouldn’t be a good idea go into their backyard to try and pick from them.  There is a plum tree and an apple tree that is planted in a front yard.  Over the years I’ve noticed that they don’t harvest them.  Most of the fruit is on the ground or the birds get it.

    In my yard I have peppermint, bee balm, lemon balm, chives, basil, and parsley so I would be able to make things a little tastier.

    There are a lot of fat squirrels.  I would have to learn how to trap, skin and cook them.  I stocked my small backyard pond with goldfish 4 years ago.  9 of them are still alive and about 6 inches long.  Don’t know how goldfish taste but if I’m hungry I probably don’t care.  The next closest pond is about 5 miles away.  It’s kept stocked by the city so it would be fished out pretty quickly.  There is a stream about 3 miles away but I would have to go through private property to get to it.  Doesn’t sound ideal plus I haven’t fished in 20+ years.

    The beehives still have honey in them.  I left it there for the bees to use during the winter.  I could always take that but that would mean the loss of the hives.

    Time for me to learn some skills.



  • #22717


    Interesting challenge…I’m not into walking long distances plus I’m not at all knowledgable about things growing in the wild (a situation I’ve decided I should address); however, rather than just giving up on today’s challenge, I suddenly realized I have a number of mature pine trees on my property. A quick Google search brought up an excellent article on how to eat pine trees to survive! Immediately, I discovered that knowing whether my particular pine trees are edible as opposed to poisonous varieties is critical. So step one is to find somebody who knows what mine are. According to the article, the pine nuts are usually best around Sept and Oct so that’s a positive thing. The article went on to describe several parts of the pine tree that are edible and how one should prepare them to eat. As I can’t identify my pine trees, I will pass on doing anything today with them but have determined to give it a try. Why not? Just gives me another outdoor activity which is important in staying as healthy as I can.

  • #22731


    We have a river in back of neighborhood. So could catch fish. Also have squirrel and some wild rabbits.  We don’t deer hunt any longer as DH is not able now but we do have deer hunters around here. In our flower beds we have basil, rosemary, mint, and lettuce along with some other spices. No where around here close around here to forge but might be able to find some things down the road in the woods. Will have to make that trip to the woods to see what is there as far as forging goes. We do have a few oak trees in the neighborhood.  DH used to rabbit hunt, but don’t think he could do that now but the rabbits do run around our yard.  We would put out traps for those. We have a lot of black snakes and rattlesnakes around here as of the past 2 or 3 years. So could kill snake and cook that. never have eating snake before but have heard people say it is rather good eating. Would have to see on that one. We are loaded with pine trees so would have to read up on how that could be a source of food. I have heard about pine trees having parts that are eatable but not sure. Got some walking through woods and fields to see what is out there.

  • #22733

    Farm Girl

    Didn’t get to look at today’s challenge until just now (9:30pm).  I was busy canning all day.  Will try to go out tomorrow and have a look around.  Our neighbor has a huge pond with fish and he has told us we can fish from it whenever we want.  In a disaster, that may not be true, though.  We would definitely ask permission first and share whatever we caught.  Other than that, we are plentiful in wild rabbits, coyotes, possum, deer, antelopes, bear, and we have some wild blackberry growing in a patch on the hill.

  • #22734

    Mama cando

    I took a look around my home, in the yard we have pine trees but like molly I would have to make sure they were not poisonous, I have purslane growing in a couple of flower boxes, my husbands hostas yes,some hostas are edible I am learning how to use it, two apple trees, down the road about a couple of blocks is a stream with fish, plus the park pond near the house that has frogs and fish. Unfortunately the cat tails may be polluted by run off and pesticides the township sprays around the park. There is a trail that goes thru the township that has a lot of “wild” plants. I just haven’t been able to get out and REALLY scout the area.. We have a couple of wooded areas near us that may have oak trees for acorns and other things we may be able to use. I lost all the plantain I was growing because the young man that came to do the spraying/fertilizing pulled it out and put round up on the flower boxes I was growing it in, he was taking our usual persons place while he was on vacation and evidently didn’t know he wasn’t supposed to spray there, I didn’t catch him in time to prevent the “carnage”. I’ll have to re dig all the dirt out of the beds and replace with clean soil in the spring and start all over again but that’s part of what I have been learning. We also have rabbits, deer and squirrels running around this neighborhood. Unless most of the people know how to catch them  we may have some meat on the hoof  available. University has farm animals and gardens that produce a lot of food but I suspect IF any of the students are still there they would be wasting the resources there. I have an idea on a stealth garden off site but I haven’t fleshed out the details on how to accomplish this yet. PS I have been using the purslane in our salads and DH thinks it tastes good

  • #22736


    wild animals and fish are abundant lots of edible plants once you are taught what to look for. We produce 80 percent  of our food the 20 we don’t we have stores of.


    Could live on farm for rest of life and not want for food only thing would be making  more  clothing and certain medications


  • #22758

    Mama T

    We have a few places to fish from. A few plants to harvest as salad, and a few small critters if I ever learn to make a few snares. Though, I would prefer not to.

  • #22775

    JD Darling

    My place is loaded. Pond, forest, meadow. Oaks, mulberries, pecans, hickory, highbush blueberry, squawberry, hawthorn, fruit orchard, yucca, prickly pear, passion flower vine etc.

  • #22778


    In the yard- apples, plums, cherries, chokecherries, crab apples, pine trees, sugar maples, birch, queen anne’s lace in ditch, wild asparagus, rose hips, rhubarb, raspberries, blackberries, currants, wintergreen, lambs quarters, purslane, plantain, dandelions,herbs and medicinal herbs.                                                                                          Locally- wild strawberries, blueberries, serviceberries, beechnuts if I could beat the squirrels to them, mountain ash berries, cattails, mushrooms, reindeer moss.                                                                                                                 For meat- mourning doves, wild turkeys. grouse, geese and ducks, deer and small animals.  I don’t know what all is in season but in survival mode things would be different.  I once cooked a bear for a potluck and people said they were hungry enough to eat a bear but thought they were eating beef.  A local lady I know ate ground hog and a few people have eaten beaver.  When SHTF you can’t be too picky.  Still, don’t want to think about bugs yet but crickets and grasshoppers are edible.  I remember a movie about people in a lifeboat and a boy had a dog in the raft that someone wanted to toss out and someone else said “we could eat him but we can’t eat you” and the guy shut up.

    Some of the above are plentiful and some rather sparse.I have eaten reindeer moss fried in butter and it just tasted like butter.  There are morels, honey mushrooms, turkey tails and puffballs that I know of.                            In the garden- this year not so much but I usually grow potatoes, tomatoes (that’s hard up here) green beans, peas, broccoli, kale, onions, (have leeks and chives in flower garden and a ton of peppermint)  spinach and lettuce.  Also kohlrabi and squash & cukes.  As for the garden I often bite off more than I can chew.  Have to work on doing it all more efficiently.

    Forgot to mention we also have brook trout and other fish.  We have a creek right by the house.

    Can’t think of what else right now but this is a good challenge.  Will have to pay even more attention.  Grains would be more difficult to come by and I would need to can foods when they were in season.  I do that to some extent now.  I like purslane, lambs quarters and dandelion buds in salad.  I need to focus on collecting weed seeds to have a stash.  Haven’t made ersatz coffee yet but teas would be a logical and easy choice.

    One thing- illegal, but you can stun fish with mullein seeds and pick them up.  Indians used to do it.  Hungry enough and frogs and turtles could be on the menu.  I’ve never cooked them yet.

  • #22793

    Pony Maroni

    Things we could forage at the moment are burdock, typha, wild plums, apples… There are a few pears still hanging on the trees, and the occasional unmolested cluster of now-dried elderberries. For protein, we could catch snapping turtles, snakes, the odd rabbit or squirrel (though I may have to fight the LGDs for the rabbits).


  • #22816

    Cinnamon Grammy

    Foraging is something I want to learn more about.  There is a lot to learn and not much in season at any particular time.

    We have an apple tree, and a plum tree, but neither bore fruit this year; our currant bushes died.  Our blueberries are just getting started and the strawberries are spring fruit. I have mint underneath the cherry tree. There was a rhubarb and an asparagus patch here!

    Looking at WILD stuff:  we have black-capped raspberries in July, and cherries and mulberry if we can beat the birds to the last two.  I could try to train the wild grapes, but I have not seen many actual grapes on them. We tap our silver maple trees.

    Hubby could shoot the squirrels, turkey, and deer. We only have a few rabbits.  Have not caught that pocket gopher or whatever is eating my cabbage so I would not count us a trappers.  We are nearly two miles from a river with fish and 8 miles from a trout stream.

    Greens:  On a regular basis I pick from our yard:  amaranth/pigweed and lamb’s quarter leaves,  wood violet leaves and flowers, dandelion and plantain leaves, purslane, wood sorrel (green and red) for our salads.  Plus, nettle and catmint, raspberry, strawberry, mint, and bergamot leaves for tea. At this time of the year, the amaranth and lamb’s quarter’s have gone to seed and there are not many leaves; I don’t know how to collect the seeds. Since we do not spray or add anything to the lawn, I can still pick the dandelion, plantain, and clover leaves.

    There is red sumac at the end of our 1/2 mile driveway to make a beverage.

    We have walnut trees, but the vegetation underneath is so thick that we have left the nuts for the squirrels.  That and acorns are two items I should learn how to use. I have not tried eating the silver maple samaras.

    I have not tried other plants that are here and are edible:  ferns, hosta,  hog peanut, chickweed, tea from pine and spruce needles, burdock or mullein.

  • #22825


    We have figs, acorns, blackberries, various edible weeds, deer, turkeys, squirrels, I raise rabbits and chickens, there’s a pond across the road with fish and turtles and apple trees down the road.


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