Food prices are set to rise sharply. Are You prepared?
14 Million American children will go to bed hungry tonight.
It's time to go back to the old ways of getting food!
People have lived in North America for thousands of years
without fast food or grocery stores.
Our country is a sea of free food going to waste.
Let's take a look at the vast free abundant harvest available to you.
1. Berries (Foraging for Edible Wild Berries)
berry means any small fruit that can be eaten whole and lacks objectionable seeds.
Many tons of berries go to waste each year. Pick berries, wash and freeze to use throughout the year.
Berries can be used for fresh juice (blended and strained), syrup (mixed with sugar and heated on the stove),
frozen whole as treats for the kids, sprinkled frozen on ice cream, yogurt and into cereal,
baked into pies, cakes, muffins, jams , jellies and preserves.
To dry berries, let dry in the oven, food dehydrator, or sun, covered with cheesecloth. I like to put them between two window screens set up on sawhorses or chair backs.
2.Gleaning Farmer's Fields - Gleaning is an ancient custom of taking leftover crops from a farmer's field after the commercial harvest is over. In some cultures, farmers would deliberately leave the edges of their fields unharvested as a form of welfare for the needy. Today, humanitarian groups glean to help feed the hungry. All you have to do is ask and you can glean for your family!
Find local farms listed in the phone book and Chamber of Commerce.
The machines that farmers use to harvest only collect a certain size and often leave the rest to rot.
Call your local farms to load up on free food left in the fields.
example: after a 3 day potato harvest, our local farmer invited us to pick up potatoes left laying
on the ground by the harvester. We backed up the car and filled up the trunk, took them home,
washed them with the garden hose outside, dried them in the sun, chopped and froze them.
We went back, filled the trunk again, washed ,dried and delivered to the local food bank
for the sick, elderly and car-less so they could have some, too!
3. Easy growing for Food - no space, no time? No problem! Re-purpose a large container,
wooden box, wash tub or large planter. Fill with an inch or two of gravel, fill with dirt, stir in 1 cup of osmocote (time release fertilizer) if you can afford it,
plant a few squash seeds, keep soil moist but not wet and you will have enough squash to eat fresh and freeze some.
Stew with chopped tomato, onion and garlic, stuff the squash and bake, or fry with bacon.
Note - young tender green Pumpkin tastes nothing like the mature one! It's more like mild
yellow squash or young zucchini. You can chop and freeze it for winter.
Where to get seeds: If you get food stamps, you can use them to buy mature squash, all types,
and use the seeds to plant. Dried beans from the supermarket will also grow quickly providing a large variety of green beans, then fresh beans which are soft and similar to peas, Let some dry on the vine or bush to plant next year. Try all types, Lima, Navy, Pinto, etc. All are delicious picked young, chop up the pod and cook with a piece of smoked bacon, or any fresh green bean recipe (raw, too) will do.
4. Free greens:
Acres of free greens not only go to waste but are treated as "weeds".
1. Dandelions are a "superfood". The greens are easy to grow and feed thousands in-the-know.
In a land of now starving children, it amazes me that Americans have waged war on the delicious Dandelion!
2. Free "Spinach" - Lambs Quarter
This delicious vegetable grows everywhere! Free, nutritious and yummy.
Provides more beta carotene, calcium, potassium and iron than spinach, and it’s also an excellent source of vitamin C and B vitamins.
The plant tastes like its relative, spinach, only better (the seeds are also edible). You can eat the whole tender young plant in mid-spring; use just the leaves from late spring to fall. Use it the same way you’d use spinach: Toss it in salads, soups, quiches and casseroles. More fabulous free edibles HERE.
5. Free Food from the Water: America is blessed with ocean coastlines, rivers, lakes and streams which are all good sources of free food.
Edible seaweed has been used as a superfood for thousands of years. Seaside dwellers have harvested and enjoyed sea vegetables since prehistoric times.
Edible seaweed is often used in weight loss programs to reduce cholesterol and fat in the blood. It is helpful in alleviating high blood pressure, building strong bones and regulating thyroid imbalances. Sea vegetables are used to relieve swelling, shrink tumors and ease skin disorders.
If you live on the coast, you can forage for clams, mussels, limpets, crabs and abundant seaweed.
Use a fine mesh minnow net (or a minnow trap) and catch dinner in a few minutes!
Spicy Crispy Minnow Recipe
If you live in Florida:
Homeowners in Florida have planted the best Citrus Fruit trees available. Over the years the
trees have matured and now bear heavily. Sadly no one picks the oranges, grapefruits, lemons,
limes, tangerines, etc. but owners are always happy to allow YOU to come pick them, just ask if you see them starting to fall on the ground. Nine times out of ten, they are happy that the fruit won't go to waste!
Free for the asking. Gather them, make juice, applesauce, apple pies, cider, freeze, dry or can.
I hope these ideas will help keep your tummies full and your hope alive in the tough times ahead.
Knowing how to forage for food, prepare and preserve it, can keep you afloat in this dark economy.
I encourage you all to comment with your tips, recipes, etc and to blog about free food for Americans.