Food Self-Sufficiency System Pt. 3 : Agricultural Options

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Food independence is necessary for your off grid living especially if your reasons for getting off the grid include self-reliance. From a pure survival and preparedness aspect, food independence is as important as power independence. In this article you will find what kind of vegetables and wild edible plants you can grow yourself.

Growing your own food is key to your health and ultimate survival on your homestead. This is also a smart way to make some extra income. Just double (or triple +) the number of vegetables you are growing for yourself and take rest to a local farmer’s market.

Vegetable Gardening

Here are some hardy plants that you can grow almost anywhere.

Summer-vegeteables

  • Sturdy Summer Vegetables: Amaranth, Asparagus, Eggplant, Peppers, Okra, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes and Summer Squash

    lettuce-winter-vegeteables

  • Sturdy Winter Veggies: Carrots, Spinach, Leeks, Collards, Parsnips, Lettuce, Cabbage, Turnips, and Swiss Chard

     

With homestead survival, gardening will be one of your most renewable resources. You can use it to feed yourself and your livestock. You could also use it to sell the produce and the seeds. If there is anything left over, use it for compost.

Harvesting Wild Plants

Each piece of land will have its own hidden gems. Some may be abundant in wild edibles and others with timber or a stream filled with fish. Maybe your land naturally produces edible mushrooms.

The key is to decide which of the resources your land is rich with. Make sure to survey your land thoroughly for these hidden gems as they might just add some surprising cash opportunities.

When forced into wilderness survival mode, knowing a few common edible plants and flowers is extremely valuable knowledge. Most of these might even make it into your kitchen on a regular basis.

Best Wild Edible Plants

Dandelions

This plant can be eaten from top to bottom. The yellow flower can be pulled from the plant and eaten raw. Leafs and roots can also be eaten, but leaves taste their best when the plant is still young. Older leaves can have more of a bitter taste. Leafs and roots taste better after being boiled.

Cattails

They were a staple for Native Americans. Both the tips and the white colored bottoms of the stalks are edible raw and palatable but be careful not to eat the fiber as it may cause a stomach ache.

They’re one of the best wild edible plants that provide an excellent source of starch. Cattail pollen can also be mixed with flour and egg to make cattail pancakes. The pollen is gathered only from the top of this plant in late June and early July. You’ll know you’ve hit the pollen when your hands turn yellow.

Wild Asparagus

Asparagus is one of the best wild edible plants widely found across North America. If you find it in your life, you’ll probably find it in or around the same location for the rest of your life.

Look for old dead stalks about three feet high. Near those, new young stalks can be found. Wild asparagus doesn’t like soil that’s too moist. It can usually be found along ditch banks or next to railroad tracks.

If you live in a place where summers are dry, you can usually find wild asparagus. Wild asparagus stalks are usually thinner than those you see at the supermarket. If you cut a stalk as close to the ground as possible, a new stalk will grow back.

In the wilderness, wild asparagus can be eaten raw, boiled, or steamed.

Milk Thistle

Another wild edible found across North America is milk thistle. This is the plant with the purple flower-like top that we see along some highways. The spines can be removed from the leaves and the leaves eaten with other greens. Stalks can be boiled. The plant’s roots can be boiled or even baked.

Clover-wild-edible plants

Clover

Everybody knows clover, and it falls within the group of edible plants. Clover is everywhere in the United States and very high in protein. Raw clover can cause problems with digestion, but it can be made into a juice form.

Flour can also be made from dried clover flowers and seed pods. Tea can also be made from clover, just steep it in water. Everybody needs a little luck to get out of a survival situation, so try not to eat the four-leaf ones.

Wild Onions

If it looks like an onion and smells like an onion, go ahead and eat it. If it looks like an onion but doesn’t smell like one, don’t eat it. It could be dangerous.

Wild onions like to grow in damp places, especially on the forest floor. All the wild onion plants can be eaten, from top to bottom. It can be eaten raw, cooked, or with other greens.

Bamboo

Classified as a grass, bamboo is one of the edible weeds found in the certain parts of the United States. Bamboo shoots are high in fiber, protein, and potassium Shoots should be cut when very young and under a foot tall.

Bamboo cannot be eaten raw. Outer leaves should be peeled off. Remove any tough parts of the shoots. Cut them into 1/8″ slices and boil them uncovered for at least 20 minutes or longer to rid them of bitterness. They can then be eaten alone or with other greens.

Purslane

It’s one of the most nutritional edible weeds with high Omega-3 fatty acids and beta-carotene. Purslane can be eaten raw or cooked or mixed with greens. It’s making its way onto restaurant menus, so it’s good enough for a restaurant, it’s good enough for somebody in the middle of nowhere with few nutritional choices.

Violets

Violets are edible flowers, and they are high in vitamins A and C. Their leaves can be eaten raw or boiled, or they can be dried to make tea. The flowers can be eaten raw. Be sure not to eat the roots or stems and avoid African Violets.

Violets have also been used medicinally. A common headache cure is a warm towel soaked with violet tea and placed on the back of the neck.

Acorns-wild-edible-plants

Acorns

Most people don’t realize that acorns are edible. Not raw, of course, but if you take the time to process them, you can turn them into an acorn flour. This flour can then be used to bake with just like wheat flour. Now it does have a unique taste and the properties will make baking with it a bit different.

Recommendation

Always be sure of what you’re going to eat. Some plants might look like one of these best wild edible plants, but instead they can sicken or kill you.

One suggestion is to eat only a small portion of a plant and then wait an hour to see how your body reacts to it. There are other more determinate tests that can be done on wild edibles that one should learn.

Beware of plants located closer to civilization or roadways as they may have been sprayed with dangerous chemicals.