Thursday, September 15, 2011


This year I began to forage over our property and the adjoining county forest. I am amazed at what I found growing here! We have been blessed with so much that we can use, right here at home, overlooked by most of society!

The medicinal herbs that grow here are astounding and are just growing wild in the fields! No one uses them, no one harvests them, many don't even realize what they are or how useful and effective they can be. I was one of these people until recently.
Now I look at everything with new eyes. I research every plant I find growing here, if I have the time. The medicinal uses of goldenrod alone have been a bit of a shock. We are over run with it and I truly thought it useless, until recently. Now I have armloads of it hanging to dry for winter tea.

There are fruits growing wild here that I have used and will use to make wine, such as the wild grapes, wild red and black raspberries, wild blackberries, choke cherries (top picture), and more.

There is a large colony of mushrooms here, shaggy manes, that are ranked very high on the list by professional cooks for their flavour. I am expecting these to make their yearly appearance any time now. I have the grass and weeds cut down to the ground in the area where they grow. I intend to cook and freeze them this year. I am also going to attempt to spread them to other areas, more accessible, on the property. They like disturbed ground and I have just the spot waiting for them.

Also, I believe I have found a few large colonies of ostrich ferns nearby! I know they are not cinnamon ferns, which also grow here. I will do some research to make sure, but if they are truly ostrich ferns, we will have plenty of fiddleheads in the spring!

There are cattails growing in the ditch and I know that their roots are very good baked, as a starch, although I think we will skip that one in favour of potatoes and rice or pasta, for now. They will still be there, if we should ever need them.

I know we could survive here, on our own, self sufficient, in a disaster or when society fails, and that is a comfort. We have emergency access to our well, and water is pentiful. We have our own source of firewood and a wood stove. There is meat here aplenty with deer, geese and ducks visiting us regularly and turkeys occasionally (even squirrel and racoon, me being from Tennessee and all! lol! maybe not...), medicine growing in the fields, room to grow our own food and plenty of wild food to harvest! We have a stone cold cellar and a natural freezer, just outside the door in the wintertime.

I don't know that anything will happen here anytime soon and I don't mean to sound like a doomsday prophet, I'm just saying...

We have been truly blessed!

Could you survive after a disaster or the fall of society?

(You know you have let go of material possessions when the thought of being self sufficient in a disaster is exciting. Is that a good thing? Hmmmmmm...don't know...perhaps not.)


Brenda@MyBackyardFarmyard said...

What an abundance of food you have available! It must be comforting to know that you could survive any disaster or coming collapse. I've started to harvest some wild edibles and medicinal plants, but not to the extent that you have. It interests me very much and I would like to extend my foraging next year.

Beti said...

I get a lot of satisfaction from feeling prepared for a crisis. Every time I look at my slowly growing food supply, I feel a little bit better.

Here in Portland, John Kallas teaches foraging classes I'd really like to take. They have been outside my budget but I'm hoping to be able to fit them in next spring. I know there is stuff growing all around me that I can make use of. Free food is hard to pass up!

Providence Acres Farm said...

You can learn at lot on line yourself, as well. Take pictures of what is grownig there and find out what it is for sure, then do some reading.

Wills Kitchen said...

Not a prepared as we would like.

KTdid said...

From my blog, I clicked on "Next Blog" (wondering what I would find) and up popped yours. I eat organically as much as possible, and I love the thought of foraging for food!
A new reader!
Q. of

Providence Acres Farm said...

Welcome Qathy! Glad you like my blog :-)

Linda said...

I think we could. I'm hoping we can. Like you I am preparing and prepared.

Good post, by the way!


Eggs In My Pocket said...

That is a good question. I always wanted to live self relient, however, our area is so drought stricken and so harsh at times, it makes it more of a struggle. Loved this post! blessings,Kathleen

Patrice said...

I'm sure our farm has lots of jewels that I don't even recognize. I'd love to take a foraging class. I want to know so much more about medicinal plants. I use herbs and homeopathy a lot. I'm a bit scared when it comes to mushrooms. We got a field guide and I'm amazed at how many look similar. We are far more self sufficient than a few years ago, but we have FAR to go.
I'm fascinated by fiddleheads and would love to try them. I wonder if they are just in certain areas.

Thanks for linking up and thanks for the comment on my daughter's artwork. She is so dedicated to her art and music. So much beauty comes from her. She read your encouraging comment.

Providence Acres Farm said...

Mushrooms are trcky! I wouldn't endeavor to eat any that I wasn't sure of. Fortunately, the mushrooms that we have are so odd, easy to identify and are never mistaken for anything else.

You daughter has talent! For her own sake, she needs to keep it going. Art is a great stress reliever, a good way to express yourself, to immerse yourself to excape and a creative outlet, even if you don't make a living at it. It helps develops self esteem too.