digitS' wrote:True Potato Seeds
I think that if I was just trying to "happen on" a food supply, it would make more sense locally if that was of a hunting enterprise. However, to imagine that wildlife could sustain much human life is almost as nonsensical as thinking human life can be sustained without regard to nature.
Yeah, for sure. Maybe a quarter century ago, I was on a mailing list for people interested in homesteading or related things. When people read through the list and discovered they were mowing down stuff in their yards that could have been eaten, I offered a few suggestions. A couple of the folks were fascinated and wanted to live off the land, so to speak. Another few just wanted to decrease their supermarket expenditures. None of them were prepared to really learn the local flora edibility and utility. Some of them who tried some of the spring wild greens were surprised that dandelions were bitter or that leeches inhabited the same water as duck potatoes. Or that coquina clams could not be eaten on the half-shell.
While I have had entirely foraged meals as a fun sort of experiment, it's hard to dissuade someone who thinks they can give up shopping at Whole Foods. Once in a while you can gather enough of an item or two for a family to eat, much as you might land a stringer of panfish, but generally foraging does not provide your meals for the month. Dumpster Diving could, but not foraging unless you are ready to eat nothing but salmon and berries while avoiding the bears coming out of hibernation.
So if you stack the deck with scattered fruit and nut trees, with shrubs and vines and grasses, you can supplement your food stores. Just don't watch survival reality TV as your source on wild food gathering. Even some of the experts will mess up and completely overlook a few of the resources around them.
Ideally, we would be looking for a spring fed water source, varied terrain with forest and meadow of at least 10 acres, but ten times that would be better. With interspersed permaculture food plants somewhat disguised by the surrounding woods and a few scattered intentional plantings of sweet potatoes, brassicas, cucurbits, and beans and more, you might have enough to feed a family. If no one stumbles across it or sets fire to it.
There are plenty of folk who do the hunter-gatherer thing without realizing it. They pick ramps and morels and fiddleheads, then blueberries and cherries, then apples and crabapples, in wild places they've discovered while out hunting or fishing. While I haven't done it lately, I know roughly where a number of wild edible things and even some old crops regrowing in fallow fields can be found. I don't think we have one of those urban forager lists for my area, the ones where people put in the location of an abundant yield of cherries over an alley or the unkempt grape arbor at an abandoned church. I may be too sour on people, but I think if I were to publicly list some of these places others would screw it up. Like I know where someone has planted papayas in a public park. Out of the way, of course, but subject to park officials ripping them out.