The slow journey towards somewhat self sufficiency

peterk123

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This evening I was making supper; soup. But the soup had some homemade components. The broth was from chicken bones I saved and then cooked in water for several hours, then canned. Hen of the woods mushrooms from my local forest. Some spicy turkey sausage made with the wild turkey I shot in the Spring. Garlic and onions from the garden. Then, kale, spices and some chicken breast (from the store). All was topped off with some homemade pasta I whipped up while the soup cooked. Just flour and eggs, a touch of water and spices.

Got me thinking about how I have enjoyed hunting, foraging, growing, canning and just making things from scratch instead of just buying it at the store. I started canning three years ago. I probably have canned a thousand jars of food. Got into dehydrating a bit. I need to do more of it. BTW, wild mushrooms dehydrate quite well. I have about 20 lbs dehydrated this year. Started dabbling in growing vegetables two years ago. Have been hunting for years. Deer and turkey have helped to keep the freezer full. Speaking of hunting, I have gotten much better at not wasting any part of the animal. I use the entire turkey, not just the breast. As far as the deer is concerned, I now use the heart, the entire neck (do not debone it anymore), all the ribs, and of course all the other customary parts. This year I will also save the liver. We do quite a bit of fishing too. Filled the freezer in the Spring with trout. Early summer we caught pounds and pounds of crappie. Crappie are one of our favorite foods. Fish tacos and fried crappie nuggets with fries are tough to beat. Oh, and then there are the crappie rangoons. Over the top.

During the past year I have bought numerous books about local edible plants. I have harvested, chickory, plantain, dandelions, cattails and arrowhead tubers. I will be adding to the list next year. I do not purchase bread anymore. All homemade. Some are made with my with my own wild yeast, others with instant yeast.

It is amazing what edible resources are available all around us, even here in Massachusetts. Even more amazing to me are the ways to prepare and preserve these things. Methods that have been around for who knows how long, that with a little work will provide you perfectly safe and tasty food that is not pumped full of chemicals and preservatives.

I did not get into this because I am a prepper or some organic dude. Just started to do it because the entire process can be used for some family fun and it was something new to learn. Who knew that it would become a handy skill to have as things just get crazier. Oh, and my grocery bills are a fraction of what they were five years ago.
 

hminsky

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That sounds awesome, great hobby , skills might come in useful, and a very healthy diet!
 

Climbnsink

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Awesome. Any recommendations for book on foraging in New England? Any for canning/preserving? Thanks
 

peterk123

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Awesome. Any recommendations for book on foraging in New England? Any for canning/preserving? Thanks
I have started using this one for foraging. I have another one that has only 35 or so common plants. I also picked up the Audubon wildflowers field guide. I purchased east and west coast.

View: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1402767153/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I have this one for pickling: View: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1623156637/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Using this one for canning, and I I have the Ball canning book as well:
View: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1641520906/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 

ccm75

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Have you ever seen the Foxfire book set?
My dad had them when I was growing up in the 70's.............Great stuff.

 

peterk123

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Have you ever seen the Foxfire book set?
My dad had them when I was growing up in the 70's.............Great stuff.

Very cool. Will check it out.

I need to add another one fit you guys. This is the homesteading Bible.... "the encyclopedia of country living". It has everything in it.
 
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