The World of Wild Edibles

seapurslaneflowr-097by John Ubele

A few months ago I was reading a book about permaculture called, “Gaia’s Garden”, and came across a section in it covering wild edibles. I’ve been gardening since I was a teenager so I was excited to find out that some wild plants (also known as weeds) are edible. Having lived in Florida all my life gardening can be challenging here, especially when insects come in and ravage the crops.

After reading the brief section on wild edibles I decided to order a book called, “Forager’s Harvest”. The book is very well written and profiles over 50 wild edible plants throughout North America. There’s also a section in the back which gives excellent examples on how to identify plants by their leaves, stems and other parts.

I decided to educate myself more after reading the book so I searched for videos on YouTube covering wild edibles. The best ones I came across were from a channel called, “Eat The Weeds”, which is operated by Deane Jordan.

“I started teaching wild edibles because I wanted to make pollution personal. It’s one thing to tell people the environment is polluted, it’s another to show them a tree full of fruit they cannot eat because it’s too close to the Interstate.” Jordan said Sunday in an e-mail exchange with me.

I was delighted to find that Jordan’s channel has 105 videos, 101 of which profile different wild edibles. His other videos show how to make cider and vinegar, build a solar oven, and how to eat mole crabs and coquina.

While many of the plants Jordan profiles are native to Florida most can be found across North America. Jordan also has a website called eattheweeds.com where he gives a thorough write up about each plant he’s profiled in his videos.

“Foraging does more than put food on the table. It makes a person not only more aware of their surroundings but nature then becomes a resource rather than something to be controlled or eliminated,” Jordan added

Thanks to Jordan’s videos I’ve been able to properly identify three plants in my area. They are Creeping cucumber, Stinging nettle and Purslane, I’ve tasted all of these and have recommended them to my friends.

For thousands of years humans have been eating wild edibles and it’s very likely that they’ll become popular again given the state of our rapidly deteriorating economy.

Happy Foraging!

Resourceful Guy Builds Solar House, Solar Power, Solar Car

Energy Co-op Brings Power to the People

‘ Worst economic collapse ever’

The State of the States: 46 US States Could File Bankruptcy in 2009 – 2010

States are facing a great fiscal crisis. At least 46 states faced or are facing shortfalls in their budgets for this and/or next year, and severe fiscal problems are highly likely to continue into the following year as well. Combined budget gaps for the remainder of this fiscal year and state fiscal years 2010 and 2011 are estimated to total more than $350 billion.

States are currently at the mid-point of fiscal year 2009 — which started July 1 in most states — and are in the process of preparing their budgets for the next year. Over half the states had already cut spending, used reserves, or raised revenues in order to adopt a balanced budget for the current fiscal year — which started July 1 in most states. Now, their budgets have fallen out of balance again. New gaps of $46 billion (over 9% of state budgets) have opened up in the budgets of at least 42 states plus the District of Columbia. These budget gaps are in addition to the $48 billion shortfalls that these and other states faced as they adopted their budgets for the current fiscal year, bringing total gaps for the year to over 14 percent of budgets.

The states’ fiscal problems are continuing into the next two years. At least 41 states have looked ahead and anticipate deficits for fiscal year 2010 and beyond. These gaps total almost $88 billion — 16 percent of budgets — for the 34 states that have estimated the size of these gaps and are likely to grow as gaps are re-estimated in the next few months.

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Gold likely to hit new highs on dollar fear

Gold is likely to hit new record highs, spurred by serious concern about the U.S. currency and doubt about the state of the world economy, the chairman of Barrick Gold Corp. said on Thursday.

There was even a possibility, although not a probability, central banks, including China’s, might start to switch from dollar holdings to gold, which could cause the metal’s price to treble or more.

From a gold producers’ perspective, one negative is that the cost of bringing on production has remained high, even as other raw materials, including base metals and energy, have slumped.

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HOMEGROWN REVOLUTION – Radical Change Taking Root

The Amazing $500 Wood-burning Stove … That You Can Build for $35 (or Less!)

Most homebuilt wood-burning stoves are scabbed together from old 55-gallon drums. And they more or less do the job they’re supposed to do … despite the fact that they’re notoriously inefficient users of fuel, are difficult to regulate, rapidly burn through, and are so ugly that most people will only tolerate them out in the garage or workshop.

Perhaps the single really good thing that can be said for the majority of the 55-gallon-drum burners is that (usually) it doesn’t cost very much to put one of them together or at least it didn’t used to. Here lately, though, the steel barrels have become increasingly difficult to find … and, when you do locate one of the containers, it frequently has a seven dollar price tag at fixed to it.

There must be a better way to go about assembling a homemade wood-burning stove. And there is’ As MOTHER was recently shown by Wilton, Iowa’s Robert Wars (who, incidentally, just happens to be the brother of MOTHER researcher Emerson Smyers).

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Making Financial Sense of the Coming Energy Crisis

Calm Before the Storm

Tribal Thinking

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Are feds stockpiling survival food?

A Wall Street Journal columnist has advised people to “start stockpiling food” and an ABC News Report says “there are worrying signs appearing in the United States where some … locals are beginning to hoard supplies.” Now there’s concern that the U.S. government may be competing with consumers for stocks of storable food.

“We’re told that the feds bought the entire container of canned butter when it hit the California docks. (Something’s up!),” said officials at Best Prices Storable Foods in an advisory to customers.

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Tampa Bay homeowner goes underground

When Brian Hebert’s family built his Hillsborough County home, they were looking for something both efficient and unique.

So they built their home underground.

“It’s basically like a bomb shelter,” Hebert says.

The house looks like a single story home in the hilliest part of Hillsborough County. But in reality, most of the home sits underground.

Building underground was possible because the land sits 70 feet above sea level. The house was built by excavating through a hill.

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Making Way for Bikes

A Natural Builder Creates an Ecovillage

How Much Food Can I Grow Around My House?


Community Gardens Grow Community

Timber Framing

by Kelly Hart

When I initially designed www.greenhomebuilding.com I intentionally avoided advocating the use of much wood in building, because of my concern for the health of our forests and their ecosystems, with all of the over-harvesting of timber that has occurred around the globe. There is also the fact that forests help sequester CO2 (a greenhouse gas) from the atmosphere.

This was a difficult choice for me, since my father was a wood worker and I grew up learning many of these skills; I love working with wood and I worked for years as a carpenter. It is certainly one of the most versatile of all building materials, and is a renewable resource, when harvested sensibly.

I have finally come to realize that building with wood (at least partially) can still be a sound ecological choice, which is particularly true in regions where forests have regenerated to the point that they can be harvested sustainably. This means that the trees are carefully monitored to make sure that the health and character of the forest is maintained; only certain trees are culled periodically, leaving the remaining trees to grow and contribute to a healthy ecosystem. It is possible to buy wood that has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), but if this means that you are buying wood shipped great distances, then this becomes a less ecological choice; use local materials!

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Al Jazeera report: Guns in Montana

Homeless: Can you build a life from $25?

book-cover-150-x-280.jpgIn a test of the American Dream, Adam
Shepard started life from scratch with
the clothes on his back and twenty-five
dollars. Ten months later, he had an
apartment, a car, and a small savings.

Alone on a dark gritty street, Adam Shepard
searched for a homeless shelter. He had a gym
bag, $25, and little else. A former college athlete
with a bachelor’s degree, Mr. Shepard had left a
comfortable life with supportive parents in
Raleigh, N.C. Now he was an outsider on the
wrong side of the tracks in Charles­ton, S.C.

But Shepard’s descent into poverty in the summer of 2006 was no accident. Shortly after graduating from Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass., he intentionally left his parents’ home to test the vivacity of the American Dream. His goal: to have a furnished apartment, a car, and $2,500 in savings within a year.

To make his quest even more challenging, he decided not to use any of his previous contacts or mention his education.

During his first 70 days in Charleston, Shepard lived in a shelter and received food stamps. He also made new friends, finding work as a day laborer, which led to a steady job with a moving company.

Ten months into the experiment, he decided to quit after learning of an illness in his family. But by then he had moved into an apartment, bought a pickup truck, and had saved close to $5,000.

The effort, he says, was inspired after reading “Nickel and Dimed,” in which author Barbara Ehrenreich takes on a series of low-paying jobs. Unlike Ms. Ehrenreich, who chronicled the difficulty of advancing beyond the ranks of the working poor, Shepard found he was able to successfully climb out of his self-imposed poverty.

Full story:
http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0211/p13s02-wmgn.html