Former farm ground produces food when man leaves it alone
- So many great conversations going on. thanks to all for their insights.
I just wanted to add a little of my experience. Last year my garden
was on 4 acres of former row crop land which had been farmed
conventionally for years and years. The first year it was out of row
crops "weeds" grew on virtually every square inch. Many of these I
knew to be edible and I harvested some for market. Lambsquarter,
cress, burdock, plantain, dandelion, violets and others. I think it
goes to show that when we do nothing, the land still produces food.
Those of us conditioned to western diets would not be satisfied with
such fare but it is highly nutritious and could keep one alive.
My garden is moved now but I still see food every where that the land
is left to it's own devices.
- Jake, you provide a key insight into mankind's lack of culinary imagination. For example, the famous Donner Party from U.S. history is an excellent example: stuck on a mountain in the dead of winter, they resorted to cannibalism, despite the fact that the Natives had shown them that pine needles and other things could be prepared and eaten. Physics is the same for all plants: life must store energy to survive, so all plants contain energy, and their edibility depends on toxicity and digestibility (when you are starving the taste part becomes less important). And suffice it so say that most plants are not deadly, and the human lifeform is adapted perfectly for processing plant food. Here is an excellent site that rates some plants for edibility on a 1-5 scale:
Plants For A Future - 7000 useful plants
A superb book on the subject is "Weeds: Guardians Of The Soil," which is available in its entirety here:
I've found the recent discussions interesting as well, though a little religious for my atheist brain ;) - though I certainly appreciate nature as my poetry reveals!
Poems by Thomas Goss:
Fussy? Opinionated? Impossible to please? Perfect. Join Yahoo!'s user panel and lay it on us.
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- Thomas, could you repost the "Plants for a Future" link? I don't
think it came through.
Also thanks for pointing out the weeds book. Looks fascinating. I am
a big Journey to Forever fan but I've never seen that one.