SEARCHING WIDELY FOR FOOD AND PROVISIONS
All of humanity and civilization grew from early tribes of hunter gatherers. Before agriculture became the mainstay of society the fruit and vegetables these tribes consumed were discovered by foraging. Foraging is defined as searching widely for food and provisions. A skill like foraging can be invaluable in survival situation, but to properly forage one must be not be afraid of hard work, experimentation, and be willing to educate themselves.
The first step is to purchase a guide to edible plants. You need this for numerous reasons, first off is a reference guide for situations where there is no internet, no electricity, you know, your general SHTF situation.
Very few of us have the time to become botanists, and there is a chance you will forget some of the edible plants out there. Most of these guides will show you how to decide what’s ripe, and more importantly how to cook it and how to properly forage it.
The final reason is the fact that there are dangerous plants out there, and these guides will reference them and most importantly provide pictures of them. While I always suggest studying and educating yourself before you encounter a survival situation, we are people and we forget things.
This is amplified when you’re under stress, and you’re tired, and hungry. A reference guide can be a literal life saver. A rule for foraging is you should not consume anything you cannot positively identify. It’s also important to wash any food you find in the wild to cleanse it of any potential contaminants. Next, unless you plan on eating these foods right after cleaning them you need to set them out to dry. This needs to be done before storage because water can make food rot, or mold when it’s stored wet.
Set your foraged goods apart from each other and let them dry in the sun before being put away.
Berries, oranges, tomatoes, and several other ‘soft’ fruits and vegetables do not last very long when foraged. If you’re not already fitted with the materials to start canning them than the best you can really do is consume them within the first few days. This is also dependent on the weather. Cold weather means these fruit and vegetables will last longer. If they are carried or stored safely this will prevent bruising and breaking, which aids in prolonging their life.
So where do you find fruits and veggies like this? First you can find them in fields grown by farmers, but taking these is stealing. However most people with large amount of crops and groves will not be focusing on selling goods in a survival situation, and will be probably be happy to barter work or other goods for food. Outside of farmers and their crops you’ll find that quite often food bearing plants will grow ignored and some people’s property.
These can be nuts, fruit, or even vegetables like wild onions. Ask for permission prior to foraging and be prepared to barter.