Author Archives: Wild Cookery!

The Environment 

The Environment around us affects more than people think.

We went from this:


To this:


Yea, there’s a pool, but when it’s 110 degrees outside it’s not as fun as it may sound. Despite being watered religiously, the lawn, and nearly everything around it, is dead. Also the back ‘yard’ is 4/5ths concrete.

Just being here where I live now, over the course of the past two years has caused my (and particularly my wife’s) health, both physical and mental to decline.

For her, having a very delicate respiratory system, the atmosphere is a death trap. She is constantly having coughing fits that vanished entirely when we lived in Pennsylvania. We now live in the 5th most polluted city in the United States. She grew up here and wanted to come back here to make a new financial start for our family, as we were on hard times back east.

I agreed even though I knew the environment would affect her, but neither of us knew to what degree.

We aren’t sleeping well, and her childhood insomnia is back. Despite our best efforts to eat ‘organic’ and semi Paleo based on our very tiny food budget, we miss our normal, foraged, non polluted wild food.

Which, by the way, was free for the picking.

This town is majorly into petroleum and big agrobiz. I have not found a single thing here to forage that I would risk feeding my children other than fruit.

Most of that is citrus, with lemons that no one eats accounting for the majority of residential fruit trees.

You can only eat so many lemons. And I do, when in season.

I found ONE foragable in the yard, this entire year. A cute little sprout that looked to be a Sonchus asper, or Prickly Sowthistle. That is until the ‘gardeners’ obliterated it as a ‘weed’.

I sit here stomach growling, loathe to go make my store bought breakfast, but knowing that sooner or later I must do so as there is no other alternative at the moment.

At least it’ll be eggs.

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Categories: Health, Nature, Updates, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Just Peachy

We had a lovely 4th of July. We went over to the inlaws for the day, and Dad bought some fireworks. The kiddos were very excited and insisted on picking out which one was to be shot off next.

An old family friend of theirs, a lady from Gambia stopped over for the celebration and to watch the fireworks.

She has fruit trees at her house and brought us something I hadn’t had in over 20 years… fresh, off the tree PEACHES!

Peach

The kind lady also extended the invitation that I could go over and pick some more off of the tree, if I so desired. If I can find a way to store them in my extremely limited storage space, I may take her up on the offer, as they are quite delicious.

Huzzah for peaches!

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Half Year Check In

Lesson learned. Never, ever, trust the WordPress app for your phone.

Twice I typed out a big long post. Twice it ate it. I should have typed it into some kind of notepad app.

It showed something like several hundred words, then I hit publish, and it shows 0 words. Quality app.

Anyway…

The original post(s) were somewhat ranty, so I’ll try to be a wee bit less ranty in this third incarnation.

Long story short, still in hell. That’s Central Valley, CA for the rest of you lucky enough to not live here.

It’s dry, it’s hot, it’s full of idiots. I don’t know which is worse. 105 – 112 the past two weeks here.

It’s like living next to a forge or a kiln that is always on and is super-heating the air.

Foragables have pretty much been zero, as it’s super dry here at the moment.

What edibles I did find were minuscule. Tiny, itty bitty dandelions half the length of my pinkie finger. Taraxacum officinale has never looked so sad. ‘Tis a far cry from the 9” to foot long monsters that grow in my yard back home in Pennsylvania.

And what little precious wild food I found was growing on tainted, chem-agro polluted land. Can’t exactly feed that to the children, so that was a big no go.

Still looking to move up North. Little progress has been made on that front, and unless major changes are made across the board, it’s not going to happen.

I moved to CA to improve things financially, and have only gotten mired in an endless black pit, from which there seems to be little escape.

So, that’s the update. Life sucks, zero foraging here.

Post Scriptum: THIS is what a fucking dandelion should look like!

Dandelion

Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Not Quite Another Year.

Well, as the title says, it’s not quite been another year since I last posted here on this blog.

I haven’t done any foraging whatsoever since I moved last fall. Zero, zip, nadda. I moved from the verdant forest which was my backyard, to the armpit of Hell.
Foraging opportunities have been nonexistent.

But all is not lost!

Over the next year plans are to move North, into a much more temperate environment. Think pine forest and mountains. There shall be foraging opportunities a plenty there, as well as a much more pleasant environment in general.

Then, maybe I can get back to doing some foraging articles and write ups. It’s kind of hard to write about foraging when one is not foraging. Also, the dead Latin names for a lot of lesser utilized plants are starting to fall out of my head. If I don’t start foraging again soon, I won’t know my Asclepias from my Ascot.

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David Bowie, is dead at age 69.

David Bowie is Dead at 69

I originally thought this was yet another hoax. It is not. Confirmed by his son, Duncan Jones.

He just released his new album Blackstar TWO FUCKING DAYS AGO!!!

I have not the words…

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Another year, another beer.

That would be nice, actually. Mmm… beer…

Not very good for you, but damn if good beer isn’t an awesome thing.

Well, again, a very long time has lapsed since my last post on this blog.

I’d pretty much given it up for dead, with the lack of actual foraging that I’ve been doing, or rather, not doing, over the past year or so.

Due to unforeseen circumstances I’m no longer in my little green garden of foraging goodness, and local foraging areas are incredibly inaccessible to me at the moment.

And, my wife and my health have suffered quite a bit for it. She’s put on about 30 pounds and I’ve put on about 40 pounds.

I weighed myself the other day and I’m the heaviest I’ve ever weighted. Not the ‘fattest’, as I’ve put on some upper body muscle since that time, but the most actual weight I’ve ever been.

I’ve felt sluggish and tired.

The holiday season was brutally stressful, and having everyone bring over and offer every sweet thing imaginable didn’t help either.

But, enough of all of that.

Starting three days ago, we started to change our eating habits to me more in line with what they were years ago, when we lived in a greener and more forage-friendly place.

Finding a place to forage around here will be the challenge, but it needs to happen.

I’m also reading Mark Sisson’s ‘Primal Blueprint’, which I bought yesterday in kindle edition so I could start reading it immediately. Most of what he’s covering so far is stuff I already know, but haven’t put into best practice. I’m only on chapter 2 though so far, so we’ll see how it goes.

Seeing has how it’s been so long since I’ve posted or had an actual following of fellow foragers, I don’t expect anyone to really read and/or comment upon this, but it’s more as a cathartic for myself to type my thoughts down and be able to reread them at a later time for reflection and to track my own progress.

More to follow.

 

 

Categories: Primal/Paleo, Uncategorized, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Wild Muther****in’ Cookery, B****es!

Why hello there foragers, friends, and fiends!

‘Tis been an awful long time since I posted anything in this blog. Not been doing much foraging with 3 feet of snow on the ground.

It’s been the most god-awful winter I can remember in almost 40 years. Brutal, horrible, and nigh-neverending.

I absolutely cannot wait for it to be over and for the Spring thaw to finally take effect. Though I’m not looking forward to the flooding, that’s for sure.

Let’s take a look at my garden…

Winter2

Hmm… yea, that sucks.

Winter1

So does that. Ok, no green stuff for me any time soon.

But… today is the 1st of March. This goram winter can’t last forever!

And when Jack Frost finally stumbles and the first shoots of spring pop up, I will be there to collect and nom them!

Wintercress and Wild Garlic will be amongst the first to pop up. Along with Dandelions and Garlic Mustard.

Just thinking about it makes my stomach growl. I’ve been resigned to a diet of ‘people’ food this winter, and let me tell you, there’s nothing worse for someone who’s used to eating wild. I’ve gained weight and feel like crap.

Time for a Spring diet of real food soon, methinks.

I hope all of ye are having a pleasant end of winter, and I certainly hope none of ye have to deal with more snow that I do.

All the best!

~Janos

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Worms? OK! Dandelions? Baaaaaaad.

I haven’t posted on this blog for a while.

Haven’t had anything foraging-related to talk about lately. Until now.
About two years ago now, I was teaching my oldest two kids how to identify wild edible plants. They were 7 and 8 at the time. Perfectly old enough to begin learning how to identify simple and easy wild edibles. (I learned from birth, thanks to my dear old departed Dad.)

When their mother (who I parted ways with many years ago now), found out that I was teaching the kids how to identify and eat ‘weeds’ as she called them, she about went ballistic. I mean full metal jacket, in my shit, nasty too. Not just casual disagreement.

“That’s disgusting. That’s what POOR people eat. I don’t want to be embarrassed by having our kids pick nasty WEEDS in a park or something. And what if a dog peed on them?” On and on and on.

After that kind of reaction, I didn’t dare to teach the kids about edible insects. In fact she actually threatened to turn me in for ‘child abuse’ if she ever found out that I was teaching the kids about edible insects. Yes, she was serious, and yes she absolutely would have done so.
So, on top of all of that, she ‘forbade’ me from teaching my kids how to identify wild plants when they came over to visit. She also ratcheted down on the kids and told them that they would get severe corporal punishment if she ever caught them eating a ‘weed’.

This totally shattered my oldest daughter, who was doing very well at learning how to identify wild plants, and who’s favorites so far were plantain and dandelion, which she could identify accurately 100% of the time.

And now, on their mother’s Facebook, I read that her and her husband had my kids eating WORMS.

Uh…. excuse me?

Now don’t misunderstand me. I’m not complaining so much about worms, or any other edible insects. But that’s not what this was about. It wasn’t being taught in the context of survival skills or learning.

What I’m talking about here is the utter hypocrisy of this whole thing.

It was a prank where the adults had fun at the expense of the kids by the juvenille practice of betting them money (which most kids love) that they will or won’t do a certain behavior.

Not for learning, not for an increase in knowledge, but for a fun ‘prank’ on the part of adults who are acting like 5th graders. This is the equivalent of betting a college kid they won’t swallow the goldfish.

This is the truly disturbing world that this woman lives in. Learning how to identify dandelions, dock, plantains, thistles, sorrel, etc, is ‘horrible’ because it’s teaching the kids to eat ‘weeds’ and ‘poor people food’, and they need to stop doing so immediately under threat of physical violence from their mother. But it’s somehow OK for their mother’s husband to bet them $10 they won’t eat a worm and then for their mother to find it perfectly acceptable and hilarious when they do. Then my son, who always has to outdo his sister, proved he was more ‘macho’ by eating FOUR worms instead of one, all at once.

I think the words of my wife sum it up best: “That hypocritical CUNT! Having the kids eat worms on a bet when she threatened to turn YOU in for ‘child abuse’ if you simply taught them about edible insects for basic survival skills!”

Yep, that pretty much sums it up. And that’s the kind of bullshit I have to deal with daily.

And that’s what the fuck is wrong with this country. One set of ‘rules’ for one set of people, and one set of rules for another set of people. When one person does an action, it’s wrong. When another person does the exact same action, it’s perfectly OK.

If *I* had done this and posted video on Youtube, Facebook or whatever, it would have been the horror of horrors and I’d have people crawling all up my ass over it, and saying what a horrible Father I was. Even if I’d done it purely in a survival/learning context and not as some childish sophomoric ‘bet’ like they did.

I’m really getting awfully sick of double standards.

P.S. The kids’ mother also nominated her husband for ‘Father of the Year’, apparently.
All I have to say on that one, is if this is how the ‘Father of the Year’ behaves, thank God I’m not.

Categories: Animals, Foraging, Nature | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Pride

They say there’s a song for every occasion.
Seems like there’s two songs today! 🙂

Johnny Cash and PBR, Jack Daniels, Nascar
Facebook, Myspace, iPod, Bill Gates
Smith and Wesson, NRA, Firewater, Paleface
Dimebag, Tupac, Heavy Metal, Hip hop

(I am) what you fear most, (I am) what you need
(I am) what you made me, (I am) the American dream
I’m not selling out, I’m buying in
I will not be forgotten, this it my time to shine
I’ve got the scars to prove it, only the strong survive
I’m not afraid of dying, everyone has their time
I’ve never favored weakness, welcome to the pride

Disneyland, White House, JFK and Micky Mouse
John Wayne, Springsteen, Eastwood, James Dean
Coca Cola, Pepsi, Playboy, Text me
NFL, NBA, Brett Favre, King James

(I am) all American, (I am) living the dream
(I am) what you fear most, (I am) anarchy
I’m not selling out, I’m buying in

I will not be forgotten, this it my time to shine
I’ve got the scars to prove it, only the strong survive
I’m not afraid of dying, everyone has their time
I’ve never favored weakness, welcome to the pride

(Since the dawn of time only the strong have survived, I will not be
Forgotten)

Welcome to the pride

Hey ey ey yeah, Hey ey ey yeah, Hey ey ey yeah
Hey ey ey yeah, Hey ey ey yeah, Hey ey ey yeah
(Only the strong survive)

Hey ey ey yeah, Hey ey ey yeah, Hey ey ey yeah
Hey ey ey yeah, Hey ey ey yeah, Hey ey ey yeah
(Welcome to the pride)

I will not be forgotten, this it my time to shine
I’ve got the scars to prove it, only the strong survive
I’m not afraid of dying, everyone has their time
I’ve never Favored weakness, welcome to the pride

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I’m Under and Over It

Yep, I think that pretty much sums it up…

You can be me and I will be you.
You can live just like a star.
I’ll take my sanity, you take the fame.
I’m under and over it all.
(I’m under and over it.)

Did you hear the one about me playing the game?
Selling my soul and changing my name.
Did you hear the one about me being a prick?
Did you know I don’t care? You can suck my…
Did you hear the one about me trying to die?
Fist in the air and a finger to the sky.
Do I care if you hate me? Do you wanna know the truth?
C’est la vie….adiós….good riddance….fuck you!

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