How to Supply All Your Own Food — Self Reliant Food

With missing items at the grocery store due to recent events, many are desiring to take growing food into their own hands.

Beet greens from the garden

Hunting and fishing are great ways to provide food for your family. Look into what tags or stamps are the best for the money and meat amount. Not minding the taste of the meat is important too. Canada geese can be very inexpensive to hunt — up to several a day can be hunted on a stamp. But some are not a fan of water fowl such as goose or duck meat. If you live near a creek or lake, fishing is a no brainer. Fresh trout is super healthy and delicious with minimal work to prepare them.

Wood Sorrel foraged

Foraging is a great way to stay alive if you have no other options. You can even eat the white inner bark of many trees to feed yourself if times were really dire. Cattails, wood sorrel, wild carrots, wild strawberries, chicory, even stinging nettles are edible. We eat dandelion greens in salads sometimes, cattail pancakes, and plenty of blackberries in the summer. Do not think you can learn about a few plants and you are set. Research poisonous look-a-likes carefully. Go foraging sometime. You will discover it is very hard to get full on foraged foods. It is a great skill to keep you alive. But do not take it for granted. Foraging is a great supplement to gardening.

Strawberries in the garden

Gardening is as close to a guarantee as you can get that your family will have at least some food. I highly recommend crops such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, and other root vegetables that will fill you up and give you energy. I have even grown wheat, but that requires a lot of labor (though not nearly as much space as you would think). Look into some more obscure tubers once you have the basics, to diversify. If blight takes out your potatoes, you can still have sunchokes or hopniss. I am hoping to re-establish Duck potatoes to a local creek too as it is a native plant with potato-like tubers. Oca is also something I am experimenting with. Grow primarily what you eat or at least what you are willing to eat. Look into perennials such as kale, chard, strawberries, fruit trees, asparagus, or artichoke in addition to those tubers we mentioned before. Zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce can be very productive for the space as well and a joy to eat.

A Chicken egg in the coop

Livestock and gardening go great together too. Many homesteaders raise their own meat or dairy by chickens, pigs, sheep, cattle, or turkeys. Maybe start with raising some chickens and give them your extra produce. They will convert it to eggs. From there you can decide how much you like raising animals and how much time and resources you can commit to them. Having our own dairy cow is very tempting but a big time commitment. Maybe someday, but for now, I hope to find a small, local dairy I can buy a share with.

Do what you can to provide the basic necessities for your family. But try not to live in constant fear. Anxiety can kill you plenty fast in itself. Be thankful for what you have and a life so far not having to worry about starvation. We will all pull through these harder times.

Why not remove reliance upon grocery stores as a hobby and cut your food bill at the same time?