Monday, September 9, 2013

I Didn't Raise My Boy to be a Herbivore

It's not always easy to be a horse or a cow. A sheep or a goat has problems too. But one advantage these animals have is that food is everywhere, at least in the summer months.

I heard of a man in Tennessee who makes money by taking his goats to sites that need to be cleared of weeds. Kudzu, the weed that "ate the south" is a favorite, so is Japanese knot weed. The man is paid to keep the weeds down and the animals love it.

But both these weeds are edible for people too. Here I go about eating weeds again.

You don't need to even cook the knot weed. Just eat the stalks as you find them and they grow in huge stands, dominating surrounding plants by under ground growth. They are really a problem in England, growing 3 to 5 inches per day. Their young sprouts commonly grow right through concrete and other pavement.

They invade houses too, coming up right through the floor and through brick walls. You might say they are a plant that delivers. In these instances they could be a life saver.

I have a habit of imagining the worst, such as not being able to get food in a store. ?I imagine finding the windows smashed out and the shelves empty. What would you do?

I have even thought of a press to extract plant juice from plants as mundane as grass. I once worked with a big old hydraulic press on my job. Coffee tincture was steeped for 40 days, placed in a canvas bag and put under a lot of pressure. Out came the juice from the coffee grounds.

This press was gigantic, but I imagine one on a much smaller scale. A sturdy wood frame like a big picture frame, including a press. The bags would be white cotton socks.

What about the actual press? I already have one. It would be my automobile jack. A wood box would hold a plunger made of 2x4s, maybe 4-6 inches long.

I read of an artic explorer's experience with trying Eskimo rations--meat and fat with berries in season. The mixture made him sick. But he figured the human body is very adaptable.

Enzymes capable of digesting all kinds of food are already in your body. Give them a little time to multiply and soon they will proliferate. In about two weeks the explorer not only could eat the Eskimo food, he enjoyed the taste.

I would love to try pressing the juice out of plants with a lot of cellulose in them. Just drink the plant. If you have apples, make cider.

Does this idea sound bizzare? It is, and I might not get to even try it. I left my tools when I moved out. But as for the plant juices, like the ever present wild carrot, they sound worth a try. Compared to starving, they sound like a pretty good deal.

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