Over the weekend I learned about a new resource for foraging-minded folks.
A few years ago, Daniel Vitalis had a podcast focused on the idea of human “rewilding” – basically that as humans became more enmeshed in agriculture and animal domestication, humans became domesticated as well. As fascinating as this subject is to me, I’ll be the first to say: I am pretty sure compared to our ancient ancestors, I am thoroughly domesticated and I don’t see that changing any time soon!
Daniel is now back with a new project focused on wild food. This includes a website – Wild-Fed.com – as well as a weekly podcast and even a TV-style video series available online. I’m very excited, and even inspired, about this new resource and guide. I hope someday to know enough that I can share my experience beyond just a blog as well.
(I’m intrigued that he says he is still learning, because holy crap! I feel like such an amateur compared to him.)
I am not very far into the material, but already I have detected two differences between Daniel’s approach and my own.
First and foremost is his emphasis on protein sources as a key element of a sustainable wild food diet. I haven’t tried hunting, fishing, trapping or collecting myself personally, and I don’t see it happening. Not that I object to these things personally, mind you. I would happily eat animal protein, as long as someone else takes care of the killing and butchering steps! I’m not sufficiently motivated to do that work myself. Quite frankly, I’m perfectly happy to get animal proteins through eggs and dairy (primarily as yogurt and cheese).
Which brings me to the second major difference. Daniel is entirely focused on food found out in the wild, whereas I am more about creating a habitat that replicates more-human-friendly elements of the wild. This includes planting, growing and tending plants and animals that can provide food, such as my hens and someday goats; creating a food forest of nut and fruit trees and shrubs; using native wild plants (ok, and some non-native species as well) as components of edible landscaping. In which case, maybe what I am doing doesn’t really count as “wild” in the end, but “wild inspired with a small dose of animal husbandry and horticulture thrown in”. I like to think of it as my own version of permaculture.
This may be in part due to our different environments, he in Maine and me in suburban Maryland. Or because I had more background in gardening before I found wild food. Or because I really am more domesticated.
Whatever the reason, I know I will learn a lot from what Daniel has to share, and I am looking forward to applying the newfound knowledge to my own little foraging corner of the world!