I will soon begin an updated version of 30 Days Living off the Land. I first did this in 2010. At that time I was still living in the house in town. Now I will be actually staying in the woods. In addition I will be filming parts of it.
For those who never heard of the original, here is a quick summary. For 30 days I will live only on what I gather from the woods around me. Wild plants. Fish. Animals.
Originally I went from April 15th to May 15th. Since winter seems to be holding on longer than it did 11 years, and to include some late bloomers, I am starting a week or so later than I did in 2010. And based on snow in the forecast May 1st, Beltane, might be a good official starting point.
However, I will be gathering some early items and posting “an early start” here.
Most of this will be done from my cabin. But I will also take several short backpacking trips too.
Today my mother passed away. She was ready to go be with her husband. But once again I was not ready for her to go. I should have been prepared but I know I will miss her forever. If ever there was a person who deserved the title “Saint” it was her. Her entire life was helping people. She and my father were a perfect match.
My old generator isn’t running good and it is under-powered. So I got a new one with electric start and dual fuel, gas and propane. I have setup a protective box with insulation and venting to reduce noise. It is working well and the remote start is nice. I can now have a pump regulator for indoor plumbing.
So I had a few eggs I needed to use up. They are fresh from the chicken eggs so they can keep for a week or so unrefrigerated. But I don’t like to push it. Yesterday I made Rivel Soup. So today I decided on some cheesy fried bread. I mixed flour, cheddar cheese powder, eggs and just enough water to make the consistency right. Then I fried it with a foil covering. It turned out very good. Kind of a cheesy bisquit flavor with the texture of smooth cornbread.
I found a new edible and medicinal plant growing on my land.
Oswego Tea. (Monarda fistulosa) Also known as Bee Balm. As it’s name implies it is often made in to tea. It is drank for thirst or to treat a variety of ailments. It has antiseptic properties that helps gingivitis and sore throat. It also treats respiratory conditions and digestive problems, including gas and bloating. It contains Thymol which is used in many modern mouthwashes. It can also be used as an antiseptic poultice for wounds, and treating headaches and fevers.
I have made tea from it, and although somewhat bitter it is aromatic, being a member of the mint family. I can’t speak to the efficacy of it’s medicinal properties but it is worth a try in a pinch. It is found all over eastern forests and clearings.
If any one noticed the site was down for a while. I changed servers and just didn’t hurry. I may switch again soon just for some improved abilities.
I have been fairly active. Gone on backpacking trips and working around the homestead. But I didn’t feel like recording it. Just enjoying the time. I’ll start posting a bit more now.
Here’s what I like about my cabin. Even on the road in front of the cabin I can turned all the way around and not see a single person.
You may have noticed the signs on the trees. On the one side is this.
Just informing that the owner, the Seanor Timber Company is kind enough to keep their land open to the public.
On the other side is this.
Not really a problem. A little secret. Most people who post PA Landowners Association signs will give you permission if you ask. Notice the line “DUE TO GOVERNMENT OVER-REGULATION OF LAND USE”. If you give the government an inch they take a mile. If you leave your land open to public use the government takes that to mean they get to control the land use. Farmer have lost the use of their farms by the government taking control. The government thinks it controls the public when it is supposed to be the other way around.
Also this land has another membership sign.
Most of the land around here is either owned or leased by timber companies. Pennsylvania hardwoods are famous.
It’s May first. The Gaelic pagan holiday of Beltane. Half way between the spring equinox and the summer solstice.
And right on queue.
Today I saw the first mayapples pop up out of the ground. Of course these are just the mayapples plants. The actual “apples” aren’t ready until later in the summer. And, while edible, that aren’t really very good and take too much processing to make them palatable. Kind of tastes like bad lemons.
Also many fern fiddleheads are ready. Some types are good to eat. Most are not good, but not poisonous.