January 20, 2022

What I Did To Prep These Past Two Weeks: May 16th – May 30th, 2021

Hey Pack! Hope you had a safe and productive weekend and I hope you’re ready for Memorial Day!

Spring has sprung. With our first 90-degree day behind us, we are firmly ensconced in summer. Let the gardening, lawn mowing, and foraging begin!

patch of ramps

On the road again

I travel a bit for work. In normal times I spend 3-5 days per month on the road. Not much by most standards, but it is a part of the rhythm of our household. As you can probably guess, for the last 18 months things have been a little different.

In fact, since the shutdown I’ve taken only 4 trips. 4 very odd trips (empty airports that should be full), very suffocating trips (I’m not used to wearing a mask for 16 hours–bless those of you that are), and very maddening trips (full planes during one of the peaks… and you call that social distancing… really?).

Those flood gates are now open and I’ll be away more than I’ll be home for the next few months, as we work to catch up. That will make our prepping a little more challenging.

For the last year and a half, we’ve become used to a cadence to our prepping. Canning, dehydrating, and curing food. Building out and maintaining our off-grid place. We’ve come a long way in the last year. It’s been pretty nice, actually.

My time is now split. It’s hard to trim tomato plants and can chicken when you’re 1,500 miles from home. I also have to account for the travel preparations I make.

I take a considerable amount of time before each trip planning and doing my research. Some of that is for work, but it’s mostly playing the personal security game.

What is the environment I’m going into? What are my plans if things go south? It all keeps me safe on the road, but it also nibbles away from home life.

That being said, I have a great support network at home. My family really pulls together when I’m away. Luckily, I’m still able to help with homework, thanks to video chats, but the prepping activities must go on and my girls are the best. I’m truly a blessed man.

Of Feast and Famine

Spring is my second favorite foraging season. I’ll be the first to admit that I need to work on my plants. I have mushrooms down, but I wouldn’t survive for long if I had to rely on roots and leaves. That’s why I love spring. Fiddleheads and Ramps are two plants I know how to identify and where to get them in numbers.

Ramps are an interesting combination of garlic and onions. Sauté up a few leaves in bacon grease, and they are great toppers to a burger. Washed and sliced ,they add a significant bite to macaroni, potato, or pasta salad. While they are in season, we also sauté and wilt, then blend with butter for a spread that is out of this world.

My absolute favorite preparation is to grill half the batch until toasted and dry the remainder. Put the two together and grind into a powder. Sprinkled on pork or even scrambled eggs. To quote Alan Bergo “Ramp powder can make an old shoe taste good.”

The ramps are in full swing and we have several patches at camp that are calling to me.

What hasn’t gone well this year is fiddleheads. These immature fern sprouts are in season for about a week. My first trip into camp was a little early. I got enough for a meal, but they weren’t quite ready.

6 days later, all my patches were in full fern mode. So our one meal was it. No fiddlehead tempura or canned fiddleheads for us this year. Sigh. I’ll do better next year!

In the meantime, I’ll have to compensate with learning a few new foraged edibles. Lord knows I have the right books on the subject.

This Week’s Questions:

  1. How is your support network when you are away from home?
  2. Any upcoming travel plans?
  3. Do you have any special procedures for when you travel?
  4. What’s your favorite wild edible?

Thanks for joining me on this prepper’s journey. I hope to see you in the comment section!

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