Free food

Foods for free. Anything you want to post about wild foods or foraging, hunting and fishing. Please note, this section includes pictures of hunting.

Sorry to say that Selfsufficientish or anyone who posts on here is liable to make a mistake when it comes to identification so we can't be liable for getting it wrong.
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Odsox
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Free food

Post: # 291765Post Odsox
Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:45 pm

On another thread there were comments about freebie food plants, and I have a very unexpected one.
Last autumn the local council were widening the road in front of my house, and I got them to dump and spread some soil on a low lying area at the bottom of my plot.
In that rather rough soil 2 clumps of wheat sprouted and grew rather well.
I have no idea where the seed would have come from. There are no arable farms within 30 miles and the quality of the wheat suggests it didn't come from chicken feed, and all the soil came from less than 100 metres of my house.

So, of course I harvested it, and it is now drying in my conservatory. When dry I will grind it in an old coffee grinder, and although there won't be anywhere near enough to make a loaf, it will make a brown(ish) loaf when added to my white bread flour.
All the work and energy is almost certainly not worth it, but a fun thing to do.
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Tony

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Green Aura
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Re: Free food

Post: # 291766Post Green Aura
Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:04 pm

That looks like fun. You should keep replanting some of it until you get a field full of freebies!
Maggie

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Odsox
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Re: Free food

Post: # 291767Post Odsox
Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:39 am

Green Aura wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:04 pm
You should keep replanting some
No, I don't have the space and besides what would I do with large quantities, not enough gluten content to make bread and no good for baking.
I've often been tempted to grow hull-less (naked) oats, I have oats for breakfast most mornings so would be useful, but again I don't really have the space and the birds would probably beat me to it.
Tony

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Green Aura
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Re: Free food

Post: # 291768Post Green Aura
Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:55 am

More oats = less grass cutting? We've got a few freebie cereals growing under the bird feeders. Not enough to bother with though.
Maggie

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Weedo
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Re: Free food

Post: # 291769Post Weedo
Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:58 pm

You tweaked my curiosity on cereals Odsox. I wonder if any Ishers or have, grown and processed their own cereals? If so what was involved in method and uipment; particularly wheat for bread, oats for porridge and baking or barley (for whatever you might use processed barley for)? I do grow cereals for grazing and hay but never let any mature for harvest.
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Re: Free food

Post: # 291770Post Green Aura
Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:43 am

I've never grown any, Weedo - never had enough land to even consider it. I have bought whole wheat to grind myself as it stores much longer than flour. Having only a hand-powered mill I nearly killed myself making enough flour for one loaf! OK, maybe I wasn't near death but it took ages, mainly because of the really poor mill and I'm sure was harder work than it need be.
To put paid to it finally, the end product wasn't great.
I finished up using it to make wheat bags for my aromatherapy shop. :lol:
Maggie

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Re: Free food

Post: # 291772Post Brewtrog
Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:18 am

I've been tempted by the idea of growing barley to malt - especially now that I'm growing my own hops. It would be really something to be able to brew a beer that I'd fully grown (well, except the yeast). Sadly I've got the same problem as Odsox - not enough land to even think of doing it.

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Re: Free food

Post: # 291775Post Odsox
Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:28 pm

I think the main problem Weedo is the equipment needed.
Those few ears of wheat had to be "threshed" by hand, or to be more precise rubbed, squeezed and cajoled to remove the grain from the husks. Then winnowed, which admittedly is easy, and finally milled. I am sure my coffee grinder will only grind it to a coarse powder rather than flour, and all for a handful of "flour", which as I pointed out above is pretty useless for anything other than adding to white bread flour to make a rustic brown loaf.
It would be easier and more beneficial to sprout it for wheat grass.

"Naked" oats sound a better proposition as at least they can be substituted for shop bought oats, threshing should be easy, but you then need a roller or somehow crush the grain to make porridge.

It's an interesting project, but unless civilisation breaks down and we go back to the stone age, I think it will stay just an interesting project that I might do one day when I get bored.
Tony

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Re: Free food

Post: # 291805Post Flo
Thu Aug 23, 2018 6:50 pm

I thought this might be a discussion of foraging. I've discovered that there's a whole channel on YouTube about foraging. Am still working on learning something really new rather than just oh I didn't think of doing that with that.

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Re: Free food

Post: # 291811Post Odsox
Sun Aug 26, 2018 1:59 pm

UPDATE ...

Today was bread making day, so a good time to see what the foraged wheat would make.
It was threshed and winnowed, and totally dry by now, so it was put through the coffee grinder.
It made surprisingly fine flour and not the fairly coarse powder I was expecting. It yielded 165g of flour which was bulked out to 400g with strong white flour.
I intended to make a cob loaf, but I made it a bit too wet and it spread a bit, although not quite to a pizza base.
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Then came one of those "Oh sh*t" moments, it actually tasted fantastic !!
Far more flavourful that the normal wholemeal loaves I make, even though it was made from 3rd rate wheat that was really only fit for chicken feed.
Oh well ... most of the rest of that loaf will be eaten this evening with home made, home produced (mostly) sweetcorn chowder, and enjoy the flavour while trying to convince myself that I'm NOT going to started milling my own flour. :lol:
Tony

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Re: Free food

Post: # 291813Post Green Aura
Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:46 pm

I'm saying nothing.....well, OK I will say something.

Well done and of course it tasted fantastic - even with budgie cage grade wheat, freshly ground flour is so much more nutritious and flavoursome than any flour you can buy. It might be worth buying a bag of wheat for "emergencies".

You'll be growing it and making sourdough before you know it. :lol:
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

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