Our ancestors took advantage of food when they found it, and this is something we can do today, too. Many different foods are available during the various seasons, and for the most part, they are free for the taking.
Fall is the time when Nature prepares itself for the coming winter. Different parts of the country experience fall and winter differently, but the following is a baseline most people can follow.
- Beechnuts, walnuts, chestnuts and acorns can be found in many parts of the country. Walk into a grove of hardwoods and gather all you can before the squirrels, turkey, bears and deer get them all.
- Another bounty of fall are apples. Apples were brought to North America by the early European settlers, who planted them everywhere. Look for old apple trees wherever there was once human settlement. Old stone cellar holes and stone walls are great indicators of these areas. The apples produced by these trees are not the pretty ones you see in the store, but they’re just as good. Gather as many as you can, as they can be used to make applesauce and cider, and when cooking turkey.
- Search abandoned farms for crops that reseed themselves, like squash and pumpkin. These plants can and do grow wild, and their fruits can be an added bonus to any foraging adventure.
- Hunting is a way of life during the fall. While the gathering of fruit and nuts is free, hunting requires a license. Always seek permission from landowners, and follow the rules and regulations. However you hunt, it’s a good way to secure safe, organic protein.
- Fishing is another excellent way to obtain much-needed protein. Fish, like other animals, are trying to consume as much as they can before winter sets in and the water freezes over. That means they will go for anything you use as bait. Actually, fall fishing can be just as good as spring fishing if you are in the right place at the right time.