DIY urban hunting and gathering

DIY Urban hunting and gathering

There are lots of ways to find and gather things you need to live so you don’t have to buy them:

Food and firewood Gathering

There are edible plants and fruit trees as well as fallen trees for firewood almost every place people live — from the urban core to suburbs to rural areas. Mostly, these food and fuel resources get ignored as merely “landscaping” because people don’t know they are there — people drive right by on their way to buy food or firewood at a supermarket. By gathering and cultivating food and fuel locally, you reduce the demand for fossil-fueled agriculture, connect to the earth, learn do-it-yourself skills, nurture community, and move away from being dependent on capitalism, work and money.

• The first step in gathering local food is learning the types of plants that grow in your area and noticing edible trees and plants. Check the library or local gardening organizations. For example, a lot of people have fruit trees in their yards that they don’t harvest. Other plants are in parks or along roads. During harvest season, walk around and make a map in your head or on paper of which trees and local plants seem to get harvested and which don’t.

• When you’ve located stuff to harvest, if it is on private land you can leave a note or knock on the door to see if you can harvest particular trees or plants. Sometimes you can offer to split the harvest with the resident. Other times, people in a house may be glad to avoid having messy, rotting un-harvested fruit end up on the ground. Talking to your neighbors is a great way to build community. If food plants are on public land, often you can just help yourself.

• After you harvest, the biggest challenge may be how to deal with tons of a particular food item all at once. Eating is season is way different from what modern people are use to. Setting up a free distribution system to give food away to your friends and neighbors helps build community and alternatives to market systems. Learning how to dry, can, freeze and cook your harvest can be a huge do-it-yourself adventure.

• When trees fall or are cut down in cities, they are mostly thrown away into landfills. How silly: all that wood “waste” is valuable fuel. You can collect wood waste, cut it up and split it, dry it for a year, and then burn it to keep warm.

Dumpster Diving