Thursday, October 13, 2011

Public food and ramblings

I took a road home today that I hadn't been on in five or six years.  While driving it I was surprised that it hadn't changed much.  On this trip I wanted to focus on public food and I really kept my eyes open for it. 

On the way home I noticed a pickup pulled over to the side of the road with an older man under a tree.  Fortunately I had my glasses on so I could see the detail!  This tree was a walnut tree and he was gathering walnuts.  Normally the public right of way isn't just the road but anywhere from five to ten to thirty feet from the edge of the road.  Even if you use what may be the minimum distance, that tree was dropping an awful lot of walnuts onto the public part of the road.  There was an old fence there so the man was staying on the road side of the fence.  It looked like he was almost finished filling up a 5 gallon bucket.  I don't know how many walnuts that would be once they were shelled but free food is still free food.

I noticed hundreds of pounds of tomatoes along the road.  The tomato truck drivers have the trucks filled to the brim and when they turn corners too fast they lose some of the load.  There are set areas which have so many tomatoes or onions or oranges just laying there and nobody picks them up.  I couldn't in the work truck but if I was in my own truck I would have.  If you are on a hunt for free food, it would be a good idea to carry five gallon buckets in your vehicle. 

There is an orchard of pecan trees about 10 miles from here and they hang over into public space.  That orchard is surrounded by houses so I'm sure if TSHTF those trees would be stripped.  I only know of a couple of almond trees on public land within a few miles of my property but there is about 100 acres of vacant land that has old fig and almond trees on it.  We have our own figs but not almonds.  Up until this year we always went to a neighboring 100 acres of almonds and were able to pick what we wanted.  You see, about 15 years ago that farmer's barn burned down and I lent him some of my tools.  In exchange he said we could pick grapes and almonds.  Unfortunately, the property is for sale and for some reason every tree was cut down!  I sure hope they don't plan on making it into some 5 house per acre subdivision.  That would be good reason to instantly move.  So I'm going to have to scrounge for almonds.  I shell them and put them into the freezer.   I don't roast them unless I need to.  They stay raw until it's time to use them.  If we didn't have the ability to put them into the freezer I'd probably roast them and then put them into airtight containers. 

I'm in one of those moods again that I want to spend every last penny on preps.  Unfortunately, I'm down to every last penny at the moment.  I have the money to buy the materials for the hidden room but no money for shelving for it.  Once the room is complete I'll move the shelving out of the garage and put it into the room since it will be more important than having the shelves in the garage.  I know I got that overtime money from that thing I was at last month but the money is spent.  The grand kids all went to camp over the summer with me giving a promise to pay when I got an extra check.  The extra check came while I was out of town.  The camp expenses are paid.  I have enough extra to build the room.  Easy come, easy go.

I didn't get home early enough today to check to see what happened to my ewe.  Tomorrow morning I'll be making my rounds on the property.  Until then, the animals are still penned up in the barn.  I did go out to give the chickens and ducks water.  The chickens were almost out.  They dumped over one of their water dishes.  I'm going to have to fix that seven gallon water container.  It's one of the types that you fill from the top and it creates a vacuum to only let out the amount that they drink out of the reservoir.  The problem is the plastic reservoir has a crack.  You can't buy the individual part.  I am going to JB Weld the thing together this weekend.  That should do it. 

Army daughter and son-in-law haven't picked up their yip-yips yet.  They keep saying that they need to get them to the groomer before they can come to their new house.  It's been almost two weeks since they moved.  Perhaps I'm inheriting a couple of yip-yips.  I hope not.  Yip-yips and chickens do not mix and I want to open the door to the chicken coop and let them finally wander in my garden to eat bugs.  I'll have to keep them out of the part of the garden that is still producing because I have enough competition with rabbits and squirrels, I don't want to share with the chickens too.

Before I left for this last teaching trip I bought Survivors.  I came in the mail while I was gone.  I'm too tired to start reading it tonight.  I did start a pot of beans for tomorrow.  I have a little quart sized crock pot.  I put in a cup of pinto beans.  Tomorrow night we will have beans with our dinner.  Don't know what I'll be making yet but it will include the beans.  It's good to be home! 


  1. Home is always the best.

    My copy of Survivors came Tuesday and it's good. It's a little smoother than Patriots. His writing skills have improved in my opinion. Enjoy!

  2. Beans go with potato tacos.

    This is a recipe that can be adapted as you see fit. We use corn tortillas. The potatoes are boiled up like for mashed potatoes. They are squashed, but not mashed. They are put into the folded tortilla and put on a frying pan with oil. Fry both sides until crispy and done. Then add the ingredients you want in your taco.

    We use Ranchero cheese, queso fresca, or Farmer's cheese. Home made salsa, green enchilada sauce, onions, whatever you want.

    Most of the ingredients are from the garden, so things change.

  3. I really enjoy beans but the rest of the family is not so interested in them. So what I do is soak a 1/4 cup of dried beans (usually black beans) and include them in stews, soups and Mexican dishes. That way the family isn't overwhelmed by beans but they are still in the diet.

  4. My wife and I pick walnuts from the road side right of way, the NEW owner of the small forest just next to our house was passing as we picked up some of the nuts that had just fallen ( where we had gotten them for a few years ) and was looking at us like we were con victs or something. I think our long time of getting nuts from there may be short lived, but not to worry there are 1000s of places to get nuts most people are grateful if you come get them... Even though we may have the right of way here in Indiana, it's always best to ask. Specially if the guy is trying to make a living from the corn or walnut, pecon or what ever, just to be nice and keep the cops out of our hair.. at least until the next time we go to jail anyway .... lol. P.S. Most of the time 10 to 15 pounds of nuts are more than enough. That would be about a wal-mart sack full, after dehulled.