Wake Up and Prepare!

Swamp cabbage, rice, and salad

It’s time to get rid of the unrealistic and brain-deadening romance novels, detective stories, Disney movies and video games, and replace them with some real life training and preparation for what could lie ahead.  It’s unfair to our children if we don’t. 

There are tons of interesting biographies and autobiographies of people whose lives of ease were suddenly changed during WWI or WWII or other disasters.  We can learn a lot from them.  And we can toughen up and educate ourselves and our children now during a time of relative ease by learning skills and character needed for real life crises.

Learning skills to prepare for an uncertain future can be a fun time for the whole family!  Children love learning new and exciting things like how to build shelters (forts!) or make salads from edible weeds. 

Sometimes we take a day off and invite extended family to go into the woods for survival practice.  Last spring we went out and chopped down a cabbage palm with an ax, cut out the heart, and enjoyed a delicious dish of swamp cabbage.   Our older kiddos and their cousins helped to cut the tender heart out of the woody exterior, and chop it into bite-sized pieces with their multi-tools. We nibbled on some of it as we worked and used clean parts of the large palm branches as our “worktable” to process it.

We placed it in our Dutch oven over hot coals in a hollowed out area in the ground and added olive oil, salt, and garlic.  When it was tender we served it over brown rice; was it ever yummy!  I showed the older girls how to find young smilax shoots, wild violets and their young leaves, dandelion (Florida’s version), lambs quarters, and Florida betony leaves and tubers.  They collected some in a tin can, and after washing them thoroughly we added them to the salad we had brought along.  What fun!

With exciting adventures like this to pursue, who needs TV or the movies?

Enjoying Food for Survival

Eating swamp cabbage with palm boot plates & utensils