Author Topic: Native American Survival Skills  (Read 2684 times)

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Offline AbaraXas

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Native American Survival Skills
« on: November 14, 2012, 07:57:41 PM »

Offline EC

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Re: Native American Survival Skills
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2012, 02:02:03 AM »
The knowledge base I see many preppers skipping but is vital, how did our Native American ancestors survive on this land. I'm not really a prepper, although I like to be prepared. One thing I do enjoy though is the knowledge and I have stocked up on articles and books on how the Native Americans in my area lived. Especially valuable are things like knowing how to use the plants in your area, such as for medicinal for for food.

What tribes are in your area and what skills or knowledge do they have you can learn from? Discuss.

Knowing medicinal and food plants in your area is a must for any prepper. Important though is to try them now, not in an emergency situation. You need to know what you can't eat as well as what you can so it is best to find out while you have power and running water (for flushing).

Due caution is needed in gathering wild plants. Some are protected, some that grow beside the road are harmless in themselves but toxic thanks to car exhaust and many beneficial plants have an almost identical looking toxic relative.

It is fun to try them out though. Even with the odd session of having to run to the toilet!
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Offline Gazoo

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Re: Native American Survival Skills
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2012, 08:20:12 AM »
I recall watching the Prepper show and there was a man living just outside the city limits finding medicinal plants in the woods for about everything. I wish I could remember what he used and for what.
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Offline DNME

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The Three Sisters
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2012, 09:58:14 AM »
Our Native friends had an ingenious method for growing food for winter. I often wondered how they got through our harsh New England winters, until I heard about this.

First, they cleared a 6 to 10 foot circle of land. Any trees nearby would be "girdled" by chopping off the bark around the base, which both kills the tree and lets it dry upright, providing for future firewood. Virgin forest land was supposed to be good for growing, but in subsequent years they would bury a big salmon or two under each circle, for fertilizer. (Salmon are scarce these days but I've often wondered if a few trash fish tossed in the hole would have the same effect.)

The center of the circle is then planted with corn. "Indian Corn" dries very hard but most varieties can be dried adequately for storage. By planting the corn in a circle, the breeze will always blow the pollen onto another plant. Clever!

Then, once the corn is a few inches tall, plant two or three pole beans next to each corn plant. The pole beans climb the corn stalk as the corn matures.

Around the edge of the circle, they planted pumpkins and other winter squash, such as Hubbard and Butternut. Supposedly, deer won't cross the squash vines for fear of tripping, but I've yet to see this in practice.

At the end of the season, wait for all three to dry before harvesting and storing. Gather up the pumpkins before the first hard frost or else they'll spoil in storage.

I saw such an Indian Cornfield in New Hampshire several years ago, around Keene I believe, and noted that the owner piled branches and brush around the field, to a height of about 6 feet. Such a fence would surely discourage deer!

The Natives celebrated the "Three Sisters" by cooking all three together, known as Succotash.

Offline Chieftain

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Re: The Three Sisters
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2012, 10:08:59 AM »
Our Native friends had an ingenious method for growing food for winter. I often wondered how they got through our harsh New England winters, until I heard about this.

First, they cleared a 6 to 10 foot circle of land. Any trees nearby would be "girdled" by chopping off the bark around the base, which both kills the tree and lets it dry upright, providing for future firewood. Virgin forest land was supposed to be good for growing, but in subsequent years they would bury a big salmon or two under each circle, for fertilizer. (Salmon are scarce these days but I've often wondered if a few trash fish tossed in the hole would have the same effect.)

The center of the circle is then planted with corn. "Indian Corn" dries very hard but most varieties can be dried adequately for storage. By planting the corn in a circle, the breeze will always blow the pollen onto another plant. Clever!

Then, once the corn is a few inches tall, plant two or three pole beans next to each corn plant. The pole beans climb the corn stalk as the corn matures.

Around the edge of the circle, they planted pumpkins and other winter squash, such as Hubbard and Butternut. Supposedly, deer won't cross the squash vines for fear of tripping, but I've yet to see this in practice.

At the end of the season, wait for all three to dry before harvesting and storing. Gather up the pumpkins before the first hard frost or else they'll spoil in storage.

I saw such an Indian Cornfield in New Hampshire several years ago, around Keene I believe, and noted that the owner piled branches and brush around the field, to a height of about 6 feet. Such a fence would surely discourage deer!

The Natives celebrated the "Three Sisters" by cooking all three together, known as Succotash.

http://store.valueweb.com/servlet/cuisinem/-strse-Recipes-by-Spice-Blend-cln-Native-American-Three-Sisters/Categories

That is the link to a local fellow here in the Portland Oregon area, who sells an outstanding spice blend that is used to make Three Sisters Stew.  We make it many times over the winter because it is just outstanding.  The basic recipe is incredible, but you can use different kinds of beans, and augment it with chicken or even beef and get a completely different flavor.  Butternut squash is almost always available these days, and it is easy to grow in the garden too.  We use it here to make some great soup as well....

It is interesting that so many cultures have their own food trinity.  Native Americans have the Three Sisters (Corn, Beans and Squash); traditional French cuisine starts with Mirepoix (onion, carrot and celery) while Cajun cooks have their "Holy Trinity (bell pepper, onion and celery).

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Re: Native American Survival Skills
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2012, 10:16:09 AM »
Our Native friends had an ingenious method for growing food for winter. I often wondered how they got through our harsh New England winters, until I heard about this.

First, they cleared a 6 to 10 foot circle of land. Any trees nearby would be "girdled" by chopping off the bark around the base, which both kills the tree and lets it dry upright, providing for future firewood. Virgin forest land was supposed to be good for growing, but in subsequent years they would bury a big salmon or two under each circle, for fertilizer. (Salmon are scarce these days but I've often wondered if a few trash fish tossed in the hole would have the same effect.)

The center of the circle is then planted with corn. "Indian Corn" dries very hard but most varieties can be dried adequately for storage. By planting the corn in a circle, the breeze will always blow the pollen onto another plant. Clever!

Then, once the corn is a few inches tall, plant two or three pole beans next to each corn plant. The pole beans climb the corn stalk as the corn matures.

Around the edge of the circle, they planted pumpkins and other winter squash, such as Hubbard and Butternut. Supposedly, deer won't cross the squash vines for fear of tripping, but I've yet to see this in practice.

At the end of the season, wait for all three to dry before harvesting and storing. Gather up the pumpkins before the first hard frost or else they'll spoil in storage.

I saw such an Indian Cornfield in New Hampshire several years ago, around Keene I believe, and noted that the owner piled branches and brush around the field, to a height of about 6 feet. Such a fence would surely discourage deer!

The Natives celebrated the "Three Sisters" by cooking all three together, known as Succotash.

Very interesting, and very sophisticated.


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