Native American food and prepping

RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

Article lists the various things that were grown by native americans. Big section on the "3 Sisters" garden". Corn, beans and squash.

For those of you who subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, Tara's book is available.


  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,503 admin

    Thank you for the links. It is always beneficial to study past people's ways of living and gain those skills & knowledge.

    I have to say, however, that I have an issue with how the first link is presented by the author of the article. Bear with me or just plain skip my post if my definition of prepper vs. preparing might offend.

    It is good & important to know what history of various cultures can teach us about farming, hunting, foraging, gathering and food storage. This can hold great wisdom.

    However, I would not classify First Nations nor any other similar historical culture group as preppers. It is a poor choice of wording/label and does not fit the definition.

    Preppers came much, much later as a movement, I believe originating and mostly adhered to in the US. Part of what sets that movement apart from these cultures is that it is driven by fear of future catastrophic unknowns. Prepping is done as the alternative way, but these things done by people like the First Nation's were as a normal, daily way of life, not as an alternate "just in case" plan.

    Preparing for the future should be done, with purpose, wisdom & knowledge, but without the driver of fear of future, usually catastrophic unknowns, which can lead to impulsive, possibly unwise actions/behaviors, sometimes incomplete/uninformed knowledge & hoarding. Fear leads to poor decisions & sometimes in the haste of gathering information, a wrong understanding & application of what is gathered. Prepping is different than preparing, even though there are some similarities.

    These people were doing these things (farming, foraging, gathering and food storage), in a normal, daily life, as all peoples did in the past at some point. Considering that the day to day was not done as one driven by fear of the future unknown, it is not proper to label them as preppers. By the author's definition, anyone who does these very same things today is a prepper. A farmer, or past or modern day versions of homesteaders, are not preppers. They may prepare for the future, but it doesn't have the fear driven element of catastrophe as the main reason to be doing these things, and it is not an alternative to normal.

    Anyway, my pet peeve. It's just one of those things that quickly gets to me.

    Definitions are important.

  • Cornelius
    Cornelius Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭

    "A prudent man prepares". And I agree with you @LaurieLovesLearning prepping with stuff only allows a person to survive with those items until they run out, but if you prepare and know how to live off the land then you will be ready for almost any crisis.

  • SuperC
    SuperC Posts: 937 ✭✭✭✭

    I learned about the Three Sisters ‘gardening’ technique in Permaculture Design. Gardening is thrilling when learning something new, and then how to incorporate it into a part of your own garden(s). I do think that is why I planted a grape varietal next to a pine so it could wind around the branches and still develop grapes for wine, and Milkweed was planted at the base of the pine attracting bees and Monarch caterpillars :)

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    One of these days I want to read the 1917 book about Buffalo Bird Woman's garden in 19th century North Dakota. While the climate and opportunities are a bit different from mine, I expect there will be a lot of learning anyway.

    What other books have you found showcasing First Nations gardening techniques?

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,623 admin


    "Native American Gardening: Stories, Projects and Recipes." Joseph Bruchac & Michael J. Caduto.

    "The Medicine Wheel Garden: Creating Sacred Space for Healing, Celebration, and Tranquillity." E. Barrie Kavasch.

    "Recovering Our Ancestors' Gardens: Indigenous Recipes and Guide to Diet and Fitness." Devon Abbott Mihesuah.

    These next two are about aquaculture on the West Coast.

    "Clam Gardens: Aboriginal Mariculture on Canada's West Coast." Judith Williams.

    "If You Want to Visit a Sea Garden." Kay Weisman. Roy Henry Vickers.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,623 admin

    I just got a new cookbook! "A Feast for All Seasons - Traditional Native People's Cuisine" by Andrew George Jr. and Robert Gairns. Andrew George is a member of the Wet'suwet'en Nation in Northern BC.

    This recipe book has a lot of meat in it. Its not as easy to "garden" in this part of the world, and although management of the plant resources (nuts, berries, roots, "Indian" celery, fiddleheads, etc.) provided some of the food, meat was and still is a large part of the diet in northern climates.

    So this is a really good game cookbook.

    Wild rice is in some recipes. It doesn't grow here (west of the Rockies) but I have no doubt that there was some trade that introduced this food into the area.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    Looks like some interesting reading. For me, especially the West coast books sound intriguing. I know that the indigenous people around here said that "when the tide is out, the table is set."

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,465 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This article is great! Thanks for posting it. As I transition into growing more and more of my family's food and rely less on the grocery stores I have been looking into eating seasonally, foraging, growing storage crops, etc. It is great to gain knowledge from the people that were successful before us.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,623 admin

    Two other books that are on my wish list are:

    tawâw: Progressive Indigenous Cuisine by Shane Chartrand (Shane is Cree and based in Alberta)

    Where People Feast: An Indigenous People's Cookbook by Dolly Watts. (Dolly and her daughter, Annie, are from the Git'ksan nation in Northern BC. They owned and operated the Lilligat Feast House in Vancouver but it is now closed.) This book is out of print but available used at Amazon for outrageous prices that I am not willing to pay.

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @torey Found this link for an e book. Worth considering?

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,623 admin

    @RustBeltCowgirl Thanks for doing a search for me. has it on Kindle for only $13.19 but I don't have a Kindle and am not likely to ever have one. I love books too much. Although, that addiction has gotten me in trouble before and maybe I should be looking at e-books. :)

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You do have a computer and the Kindle app can be downloaded on to that.

  • water2world
    water2world Posts: 1,148 ✭✭✭✭

    @RustBeltCowgirl Thanks for the link and the info about Kindle Unlimited!!

  • SuperC
    SuperC Posts: 937 ✭✭✭✭

    Thank goodness for David the Good’s Fish Emulsion fertilizer video here on TGN blog page. It may be gross and stinky to make yet the Earth will love it and so will your gardens!