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My landlord just called me and told me that I have to get rid of the aquaponics unit in my backyard.  It’s been my obsession for the past several months.  I’ve spend lots of money, energy, time, creativity . . . and it’s just now really starting to get going.  These systems take a while to mature.  The reasons he gave, all completely erroneous are:

1.  The water bill has gone up.  The neighbor that reported me has had guests living at her house (she’s not supposed to.)  Hmm, maybe that’s the reason for the increase in the water bill.  The precise reason for me doing the aquaponics in the first place is to conserve water.  It uses up to 90% less water than conventional gardens.  I’ve been using LESS water than I did before.  The pump sends the water to the growbed and it goes back into the fish tank.  I explained this to him, and he seemed to understand.

2. The unit has caused my neighbor to have a rodent and bug infestation.  Really, then why haven’t I noticed any problems (other than aphids)?  I’m out there all the time, looking for the smallest detail that would indicate that pests were present.   I also explained this to him.

Despite the erroneous claims by the neighbor and me explaining this to the landlord, he still has asked me to remove the system.  He says it’s not something that should be done in a residential situation.  And that my friends, is precisely the problem.  This is exactly where the food needs to be grown, where people live!

 

 

 

 

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Aquaponics Tour

Aquaponics is a hybrid between aquaculture (the raising of fish) and hydroponics (growing plants without soil). Essentially,  the fish waste water is filtered by living bacteria, redworms, and plant roots, feeding them nearly all the nutrients they need to thrive, and then is returned cleaned to the fish tank.

aquaponics baby tilapiadandelion in ap

 

I have a 5 month old system running with in a very small backyard greenhouse with a variety of plants.  I will give a tour of the system and all its living things.

We’ll discuss:

  • fish and their care
  • fish food
  • plumbing and siphons, etc
  • plants
  • plant nutrients
  • pests, beneficial insects
  • PH and chemistry,
  • supplements to the system
  • and many other things that arise when running these systems.

 

aquaponics wideshot

Before my system, I almost never spent any time in my back patio.  Now that the aquaponcis system is in place, it creates such a happening little ecosystem that I can hardly stay away!  The water feature, the warmth, and the diversity of plants attracts all sorts of biological intrigue.  It has taught me more about plants, nutrients, and pests, than my previous 15 plus years of soil gardening and foraging in less than a year!

This is something I’m eager to share with others and I think would benefit not only someone wanting to start an aquaponcis system, but gardeners and foragers to gain a better understanding of plants, water, and ecology.  And the fish are super fun to watch, I’ll make sure I won’t feed them that day until the tour begins.

I’m having tours scheduled for the following dates:

July 12, Saturday 10:00am until 11:30 am

August 10, Sunday 10:am until 11:30 am

But I also offer private tours of the aquaponics system, just send me an email and we can arrange a time.
The location is in Walnut Creek and will be emailed to you after registration.

aquaponics snakefly

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Spring Foraging in Marin 
Devil’s Gulch Ranch 
Nicasio
Saturday, February 22
9am – 2pm

Discover what’s edible (and tasty)
in the wilds of Marin!

 

 

 Foraging Class
Kevin Feinstein, known as Feral Kevin, will lead us on a 2-1/2 hour foraging walk.  Learn how to identify watercress, sage, nettles, dandelion, miner’s lettuce, bay and more.  Bring your walking shoes, clippers, and a bag or two.  You’ll want to take some greens home!

Potluck Lunch
Enjoy a lunch from your foraged greens! Bring a dish to share.
 

 Tour of Devil’s Gulch Ranch

Tour will be guided by owner Mark Pasternak.
Meet the rabbits, pigs, sheep & walk the vineyards.

  

$50/adult, kids under 12 free! For tickets: http://www.eventbrite.com

Ticket price includes the 2-1/2 hour class with Feral Kevin, a shared potluck lunch with a salad of your foraged greens, and a tour of Devil’s Gulch Ranch.

Bring your kids for a fun day at the ranch!
Questions about this event?  markdevilsgulchranch@gmail.com.

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Thank You 10,000 times to all those who supported the Kickstarter Campaign!   The Practical Forager book project is officially under way!

It was tight there toward the end, but the campaign finished just above the goal the night before the deadline.  I am very excited now to really dive into the making of this book.  The release date is set at December of 2014, however I will aim for a sooner release.

One thing I’d like to include in the book is YOUR INPUT.   I’m looking to weave reader questions into the book, to allow you to help guide the process and content.  If you have a question about food, foraging, or natural health, or anything related that you’d like me address in the book, please email me at feralkevin (at) gmail (dot) com.  Use the SUBJECT “BOOK QUESTION SUBMISSION.”    I will choose several of them to be answered and discussed in The Practical Forager.

Happy Foraging!

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To everyone who has pledged or spread the word so far – Thank you so much! 
Now we are over 80% to the goal, but only 36 HOURS left in the campaign.

If you were thinking about pledging, but have not done so, this is the time. Remember, if the goal is not met by the deadline, then nothing is funded.  There are no extensions or extra time given.

So please pledge now, or again, or help spread the word! 

I believe this book will serve as an important reference for anyone concerned about their food and their health. I have been on a vegan, vegetarian, raw food, macrobiotic, paleo diet (lots of meat), wild, garden, local, you name it — I have tried it! I have had a number of health issues over the years that have led me to really figure out what are the best foods for human health. I have also researched for over 10 years how to achieve the most sustainable yields in gardens and from wild ecosystems — wild forest foraging, raising chickens, permaculture gardening, container and urban gardening, aquaponics, micro-greens, making your own herbal medicines — the way of getting food that is best for the planet as well as convenient for the modern person. This journey of discovery is what drives this book, and it is the backbone of The Practical Forager.

More about the book:

The book will be a guide to eating, gathering, and growing the most sustainable, healthy, and fun food possible.  It’s a journey through the current state of our food system from the eyes of a sustainable forager — one who is “doing it right” — and how to arrive at that place living in modern society.   One of the chapters will create sample diets that will be the most sustainable, doable, and nutritious possible.  It will cover how to live off the wild, and the surplus food your garden or local ecosystem produces.

The Practical Forager will be available in a printed book as well as electronic version for Kindle and other readers.

The book will include:

  • a guide to common edible wild plants of the world
  • a crash course in plants called “grocery store botany”
  • over 30 recipes
  • easy ways to garden and tend the wild
  • discussions on a variety of topics including oxalates, gmo’s, paleo diet, green smoothies, wild nutrition
  • much more!

This is only a small sampling of what the book will discuss and outline.  It is a cross between a plant guide and a more broad and digestible book such as the bestselling 4 Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss.

It is unlikely to be written, at least not any time soon, without a successful KickStarter campaign. With only 36 hours left to make the goal (ends officially Friday morning at 9:00 am Pacific Time), please make your PLEDGE NOW

 

Make a pledge, get a cool reward, and help make The Practical Forager a reality!

 

Happy Foraging!

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Only 3 days left to fund The Practical Forager!

 

I received a great response over the weekend.  Thanks!  With only 3 days left, I’m hoping for a final push that will get the project to its goal.  Remember, if the goal is not met, then nothing is funded.   So please pledge now, or again, or help spread the word!

 

The book will be a guide to eating, gathering, and growing the most sustainable, healthy, and fun food possible.  It’s a journey through the current state of our food system from the eyes of a sustainable forager — one who is “doing it right” — and how to arrive at that place living in modern society.   One of the chapters will create sample diets that will be the most sustainable, doable, and nutritious possible.  It will cover how to live off the wild, and the surplus food your garden or local ecosystem produces.

 

For instance, so what if oxalis is edible — you can’t live off it.  Purslane is abundant and nutritious,  but how much of it can you really eat?  What about digestion?  Potential toxins such as oxalates?   What if I told you that there is a researcher who proposes that pine pollen and stinging nettles provide most everything nutritionally one needs to live and be healthy?  And that nettles grow naturally and can be easily cultivated underneath pine trees — one of the most abundant and toughest trees in the world.

 

Although the book will be plant focused, it will also discuss the other food groups — fungi, animals, and bacteria and how they are connected.  For instance, did you know that most grasses are edible, extremely nutritious, and are super abundant on this planet?  Have you also ever tried to just live off grass juice and rhizomes?  It’s not very practical to say the least.  What is practical though, is that rabbits are grass eaters and rabbits are good for most people to eat.  And far more practical and sustainable than grass fed beef, which the book will also discuss in a bare bones (pardon the pun), need–to-know manner.

This is only a small sampling of what the book will discuss and outline.  It is a cross between a plant guide and a more broad and digestible book such as the bestselling 4 Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss.

It is unlikely to be written, at least not any time soon, without a successful KickStarter campaign.  

 

Only 3 days left to make the goal!

Make a pledge, get a cool reward, and help make The Practical Forager a reality!

 

Happy Foraging!

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This book project is the culmination of my 13 years of deeply exploring the subjects of food, nature, foraging, and natural health.  I have connected the dots to many different disciplines and tied them together into an easy to read, need-to-know, guidebook.

In order to make this book available, I still need to raise the funds for the design, editing, and printing.  The Kickstarter campaign is still underway, with ONLY 9 DAYS to GO.  If I do not make my goal, nothing is funded.  So please consider pledging now.  You can simply pre-order a book, electronic, print, or signed.  There are also other prizes which include land assessment, private consultations, as well as custom wild food walks and mushroom forays.

To everyone who has pledged thus far, thank you a million times!   As of now the project is still short of its goal, so the word still needs to be spread if this project is going to be a reality.  If possible, please tell your friends, family, co-workers, online lists and groups, blogs, websites — anything helps.

More about the book:

The Practical Forager will be available in a printed book as well as electronic version for Kindle and other readers.

The book will include:

  • a guide to common edible wild plants of the world
  • a crash course in plants called “grocery store botany”
  • over 30 recipes
  • easy ways to garden and tend the wild
  • discussions on a variety of topics including oxalates, gmo’s, paleo diet, green smoothies, wild nutrition
  • much more!

Make a pledge, get a cool reward, and help make The Practical Forager a reality!

 

Happy Foraging!

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foraged table

This is an often asked question in my classes.  It’s up there with “is foraging sustainable?”  Another topic of frequent inquiry concerns calories and nutrition — as well as how much of my own personal diet comes from foraging.  These questions are central to the new book, The Practical Forager.  I will address these topics and the new questions they create as we journey down the rabbit hole of foraging and food in today’s world.

The Practical Forager will be available in a printed book as well as electronic version for Kindle and other readers.

The book will include:

  • a guide to common edible wild plants of the world
  • a crash course in plants called “grocery store botany”
  • over 30 recipes
  • easy ways to garden and tend the wild
  • discussions on a variety of topics including oxalates, gmo’s, paleo diet, green smoothies, wild nutrition
  • much more!

This book aims to serve as a practical guide to understand the big picture of food and nature in our modern world, as well as how to act on this knowledge. The information presented in The Practical Forager is not obscure; it’s about life and food — basic things that much of modern culture has forgotten.  It’s about putting together a complete picture for everyone — stuff that everyone should know being an eater and breather on planet Earth.  But who has the time to learn all this and do the research?  That’s why I’m writing The Practical Forager – so you don’t have to!  This book is a culmination of my 15 years of research and experience.

Self-publishing has been wonderful — but it does have its costs.  That is why I am seeking funding via KickStarter to make this book a reality.  The Kickstarter campaign is halfway over, and I still need your help to make the goal.  If the goal is not made, then nothing is funded.  I have several different rewards for those who pledge.  The most basic is simply pre-ordering a copy of the book.   Other rewards include consultations, land assessments, wild food walks,  private mushroom forays led by me, and several more.

Make a pledge, get a cool reward, and help make The Practical Forager a reality!

 

Happy Foraging!

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Kickstarter Campaign continues in week 2!

kickstarter capture 2

 

Thank you to everyone that has pledged their support for The Practical Forager book project via Kickstarter!   It is most appreciated.   I still have a ways to go to meet my goal, and unless the goal is reached, nothing is funded.  That’s the way Kickstarter works, it’s all or nothing.

Pledging your support for this project is as simple as PRE-ORDERING a book.  By pledging as low as $25 you can get a guaranteed copy of the first printing of the book when released.  You simply agree to buy it now, and get receive it next year when the book is printed as a “reward” for your pledge.  For those who prefer Kindle or other electronic readers, you can pledge $15 and receive the electronic version of the book as soon as it’s finished.

Here is the link to the campaign below.  Thanks again for your support!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1337835815/the-practical-forager-a-guidebook-to-food

 

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I am excited to announce that the kickstarter campaign to raise funds for my new book project, The Practical Forager, has been launched!  You can view it here:   http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1337835815/the-practical-forager-a-guidebook-to-food

I feel this book is an important guide to understanding the current food and environmental crises and how you as an eater can do your best to solve these problems.  It’s a guidebook to food so you can make the best choices for the health of yourself, family, community, and planet.   I like to think of it as connecting the dots to all the interconnected topics I have explored for the past decade.  It’s my knowledge in a tincture bottle!

kickstarter grabbed pic

 

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