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Survival Story - Kane’s Experience

07 Feb 2018

I was raised surrounded by the forest of the Blue Mountains National Park, wearing clothes when only in society.

I spent my early years frolicking in the woods, climbing trees, and crossing fallen log bridges over streams. I stopped wearing shoes when I was at University. I got bored with University and began learning survival skills.

Reading books, talking with elders, watching videos and practising.

A series of events left me homeless and I realised if I did nothing my situation would remain the same. However, if I planted seeds, then in 3 months or less, I could have a free meal.

So, I began planting seeds.
With insufficient funds, where was I going to get seeds?
I began bin diving at organic stores and saving seeds from the food’s I ate.
I asked customers of organic shops for any seeds they may have lying around the house. I remembered bush foods and urban foraging.
I gathered seeds from parks, forests, and even went door knocking.

Now, I had to learn how to grow seeds. So, the experiments began.
I live a Nomadic life, so I was unlikely to provide irrigation or any water that except rain.
So, I developed set and forget farming… and food forest started kits were born.
The first experiment was to put around 200 species of edible seeds in one patch of soil. Walk away, and see what happens.

And here are my results,

  • On a sandstone cliff with 1-6 cm of topsoil under Eucalyptus trees, the best survivors were Chia, Leeks, Lemons, Macadamia, Onions, Sweet Potato, Carrots, Ginger and corn.
  • By a creek, under Eucalyptus, Wattle and Tea Tree, at 700m elevation, I grew Lettuce, Potatoes, Brassicas of all types, Chestnuts, Grapes, Ginger, Soapwort, Figs, Grapes and Vetch.
  • In the Valley’s, root crops are the champions. Carrots, Beetroot, Onions, Turnips, as well as Corn, Legumes and Melons.
  • In hot land, reaching 47OC, Lavender, Rosemary, Medjool dates and Dragon fruit.

Also, wherever you find woolly solanum and blackberry nightshade, you can grow tomatoes and potatoes.

Last year, I made the first batch of Food Forest Starter Kits. Each packet containing up to 100 different species of seeds of edible varieties. I gave away around 500 packets in the Blue Mountains and surrounds. And this year, there are 5 new community Food Forest projects being grown.
Food Forest Starter Kits are the green manure mix from Eden Seeds, this equals to 30 species.
Then I added species available at my local organic wholefood store and also species I foraged from the wild.

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