For many families, the pandemic brought not only the hardship of “staying at home” without the freedom to move about and live a “normal” life, but it also heightened an interest in getting outdoors to find recreation, movement, and exercise. Some families found a renewed interest in “Living off the Land” and others tapped into learning more about how they could grow their own food, hunt or fish for dinner, or order freshly caught/harvested clean protein. New recipes were tried and new “family chefs” were made.
We hope that this new enlightenment will continue to grow and more of our population will take the time to appreciate a great opportunity like this. We recommend if you want to see life living off the land in real time (to the extreme), just have a look at some of the shows on the Discovery Channel or Nat Geo TV, like The Last Alaskans or Life Below Zero. You won’t find UBER EATS or Food delivery services in most of the Alaskan countryside. we guess drivers just don’t want to compete with the Bears, the Wolves, the Moose or Elk!!
Let’s explore a few of the ideas of “Living off the Land”. Gardening is one of the best ways to get the whole family involved in producing vegetables and fruits on your own land and creating healthy plates on your dinner table. You don’t necessarily need a large plot of land, certainly urban gardening has proven this. Plan your garden spot by choosing either an area of your yard that you can dig up and turn the ground over to work the soil into a fairly fine texture, or, figure out the size you would like your garden bed to be and find a lumber source to buy the wood needed to create a raised bed garden. To build a raised bed, watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBIYebUgVVIor , or, any of the thousands of “Build a raised bed garden” videos on YouTube. If you don’t have the tools, or time between Zoom conference calls to build a bed from scratch, please check out these options to buy for an instant stand- up kit.
Placement of the garden is key to success. Fruits and Vegetables need 6+ hours of sunlight a day, 8+ is even better. Buy soil from a reputable source, like a local garden center, so you do not introduce unwanted pests, like grubs, into your garden. You can also get help from the staff to calculate how much soil you will need to buy to fill your special sized garden. You can also get help from the staff to calculate how much soil you will need to buy to fill your special sized garden. Home Improvement Centers, Garden Centers, and Market stands all sell small seedling plants of a large variety of Tomatoes, Peppers, Onions, Lettuce, Kale, Broccoli, Strawberries, and bushes/canes of Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, and many more. If you have access to a lot of fresh produce without growing it yourself, maybe an herb garden would suit you more. Growing fresh herbs for making your own tomato sauce or a rub for your grilled meats, mint for your fruit desserts or cocktails, will give your tastebuds a real treat. Growing a garden organically now is also much easier than in years past. There is a great number of organic treatments to fertilize your garden and help control insect pests or plant diseases if they occur. Another great benefit from Gardening is the exercise you get while planting, weeding, watering etc. Lots of bending, twisting, weightlifting involved.
If Gardening is not your thing, you have access to a Farmer’s market around the corner or one of the great fresh produce supermarkets nearby, maybe you would like to consider adding the protein to your dinner table. Fishing is a great way to supply fresh clean meat to your menu. If you have tried fishing before but are not confident you will harvest the number of fish to make your outdoor adventure worthwhile, try hiring a guide on a local lake to learn the ropes a few times. Good guides should have the latest in fish tracking sonar and know what the local fish species like to see on the end of your hook.
Check out this fishing kit from Cloris.
An even better bet is to call Rob Linhoff of Gage Outdoors telephone: 763-595-5936, www.gageoutdoor.com/fishing, he is an award winning Angler, who will help you set up a great fishing trip, and make sure the wonderful guides we have will teach you a step by step approach to hauling in a great catch. Alaska has some of the best fishing in the world, can’t you just taste that fresh Salmon or Halibut now! We have superb fishing lodges which provide both freshwater fish and salt- water species.
Many Men and Women took up hunting in record numbers during the pandemic just to get out into the great wilderness and breathe in the fresh air. If you have hunted on nearby public lands, or trekked out to a friend’s deer stand or duck blind, harvested deer or duck, but now want to learn a lot more about wild game meat, call Mercy Sells at Gage Outdoors, telephone 763-595-5936, www.gageoutdoor.com/big-game/buffalo-hunting. Check out the variety of wild game hunts you can do with your BFF, your co-workers, your Dad/Mom, not only will you have the thrill of a lifetime, but you can also bring home a significant amount of clean, chemical free, grass fed meat to put into the freezer. We provide hunts that can yield Elk, Bison, Moose, even Bear. Once you have had a taste of these extremely lean cuts of meat, you won’t ever again be happy with feedlot raised beef.
If Hunting is not on your agenda this year, we can also recommend one of our favorite partners who sells grass fed, clean protein, wild meats to put that” WoW factor” flavor on your plate.
The last part of our “Make Me Feel Good” guide is to think about “Carpe Diem (Seize the Day)” mindset and plan to treat yourself to an adventure trip, traveling with the purpose of exercising and sightseeing rolled into one experience. Gage Outdoor Expeditions has a division called BBGage (https://bbgage.com) which helps Families, Couples, women’s groups and solo women travelers experience adventure amongst friends or family with; an element of exercise, seeing a part of the country you have never really explored, tasting the area’s special food, and experiencing some of the local culture, all while embracing the freshness of the Great Outdoors. Our motto is to Embrace Adventure, Be Fearless! Never before have those words had such a significant meaning than after emerging from a Pandemic. Let’s have fun this Summer and beyond. Let our Gage Outdoor team help you put you on the road to a Healthy Mindset, show you how to try “Living Off the Land”.