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  • This is a cattail heart,

  • and we are foraging essentially for our lives.

  • Today we are going to be trying to forage for our calories...

  • We cooking tonight, Mom!

  • create food without soil...

  • You're gonna help us grow things. We love you.

  • ...and essentially learn how to become farmers.

  • It's too smart!

  • I really have to think about how to get protein.

  • Oh! There's a bit of sandy texture.

  • I can't believe we broke being vegetarian for this.

  • Mitch: We're feeling the heat,

  • and it's not just our sexy good looks.

  • - It's climate change. - Oh.

  • Greg: And through our YouTube channel AsapSCIENCE,

  • we detail some of the biggest issues we're facing.

  • Mitch: But that's no longer enough.

  • We know how to talk the talk, now we have to walk the walk,

  • and there's no time to waste.

  • We're gonna go to the farm.

  • Mitch: So we're taking our passion for the environment

  • and scientific knowhow out of the classroom

  • and into the country.

  • Greg: We are going off the grid.

  • Mitch: One by one, we'll shut off our basic necessities.

  • Production has officially turned off our power.

  • I'm freaking out.

  • Allowing us to experiment with everything from new technology...

  • - You're literally going to use pee to power your phone? - Yes.

  • to traditional technology...

  • God, it's, like, the most satisfying thing I've ever seen in my life.

  • ...to find solutions that promote sustainability.

  • Oh, my gosh.

  • Greg: And with help from our team, we will use science...

  • Mitch: For a little self-reliance.

  • Yes! Power!

  • Mitch: See ya, city, because...

  • Mitch and Greg: This is "Shut It Off Asap!"

  • I've never lived on a farm. Have you?

  • No, are you kidding?

  • Everything about my personality is very on-grid,

  • so I am nervous about what we are about to do.

  • Hey, we're turning onto a side road!

  • Mitch: Oh, my God. I feel crazy.

  • We're here.

  • Ernie, let's go see. Come on.

  • Oh, my God. We're at the farm. Come on.

  • - Come on. - It's like we're at camp.

  • Yeah, that's exactly it.

  • Ooh, Ernie, it's your new home!

  • Greg: It's nice. It's cute.

  • - Is it too rustic? - Oh, an outdoor kitchen.

  • Oh, there is a spider in there.

  • This is what Mitch was scared of,

  • so it's gonna be a long time here at this little chalet.

  • Stop shaming me on camera.

  • I am afraid of bugs.

  • So for sure, every aspect of this experiment

  • is really just going to be suffering for me.

  • - Oh, my God. Our new house! - Oh! Our new house!

  • The accommodations are rustic, for sure.

  • I know there's a lot of work and fear and discomfort to come,

  • but for right now, I'm feeling excited. It's so quaint.

  • We are no longer little city boys.

  • We want all of our knowledge of sustainability

  • and going off-grid to relate to the climate crisis,

  • to relate to the bigger picture,

  • to relate to our life in a city.

  • Today our groceries are officially being shut off.

  • Greg: So that means we're not gonna have things

  • that we usually have in our trusty fridge in the cabin,

  • but we're being left with some staples over here,

  • some pasta, some oatmeal, some things that will make sure that we somehow survive.

  • We've been curious about where our food comes from, how it grows,

  • so we're gonna learn a lot about agriculture

  • and the climate crisis during this experiment.

  • I'm very nervous. I hate being hungry.

  • We need to figure out how we're going to be subsidizing our calories

  • with the environment around us, which is going to be very nerve-wracking,

  • so we need to think of a plan.

  • Let's talk about where the energy in our food comes from.

  • It all starts with the sun.

  • Green plants containing chlorophyll

  • absorb light energy from the sun,

  • and then, using water and carbon dioxide, create glucose

  • which the plant uses for energy to grow.

  • When you eat that plant or eat an animal that eats that plant,

  • you consume calories that were once light energy from the sun

  • released through nuclear fusion 150 million kilometers away

  • that are now stored in chemical bonds in the fats, proteins, and carbs we eat.

  • Chemist Wilbur Atwater calculated their approximate caloric content

  • to be four calories per gram of protein and carbs and nine calories for fat.

  • These figures give us the caloric estimates we see on modern food packaging.

  • The average adult male eats around 2,500 calories per day,

  • but we've been tracking ourselves with an app,

  • and we only eat around 1,800 calories per day.

  • So we wanna get as many of those calories from alternative sources,

  • and I wanna share my idea first. Is that okay?

  • Yes, yours is always so cool.

  • So we have a classic fish tank,

  • and of course, in that fish tank, we got our little fishies.

  • Oh, my gosh! They're raving fish!

  • ( dance music playing )

  • - Where the heck did you get these? - And these fish,

  • basically, we feed them and they poop out waste.

  • We're gonna use bacteria that grow on all these rocks at the bottom

  • to turn that waste into a usable energy source for our plants.

  • Wow, so it's like a little mini-farm.

  • Mitch: This is called aquaponics, and if all goes to plan,

  • we'll be able to grow fresh food without using any soil.

  • Oh, my God. You're so extra.

  • My demo for y'all is that I got a basket.

  • - Aww. Did you weave it? - I did not even weave it.

  • I found an indigenous chef named Shawn Adler

  • who is gonna help us forage from around our cabin

  • and teach us about the wild flowers that are there

  • and how we can prepare them and eat them,

  • and it's good to have a guide because you can die.

  • ( bird cawing )

  • So this is Shawn Adler, who is our expert forager.

  • We are Canadians foraging for the first time

  • and think it's very important that we acknowledge

  • we're on indigenous land, specifically the treaty land

  • and territory of Mississaugas of the New Credit.

  • That's important for us to remember as we forage off of the land.

  • - Let's do it. - Shawn: I think this looks

  • - like a great place to start foraging. - Okay.

  • It's a nice mixed bush. We got some pasture.

  • This is like a supermarket over here basically.

  • - Oh, my gosh! - A supermarket. I can get into that.

  • - Ooh! - I don't know if I have the agility for this.

  • I was really trying to show off on that one.

  • This is prime. From here I can see watercress. Like, all of this.

  • Wait, so what's watercress?

  • Watercress is a great green. Try that.

  • - Just eat it? - Just eat it.

  • Yep, it'll be, like, a little bit bitter,

  • but amazing source of vitamins.

  • Mitch: That's so good.

  • Greg: Watercress is number one on the CDC's list

  • of fruits and veg for nutrient density,

  • packed with vitamin A, C, and K.

  • Ooh, wow. Oh, my Lord.

  • This is basically the best survival food anywhere around.

  • That's the paw end of a cattail.

  • At this time of year, what you really want is the heart.

  • Steam that, and it's delicious.

  • Mitch: Cattails are good source of fiber and minerals like manganese.

  • I'm getting hungry for the salad after all this walking. What's the next--

  • So the next one I think we should grab for our salad is jewelweed.

  • - Jewelweed? Okay. - It's right around here. Can you find it?

  • - This! - ♪ Da, da, da, da! ♪

  • Yes! Oh, my God! It's just the first thing that I saw

  • that I hadn't seen before!

  • Shawn: Yep, when you put water on it,

  • the little bit of water that actually does stick,

  • it looks like a jewel.

  • - Greg: Oh, my gosh. - It's a really cool plant.

  • Greg: Jewelweed is not just for delicious salads.

  • Its juice can treat poison ivy and athlete's foot.

  • Is there any sort of thought about over-foraging?

  • Should we be leaving behind something?

  • Yes, you don't want to pull the roots.

  • And watercress, like a lot of herbs,

  • when you pinch them, it encourages the outer growth.

  • Oh, so we're actually helping the bugs.

  • We're really actually promoting this to branch out.

  • - Ooh, purple. Pretty flowers here. - Greg: Yeah, what about that?

  • Yeah, I don't think this is a good idea. This here will make you dead.

  • - Greg: What? - This has a very apt name. This is deadly nightshade.

  • If we eat these berries, we would die?

  • It, like, shuts down your liver and all sorts of organs,

  • so this is not edible.

  • Okay, so this is very real what we are doing.

  • - Shawn: Very real. - Mitch: Yeah.

  • That's insane.

  • Greg: The forage was a success,

  • but we are going to need more calories and protein.

  • Since we're on a working farm,

  • neither of those things are very far away.

  • So you're telling me that you want to work so you can eat?

  • Yes, we need eggs. We need eggs. We need protein.

  • - So that's called farming. - Oh!

  • - We're farmers! - You're like,

  • "You need to do something to get that."

  • So I actually have to move this chicken coop today

  • and the chickens in the coop.

  • So if I go get my tractor, can you guys just round up

  • all these chickens and get them in the coop?

  • - Like, we physically get them in there? - Yes.

  • So why are we moving this mobile chicken coop somewhere?

  • Why do we even have to do this?

  • I am gonna use these chickens to fertilize my soil

  • - and help scratch open the turf. - So this one's done?

  • - That's right. - Okay, so they're functional chickens.

  • Mitch: All right, so...

  • You should be done by the time I get back with my tractor.

  • - Okay, we'll see. - Good luck.

  • I know Mitch and Greg are both city boys,

  • so I foresee this being an interesting exercise.

  • - Here, chicken, chicken. - So we're gonna be gentle.

  • Greg: Oh, okay. They run.

  • Mitch: That seems not catchable.

  • It should not take more than 20 minutes.

  • ( buzzer )

  • Okay, we've got this one. Oh, buddy.

  • Oh! I didn't even know they could do that.

  • Ow!

  • Mitch: Wolfgang's farm uses mobile chicken coups

  • which are regularly moved to new patches of land.

  • This was does not want to be caught.

  • The chickens scratch and dig the soil when they forage for food,

  • which spreads and mixes our soil layers in a very nondestructive way.

  • It feels like a really just weird video game.

  • It's too smart!

  • One single chicken can till 4.5 square meters of soil in about four weeks,

  • at which point the soil should be ready for crop planting.

  • - Damn it. Ow! - I got one!

  • - ( gasps ) - It's okay.

  • - Mitch! - Okay.

  • I am gonna be calm to not stress it out.

  • - Okay, there you go. - Okay.

  • Aw, there's poo on my hand now.

  • There's literally poo on my hands.

  • All I have is poo on my hands, and I haven't even caught one chicken.

  • Chicken poop has the highest

  • nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium content

  • of all animal manure.

  • It adds organic matter and helpful bacteria

  • that soil needs to break down plant matter.

  • All this increases the health of the soil.

  • Aww, we just want to put you with your friends.

  • Got it.

  • - Another one! - Oh, my God.

  • It was devastating for me. I really felt like I was gonna be good at it.

  • We got one left.

  • Here comes Wolf with the tractor.

  • Greg: I got her!

  • Oh, my gosh. I'm so sorry.

  • I love you. Are you okay?

  • Now gently flip it over. It's calm, it's calm.

  • Okay. Oh, there you go.

  • - We did it. - Did you?

  • We just finished.

  • You just finished now?

  • Both: Yes.

  • I feel like you could probably do what we did in three minutes.

  • I think it's really great that Mitch and Greg are doing this.

  • I love the opportunity to bring hard science

  • to something that the average person

  • does not associate with hard science, which is agriculture.

  • Both: Oh!