Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles 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!