Comments on: The Time is Now http://sharonastyk.com/2007/07/25/the-time-is-now/ Sharon Astyk's Ruminations on an Ambiguous Future Thu, 04 Dec 2008 00:55:24 +0000 #?v=2.3.2 By: Anonymous http://sharonastyk.com/2007/07/25/the-time-is-now/#comment-1958 Anonymous Sat, 04 Aug 2007 02:49:00 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2007/07/25/the-time-is-now/#comment-1958 Hey Heather G.,<br/><br/>Thanks for your response. I am going to do some of what you recommended, and we are working on moving. Thanks for noticing how scary some of this can be. <br/><br/>All the best,<br/><br/>Tara Hey Heather G.,

Thanks for your response. I am going to do some of what you recommended, and we are working on moving. Thanks for noticing how scary some of this can be.

All the best,

Tara

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By: jewishfarmer http://sharonastyk.com/2007/07/25/the-time-is-now/#comment-1957 jewishfarmer Tue, 31 Jul 2007 15:52:00 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2007/07/25/the-time-is-now/#comment-1957 Kerri - You make an excellent point - thank you! All preparations are local - and the more localized our lives are, the more local our choices will have to be. <br/><br/>I don't know much about Alaska, but I would tend to guess that in your case, "forage your own food" might be more helpful than "grow" - in a place with lots and lots of wild foods and not a great growing season, maybe it would make sense to think in terms of wild foods. We do this too, but you have so many more options, and so much less human-habitation to disrupt them. <br/><br/>But yes, this is a useful and important critique.<br/><br/>Cheers,<br/><br/>Sharon Kerri - You make an excellent point - thank you! All preparations are local - and the more localized our lives are, the more local our choices will have to be.

I don’t know much about Alaska, but I would tend to guess that in your case, “forage your own food” might be more helpful than “grow” - in a place with lots and lots of wild foods and not a great growing season, maybe it would make sense to think in terms of wild foods. We do this too, but you have so many more options, and so much less human-habitation to disrupt them.

But yes, this is a useful and important critique.

Cheers,

Sharon

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By: Alfredo Armando Aguirre http://sharonastyk.com/2007/07/25/the-time-is-now/#comment-1956 Alfredo Armando Aguirre Mon, 30 Jul 2007 14:03:00 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2007/07/25/the-time-is-now/#comment-1956 14Hi Shanon: If you can read Spanish,you can see that I came saying similar concepts from long time ago.<br/>Please pay a visit to my paperslist:<br/>http://choloar.tripod.com/trabajos.htm<br/>Greetings from argentina 14Hi Shanon: If you can read Spanish,you can see that I came saying similar concepts from long time ago.
Please pay a visit to my paperslist:
http://choloar.tripod.com/trabajos.htm
Greetings from argentina

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By: Kiashu http://sharonastyk.com/2007/07/25/the-time-is-now/#comment-1955 Kiashu Sat, 28 Jul 2007 02:25:00 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2007/07/25/the-time-is-now/#comment-1955 Another Sharon said, <i>"The menfolk are all about self-defense preparedness against the urban hordes, wilderness survival, and, in many cases, going it alone or nearly alone."</i><br/><br/>Hey, not all of us menfolk. I was on one site where eople asked what was being done to prepare, and one bloke described his sixteen different types of firearms - that's right, sixteen. <br/><br/>I call it the "Assault rifles & Spam" idea of preparation. I tried to point out that one man with guns and a lot of stuff will lose it to two, and two to three, and so on, so that really more important was community and skills. But they weren't keen on that.<br/><br/>Even supposing a Mad Max scenario (which I don't think is realistic or likely), having skills means the crazies want to keep you alive; and in the more likely less violent scenarios, skills are always useful. And a community is good for sharing skills, no-one can do everything by themselves. But more importantly, it's not enough to be able to live, you need something to live for, and a community is that. Another Sharon said, “The menfolk are all about self-defense preparedness against the urban hordes, wilderness survival, and, in many cases, going it alone or nearly alone.”

Hey, not all of us menfolk. I was on one site where eople asked what was being done to prepare, and one bloke described his sixteen different types of firearms - that’s right, sixteen.

I call it the “Assault rifles & Spam” idea of preparation. I tried to point out that one man with guns and a lot of stuff will lose it to two, and two to three, and so on, so that really more important was community and skills. But they weren’t keen on that.

Even supposing a Mad Max scenario (which I don’t think is realistic or likely), having skills means the crazies want to keep you alive; and in the more likely less violent scenarios, skills are always useful. And a community is good for sharing skills, no-one can do everything by themselves. But more importantly, it’s not enough to be able to live, you need something to live for, and a community is that.

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By: Homebrewlibrarian http://sharonastyk.com/2007/07/25/the-time-is-now/#comment-1954 Homebrewlibrarian Fri, 27 Jul 2007 19:15:00 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2007/07/25/the-time-is-now/#comment-1954 I've been reading these blogs with interest for a while. All good advice but for one thing - there's only so much you can do in Alaska. I have a number of useful skills (I actually CAN sew my own clothing well but it took doing it for many years to get to that level of skill, but knit? What's that?) and can create connections and relationships within my community BUT...<br/><br/>Alaska is not the best place for growing your own food. That's not to say that some folks haven't been successful at it but they are very few. They also have to have greenhouses to get things started in advance because the ground isn't warm enough to plant seeds until late May. I have done gardening in more generous climes (south central Wisconsin) but to make it work so that you can feed yourself through the non-gardening season in Alaska requires very intensive gardening on a pretty good sized chunk of land. Unfortunately, I live in an apartment with almost no yard with a new property owner who is not interested in me digging up a good sized chunk of the south facing property (which just happens to be on the front side of the building). So I subscribe to the local CSA farm (about 50 miles away but they have a drop off in town once a week) which will be good until the first week of October. Most of what I've been getting from them is salad greens which really don't lend themselves well to long term storage. I have also subscribed to a CSA out of Washington state that has a pretty impressive distribution network in Alaska but I suspect as oil prices rise, that option will become too expensive for most Alaskans.<br/><br/>In my quest to locate and use local and sustainable foods, I've joined a raw milk group (we all own cow shares) and buy eggs from a woman who lets her chickens forage on their two acres of land. Trouble is, the farm where we collect milk is nearly a two hour drive and the lady with chickens is easily an hour a way. At least with the milk group, we all take turns running out to the farm to get milk for the whole group but I haven't found anyone near where I live who has a side business of selling their chickens' eggs. I have yet to find anyone even within two hours that sustainably raises meat animals. I'm thankful I don't require a lot of meat in my diet. One good thing about Alaska is the availability of fish. Many people I know fish for salmon and halibut and almost always have more than they can consume. I'm happy to make trades or just be a lucky recipient.<br/><br/>Oh, and there are a few community gardens here but nowhere near where I live and the waiting lists are enormous. I have a friend with land out about an hour from here but that's not really feasible unless I were to move there (but then the commute would be dreadful).<br/><br/>Given how much of an effort it is to eat locally much less sustainably, I have begun to think about my options should costs rise beyond my means. Certainly, I'd work with others to make it work for all of us but I think if it truly got hard, I'd have to leave Alaska for less harsh conditions.<br/><br/>And just this week a report about the effects of climate change on Alaska's infrastructure was released:<br/><br/>http://www.iser.uaa.alaska.edu/Publications/Juneclimatefinal.pdf<br/><br/>The report isn't about next year but the next couple decades or longer. Still, I'm worried.<br/><br/>Virtually everything needed to operate in Alaska is shipped in. There's no manufacturing industry, very little agriculture and almost no processing facilities for finished products such as lumber or metal pipe. If there was widespread collapse in the US, frankly, we'd all be screwed. Then there'd be either a mass migration out or desperate situations or both.<br/><br/>Even the Native Alaskan population would have difficulty since they've been successfully seduced into the "American way." Many native peoples have completely lost all knowledge of their traditional subsistance foodways. In some ways, they are worse off than the Anglo residents because they don't have a history of eating a varied (mostly Western in origin) diet. If any group of people has trouble with obesity, it's the Native Alaskans. As a group they also have serious health (physical and mental) issues. So it's not like the non-Natives can turn to them for advice on appropriate Alaskan subsistance living.<br/><br/>Nonetheless, I'm the eternal optimist. I ride my bike when the conditions allow and, even though I own a car, I'll be looking into bus transportation for the winter. I recycle or reuse almost everything. I compost - at a friend's place since I can't have a composter here. I unplug or turn off as much as I can around my apartment. I've been teaching others how to lower their footprint on the planet. Even if times got bad, it would still be possible to live here successfully, if way more frugally.<br/><br/>Sharon, I know you can only speak from your own experience and that is valuable in and of itself. Much of what you recommend would work anywhere but some key things (growing your own food and harvesting your own water to name two) would be more than just changing your lifestyle and putting out a little more effort to do in Alaska.<br/><br/>Just a little different perspective from the Last Frontier. Thanks for insights.<br/><br/>Kerri I’ve been reading these blogs with interest for a while. All good advice but for one thing - there’s only so much you can do in Alaska. I have a number of useful skills (I actually CAN sew my own clothing well but it took doing it for many years to get to that level of skill, but knit? What’s that?) and can create connections and relationships within my community BUT…

Alaska is not the best place for growing your own food. That’s not to say that some folks haven’t been successful at it but they are very few. They also have to have greenhouses to get things started in advance because the ground isn’t warm enough to plant seeds until late May. I have done gardening in more generous climes (south central Wisconsin) but to make it work so that you can feed yourself through the non-gardening season in Alaska requires very intensive gardening on a pretty good sized chunk of land. Unfortunately, I live in an apartment with almost no yard with a new property owner who is not interested in me digging up a good sized chunk of the south facing property (which just happens to be on the front side of the building). So I subscribe to the local CSA farm (about 50 miles away but they have a drop off in town once a week) which will be good until the first week of October. Most of what I’ve been getting from them is salad greens which really don’t lend themselves well to long term storage. I have also subscribed to a CSA out of Washington state that has a pretty impressive distribution network in Alaska but I suspect as oil prices rise, that option will become too expensive for most Alaskans.

In my quest to locate and use local and sustainable foods, I’ve joined a raw milk group (we all own cow shares) and buy eggs from a woman who lets her chickens forage on their two acres of land. Trouble is, the farm where we collect milk is nearly a two hour drive and the lady with chickens is easily an hour a way. At least with the milk group, we all take turns running out to the farm to get milk for the whole group but I haven’t found anyone near where I live who has a side business of selling their chickens’ eggs. I have yet to find anyone even within two hours that sustainably raises meat animals. I’m thankful I don’t require a lot of meat in my diet. One good thing about Alaska is the availability of fish. Many people I know fish for salmon and halibut and almost always have more than they can consume. I’m happy to make trades or just be a lucky recipient.

Oh, and there are a few community gardens here but nowhere near where I live and the waiting lists are enormous. I have a friend with land out about an hour from here but that’s not really feasible unless I were to move there (but then the commute would be dreadful).

Given how much of an effort it is to eat locally much less sustainably, I have begun to think about my options should costs rise beyond my means. Certainly, I’d work with others to make it work for all of us but I think if it truly got hard, I’d have to leave Alaska for less harsh conditions.

And just this week a report about the effects of climate change on Alaska’s infrastructure was released:

http://www.iser.uaa.alaska.edu/Publications/Juneclimatefinal.pdf

The report isn’t about next year but the next couple decades or longer. Still, I’m worried.

Virtually everything needed to operate in Alaska is shipped in. There’s no manufacturing industry, very little agriculture and almost no processing facilities for finished products such as lumber or metal pipe. If there was widespread collapse in the US, frankly, we’d all be screwed. Then there’d be either a mass migration out or desperate situations or both.

Even the Native Alaskan population would have difficulty since they’ve been successfully seduced into the “American way.” Many native peoples have completely lost all knowledge of their traditional subsistance foodways. In some ways, they are worse off than the Anglo residents because they don’t have a history of eating a varied (mostly Western in origin) diet. If any group of people has trouble with obesity, it’s the Native Alaskans. As a group they also have serious health (physical and mental) issues. So it’s not like the non-Natives can turn to them for advice on appropriate Alaskan subsistance living.

Nonetheless, I’m the eternal optimist. I ride my bike when the conditions allow and, even though I own a car, I’ll be looking into bus transportation for the winter. I recycle or reuse almost everything. I compost - at a friend’s place since I can’t have a composter here. I unplug or turn off as much as I can around my apartment. I’ve been teaching others how to lower their footprint on the planet. Even if times got bad, it would still be possible to live here successfully, if way more frugally.

Sharon, I know you can only speak from your own experience and that is valuable in and of itself. Much of what you recommend would work anywhere but some key things (growing your own food and harvesting your own water to name two) would be more than just changing your lifestyle and putting out a little more effort to do in Alaska.

Just a little different perspective from the Last Frontier. Thanks for insights.

Kerri

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By: Weaseldog http://sharonastyk.com/2007/07/25/the-time-is-now/#comment-1953 Weaseldog Fri, 27 Jul 2007 15:47:00 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2007/07/25/the-time-is-now/#comment-1953 New Sharon, here's a wonderful site where I learned a lot about chickens from.<br/><br/>http://www.backyardchickens.com/<br/><br/>If you have any questions or want to talk about the troubles you've had, feel free to send me an email at:<br/><br/>[email protected]<br/><br/>I'm in a suburb in the D/FW metroplex, so I don't have some of the problems others have. Predators are few. I've raised my dogs with chickens and they protect my flock. One dog is a border collie / Rottweiller mix who thinks he's responsible for them. He loves to herd them back to the pen when they get loose. At a year old, he's getting chicken herding down to a science.<br/><br/>I keep ten birds in a pen that I'm told will hold 30 birds. I also have a second area that I let get overgrown and seed with leftover garden seeds. Then when it looks like it needs mowing, I let them forage there for a while.<br/><br/>And finally, I've learned their normal behaviors and I can tell when they aren't acting right. I Also pay attention the their poo, as that's where you'll often see the first sign of parasites. New Sharon, here’s a wonderful site where I learned a lot about chickens from.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/

If you have any questions or want to talk about the troubles you’ve had, feel free to send me an email at:

[email protected]

I’m in a suburb in the D/FW metroplex, so I don’t have some of the problems others have. Predators are few. I’ve raised my dogs with chickens and they protect my flock. One dog is a border collie / Rottweiller mix who thinks he’s responsible for them. He loves to herd them back to the pen when they get loose. At a year old, he’s getting chicken herding down to a science.

I keep ten birds in a pen that I’m told will hold 30 birds. I also have a second area that I let get overgrown and seed with leftover garden seeds. Then when it looks like it needs mowing, I let them forage there for a while.

And finally, I’ve learned their normal behaviors and I can tell when they aren’t acting right. I Also pay attention the their poo, as that’s where you’ll often see the first sign of parasites.

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By: Scot http://sharonastyk.com/2007/07/25/the-time-is-now/#comment-1952 Scot Fri, 27 Jul 2007 15:25:00 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2007/07/25/the-time-is-now/#comment-1952 I want to add to this list. It sprung to my mind at your 'get to know your neighbors.' <br/><br/>In a world that is going to have less oil, we really need to recommit ourselves to community and by that I mean what I will call 'The Commons'<br/><br/>What has happened in the modern economy is that we have become individuals consuming goods, rather than persons in a community.<br/><br/>I can give an example. A book at borders that I buy vs. a book at the library I can borrow. The bought book is read once and then it generally sits on my shelf forever or until I give it to goodwill or throw it away. The book at the library gets read over and over and over. Bought once by the community and read by individuals for FREE. That is the commons.<br/><br/>Car vs. public transport. I go and buy one car, that I use only when I need it. It sits unused most of every day. Or I can ride a publicly used vehicle that gets used by everybody all the time. From the standpoint of subsidy, the roads and cars are far more heavily subsidised than the public transport is. In many places public transport is again free.<br/><br/>The common garden. The common transport mode. The common library. What we need to do is reconnect again as a community, and provide our basic services outside the economic exchange. That is what makes us feel 'wealthy' rather than money. An individual consuming goods feels wealthy only if they have lots of money. A person in a communtiy feels wealthy all the time!<br/><br/>Thanks. I want to add to this list. It sprung to my mind at your ‘get to know your neighbors.’

In a world that is going to have less oil, we really need to recommit ourselves to community and by that I mean what I will call ‘The Commons’

What has happened in the modern economy is that we have become individuals consuming goods, rather than persons in a community.

I can give an example. A book at borders that I buy vs. a book at the library I can borrow. The bought book is read once and then it generally sits on my shelf forever or until I give it to goodwill or throw it away. The book at the library gets read over and over and over. Bought once by the community and read by individuals for FREE. That is the commons.

Car vs. public transport. I go and buy one car, that I use only when I need it. It sits unused most of every day. Or I can ride a publicly used vehicle that gets used by everybody all the time. From the standpoint of subsidy, the roads and cars are far more heavily subsidised than the public transport is. In many places public transport is again free.

The common garden. The common transport mode. The common library. What we need to do is reconnect again as a community, and provide our basic services outside the economic exchange. That is what makes us feel ‘wealthy’ rather than money. An individual consuming goods feels wealthy only if they have lots of money. A person in a communtiy feels wealthy all the time!

Thanks.

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By: shadowfoot http://sharonastyk.com/2007/07/25/the-time-is-now/#comment-1951 shadowfoot Fri, 27 Jul 2007 13:44:00 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2007/07/25/the-time-is-now/#comment-1951 For Tara:<br/><br/>It is kind of scarey, if you don't feel you're prepared for emergencies or a major change of life. But the fact that you don't have debt is a HUGE positive. Most people do (I do - school loans, mortgage, and one credit card).<br/><br/>Just a few thoughts to send your way: <br/><br/>1) Do you use a clothes dryer or hang your clothes up? Dryers use a lot of electricity (or coins if you go to a laundromat). We have some lines out back, plus a wood dryer rack indoors (amazing how much it can hold), and in winter I get creative and hang things from the bed frame (rectangular 'canopy' style), the shower curtain rod, etc.<br/><br/>2) Try buying some of the extra food/water for storage a little at a time. Even one or two items per shopping trip will eventually add up to more food security, without breaking the budget.<br/><br/>3) Any chance of moving closer to "home"? Any jobs that are at least comparable to what your husband earns now? That could save you some money on those few trips home, plus if things really do get worse, your network of help is closer by -- and so is theirs.<br/><br/>4) If you can't move, see what's available in your area for community outreach, free activities, ways to connect to people in your area. Build community. The more people you know, and who know you, the better off you all will be. And who knows? Opportunities to save money, make money, share in some cooperative project, etc., make come up as a result of these connections.<br/><br/>To Red Cloud:<br/>Does the farmer you know do any grazing of his lamb and chickens? Chickens are a little tricky, but he could make an enclosed area, or cages with little rollers on the bottom edge. Grass is good for both lambs and chickens, and will help bring the feed costs down a little. Yes, we tried it ourselves -- brought some grass in to give the chickens, just to see if it was worth the effort of grazing them, and they went for it. Up to 30% of their diet can come from pasturing, if the pasture's decent quality.<br/><br/>Heather G<br/>helwen.livejournal.com For Tara:

It is kind of scarey, if you don’t feel you’re prepared for emergencies or a major change of life. But the fact that you don’t have debt is a HUGE positive. Most people do (I do - school loans, mortgage, and one credit card).

Just a few thoughts to send your way:

1) Do you use a clothes dryer or hang your clothes up? Dryers use a lot of electricity (or coins if you go to a laundromat). We have some lines out back, plus a wood dryer rack indoors (amazing how much it can hold), and in winter I get creative and hang things from the bed frame (rectangular ‘canopy’ style), the shower curtain rod, etc.

2) Try buying some of the extra food/water for storage a little at a time. Even one or two items per shopping trip will eventually add up to more food security, without breaking the budget.

3) Any chance of moving closer to “home”? Any jobs that are at least comparable to what your husband earns now? That could save you some money on those few trips home, plus if things really do get worse, your network of help is closer by — and so is theirs.

4) If you can’t move, see what’s available in your area for community outreach, free activities, ways to connect to people in your area. Build community. The more people you know, and who know you, the better off you all will be. And who knows? Opportunities to save money, make money, share in some cooperative project, etc., make come up as a result of these connections.

To Red Cloud:
Does the farmer you know do any grazing of his lamb and chickens? Chickens are a little tricky, but he could make an enclosed area, or cages with little rollers on the bottom edge. Grass is good for both lambs and chickens, and will help bring the feed costs down a little. Yes, we tried it ourselves — brought some grass in to give the chickens, just to see if it was worth the effort of grazing them, and they went for it. Up to 30% of their diet can come from pasturing, if the pasture’s decent quality.

Heather G
helwen.livejournal.com

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By: RJ http://sharonastyk.com/2007/07/25/the-time-is-now/#comment-1950 RJ Fri, 27 Jul 2007 13:31:00 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2007/07/25/the-time-is-now/#comment-1950 Great stuff Sharon..<br/>Keep it up.. Great stuff Sharon..
Keep it up..

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By: sharon http://sharonastyk.com/2007/07/25/the-time-is-now/#comment-1949 sharon Fri, 27 Jul 2007 11:52:00 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2007/07/25/the-time-is-now/#comment-1949 I just discovered this blog, and it's great to come across a discussion of the many possible collapse scenarios we may face from a feminine perspective. The menfolk are all about self-defense preparedness against the urban hordes, wilderness survival, and, in many cases, going it alone or nearly alone.<br/><br/>Sure, we do need to realize that a time of collapse will be a dangerous period, but community is far more critical to survival than repelling enemies and competitors.<br/><br/>There is even one blogger out there who feels that food-raising is a bad idea, that it will make you a target. What I believe is that both your produce and your skills will make you an asset to your community. <br/><br/>I live in a rural area about an hour (by car) outside a large city, but I think that the dreaded urban hordes should be considered as potential assets to rural communities. Rural areas have thousands of acres of land, which will be perfectly valueless without mechanized agriculture and which should be treated as commons. The urban hordes have hands. <br/><br/>One suggestion I'd make to anyone who is into storing food is to get into converting bulk dried soybeans into soy products: soymilk, tofu, and tempeh. These are all easily made at home, and it's good to reflect that a bunch of dried soybeans can be converted into a nutritious substitute for meat, milk, eggs--even soap. The whey left over from tofu-making was traditionally used in Japan for washing hair, clothing, dishes, floors--in fact, everything.<br/><br/>To make tempeh you need an incubator, and the kind used to hatch poultry eggs works great--not only for making tempeh, but also for making yogurt and keeping bread warm while it rises. Such an incubator could, of course, also be used to hatch eggs. They do operate on electricity, however, so the truly prepared may want to have an inverter (at a minimum) and, preferably a small solar panel and a hot (preferably marine) battery and charge controller. There's lots of stuff on other sites about setting up a minimal solar back-up capability that is not completely unaffordable.<br/><br/>I have a cistern, since I live in the country, and I have a rainwater collection system partially set up. Some of it needs to be re-done, because I was unaware that you can buy downspout adapters especially intended for rainwater collection. Right now I have patched-together fittings that were quite unnecessary. But their replacements are now lying in the yard waiting to be installed.<br/><br/>I'd appreciate some input from weaseldog about keeping poultry. I have had very bad luck with this. I just discovered this blog, and it’s great to come across a discussion of the many possible collapse scenarios we may face from a feminine perspective. The menfolk are all about self-defense preparedness against the urban hordes, wilderness survival, and, in many cases, going it alone or nearly alone.

Sure, we do need to realize that a time of collapse will be a dangerous period, but community is far more critical to survival than repelling enemies and competitors.

There is even one blogger out there who feels that food-raising is a bad idea, that it will make you a target. What I believe is that both your produce and your skills will make you an asset to your community.

I live in a rural area about an hour (by car) outside a large city, but I think that the dreaded urban hordes should be considered as potential assets to rural communities. Rural areas have thousands of acres of land, which will be perfectly valueless without mechanized agriculture and which should be treated as commons. The urban hordes have hands.

One suggestion I’d make to anyone who is into storing food is to get into converting bulk dried soybeans into soy products: soymilk, tofu, and tempeh. These are all easily made at home, and it’s good to reflect that a bunch of dried soybeans can be converted into a nutritious substitute for meat, milk, eggs–even soap. The whey left over from tofu-making was traditionally used in Japan for washing hair, clothing, dishes, floors–in fact, everything.

To make tempeh you need an incubator, and the kind used to hatch poultry eggs works great–not only for making tempeh, but also for making yogurt and keeping bread warm while it rises. Such an incubator could, of course, also be used to hatch eggs. They do operate on electricity, however, so the truly prepared may want to have an inverter (at a minimum) and, preferably a small solar panel and a hot (preferably marine) battery and charge controller. There’s lots of stuff on other sites about setting up a minimal solar back-up capability that is not completely unaffordable.

I have a cistern, since I live in the country, and I have a rainwater collection system partially set up. Some of it needs to be re-done, because I was unaware that you can buy downspout adapters especially intended for rainwater collection. Right now I have patched-together fittings that were quite unnecessary. But their replacements are now lying in the yard waiting to be installed.

I’d appreciate some input from weaseldog about keeping poultry. I have had very bad luck with this.

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