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What's the perfect homestead for when s*&t hits the fan?

 
Posts: 1444
Location: Fennville MI
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George Marsh, the number of people that can be supported is highly dependent upon the location and the productive potential of the land. It also relates to the skills of the people involved and the level of intensity they can bring to their food production operations.

Because it is possible on pretty much any piece of land to get more production out if you put more labor in, up to a point, you would want more than one pair of hands working the land, but where the point of diminishing returns comes in, that would have to be figured out on a case by case basis. Do you have cold winters where production goes way down and carrying animals is a burden? Warm enough year round but your water supply is highly seasonal? Winter growing season and summer heat that stops most things from growing?

I imagine there could be some rough numbers, based on what an individual needs per day and what an acre in a given location may be projected to produce under "normal" cultivation, but I would think they would be pretty rough numbers and would hate to be betting people's lives on such calculations.
 
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There is a huge amount of seasonality to food production and environmental challenges where I live. Probably 75% of the edible calories are grown in 50% of the year. This means preserving food for use in the winter and a lot of work in the summer. And yes, overwintering livestock is tough which is why the fall is a good time to slaughter them.
 
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Yes. I wanted to talk about lowered expectations towards food in a collapse. Then I realised I have already had this conversation very recently and I can save myself a lot of 2 finger typing. My winter task was to write a prepper fiction book roughly based on where I see myself during this collapse. Im going to cut and paste this section. Some of it we've already talked about. It also hasn't been edited yet. Hopefully, its not to much for you folks. If its boring, feel free to ignore it. I wont be offended.

from Retrograde
Peter broke in, “So can you explain to us what this plan is of yours to get through this age of consequence?”
“If all else fails, lower your standards”.
At their confused expressions, I started rubbing my temples and rolling back my eyes.
“Wait! I hear a voice speaking to me from the ascended masters about our future. As I gaze down into my crystal beer mug, I see two square meals a day that involve squash.” Groans were heard around the table.
“I see life mainly consisting of pulling weeds, storing any food we can stomach and cutting firewood to get through the next winter.
I see watching every item we now own breaking down and being set aside carefully for when we need a screw or a piece of metal.
I see a magical cure for diabetes. Simply staying alive is the cure with its reduced caloric intake and physical labour.
I see thieves and political extremists to be watchful of.
I see bicycling. Lots of bicycling followed by fixing bicycles and then walking.
I see a magical world where we will take whatever short term jobs will hire us and receive far far less than minimum wage.
I see leafy greens but only for part of the year. Yeh, I say onto thee there shall be manic swings between hating choking down anymore leafy greens and desperately missing them till late spring.
I see taxes not going away anytime soon but income tax shall not apply to thee for that would require a minimum income.
I see us building an outhouse this week. One that composts our poo into fertilizer - seriously guys we have to stop using the toilet so all these extra people don’t overwhelm the aging septic system and cause us huge problems we can’t afford to fix anymore.
I see us introducing you to our simple pump shower made of an antique fire extinguisher later today as we can no longer afford running the hot water tank.”
“Shower. I could really use a shower. It’s been a few days” Julia beamed.
“Don’t get too excited. You are going to love to hate it. Pumping it to get wet then having to stop to soap up. Having to start a fire in the rocket stove to heat the water. But it’s warm and it works. A long, relaxing soak – it will never be again. Luckily we can still wash clothes but only on sunny days when we get enough solar power. Of course no dries.”
“Oh that’s way better than doing laundry in the sink. Next sunny day – we have a backlog of laundry if that’s alright with you.”
I turned back to Peter. “Sooo back to if all else fails lower your standards. We have a lot of standards that are unrealistic, purchased by credit, both personal and public, paid in dollars that were also debt backed and printed out of thin air. So, future expectations have to be a lot lower. Without a functioning system…think third world lower. Even lower than that because they already know how to live that way.”
I put my fingers to my temples again and began to roll my eyes. “Nah. That psychic joke only works once. So I’m guessing when you heard this place referred to as a farm, you might have been envisioning to yourself starting the day with a hearty farmer’s breakfast – eggs and bacon, homemade bread with hand churned butter and home preserved jam. For lunch something simple some bread and soft cheese. Maybe a juicy apple from the trees. Dinner would have an old world flare, an old fashioned family with amish overtones. A roast chicken or depending on the season a wild duck, rabbit or pheasant. Squirrels for an exotic survivalist flare. Maybe a hunk of venison roasted with carrots. Just like all those Harrowsmith magazine images of homestead cooking. Now let’s go through all that food porn for a reality check. Let’s start with those morning eggs.

We have a dozen chickens. They are completely free range other than their little fort knox chicken coop where they get locked into at night to keep predators from snatching them. A chicken basically is a machine that converts other food into a protein source – eggs. They forage around but they are primarily grain eaters. They are totally dependent on us to feed them especially through the winter. From fall on we get almost no eggs and yet we still have to feed them, mainly on store bought grains that we just cannot produce here. I’ve tried. I tried small grain production. We had to totally enclose it so the chickens and other birds didn’t go after the seeds. Once we had it we found we didn’t have any practical way to harvest and thresh it in enough quantity. Corn seemed the practical solution but the short growing season here has thwarted that. There are fields of corn nearby but that corn only grows due to mass fertilizers and heavy pesticides and the diesel powered heavy machinery for each part of the process. We are so desperate for a way to feed them that this year we are trying to start all the corn in the greenhouse and transplant them. The chickens do get apples and cooked squash but they couldn’t survive on it. In warm climates they would be fine but here if we don’t feel them enough protein, they will stop producing eggs. So we have dark rich organic eggs. Very expensive eggs.
Onto the bacon. We luckily have a member that does fantastic smoked bacon. We also can feed pigs with what we can grow or gather. This still requires a rather large cold storage to keep all the squashes, beets, carrots, potatoes, applies as long into the winter as possible. You’ll notice we don’t have any pigs yet. That’s because we are behind the ball. We did like going away for a while, but that would require having someone that could feed the animals and very expensive fencing. We have people here now so now we can do it but we couldn’t beforehand. We will get on that. Still we are looking at about $100 per pig for a breed that can handle being outdoors in the winter weather. A breeding pair and a spare with no guarantee they will actually bread or not die or something.
Onto homemade bread. We already mentioned our problems with grain production. Then there is the propane for our stove which will eventually run out and that would mean alternative baking means supplied by lots of large logs that will need to be cut, hauled and seasoned.
Preserves. We have fruit a plenty and many years of canning lids stored. Where is sugar coming from? I suppose we could try extracting it from sugar beets but I have no idea how to do this. Once our sugar supply is gone, it’s gone.
Buter. Butter means hay production and a way to store it to keep ruminants over the winter. Cows are too much work on a small scale so that leaves goats or sheep. Sheep are more suited to this climate. The sheep will need to be constantly knocked up to be producing milk and we are back to thousands of dollars for fencing. To get around that we will tether them to tires so they can’t run off. A sheep herder would take one of us out of production and a herding dog would have to be trained and fed. Then there is the keeping coyotes and dogs at bay.
So lunch of bread and cheese. We’ve already covered those problems. And that nice juicy apple. We have apples, lots of apples… but they don’t look or taste much like the ones you get in the stores. This would require spraying after every rain and fertilizer. Most fall off the trees before become ripe and those that do don’t store for long.
And now the dinner of roast chicken. I already talked about roasting. At the moment with our level of chick production, we will have chickens about five or six times a year. They will be small and will mainly be young rooster or old hens. Occasionally it will be one that a hawk or other predator has already killed, partially eaten, if we went fast enough to hear their warning cries and bring a rifle into play.
Wild duck, rabbit or pheasant. This involves the expense of bullets or shotgun shells which are pricy for the small amount of meat. It requires taking time away from food production, firewood and fixing stuff. To take one that makes itself seen in daily life required having an uncomfortable long gun on your person at all times and you never know if its going to be the right gun for the job. So traps that need to be checked daily and hopefully your own animals won’t get caught in them so they have to be a decent distance away. You can’t over harvest them or there will be no more to breed.
Venison. We have lots of deer here. They come for the apple trees and hay fields or to avoid predators that mainly respect the dogs’ territorial markings. By the time hunting season comes around, they suddenly get real scarce. Instantly they are gone. Deep in the forest or dead. They still come around at night, and jack lighting is an option but if you are caught poaching bye bye guns, hello huge fines and legal costs. This leaves poaching them long before hunting season when they show up and hopefully you have the right size gun on you when they make themselves seen. Trampling through the forest is an expenditure of calories. So let’s say you poach one off season. It needs to get into the freezer right away because it will start rotting almost immediately. It won’t taste all that good because a deer needs to be hung for a while in a cool place. This means a working freezer, or canning it or smoking and dehydrating it. Add to this, deer being very lean and not full of fat to bulk you up to get through winter. This brings you back to pigs, bear or beaver to mix with the deer for the extra fat.
And the carrots to accompany that meal. Carrots only produce seed the second year. This means keeping those carrots alive through a winter. We tried keeping them alive under hay but the ground freezes too deep here and killed them. Next attempt, we brought them indoors in sand. This worked but we screwed up replanting them in the greenhouse. Next year we will put them directly back into the garden. We got a small amount of seeds but they don’t look all that healthy so we don’t know if they will sprout. Only time will tell and we have to start that experiment all over again on a larger scale. If we don’t succeed before our dwindling supply of carrot seeds runs out, bye bye carrots. Same with cabbage and beets. This is why squashes and beans are great because the seeds are pretty easy to figure out. You are going to just love shucking beans by hand whenever nothing else is going on. Plus you have to keep the carrots from cross pollinating with queen anne’s lace flower that grows a plenty around here. Reverting carrots to their wild form.
Survivalist squirrels. Oh there is plenty but they are small here and not really worth a 22 bullet. The cats occasionally drag one in and I supposed we could cook it up but better to just let the dogs or cats eat it which we must keep alive as well: dogs for the larger predators and smaller ones like raccoons that would just love the chickens, and cats to keep the vermin from taking over the wonderful feeding and housing rat Shangri-la we have created for them.
I just want to make sure you get all of this. We have the advantage over most in that we started all this years early and we had a lot of really good ideas we were convinced would work kicked right out of us. Failure has been a far better teacher than any book or youtube clip. It’s a constant trial and error.
By the way Josh, we had our first experience of someone raiding the garden while you were away. I didn’t think it would start this soon but it looks like we have to start putting someone on watch. Luckily it wasn’t much, a few carrots and heads of broccoli. Probably some tomatoes as well but that’s hard to tell. No real loss. He must have ninjaed in at night. Neither of the dogs are going to be happy locked into the garden at night but they will have to get used to it. It may have been one of the neighbours down the road but I’m suspecting it might be someone like you and Tim that thought they could survive in the wild and ran out of food. It’s happening faster than I thought.”
Josh looked pissed, remembering the effort he put into that garden. “Anyone I find not supposed to be here, I’ll shoot on sight.”
“You better knock that shit right out of here. All these folks around here have a lot of relatives. If you shoot one of them, try picturing a future resembling the Hatfields and McCoys feud. A multi-generational blood feud would make life rather unpleasant. If someone were to shoot you in retaliation, I would miss you. Far far more important if someone shot me in retaliation, I would miss me. You, I could live without.” The table chuckled.
“Even if a guy in camouflage comes out of the bush with a gun, it might just be a lost hunter or someone that didn’t know the property line. We have to be smarter than this and exercise even more self control than before the crisis started. We actually have to be nicer to strangers. You’ll still go to prison if you murder someone… but then your problems would be solved. You’d get three meals a day, a warm bed… and a boyfriend.”
I went to the cupboard for a can of soup then turned back to Peter and Julia. I held up the can. “How many people do you think this can of soup can feed? It’s three years past the date on it by the way. Still fine. It’s basically an un-nutritious meal for one but we got it on sale for fifty cents. Now it’s just a flavouring. This can is going to feel us all tonight. We will have one big pot of spaghetti from the supplies you brought. This is the sauce to flavour it. Same idea for rice or potatoes or random veggies.
I remember my first round of shelling peas from the garden. We don’t have a million dollar factory of engineers, metallurgists, electricians, energy specialists, the complex civil infrastructure that supports it, parts and materials from all over the globe… just to shell peas and put them in a bag. It took most of the day and a 12 pack in front of the TV simply to fill a bad that I could have bought at the store for 2 bucks. Tabby chided me that it wasn’t an effective use of my prepping time. I whipped her my usual cheezy grin and told her, ‘this is psychological prepping, princess. We have to get used to this. It’s not just a job for ‘brown’ people any more’. Badum dum.
Take away gas or electricity from the equation either through lack of supply or inability to actually pay for it… life is like a bag of peas. You never know how much effort it will take to get it. Life gets stripped down to food, firewood and fellowship. If life gets down to shucking peas for a tenth or twentieth of minimum wage, its ‘all about the soldier next to you’. Figuratively speaking, friends and family become your consolation wage to keep from going bug nuts.
 
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That is an awesome excerpt. How much of the book do you have done? I think you brought up a lot of good points that a lot of the other survival fiction books have glossed over or romanticized. Such as how boring the food is as well as the repercussions that you might see from killing someone local while defending your property. Great stuff! Is there any way to read more of it?
 
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Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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George Hayduke wrote:If you're talking about growing almost all the food you consume, you are essentially now in the business of converting sunlight into digestable calories. So, assuming you have adequate available water, the acreage required will in rough terms be a function of the number of people you have to feed and the amount of sunlight each acre receives. In some cases, you could probably produce enough food on one acre to feed four people in a sustainable way. (That's an average of 2,500 calories per day per person.) In a cold northern climate it might require several acres per person. Bottom line: local environmental conditions will dictate the amount of land you need to sustainably support human life.

I'm building a place capable of supporting several people on a very small amount of land. When I say "support" I mean provide virtually all of the water, food, electricity, and housing necessary to not only allow people to subsist but actually enjoy the abundance of the land. I'm in Year 3 of my experiment, and while I have much more to build out, based on my experience I think it's possible to achieve this goal.



Totally depends on climate and what you want to eat as well. If you don't care for meat it'll be a lot easier to feed people. With meat you need more acreage. It is said that in my area 40 acres are needed to feed 2 cows. So if I wanted beef I'd be in need of a lot more acres.
 
Ross Raven
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Sam Barber wrote:That is an awesome excerpt. How much of the book do you have done? I think you brought up a lot of good points that a lot of the other survival fiction books have glossed over or romanticized. Such as how boring the food is as well as the repercussions that you might see from killing someone local while defending your property. Great stuff! Is there any way to read more of it?


Thanks. I think I am past the half way point but it is hard to tell. Then will come the editing and a lot of rewriting. After that, my wife, who is a much better organiser, will figure out how to get it published. I have no plans for a writing career. One. Maybe two books. Hopefully it gets done...before the crash...or before my radical criticisms of modern prepping become common knowledge which seems to already be happening on its own.
Part of the reason for this book was to smack the romanticism out of the genre and challenge some foolish notions that have been entrenched since the 70s. I decided there would be no heroes. No super villains to vanquish and give life a false sense of meaning. No epic adventure story. I'll give one more teaser only because I posted it already on another network I used to write on. If you want the whole story, You will have to pay for it like everyone else. LOL. Though, Me suspects, this will turn out like the bag of peas mentioned above. Don't expect me to become famous. Too much pressure. Im only writing this because it seemed like a good idea at the time and my wife is pestering me to write it. lol. enjoy.


Retrograde

The apocalypse didn’t quit work out like the brochure. I think a lot of people figured they would run off into the woods with their guns and snares and seed banks. “A chance to begin again”. A life of adventure in a brave new world where only the strong would survive. Just wait out the dying time and organize with your fellow patriots to fight off your evil overlords.
I don’t think this is what people were really imagining.
I know. I watched it happen.
Three major migrations from the cities, and half a dozen minor ones: survivalists, preppers, back to the land idealists, people in buck skin jackets with flintlocks or homemade bows. “Ah huntin’ an ah fishin’ rednecks. Whatever.
They were like a plague of rats and a real danger to us out in farm country.
Most of them went home after the first week when they figured out the forest wasn’t teaming with nuts, berries and wild game jumping out in front of their military rifles, trucked out with hundreds of dollars of high tech laser sights, flash lights, thousand yard scopes and personal, vibrating marital aids.
I know because I found one once. Sometime in the late spring after the first great migration.
What a whack job that guy was. It was the most outrageous and impractical weapon I had ever scene. It had crap bolted on everywhere at weird angles, a ridiculous 50 round mag dangling like an obscene horse penis, 4 different optics, 2 flashlights set up like car beams, laser dot…. and not one but two…TWO tripods. One was sideways, I guess so the guy could shoot it sideways. With a horse penis mag like that, I guess he would have to.
Well it served its only real purpose: he had shot himself…twice. The first shot, I guess in his mouth, clearly missing anything vital. I’m also guessing he passed out because of the strange angle he was twisted in, arm reaching out to get his thumb in the trigger while lying on the ground, barrel to this chest because I don’t think he could get it to his head.
I stared at him for about an hour before I touched anything, slowly walking myself through, in my head, everything I could see. I didn’t move for while in case I had to retrace my steps and then prove to investigators that it wasn’t me that had done the task. After fifteen minutes of thinking it through, I knew there was no way in hell I was calling the cops. They had just become far too sketchy and it would end with them tearing through my home, helping themselves to my very needed shit. Besides, I really wanted that clown gun. I wasn’t much of a tracker but I got the basics so I rant it through my head like my own mini investigation.
I eventually started walking around because I figured I could tell the investigators I was looking for ID if it came to that. Just in case, I took my boots off. Best to slog around in my socks on the mushy ground because I didn’t want to throw away my good boots afterwards to cover my tracks. Totally silly in retrospect/hindsight as no one was coming but paranoia and contempt for the law has served me well…so far.
Most of the memory of that day has completely disappeared but the part that stays with me like it happened yesterday was my waterlogged feet, the pain of the gravel, and the wet boots once I gave up on the idea halfway home, carrying awkward stuff, like the clown gun that weighed twice as much as it should have. At least 3 or 4 times the weight of the little 22 rifle I was already carrying, the ripped backpack. Bug out bag I guess. No wait. I think the guy would have called it an INCH bag because of some of the ridiculous stuff in it. INCH stands for I’m Never Coming Home.
Well he never did.....

-This guy was a dead man the moment he left ‘the burbs’. He basically commit suicide, by leaving and I was feeling sorry for him even before reading his journal. I have no idea why I took it with me. Morbid fascination? Speaker for the dead. Covering my ass?
What exactly does a live survivalist say to the rotting corpse of a failed survivalist? At this point I should mention that I am, was, whatever, a prepper, survivalist, back to the lander, or some such title or we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
Prepper was the more politically correct term of the time. A person that prepares for life’s eventualities as opposed to the rather loaded term survivalist with its baggage of racism, Christian militants with fantasies of being a militia or someone willing to do ‘anything’ to survive. It was creepy then. It is still creepy now. I wasn’t comfortable using the term then. There is no reason to use it now as prepper is past tense like ‘protester’ becoming a religion now called Protestants.

- So like I said, the apocalypse didn’t work out like the brochure. Nothing stopped. Well a lot of things stopped but most things are pretty backwards to the old apocalyptic disaster movies of yore. Or the Books, or the Pantheon of political and religious snake oil salesman peddling paranoid fantasies of death camps, the number of the beast and glorious battle with the undead commi zombies in UN blue berets. The government is still around, though ineffectual to epic proportions. The police are still around but they are more of a danger than any help. The cities are still around…more crowded than ever, though they look more like the slums of Mexico city in many places. We are on our new dollar, nobody trusts it but it’s still around. There are still rich people, though nothing resembling the middle class. There are still a large number of people that don’t believe a collapse has already happened, that it’s just a recession and recovery is just around the corner, that the homeless people are just lazy and need to get a job.

Millions of people died. Millions upon millions upon millions. But millions didn’t amount to much
 
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Having seen J.M. Greer's blog and read the first few years' worth of it, I have to agree with one of his fundamental conclusions: When, not if, industrial civilization declines (not sure it will totally collapse), it is extremely unlikely to all fall overnight, short of global nuclear war. In fact, it will take centuries to collapse to the point where there is no civilization or infrastructure to lean on, far longer than any lifetime. Anybody basing all their planning on having to grow/make everything they need next year or five years from now is wasting a lot of resources which would be better spent on making a somewhat lower-tech than present culture work for their lifetime. Nobody can guess what exactly the specifics of the future will be, and putting all your eggs in one basket will leave you worse off if any one of the other possible futures is what actually comes. Just diversify to allow for contingencies, and teach your descendants to do the same with whatever their future present will be. A totally self-sufficient lifestyle leads usually to bare subsistence which only the most ideologically dedicated will keep choosing... do you want your children or theirs to choose your lifestyle as preferable to what they see around them? Then make it such that it is pleasant, even though that includes hard work.
 
Ross Raven
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Glenn Herbert wrote:Having seen J.M. Greer's blog and read the first few years' worth of it, I have to agree with one of his fundamental conclusions: When, not if, industrial civilization declines (not sure it will totally collapse), it is extremely unlikely to all fall overnight, short of global nuclear war. In fact, it will take centuries to collapse to the point where there is no civilization or infrastructure to lean on, far longer than any lifetime. Anybody basing all their planning on having to grow/make everything they need next year or five years from now is wasting a lot of resources which would be better spent on making a somewhat lower-tech than present culture work for their lifetime. Nobody can guess what exactly the specifics of the future will be, and putting all your eggs in one basket will leave you worse off if any one of the other possible futures is what actually comes. Just diversify to allow for contingencies, and teach your descendants to do the same with whatever their future present will be. A totally self-sufficient lifestyle leads usually to bare subsistence which only the most ideologically dedicated will keep choosing... do you want your children or theirs to choose your lifestyle as preferable to what they see around them? Then make it such that it is pleasant, even though that includes hard work.



You said it all, my very intelligent friend. When talking about this subject with others, I point out, the USSR collapsed...but Russia still remains. Argentina collapsed but the storefronts are still open. Greece reached collapse point. 25%unemployment is no joke...but elections are still taking place.
I mentioned Ran Priers, The Slow Crash, above but I know when people just put up a postit like that, its often ignored. I really do have to recommend it again. http://www.ranprieur.com/essays/slowcrash.html
It starts with the lines "Imagine the end of the world in moderation. It's hard. We tend to imagine that either the "economy" will recover and we'll go on like 1999 forever, plus flying cars, or else one day "the apocalypse happens" and every component of the industrial system is utterly gone."
He wrote it in 2005. You know. The year of Peak Conventional Oil. Precursor to the 2008 financial crash. This version has edited subnotes as he looks back on it just short of 2013, with the lines, " I can see now that my timeline was still much too fast, my vision of the changes was too catastrophic, and I was too optimistic about popular adaptations"

"If that's all we get, the crash will be slower and more complex than the kind of people who predict crashes like to predict. It won't be like falling off a cliff, more like rolling down a rocky hill. There won't be any clear before, during, or after"
 
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These sort of threads always attract me. At first, it is because I genuinely want to know what sort of homestead will best weather a collapse. The thread usually starts that way too, with helpful list of attributes of a good site, productive food systems, and stuff to have on hand. Then the conversation shifts to question what the collapse will look like and whether a homestead is even the right place to avoid a collapse. Having one's belief in sudden collapse and the stereotypical solution (self-sufficiency) put to the test is always healthy. I certainly needed my assumptions shaken.

Don't go to the trouble and expense of buying land and building a homestead because of a fear of collapse. Do it if only if you like the idea of living the homestead life. If growing much of your own food is attractive, plant or animal, then do it. If you want to live off-grid or in a more energy-independent way, pursue that end. But honestly, fear tends to motivate folk in the wrong direction. Just build in a place where you and your loved ones will be happy to live. Build or obtain the type of house that you will enjoy. Most importantly, foster connections to the community and try to build ties of common ground with your neighbours.

As others have alluded to, it seems like the vision of collapse that Hollywood has given us is, unsurprisingly, fictional. In localized areas and relatively short time-scales, events could evolve in a way that looks similar to the movies (think of New Orleans after Katrina). On a larger scale, a slower bumpy decline as resource availability declines seems much more likely. I don't see planning for specific events being productive, but there are a set of broad behaviours that will have benefits in nearly every scenario: Be healthy. Get out of debt. Learn new skills. Connect with friends and family. Enjoy life.

Ending the digression and getting to the point: What's the perfect homestead for when the s*&t hits the fan? Probably not too far removed from your perfect homestead for business-as-usual. Just tweaked a bit to allow flexibility should things begin to get interesting. A wood-stove, a way of getting water without power, and a cold cellar filled with vegetables from the garden would go a long way to making any homestead better prepared. Building in the middle of nowhere and in a harsh climate probably isn't a good idea either.
 
George Hayduke
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I strongly agree with Mark Fox's observation. The only difference between a completely self-sufficient homestead and a post-apocalyptic compound is that after the crash you'd need stronger lines of defense. Other than that, there's almost a complete overlap. I think survivalists focus way too much on the concept of storing things (food, water, energy) rather than producing them in the here and now.

FWIW, I believe the possibility of a rapid collapse is almost zero. Advanced societies almost never experience a rapid collapse. The worst case is a slow twirl down the toilet bowl that usually takes centuries, like Rome.

My advice: Build a self-sufficient homestead because it is beautiful, fulfilling, and grounds your activities and emotions in things that are real.
 
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Thought folks might like to know about this group called Recode: They are the group that legalized grey water use in Oregon. They also created one of the first legal precedents for site built composting toilets in the nation and wrote a cutting edge national composting toilet code for IAPMO that allows for small batch systems and urine diversion. Additionally they created a website with a wealth of information and resources on composting toilets and ecological sanitation. Their name is Recode and you can read more about them here.http://www.recodenow.org/?mc_cid=7fd5e8b2ad&mc_eid=c3a3eea1a5 Seems if there are water issues or land use issues that connecting with a group like this might help folks change these issues. (At least in Oregon.) Other states might want to see what methods recode used to change the laws on grey water and set new precedents for site built composting toilets. Why start from scratch when you can build on what someone else has already done
 
Ross Raven
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Here is the bad news....I start a number of my posts this way. I get to play negative nelli and post things that make people go "Hum". They think I am a jerk and then get back to me a few years down the line once they figure out what I am saying. Im OK with that. I think this is going to be a two part post. For those of us that have chewed this though adnauseum...A slow crash is far more devastating than a fast crash. My friends could make it fine in a fast crash. Well, Better than most though it is still a crap shoot. Get through it, adapt or don't, move on. What scares them shitless is a slow crash. Slow crash is worst case scenario.

This is going to sound like Im teeter tottering. Its the problem with predicting the future. There are many probabilities. A fast crash is still very probable. I can think of a number of VERY probable fast crashes. Example. Here in the West, we could very easily be sent back to the stone age by a Coronal Mass Ejection. This is not a minor concern. Food don't move without computers nowdays. Its a when, not if. 16 thousand in solar panels suddenly becomes a sad write off that would have been better spent on food storage is one of my waffling concerns. It'll pay fore itself in 20 years of stability. Plus a couple changes of very expensive batteries. Ebola side swiped us...but it aint gone until the last infection is gone and their are far more virulent, fast movers out their. One volcano can end an entire growing season around the planet. Climate change, Peak oil, WW3, Civil War and Nuclear meltdowns wont magically disappear by having a homestead and a positive attitude. Having a good life is one thing. I highly recommend it. Taking the blue pill...not so much. A good life can end really, traumatisingly badly. The twenties were absolutely, fantastically fun in Germany. Lots of dancing....

That's just my warm up for part two....
 
Ross Raven
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And then I lost internet.... My thoughtful part two will have to wait. Its our mini SHTF situation. The latest snow storm took out our internet and since we are snowed in and they cant come to repair it until snow melt...It will be sometime in april before I have internet again. Snowed in without internet. Fun fun fun. There is a Simpsons episode that applies here. "No internet makes Homer something something...go crazy? Don't mind if I do". Im at the library, 10 miles away so I will keep this short. Proper preparedness ment we had already left our cars down the hill. If we hadn't moved them...I wouldn't be writing this. Luckily we don't have to haul in food by sled. There are also gas shortages because of the storms.

I have determined that there probably are gods, That they are somewhat mischievous and they have determined to interfere in my life. They have determined to make my entire life a teaching tool for others. They sit around thinking up new SHTF situations to throw at me so I can teach others how I dealt with it. lol

Hopefully you folks are getting some of the relevance to some of the things we were talking about above. Gas. Food. Firewood. Other people. Don't be too far away. If no one clears the snow, you are there till spring. Be prepared. Internet isn't a right...etc. etc.

Well, back to the SHTF homestead I go. "Marching through the snow without a one horse open slay. Up the hill we climb...gasping all the way. HoHoHo...."

 
master steward
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As much as I really love snow and love being snowed in (the slowing of life, the beauty of the snow, the adventure of it, etc), for once I am thankful for where I live. I can't imagine being snowed in for months. A snow storm here lasts maybe 5 days and is a foot deep--and that's a once in 5 years event. Our internet goes out when it snows, too--but that, again, only lasts a few days at most and so is enjoyable in it's own way. This winter we have had absolutely no snow. We're always ready for it, with a well, woodstove, stacks of firewood, a generator, non-perishable food, oil lamps and gallons of stored water. But, we're not prepared for months of being snowed in. It makes me wonder if we should be, or if it's a little ridiculous to prepare for something that doesn't happen in one's area--like tornadoes and hurricanes that also don't happen in our area? Hmmm...
 
pollinator
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I love this thread.

I've always had a homesteading/self sufficiency bent, but about 7 years ago I first started looking into prepping.

After a year or two of stockpiling food, making plans, etc, I narrowed down my focus and realized - what I REALLY wanted was a homestead where I could live independently and indefinitely with minimal inputs. I wanted to be in a position where if there WAS a SHTF event, life for me would go on pretty much normally.

So, I'm partly there now. One of my things is finding ways to reduce labor for the same output. The chicken dilemma, for example. Some chickens are smarter than others, and some are better foragers. I've been reading a lot about Icelandic chickens, and I may try them out - they are apparently tough as nails and really great at foraging. They also tend to hide their nests, but in a SHTF situation, a chicken that can pretty much feed itself is worth hunting some eggs for. I've also heard that ducks are better at foraging.

Another thing that was brought up in this thread was firewood. Well how about this - build yourself a RMH in your home and you've got a FRACTION of the fuel collecting work. I can heat my home on 2-3 cords of wood in a winter (haven't gone through a really hard one yet though, so at worst, 4-5 cords). That's a lot of work, especially if you don't have a chainsaw or anticipate eventually running out of fuel for one. But if you have a RMH (or experience building one), your need for cut and split firewood becomes branches, and a lot less of them... so your work involved becomes easier (especially if you have a lot of forest where there are dead branches you can snap or saw off trees with a pruning saw). I'm going to build an RMH when we build on to the house in a few years.

One thing I want to look into is building a RMH that has a built in oven or way to cook. I haven't actually looked into it yet so I don't know if that's possible - may have to rely on an old fashioned wood cookstove, but I think a RMH based one would be more efficient. Or even an outdoor wood fired oven, which is also in the plans.

I really want a milk cow, but if I do get one, it will be a more foragy-browsy type like Dexter or Highland as opposed to a standard farm jersey or Brown Swiss, because I want to minimize the work I have to put into it, and I don't want to have to buy grain. I may end up with goats, however, for efficiency's sake (and they cost like 10% what cows do!).

Not because I'm lazy, but because I want to be efficient with my time. This means maximizing the amount of work my livestock does for itself. For example, I have this farfetched idea I want to try next year - putting down a pallet in the chicken run and dumping shavings and all the food scraps on it... and then once I've got a bunch of stuff in there, putting in some composting worms and see what they do. If I'm right, the pallet would keep them able to hide enough to reproduce, but it would theoretically be a continual source of occasional (and effort-free) protein for my chickens.

Building a garden intentionally to have passive watering systems like hugels/swales and maybe an air well. Planting areas that you can then ignore and let go to seed is a smart idea, particularly with things like the aforementioned sunchokes and also medicinal herbs/plants if you can. But not just to have book knowledge of these things, actually start doing it and using them! Slaughtering and butchering livestock comes to mind for this - that is one instance where it would be immensely helpful to already have those skills, as opposed to book knowledge, especially if it involves large animals and then you need to cure/preserve the meat somehow, which would require what, a smokehouse and a knowledge of charcuterie?

But all that to say - I'm already living here. I'm off grid (though will be connecting hopefully this year), and things are slow going especially since it's just me with three little kids. But IMO, this is the best way to prepare for SHTF. Just be there already, and learn as you go along, put systems into place, and if SHTF, then you will be much better off for it. That's the one thing I saw about so many preppers - you can buy so many books and food stores and guns and everything, but nothing beats real life practice and experience. And don't even get me started on the people who turn their city home into a self sufficient prepper paradise (might as well paint a target on your back!).

Right now, if I couldn't get gas for the generator, that would suck. I'd hate life without the internet. But I have a wood stove I can use to heat and cook with, and while I would eventually run out of stored kerosene for my lamps, my neighbor is a beekeeper and we could probably barter for candles (and I intend to get a hive or two in the next year). I have a great area for growing a big garden (and will finally be putting in my garden here this spring). I've got 20 acres with plenty of pasture and forest, no end of possible firewood and areas to grow. Water would be an issue because we'd have to manually pump it into containers and then haul it, so that would be annoying and is one of the items to fix on my list... but it could be done.

I also have to second the idea of creating a community. That is so crucial... and yeah, it's hard to trust people. But at the same time, many hands make work light and you can each focus on having your own skills and abilities and then put together, you make a well rounded team. I like to grow food, that's kinda my thing, and I'm creative with making ways to make it more efficient but put electrical stuff in front of me and I will just blank out. No one can be an expert on everything. Someone who can specialize in the medical/veterinary stuff would be worth their weight in gold (or 90% silver coin!).

One other thing to keep in mind is setting things up so that your children, if you have them, can help and have their help actually be HELPFUL. That's one reason why I'm considering goats instead of a milk cow, even though I am hesitant about the flavor, because I'm more confident in my daughters (three of them, 8 and under) being able to be effective in managing goats rather than a cow even a small cow like a Dexter. Another thing about a RMH is they can help collect fuel if it is just branches, which is not something they can do at their age if I'm having to buck and split firewood using a chainsaw and axe. If you can build or put in a pond where you can actually raise fish, that's another thing they can do (the fishing part). I try to think about those things when I make my plans, because the best use of my time also involves the best use of their time, and that sometimes changes my planning a bit, as well as how I prepare.
 
Bethany Dutch
pollinator
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Oh! One more thing... system to put into place... MUSHROOMS. Find out what you can grow with stuff you have around the homestead, and start practicing those. Learn how to cultivate your own spawn... those will be great not only for early season fresh foods to eat, but also for barter and can be dried for storage. I try to think about things that OTHER people won't have for barter. Another ideal homestead will have lots of extra old glass shower doors to build cold frames to grow greens and stuff in the winter... I love thinking about this stuff

I swear I'm going to just keep adding stuff as I think about it and editing this post.

Yesterday I was just thinking about our toilet - we use a sawdust bucket toilet. I get my sawdust by the pickup load, go through about 2-3 loads a year depending on how full they load it. BUT if SHTF I'm not going to be able to just go get a load of sawdust, and creating it myself would be very inefficient. I was trying to think of what kinds of mulch/browns can I produce in mass quantities myself, and I don't really have a good answer. aside from pine straw, at least, but I don't think that would be optimal. I have no deciduous trees on my land, but I may plant some for this purpose. Maybe some that have small leaves if possible, so then I just need to rake them in a huge pile and cover and there I have my material for the composting bucket toilet. Even large leaf trees like maple would do well here, would be easily collected and I could potentially pre-compost them into leaf mold which would provide better bucket coverage than the whole leaves unless I planned on shredding them somehow.
 
Ross Raven
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Picks from the SHTF homestead. Yikes. Im officially stir crazy at this point. Good thing we have all the supplies we need. FYI. We are not supposed to have snow like this. Climate change. Fun Fun Fun. Hotter hot. colder cold. Dryer dry, Wetter wet. Snower...um..snow. more snow is on the way. Its the first time I have had to use my snowshoe prep. All that evaporated water from warming ocean and the drying mid west has to go somewhere. When it hits a stalled cold front that no longer just moves on due to atlantic current slow down...each place will have its unique problems. There was a tropical storm less than a couple months ago.
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Nicole Alderman
master steward
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Meanwhile, here on the other side of the continent, we've had very little (relative to our normal) rain, and no winter. It's been in the 50's and 60's these last few weeks. No snow at all during the whole winter. There is no snow pack in many places in our mountains that should have 100+ inches of snow. It's insane. We don't often have to worry about drought here, but we might be getting it this summer if things continue (as the forecasts show they will), like this. This will likely go down as the warmest winter on record. We almost certainly got the better end of the bargain this winter, but it sure is very odd. It'll be interesting to see if next year will be the reverse of this winter. Either way, I want to be prepared for it all!
 
Ross Raven
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Nicole Alderman wrote:Meanwhile, here on the other side of the continent, we've had very little (relative to our normal) rain, and no winter. It's been in the 50's and 60's these last few weeks. No snow at all during the whole winter. There is no snow pack in many places in our mountains that should have 100+ inches of snow. It's insane. We don't often have to worry about drought here, but we might be getting it this summer if things continue (as the forecasts show they will), like this. This will likely go down as the warmest winter on record. We almost certainly got the better end of the bargain this winter, but it sure is very odd. It'll be interesting to see if next year will be the reverse of this winter. Either way, I want to be prepared for it all!



This brings up another issue in the "What questions am I not even thinking to ask" category. Location Location Location. The pacific northwest, perfect in many ways, is now set for the perfect conditions to burn. Plus, lack of snow melt means drought. In this case, You do not want to have a homestead tucked in the trees. If the forest burns, so do all your preps. Fire control must be built into your design. No trees, shrubs or tall grass near your house. Cob would have its own problems in that area but its a better choice in that it wont burn as long as you have a steel roof. Cedar shingles would be a bad choice. A shipping container home becomes a wise option.

On our end of the continent, All that snow is going to melt. If it melts fast...that means flooding. No shtf homestead should be by a river. Flash floods. Nore the ocean for similar reasons. Humans have a tendency to build on flood plains because its fertile ground but its called a flood plain for a reason. I tell people, if it has flooded in the last 300 years, expect it to flood again in the next 20. So examine your land. A little creek could suddenly become raging river washing away the ground near by.

For us, we need to start considering Hurricanes becoming a regular occurrence. Some day our house is just going to blow down. Then we will have to move into the shipping container. This gets me thinking that I should ne considering getting another shipping container.

Also, you want to start making plans for your second and third fall back options. If you lose your land for any number reasons, where will you go? If eden is burning, where will you be taken in? That swings us all the way back to the dinner parties.
Food for thought.

 
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Here's my two cents worth. I'm sure many will disagree.
I've been watching things for awhile.
In case many have not noticed, we are having a terrible winter all over the usa. Tonights news said 63% has had tons of snow. That being said, I believe a greenhouse would be in order.
You can grow trees in one. Dwarf ones are good too. But you can keep them in a good sized pot. And prune from time to time. Grow veggies in there too. Protect them from the outside elements as well as hungry animals. ( two legged also)
Can your food. Place in different areas. Just in case.
Goats are good for many things. Meat, milk, cheese, etc and can live on anything. They go way back in time.
Think what older civilizations did. They lived with no electricity or most of what we have now.
Chickens or ducks are good for eggs and meat and they eat bugs that will try to eat your food. They can be noisy though.
I myself am behind on nut and fruit trees. I don't know how much time there is, but something will be happening soon. Not preaching gloom and doom, but the facts.
Look at all that has happened in every area here in the usa. It has messed up ALL of the food growing areas. From floods, droughts, fires, snows, you name it. Less food grown is less in stores. There are no reserves now. We live from week to week and that is not good.
South facing windows are good to grow.
Dinner parties? I think I would pass on that. You might pick a few " trustworthy" people. But do not tell them what you have. You will be remembered if things go bad and people get hungry. Society changes when things fall apart. Even with people you might think you know.
Tools.
Old school tools if it gets bad. A axe, shovel, rake, good knives, things you can resharpen. A bow is good for hunting quietly.
Chainsaws are ok till it hits the fan. Then it will tell others you have one. Cut wood ahead of time.
A generator is good, even 2. But soundproof it. Or others will hear it from quite a distance.
I have heard that in bad times, people can smell food cooking from a ways off. So keep that in mind too. They can also see smoke.
If I were to pick a way to live, it would probably be underground. With the entrance hidden well.
Our dollar is just about to collaspe. So spend it well and fast for the things you need.
Make sure you grow herbs. They can be used as medicine as well. The jerusalem artichoke is good for many things and also good for diabetics. Good for bartering if you need to.
Books.
I would have do it yourself type books. For building things or food. Some books just for enjoyment, relaxation.
Herbal books for medicine as well as nutrition. If things go bad, there most likely won't be a pharmacy. You will be the doctor. Unless you find a friend that is one.
There are many things to consider. And your location is also important. Especially for growing conditions.
Get a R.O. system for your water.
Hope this helps you some.
 
elle sagenev
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I'm starting to think a scythe is necessary for the zombie apocalypse.
 
Posts: 135
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Well on this topic should be a great many things
plants: trees trees trees trees, any fruit nut or shrub that gives food food forest and natural landscapes with edibles. the rest is stored seeds.
animals: goats most of the world has goats they eat almost any plant and give milk. small easy to care for. rabbits are good but i can catch them, all other live stock need more food or care, also shelter and pasture should be considered.
tools: hammer, hatchet, axe(i have several made to do each job), anvil this is the most important. Why cause with it i can take car springs and scrap metal and make almost anything i need. scythe, lots of rope and string, good knives, and the least important but best is a bow not a gun. cant pull a bullet out and shoot it right there in the feild.
books: a must have foxfire series this tells how to do so many forgotten skills. most i dont have the time to learn now. general animal care i have 2 go to books and still after 20 years of raising animals i still go to it 2-3 times a year
 
Ross Raven
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"I'm not really a Douche Bag. I just play one on T.V"

Soooo.....Did any of my predictions for this year that I made last winter, actually come true? Just saying.

Super Godzilla El Nino. Fun Fun Fun. We are just Warming up. Pardon the pun.
 
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There is non when it really hits. Learn primitive skills and find people in your area that will form a tribe. Get the homestead retreat out of your head for a post apocalyptic world. Your not going to be churning butter when people in San fransisco has become cannibal central
 
Charley McDowell
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OK here's my two cents. There's no way to predict the future and to tell what scenario is going to unfold for us all here on planet earth. What a smart people are doing is preparing for a time which is less than bountiful. We all seem to think that starting a farm and having 20 or 30 acres that produces enough food for all of us is worth doing in the current situation. But for me there's only two scenarios in which I think it prudent to prepare for. One is a classical depression where you still have law and order but the resources money food clothing everything is very scarce and many people are living in absolute poverty and lack of quality of life is on a large scale. In this scenario I agree that it would be prudent to have a large farm that was paid off that already had most of the infrastructure installed and that it just took a small amount of capital to maintain but you are always going to be required to interact with your outside resources to mainain it. In this scenario I would say that it's probably some sort of a severe economic crash and a recovery two a more proletarian state is possible but the actual apocalypse so to speak has not come. The key to this scenario is that lawn order is still somewhat intact we are not experiencing 100% anarchy yet therefore the idea of an organized farm and food production is likely to be possible. Though I imagine that taxes will be very high regulations will be such that it will be more like Tyrannical governance and law and order which will make it very difficult to subsist off your own land. One could make a case that we are already currently in this state. Now I would say that in general in America people enjoy a relatively good quality-of-life and though it is very difficult to make it by these days we are not seeing people absolutely impoverished and starving on the streets yes there are people starving in America but in general when I walk through the city or through a neighborhood people have a house people have food and so on and so forth.
 
Charley McDowell
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Now for scenario number two.
The real proverbial SHT has hit the fan. Global anarchy persists. There is no governmental structure that can exert any sort of law order on the land and humans have reduced to tribal warfare and Balkanized states. Let's be real there's 350 million people in this country if a drastic drought food scarcity or any problem on a large scale where people can't get what they need to survive happens we're looking at an absolute mad Max scenario. In this scenario you're 30 acre farm in the middle of a national Forest will eventually be overrun by hordes of people. And in less you have enough firepower to keep those hordes at bay for a very long period of time you're not going to survive being stationary. Remember it only takes one intruder to come into your camp or your ranch and take one of your kids or your wife hostage and it's an game. The land is going to be filled with roaming starving humans , very dangerous creatures. This is a scenario that none of us hope to see yet the possibility is very real. What preparations do you ask then that should you make. There is only one set of skills you need in order to survive a total post apocalyptic environment. And that is a tribe of people with primitive skills that can live on the millions of acres of national forest that this country has.
Remember there's going to be a lot of death if this actually happens so the chance that the national forests are actually going to be overrun by people with large sets of primitive skills is very unlikely. So there you have it those are the two scenarios I choose to prepare for and those of the two scenarios I choose to prepare my kids for. at some point this may or may not happen. Until then we have to be living in two worlds that of the industrialized nation that moves forward at breakneck speed towards a technological transcendence and then the scenario I have just stated. So want to cover all your bases. Don't already have a farm. Single or rich and have a family and can afford to spend time and money on classes to learn these primitive skills. Do it the primitive skills it should be your first choice then get yourself a ranch and try and get ready for some sort of a economic depression
 
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Lots of great information here...

To me, trees are #1 as they will feed either you or your livestock and many store well. Plants that are easy to store seed and store well as many have mentioned. I like the idea of being near a small farming community but I am in California and that place doesn't exist except on the far side of the Sierra Nevada.

I am going to comment about weapons as that has been my livelyhood a time or two...

Big guns are mostly useless. You can run with a 22 rifle in one hand and a 22 pistol on your hip and 500 rounds of ammo in a pack and barely notice you have them. If the SHTF, .22 ammo will be the new gold and actual gold will be the new lead for making bullets. If I had only one gun and cost was a huge issue, it would be a $75 bolt action .22. Use it with .22 shorts and it is VERY quiet, use it with .22lr and you can drop a deer at close range. Ideally, a Ruger 10/22 with a matching ruger MkII pistol, utterly reliable, no issue with parts breakage (not true of more than a few guns). If I added another thing to the mix it would be a .357 revolver as you can also shoot .38. Only after I had those would I add something in a military/police caliber like .223, 9mm, or .308.

I don't see the end of industrial civilization coming anytime soon, but police state? Anyway, stockpiling a few cheap .22 bolt actions, which can often be had for less than $100, allows you to arm friends if the need arises.

And frankly, I would learn to make and use a bow and arrow if I was really worried about the end of the world although ammo wouldn't likely run out in my lifetime but the kids...

And a great read on all of this is S.M. Stirling's Dies the Fire series
 
Charley McDowell
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I agree with Michael in the sense that I think the second scenario is definitely not as likely as the first but the potential is nevertheless there.

So speaking from a complete pragmatic point I would think that if you have an already endeavored into your land purchase and are starting from scratch than primitive skills would be the quickest way to achieve some sort of personal survivability in the years to come.

I also agree with Michael about the police state. The economic depression I think would give way to the police state bringing about a lifestyle in this country that would be highly over regulated highly restrictive and highly difficult to make any sort of headway. That would be the reasoning for making sure your land was paid off and already set up to exist on a very small amount of overhead. Given the economic depression/police state would this be enough reason to move your entire family into the national forest ? I think not. that's why I think that having a farm or ranch that is self-sustaining would be an appropriate solution to the problem at hand. But when I hear sht hits the fan scenario, I think end of the world type stuff and economic depression is something most people will not see coming nor will they realize they're in so it won't be an immediate thing as previous people have said.
 
Charley McDowell
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Maybe the easiest way to say it would be there is a solution to the slow kill scenario. And there is a solution to the extremely quick degradation of society.
 
Ross Raven
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Charley McDowell wrote:There is non when it really hits. Learn primitive skills and find people in your area that will form a tribe. Get the homestead retreat out of your head for a post apocalyptic world. Your not going to be churning butter when people in San fransisco has become cannibal central


Sorry for the delay. A Late hay season has been kicking my mental butt.
I'm a permaculture amateur...but through a strange twist of fate...You can consider me a Prepper Expert. When I see things moving in this particular direction, as I have often seen, I feel a personal obligation to correct a few potentially lethal belief systems. I'll do two more posts after this one. One on what a Slow Crash means as opposed to the popular Fast Crash scenario. The last will be on "Healthy" prepping versus "Unhealthy" prepping. These will be lengthy and require some time investment...
...But the most common shift of focus I often direct "New to prepping" people to is a public service announcement I once made about avoiding this particular idea stated above. Its well worth some reading time. Ill leave it there. http://internationalpreppersnetwork.net/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4740

Kudos to the person that mentioned the book, Dies The Fire. Because of this book I took on the name Cernunnos5.
 
Charley McDowell
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Not really sure why you quoted me there Ross
 
garden master
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Charley McDowell wrote:In this scenario you're 30 acre farm in the middle of a national Forest will eventually be overrun by hordes of people. And in less you have enough firepower to keep those hordes at bay for a very long period of time you're not going to survive being stationary. Remember it only takes one intruder to come into your camp or your ranch and take one of your kids or your wife hostage and it's an game. The land is going to be filled with roaming starving humans , very dangerous creatures.



If we look at history, even in times of collapse, the periods of true anarchy tend to be brief. Banditry gets organized fast and becomes something that looks a lot like feudalism. Traditional farmers become peasants or serfs; they don't get to keep much of their surpluses (the overlords take those) but they typically have sufficient to eat, and they are high on the list for "protection" provided by the overlords because they are generating the food surpluses the overlords want. So, there's a lot of worse things to be than a farmer in hard times.

What's more, I've seen a few permaculture gurus point out that food forests don't look like food resources to the uninitiated. The standing grain in your fields, the vegetables in your garden, the stored grain in your silo, the hay in your barn, the animals on your pasture and the flocks in your coops, those look very stealable to bandits and feudal overlords alike. But the chestnuts and pecans and persimmons and berries and acorns in your "wood lot" won't even be seen by the average urban-originated bandit; the strategy of "sure, friend, take what you want, we don't have much but you can have all we've got" to placate hostile strangers is a lot easier to pull off when you know that you can stroll out into your forest after the danger is past and harvest tomorrow's dinner.

Ross, I'm looking forward to your promised posts. Type!
 
Charley McDowell
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i agree no one study primitive skills and definitely stay away from the northern ca mountains. And definitely don't read about how the native Americans lived on this continent for thousands of years without any modern convienvences and had long healthy lives in some cases.
 
Ross Raven
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Sorry. I'm not that bright at the moment and about to pass out.

C5 rule of survival- 30 million dear in America. 300 million people. One dear per person,per month, strictly rationed . You do the math and prep acordingly
 
Charley McDowell
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That's what I'm saying deer is the only thing to eat out there and three hundred million people will definitely all be hunting those deer

you seem knowlegable Ross so no hard feelings sorry for my sassy ness. I jus know for a fact that the best way to protect my family is going to be with primitive skills and a prepared community that has already discussed moving to the wilderness. Must have a very very good almost mastery of the primitive skills to survive in the woods which is precisely why it will be safe because so few people will actually know how to survive in the wild places. Even hunters and country boys will succumb to a law of nature if they do not study the ways of our ancestors. Ps the SHTF that is coming will not be short lived. But that is just my opinion. And I'm not going to leav the safety of my family to chance with some overlord. I'll take my chance with the forest if it is the a real SHTF scenario. Prepar for the worst and hope for the best
 
Charley McDowell
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Dan did you just suggest people choose a life of serfdom? Under an overlord. I would rather trust a politician before being a serf. There's nothing romantic about that life for you or your family
 
Charley McDowell
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Cheers guys! This forum is full of outside the box thinkers. I love it
 
Charley McDowell
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I really agree with Ross in his link were he suggests taking prepping as a way of life. I also live in a rural area with about a million acres of official "wilderness" and all I have to do is start walking and I am in a mountain range that I have explored since I was nine years old. I have met a core group of primitive skills folk and already have a small infrastructure built in the middle of this wilderness and have built a cross country trail to this location and have started to take my family on this trail. The only thing left is to get the rest of the family practicing primitive skills. When the time comes to leave we will be out before anyone else because it what just be a matter of taking a weekend trip as a precaution. It needs to be easy. I also have a piece of property in another part of the state for the slow kill. Like I said way of life. This is probably why we end getting called kooks. We are willing to be realistic about our self sufficiency
 
pollinator
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Charley, something you might consider adding to your primitive skills if you haven't already: A good knowledge of the diagnosis and treatment of vector-borne, parasitic, and diarrheal diseases under wilderness conditions. These are significant dangers that are often ignored and can a very strong effect on your ability to perform other necessary tasks even if they don't kill or disable you outright. The chronic ones also contribute significantly to malnutrition and increase caloric and hydration needs.
 
when your children are suffering from your punishment, tell your them it will help them write good poetry when they are older. Like this tiny ad:
permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work
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