Homesteading after 9-11greenspun.com : LUSENET : ACountryPlace : One Thread
Last night I was watching TV and I saw this commercial with Tom Ridge explaining that we all need a emergency kit. You know a whole lot of people filtered in to the homesteading movement because of Y2K. Up until that point being prepared was something only us wierd homesteaders did. It is interesting to me that those who did prepare for Y2K, if they didn't get frustrated and sell all their supplies, are better prepared now that there is a terrorism threat. So I guess my question is how prepared are you? Some of the greatest vulnerabilities America has are in food and water. Food and water can be and should be protected on our homesteads, by finding our own dependable sources, and storage either in the cellar or on the hoof. Can you feed yourself, if you have to? If not, what steps are necessary to get you there? These are questions I ask myself all the time. Honestly I'm not sure I could feed myself, but I could make a good stab at it. I am moving everyday closer to the goal of making my place self-sustaining. The thing is that perhaps my greatest adversary is myself. How much am I willing to do? How much weeding am I willing to do? The greatest challenge is to daily set goals and then complete them.
Little Bit Farm
-- Little Bit Farm (email@example.com), August 06, 2003
I like the idea of complete self-sustaining agriculture, but find as I get older I have far less energy to "do it all". I am certain that I can, because we have, but I do less now. I do save seed and have what I need to grow everything we need to survive very nicely. We have accumulated the hand tools and know how to use them. We have put up enough feed and hay by hand to supply a couple of goats and a calf to slaughter weight and a pig and small flock of chickens.
9-11 was a very good trial run for us, as my husband had been injured at work and he just had surgery. The insurance company that was handling the workmen's comp with in the WTC and everything was lost. We were without income for over 3 months and survived very nicely. Being debt free was a blessing, and part of our "preps".
-- diane (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 06, 2003.
Since my layoff in 2001, I keep myself two years ahead on overhead and garden and farm year round.
-- Jay Blair in N. AL (email@example.com), August 06, 2003.
LB, your question is a good one. I remember reading alot of questions on different forums back then and alot of the questions were related to generators and MRE's. I kept thinking to myself that generators needed fuel and MRE's would run out. The goal of basic, really basic, living and survival wasn't there for alot of some. The main thing that kept going through my mind was how did people get by, say 100 years ago. With alot of them being very poor.
The first thing we had done was to install a manual pump on our well. It was probably the most expensive thing we did, but it's still there, still works and we will always have water if an emergency arises. I had a garden and knew how to put up food, seeds from always using heirloom varities. Heat from a wood stove and woods beside our house if we need to cut trees for firewood.
Granted, this wouldn't be an ideal way to live long term or probably very comfortable, but hopefully enough of the basics to keep us alive. There still is alot I want to learn, and looking at the oldtimers is the best and most efficient teacher.
-- Annie (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 07, 2003.
One day several years ago, when I lived in Southern California, A major electrical staion in Nevada went down. Suddenly much of Southern California was without power. Everything simply came to a halt. Grocery stores could not sell groceries, their computers didn't work. Our pastor saw people trying to stick ATM cards in the ATM machine. He said he couldn't believe how many people kept walking up to the ATM and trying to force their card in. That experience reminded me how vulnerable this nation is. What we really need to consider is what we will do if there are little to NO services available to us in our local area or, God Forbid, nationally. To me, this is something America should have been thinking about long before 9-11. I'm not even talking about TEOTWAKI here. Let's just say you had to do without for only two weeks. I say Tom Ridge's Emergency kit isn't going to help us very long. In fact I would go so far to say that in a real crisis that kit is only SUPPOSED to make you feel better. I tell you this, I'm certainly not waiting for the Department of Homeland Security to come save me. America's best resource is when each and every American pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. I know this whole discussion seems so like we've done it before, and we have, but the very fact that most of us (except our New York, and Washington DC friends), haven't faced this kind of problem, and that this subject has been done to death, should put us even more on our guard. Complacency has been(before 9-11), and still is, our biggest enemy. I often wonder to myself how many New Yorkers had Y2K kits still in their house because of that grand "mistake"?
Little Bit Farm
-- Little bit Farm (email@example.com), August 07, 2003.
You make some interesting points. We still use the same tools and do things in the same way as our ancestors did generations ago. Yes, we have some "modern" tools and processes at hand. And we use them. But everyone out here knows the "old ways". Every year at our harvest reunion everyone has an opportunity to use the old tools and do things the old timey way. In this way, adults keep their knowledge level up and youngsters learn from experienced hands and heads how to safely operate field equipment, care for animals, and process/store foods for table.
Discovery is life changing. Some don't want to give up their comfort zone. Case in point - one young family member met a wonderful girl at college. They dated and made plans to visit each others families. Our young man was "over the moon" about this girl and couldn't wait to show her The Family Farm. Wanted to impress her with what she would be blessed with when they married, and how their children would be raised. Long story short - she came, she saw, she left - all in two days. No way was she going to live "like the Joad family" in the hinterlands without the theatre, restaurants, and shopping malls. And homeschooling, canning, working the fields? Pffffttttt! said she.
Mind you, my siblings and I all have college degrees. Our homes are clean and extremely well-kept, and our barns, animals, and fields are kept the same way. We are, simply, survivors and are prepared for whatever comes along. Young man learned a valuable lesson, and now knows to look for a young lady with similar interests who would be a valuable addition to our family instead of a drain on our resources.
I've meandered off on a side path perhaps but these things are important in the grand scheme of life.
-- HarleyinFL (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 11, 2003.