ITS GAME OVER BRO
You can still be a prepper. Can you still be a survivalist? I'm thinking that game is over, bro. You can still prep for weeks and even for months. For years? That is probably not in our budgets, nor is that quantity usually available in this new normal. Price increases have met widespread shortages. And the odds are good that isn't going to get better. You have to enter the apocalypse with the goods you have, not what you want. You can still prepare, but the choices blow and the prices are at least double.
I hope none of you are at the starting point. But as just discussed, if you are, you go deep on bare bones. Carbs for food, even if all you can get is White Foods. If you can't afford enough ammo, go rimfire if you must. An Orange Man check still buys 10k rounds, two 10/22's and lots of mags ( don't buy the bottom of the barrel 4 to 4.5cent crap. Spend the extra half cent for a slightly better quality round. Especially if relying on a semi-auto ). You can still buy a plot of junk land with the Orange Man check. Again, bottom feeding. But you have only yourself to blame, waiting so long. What? You didn't think 2008 was a warning?
My original thought when the lock-downs started was that just prior the banks had started seeing huge cash withdrawals. Suddenly, all retail was closed down, most importantly the bank lobbies. Now there were no more $10k withdrawals, just the $500 ATM limit. There isn't enough cash in the country for bank runs. There wasn't when it was all cash. Now that it is 90% credit/electronic, there is far less to have a run. I still think that plausible, since the banks own the country. But Jim, what about all the unemployed? What about them?
The more unemployed there are, the cheaper the labor is. The cheaper the labor is, the more profit the big corporations make. The more profit the corporations make, the more debt they take out. Which benefits who? You guessed it, Debbie Dumbass. Consumer spending was already in the toilet, pre-Corona. Moving the profit center from credit cards to corporate loans makes sense. Corporations are already going to be profitable, with all the small business's knocked out after the Fake Black Death. Less consumption is just an excuse to add to the unemployment rolls.
If a corporation now has far fewer workers, and has a monopoly on its retail sector, consumption falling fifty percent doesn't matter because it went from 10% of the market share to 99%. At less cost. Your cost as a customer is going to increase, from dealing with a monopoly but blamed on Beer Virus caused supply chain disruptions. Yes, all this is a power/profit grab. Banks profit up the Seneca Cliff, and down it ( most of the way ). But this is also an adjustment to a reduction in the supply of energy. To ignore that is to fool yourself about the future.
Mass consumption is over. Infinite manufacturing on a finite planet was never sustainable. And we've had plenty of time to get used to the auction for resources as supply was never enough ( when China needed copper for construction, you didn't get rimfire ammunition. This SHOULD have clued in everyone that USA! USA! Wasn't the world's biggest economy anymore, but empty jingoism is seemingly a great cure for reality ). I'm not saying the economy will stop acting as it has, I'm saying the beginning of the end already started. You can still buy, dibs and dabs, until nobody can buy anything else.
Preparation has to be about moving on from the shopping phase. Those cards have already been dealt. Hell, even during the last global drought and importation bans worldwide, in 2008, you could still buy the crap out of wheat, here. Now? Yeah. If you cannot buy bulk grains, you cannot prep for civilization crash. All you can cover is short term disasters. How is that junk land looking now? You solve the water issue, you can solve the food issue. You can still buy $2 bags of steer manure. Haul municipal leaves and other biomass to your land. While gasoline is cheap, and the cars are still running ( until the lack of parts catches up ), condition your soil.
You think the seed shortage is bad now? Wait until the cow populations go way down, and diesel goes way up. No more bags of affordable fertilizer. If there is a place to buy it. Home Despot has most of their crap built in China. Will Ace Hardware still be open? Will nurseries, without Yuppie Scum buying expensive ornaments? Just more excuses for price increases. Buy the soil conditioners now, and keep hauling biomass to add to the soil and compost. A bicycle trailer might be a good investment ( if not, go to the Dark Green Mountain Dude for Turd World ideas on bike hauling, for doing it cheaper ).
I'm not a flaming retard- I don't believe for a second a garden will feed you ( unless you are a rabbit, and if you are, I applaud your ability to read ). But it gets you off the Buying Solutions treadmill ( yes, you are INVESTING in a garden. You aren't buying, consuming, the end result ). If nothing else, you are growing seed for when you are forced to rip up the lawn ( and plant on your neighbors, for half the produce as rent ) and go all in on your own produce production.
Now, yes, you can feed yourself. Eventually. No one gets there right away. If you hit enough stores in a metro area, you could get enough carbs ( even at a one bag limit ) to help you survive as you learn to garden ( master that first, then move on from vitamin plants to calorie plants to calories for you AND chickens ). You can garden now, not to provide your calories, but to provide the fiber and vitamin crops to supplement the empty calories of white flour or white rice you are stockpiling now. So, yes, everyone should be gardening.
But don't expect much. I have one potato plant up, with another at about a ten percent chance of survival. Out of six plants ( mainly, finding out where to concentrate my soil building. Most locations are poor, no south facing dirt ). It accomplishes almost nothing except learning. But it also keeps me from seeing shopping as the only salvation. This is the main benefit I was unaware all the years I short-shifted gardening. It really does work as a placebo. So, tinker at something besides shopping. Build, bury, condition soil, meditate and get your head right. Time to inch away from just shopping. The system has already changed. Don't be left behind.
( .Y. )
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For easy growing food plants, plant perennials. Depending on your growing zone these include: anise hyssop, bronze fennel, catnip, comfrey, dandelion, garlic, hops, mint, multiplier onions, lemon balm, oregano, sorrel, stinging nettle. And of course, fruit and nut trees.ReplyDelete
You might want to start out with "fruits and nuts" rather than weeds and catnip :)Delete
Good suggestions from the poster above. Many of them fall under the category of “edible weeds”. Which tells you that they’re very easy to grow.Delete
You should definitely start fruit and nut trees, though they take a while to produce. As I recall, miniature fruit trees produce faster, but live shorter lives than the full size trees. It’s a probably a good idea to grow both varieties. For nuts, grow the fast growing variety (And remember, peanuts are technically a legume, hence, not a nut).
You are mostly right that you will not get enough calories from a garden. But remember, root crops are high in carbs. Potatoes, turnips, carrots, parsnips, etc; all high in carbs.
For a variety of reasons, that I will not go into here, I will never raise animals. But for those that do; say, chickens, you will need to grow their food.
Millet, sunflower, etc. Chickens will eat, as well as attracts wild birds such as quail, pheasant, titmice, etc. Interesting. I used to date a titlessmouse, that ate like a bird, which might account for that nomenclature :D
Also, check out videos on feeding the chickens from compost piles ( also, maggots from meat )Delete
Permaculture trick I heard years ago. "How to turn road kill into eggs"Delete
Basically a bucket hanging over your chicken coop. Holes drilled in it. You throw road kill into bucket, put the lid on. Flies lay eggs in rotting carcass, maggots come out, maggots fall through hole. Chickens eat maggots.
Now, back onto weeds. I've been working hard on learning to forage. Weeds are my favourite. You can access the learning tools and people now. You can buy the books.Delete
In the future?
Also people from... how shall we say? People that historically love rice and make dogs nervous. Well, they're not exactly forthcoming with sharing their foraging knowledge. They also like to strip areas bare which goes totally against foraging ethics (if you want to be selfish about this, you have to leave stuff behind so it grows back, if you're a friendly chap it's about leaving some for others).
4:19-just beware road kill numbers drop off with traffic. Fish guts, trapping stuff you don't want to eat, are other ideasDelete
Yes on what 4:19 was saying. That’s similar to what the Donald (of the Eugene Sisco variety, aka Kurt Saxon, as opposed to the orange man bad variety) was suggesting, for his raising fish in a barrel article. He mentioned something about a pond with screens over it. Place carcass, fish guts, etc, on screens, over pond. Maggots drop off into water. Good stuff. The raising fish in a barrel, sounds like a great way to go, for those with limited water resources. That guy had some wonderful ideas, and I hope he lives to be a 100.Delete
Some years back Ragnar Benson, I believe, suggested hanging a flashlight (or, in today's world, a solar garden light) in your chicken coop in the evening to attract bugs (protein) that the chickens can eat before nesting for the night.Delete
But what gets the bugs on the ground, to the chickens?Delete
Friday, I experienced a rude shock.ReplyDelete
On my dozen-mile run from Eugene Oregon to Junction City to deliver our supplies, I noticed the Junction City city-limits sign expanded south another three miles or so.
The bumblebrats just barely included the new state nut-house prison as part of their empire.
Across Highway 99, the small family-operated truck dismantler -- D&L, Dennis and Lonnie -- is nearly gone.
All the vehicles towed away, probably to Schnitzer metal scrap yard.
The only parts remaining were pallets of axles ready to be hauled away.
This hits us hard because our half-dozen trucks at the farm are perpetually on their last legs.
If they die from lack of spares, we're down to mules... or done.
In Junction City -- home to more RecreationVehicles dealers per cubic salesman than anyplace in the known universe -- I talked with Teresa, a haircutter operating a one-person shop in her home.
She says she gets bumblebrats drive-bys several times a day and no-knock inspections, checking for violations of the economic lock-down, checking for customers.
One of our regular stops is GroceryOutlet.
Some masked TrueBeliever stopped her shopping-cart sideways in front of us, blocking the aisle.
She suddenly realized we were waiting with our deliveries, and said "Sorry...", then concluded with the scold "Oh, you're not wearing masks, not sorry!"
In other news, Oregon governess Kate 'Moonbeam' Brown (sister of California governor Edmund 'Moonbeam' Brown) extended her Oregon economic lock-down until July 6th, two days after Independence Day.
In his May 7th column, SeaGypsyPhilosopher Ray Jason weaves a time-line of an imaginary hoax.
As Bison and I and everybody over 55 predicted, this cannot end well.
Look for accelerated implosion of civilian vehicles-planned and unplanned. Mobility restrictions will finish off what the Beer Virus started. Official Vehicles Only will stretch out existing stock and parts.Delete
Experienced similar here in New Hampshire when an older gentleman....and I use that term ever-so loosely.....accosted me in the produce section of a local grocer for not wearing a mask. After 30 seconds of me calmly reminding him there is no state mandate or grocer requirement he, not so calmly, called me an asshole. The thin veneer is coming apart and things are getting sporty amongst the natives!!Delete
A lot of people were arseholes prior to this, but yeah, the old twat losing his 401(k), now unable to move down to Arizona ( to hide in his apartment with the AC on, because its 120 outside, but he moved there to be warm ) is going to put him in a really bad mood. Staying at home with wives and kids-I'm surprised the murder rates ( official cause of death: Beer Virus ) aren't higherDelete
If the grid stays up and electric is available and reliable with one's ability to pay for it, an indoor growhouse operation can be conducted. Yeah it is limiting being reliant on the electricity, but I haven't been without electric service my whole life so it may stay on through this little depression thing. This type of farming with led lights or even a hydroponics system as well will allow high yields due to controlledReplyDelete
Productive environments. Opsec and security gains, as well as close by location monitoring and a 24/7 capability is helpful for your super secret lettuce grow operation. I always see the crime footage of busted marijuana grow houses as training lessons for an asparagus and romaine copycat operation. Stay in fresh greens and frosty.
Air tubes will just require fans to operate. Less electric now to get ready for the future. Solar is still 89cents a watt.Delete
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You're close enough for gov work, much closer than most.Delete
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Would women and children be diminishing returns? Their value seems to be freeing up males, most times, for security work. And the larger the group, the more defensive works and offensive force you would need.Delete
Yeah. Even the famous redoubter with the ranch and garden and family units involved in the unicorn operation still has blog commentary about dropped ship delivery of packages of food to their ranch and detailed foray itineraries of provisions shopping, as well. The independant island self sufficiency hermitage is a tough act to pull off. Mr. Demented guy is well close to it, good job. Limiting dependance on outside forays as much is at least helpful overall.ReplyDelete
All we can be is the best circumstances allow. No one is going to be close to perfect at this juncture.Delete
Most fruit and nut trees are grafted with varieties that have disease resistance. I say buy trees NOW. May not be available later. You can buy from the big stores but make sure the variety your getting is good for your area.ReplyDelete
We need to assume nothing is available later, and that is before Mad MaxDelete
A few garden related ideas I consider important, pre-apology if reading produces eye-glazing.ReplyDelete
-The main benefit of finished compost, when added to the food garden, is primarily innoculating soil with a spectrum of beneficial organisms that promote plant health by suppressing and out competing disease causing organisms. The value of compost as a fertilizer adding nutrients is secondary.
- Investigate Bokashi fermented composting of food waste as a way of boosting beneficial microbial activity and not losing nutrients through off-gassing as in traditional thermophillic composting
- No plant waste should be exported from your land. All leaves, sticks, logs, trimmings are convervted to soil. Logs and branches can be used as bed borders till they rot away or buried for Hegelculture. Leaves, pine needles etc for mulch, animal pens, or composted. Stuff too woody or big and unwieldy for annual compost pile, put into long term "deadfall" compost pile in unused border area.
- Check out soldier fly larvae breeding schemes for feeding chickens. You probably have a native population of SF and thought they were just some type of wasp. You may have seen their segmented larvae in compost or manure piles.
Always enjoy reading your work James, and the often excellent commentary. Like the idea that a man's pending execution tends to focus the mind, the accelerating unfolding of planet clusterfuck focuses one's survival studies.
Normally my eyes would glaze, but I just learned a bunch of new stuff. ThanksDelete
Going to get my first avocadoes this year from a tree that I started from seed , ten years ago ! Should be good for go from here onward.ReplyDelete
Regular spuds don't like it here , but sweet potatoes do well. Just about to start the slips for the first batch this year. Then in two weeks another batch and so forth throughout the summer.
I thought coffee took forever to get goingDelete
Yeah avocadoes in my experience take eight to ten years before starting to produce . This year it looks like five or six fruit. Double that next time or more.Delete
The patience of Job my friend :)Delete
Excellent chart and article "Energy Visualizing America’s Energy Use, in One Giant Chart":ReplyDelete
Transportation is 28% of the USA energy use.
Chart already obsolete, of courseDelete