What are you looking for in this group?

vrriddle
By vrriddle on Tue, Mar 5, 2013 - 7:27am

Hello neighbors,

So, how do we get this thing started?  I'm not even sure about what I'm looking for in a group outside my own small community, but maybe an introductory discussion will reveal some benefits.  (This is a bit like dating.  A very cautious introduction.)

Wife and I are not really actively "prepping" at this point.  She hasn't entirely bought into the notion of the need to do so and I, on the other hand, would likely go completely overboard if unleashed.  We are retired and live in a small SE Minnesota town. We both have rural upbringings, so we are somewhat prepared for small emergencies like weather related events leading to diminished travel, short term power outages, fire, flood or tornado at a neighbor's house and similar short term scenarios.  I know we're much more vulnerable in winter than summer.

On the other hand, we are active gardeners, we have and use canning equipment for vegetables and meat, we have multiple sources for water if the municiple water tower goes dry, and we probably have many years of adequate clothing for all seasons.  I might be able put up a decent defense against 1 or 2 aggressors, but would likely have little resistance to pathetic refugees.

Enough about us for this introduction.  Where do y'all want to take it from here?

Guardedly,

VR

 

12 Comments

meganodom's picture
meganodom
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 15 2013
Posts: 3
Hi VR, I think you are

Hi VR,

I think you are somewhat near me in location.  One way I'd like to utilize this group is to locate resources.  For example, I am just now starting to think about prepping. Nonperishable food is easy enough to find.  I'm new to the area though so I'm not so sure where to go/how to go about water storage. This may or may not be relevant to location and I'm just in need of ideas. Using this as a way to just bounce back ideas on what to be collecting would be helpful for me too.  There are so many forums, etc. to sift through. Having a few people to directly talk to about it may prove to be simpler. I guess another think I'd like to have this network for is available properties. We're looking for a rent to own property where a garden and some animals would be feasible.  Some other things we could share about are local farms and other organizations to support and possibly become invovled in. I don't know if we want this to take on a "political" face - may be best as a way to share about, not necessarily promote various causes.The possibilities are endless really... I think our functions will form as more people join and start sharing.

Crazy side note: In the case of some extreme world event, it would also be good to know where other people like ourselves are at and how we could help each other if interested. Things to think about...

Hotrod's picture
Hotrod
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 20 2009
Posts: 185
What to do?

Hello VR and others,

I am located in NE WI and am a small time family farmer, the old fashioned kind that grew up learning how to harness horses and grease and adjust threshing machines from uncles and neighbors.  I believe that when the financial collapse happens that we will revert back to a more labor intensive, and much less capital intensive farming paradigm.  So, in that regard I am looking for ideas and resources, and maybe more importantly, moral support from people who feel the same way.

I have always been fascinated by the Amish farming methods and the reasons they shun certain technologies. We may be forced to learn from them and that would be painfully ironic, in my book.

Best Regards,

Hotrod

earthwise's picture
earthwise
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2009
Posts: 848
Non-prepper? HA!
vrriddle wrote:

......... we are active gardeners, we have and use canning equipment for vegetables and meat, we have multiple sources for water if the municiple water tower goes dry, and we probably have many years of adequate clothing for all seasons.  I might be able put up a decent defense against 1 or 2 aggressors, but would likely have little resistance to pathetic refugees.

Who says you're not actively prepping. Looks to me like ya been doin' it a long time and didn't even know it. 

Look, there are many reasons to follow a more sustainable lifestyle, other than being able to survive a zombie apocalypse. Just consider it an 'alternative lifestyle'. wink   Now that I'm several years into it, I think I'd probably still live the life of a prepper even if we weren't on the verge of a an economic downgrade. We eat better, have a bunch of farm critters that my younglings  (and I) enjoy daily. We live more simply which translates into not just more economically but also more enjoyably. Much more. 

Jump in; the water's fine.

P.S. My wife was slow to accept things too, but once she started looking at things without the normalcy bias, everthing crystallized for her and now she's all in. 

P.P.S. Actually, I think the cheese she makes from our fresh raw goat milk is what got her. Yummmmm!

earthwise's picture
earthwise
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2009
Posts: 848
Ooops.

 

I just realized that this is a Minnesota/Wisconsin group thread. With me being in Southern California I guess it's not like we're neighbors!!  Just a little bit removed, huh? 

Sorry to butt in. Hope you don't mind the intrusion.

 

meganodom's picture
meganodom
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 15 2013
Posts: 3
Great Start!

Hi everyone, I'm so happy to see more people speaking up and sharing. Earthwise, I think I can speak for everyone when I say you're comments are more than welcome despite location. 

VR, what other water sources do you rely on? Do you have any suggestions for me? Like I said, I am just now "prepping for prepping."

Hotrod, I found your post very interesting! My best friend owns a small organic farm in SE MN...I wonder if this is something she knows more about.

And to reiterate, let me know if there is anything more I can do as the admin to make the group more helpful.

-Meg

vrriddle's picture
vrriddle
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 1 2013
Posts: 5
Water sources

We are fortunate to live here in the upper midwest where surface water is plentiful.  Almost anywhere within a 100 mile radius of LaCrosse has a river, lake, spring, creek or seep within easy walking distance.  So, our solution to a worst case scenario is to be able to filter and purify surface water for drinking and cooking.  We keep 8 gallons stored in 2 "bubbler" containers available at Menards.  We have also held back about 40 2 quart V8 bottles from the recycling to be filled from the faucet at the last possible minute.  After that, we would go into the haul and filter mode. 

Clarification of the surface water is the first step.  We could start with cheesecloth if necessary, then thru successively finer filters (t-shirts, pillowcase, etc) until as much sediment as possible is removed.  Simple settling of turbid water also works pretty well.  The final turbidity filter is probably a coffee filter until we run out or filtering is no longer necessary.  Several 5 gallon buckets are available for this chore.

We have 2 purification filter systems at present.  The first one was/is from www.purewaterproducts.com.  This is a ceramic bulb filter that is installed in the bottom of a bucket.  The bucket with the filter holds the  clarified water and sits on the lid of another bucket of the same size for catching the filtered and purified water.  A spigot on the bottom bucket is used to fill water bottles, kettles, etc. This system is used in third world countries as an affordable and easy to use system for potable water.  Our second and more portable system is Sawyer filters from http://www.sawyer.com/sawyersaves/default.html.  I haven't tried these yet, but the reviews are very positive and I'm looking forward to better weather for a test.

If anyone is not convinced of the purity of the water from either of these systems, the water could be boiled, or you could put a couple of drops of Hylex bleach in each 2 quart container.

If you really want to or need to go primitive, you can build your own sand filter with layers of gravel, aggregate, sand and charcoal in a bucket or barrel.  There are many sets of plans available on the web.

You could  also construct a rain catch system with gutters and barrels if your roof and location are suitable (I would prefer to do this from a metal roof rather than asphalt.)  But, for us, we have a river and springs all around.

So, have fun with this and put one more worry behind you.

VR

vrriddle's picture
vrriddle
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 1 2013
Posts: 5
Error in previous post

Pure Water Products doesn't sell the particular ceramic filter that I referred to in the previous post, but they do sell other ceramic candles that would probably work the same (apparently, I purchased one in 2002 but never set it up).  Furthermore, I can't find the invoice from the supplier for the filter that I have used, but the manufacturer is Winfield Filtration (China.)  As I recall, the supplier was a Houston non-profit that provided the filters to water challenged third world countries. I'm not quite as smug now that I've found that it was made in China.

VR

 

Hotrod's picture
Hotrod
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 20 2009
Posts: 185
Organic Farmers

Meg,

Organic farmers will be a fountain of information as the transition is made to a less capital intensive farming reality.  Organic farmers use knowledge and methods rather than capital (most often times borrowed capital with interest attached) and off farm inputs to grow crops and livestock. I am currently not organic, but hope to transition in that direction.

Don

Toby1's picture
Toby1
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 25 2013
Posts: 1
Viroquoa

Any members in the Viroquoa area?

We have been there to look for a place when we retire. We are an electrical engineer and teacher/School Administrator.

 

Best Wishes,

 

Toby

vrriddle's picture
vrriddle
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 1 2013
Posts: 5
Reply to Toby

LaCrosse seems to be the center of this group, and Viroquoa is about 40 miles SE of there.  I'm about 50 miles to the west of LaCrosse.  I don't think we've got much of a "group" here, being widely dispersed and having never met, and seldom even posting on this site.  That being said, I suspect that you'll find many like-minded folks in the Viroquoa area (my mother-in-law lives there) and it is a great place for an active retirement.  You can be about as social or reclusive as you want to be and be part of the community in either case.  Have a great time.

VR

MyBackAchers's picture
MyBackAchers
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: May 27 2013
Posts: 26
Viroqua?

La Crosse, Eau Claire and Winona were my old stomping grounds. I landed a few years ago near Austin MN. 

All these areas, as well as Iowa are full of Amish who are amazing gardeners and farmers. 

Finding water is definitely no problem. Even when we had the drought in 2012, the rain catchment system collected enough for water ing the animals. One thing to remember about open rain water collection is to do skeeter control- I put a cup of oil in each barrel which is a easy way to kill lavas. 

One of my biggest issues is the amount of energy I have to use over winter to deice livestock water. This and the refrigerator/freezer are the biggest energy hogs that keep me from getting completely off grid.

 

desertmama's picture
desertmama
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 1 2014
Posts: 1
Viroqua

Hi Toby - I am new to this group and see this is an older post, but we live in Viroqua so thought I'd respond. Feel free to ask any questions and I'll do my best to answer.  We live on a small farm just outside of town.  Viroqua is one of the best areas to live if you like the Midwest.  There is a lot going on for such a small town and many like-minded folks.  This isn't necessarily a retirement community, lots of people of all ages including many young families interested in organic farming and other "alternative" ways of life.  I highly recommend it.  

That being said - this entire general area (MN/WI) can be brutal in the winter and the lack of sun definitely takes its toll.  The summers are generally beautiful and the land is fertile and lush.  Real estate is very reasonable and as long as you are above the flood-plain you should be fine.  One downside of much of this area (and by that I mean the Midwest) is the high prevalence of Lyme disease.  We are in an Lyme-endemic area and nearly every family I know has been impacted in a big way by Lyme disease.  

There is no perfect place - there is much to be said about this area and a few big negatives.  It is a safe, family friendly community.  Good luck in your search - Theresa

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