Collapse Survival – should we move and live rurally ?

Login or register to post comments Last Post 15060 reads   85 posts
Viewing 10 posts - 41 through 50 (of 85 total)
  • Fri, Jan 02, 2009 - 09:17am

    #41

    gyrogearloose

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 08 2008

    Posts: 376

    count placeholder0

    Re: Collapse Survival – should we move and live rurally ?

Hi
A thread in which NZ was the topic.
https://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/new-zealand-crash-course/9733


Kapiti coast and northwards is ok, reasonable rainfall, good for wind power !!


Biggest problem for the future, depending on timing, is a magnitude 7+ quake hitting Wellington ( statistically overdue as I recall ). If it happens after a significant drop in capacity to rebuild due to peak oil, the surrounding areas are likely to be hit the worst with the refugee problem. ( Only specific con I had already thought of )


I did look at land in the far north recently, but have gone off the area despite the temperate climate and good rainfall… oops make that dangerous rainfall, floods cutting roads etc. Not a significant problem these days, but in post peak oil days, will the breaks get repaired?


So far, my pick is the Canterbury plains, within range of gravity feed irrigation from the Wiamak, Rakaia or Rangitata rivers. Drought is the nastiest issue for Canterbury, but these rivers are in flood as I type, right when water is needed the most. Flatness for ease of transport


Cheers Hamish

  • Fri, Jan 02, 2009 - 09:51am

    #42

    Damnthematrix

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 09 2008

    Posts: 1132

    count placeholder0

    Re: Collapse Survival – should we move and live rurally ?

[quote=gyrogearloose]Biggest problem for the future, depending on timing, is a magnitude 7+ quake hitting Wellington ( statistically overdue as I recall ). If it happens after a significant drop in capacity to rebuild due to peak oil, the surrounding areas are likely to be hit the worst with the refugee problem. ( Only specific con I had already thought of )
[/quote]

Funny you should say……  I thought exactly that when I read her post…. 

[quote=gyrogearloose]So far, my pick is the Canterbury plains, within range of gravity feed irrigation from the Wiamak, Rakaia or Rangitata rivers. Drought is the nastiest issue for Canterbury, but these rivers are in flood as I type, right when water is needed the most. Flatness for ease of transport
[/quote]

Hamish, what about Nelson…?  I haven’t been to NZ, fond memories and all, for a very long time, but I remember Nelson as somewhere I coud live…

Mike 

  • Fri, Jan 02, 2009 - 10:04am

    #43
    andrewj

    andrewj

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 28 2008

    Posts: 6

    count placeholder0

    Re: Collapse Survival – should we move and live rurally ?

NZ foriegn debt is of concern,This from Hickeys site

 

 

New Zealand now owes foreign creditors 130.9% of our annual GDP. The
last time this debt was below 100% of our GDP was in March 2000,
although after a surge in 2000/01 it did reduce to 101.9% in March
2004. Since then, it has been rising quickly.

 

New Zealand owes a total of $235 billion to foreign creditors, $17.2
billion by the Government, and $217.8 billion by the private sector.

Based on official population data, this overseas debt represents
NZ$108,663 for every person in paid employment. Five years ago, that
burden was $71,439 – it has grown 52% in those five years.

 

 NZ is a bit of a  ‘nice basket case’ like Italy or Greece, great place to live but dont try and start a business there.

 

 Unless you want to live in a fortress, if you have what others want, its going to be hard to keep it.The Kapiti coast grows well would be an ideal place for growing veg etc. Fruit trees and trees in general take along time to mature, try and find a block with existing orchard. Keep northerly facing with free draining soils if possible. Avoid valleys with severe frost risk. Nelson is another good area but soils are poor. I am on a life style block in Hawkes bay like the climate but I dont hang around much in the winter. One of my favorite paces is the North West of USA. Often what we want most is a great community, after a life time in commercial agriculture the destruction of rural communities has been the saddest to witness. It must be the same in the USA as Wendell Berry wrote about it years ago now, his book Home Economics is still a good read. 

Andrew

  • Fri, Jan 02, 2009 - 01:07pm

    #44
    James Wandler

    James Wandler

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 11 2008

    Posts: 33

    count placeholder0

    Re: Collapse Survival – should we move and live rurally ?

Thanks Mike (Damnthematrix),

I appreciate your feedback.  I must say that I’ve not yet studied Permaculture, and I don’t know about farming in Australia, and 1.5 acres lends itself more towards self-sufficiency than farming – but not necessarily.  Have you considered Biointensive gardening?  Incidentally I’m not trying to "take you on" here.  You have real world experience that I don’t have.  But I do have to start somewhere.

Here’s a rough idea of what I’ve learned from the farming books that have been written by North American farmers.

Step one would be to assess the soil quality that you have.  Are amendments required to adjust soil pH or various levels of minerals?  These amendments would be incorporated in stages.  This is an important step because certain missing nutrients can have a large ongoing impact on your production going forward.  However once the soil has been brought back into alignment you can then work to maintain its balance going forward.

The next step for me would be to consider the pastureland.  Do thistles need to be reduced by cutting them down before they go to seed?  Do you need to build the grass by seeding by hand while the ground is wet before the growing season?

The next step would be to build exterior fences, interior fencing for managed intensive grazing, and arrange for water.  Then purchase animals.  I’m considering a mixture of cattle, sheep, and goats, on a daily move schedule, and follow these with a chicken tractor.  This system has integrated benefits where each animal benefits the others in various ways, maximizing the production from the land, and while rebuilding the grass as they go.  I would be targeting optimal grass height of, say 10in and eating down to 3in, in each paddock before moving on the next day. 

The grass would include legumes to fix nitrogen in the soil.  All of the grass builds up carbon in the soil.  The roots go down into the subsoil to extract minerals.  Since this system is powered by sun and water it pulls nitrogen and carbon from the air to put into the soil – thus you have more at the end of the process then you did at the beginning.

This is the reason that your permaculture example on concrete can work.

To say that you can’t sell anything off the farm just doesn’t sit well with me.  Sure you want to retain nutrients to preserve the sustainability of the farming, and to even build up poor soils, but the system does generate excess foodstuff that can go off the farm.

For the most part my farming example above doesn’t include fossil fuels.  And peak oil doesn’t mean the end of oil.

[quote=Damnthematrix]

The IMPORTANTNT thing is that what you have remains YOUR property.  Soil fertility is worth far more than any money you can get from selling produce.

I can’t stress how UTTERLY IMPORTANT this concept is…..  Farmers today can ‘sell the farm’ at the markets only because they can then use the money to buy fossil fuel fertlisers to replenish the fertlity (but NOT the biota) of their soils.  THEN, the entire system gets flushed out to sea, killing the oceans in the process.  And we wonder why we’re in deep shit?  I mean really, let’s get real here, the Matrix is wasteful beyond all comprehension…… 

[/quote]

I’m not sure why you refer to the fossil fuels of "mainstream farming" when I always refer to "sustainable farming".  There are many branches of farming.  I am trying to follow the methodology of the farmer and author Joel Salatin who integrates the different methods including permaculture.  Perhaps you were just making a general comment about the current state of agriculture which I don’t disagree with.

Even if sustainable farming is only 98% sustainable you’ll recall that peak oil doesn’t mean the end of oil nor does it mean that the 2% brought back to the farm elsewhere annually requires fossil fuels for its production.

I agree that we are in transition.  I don’t agree with the immediacy of collapse.  There are a range of future outcomes.  We are best to prepare for a wide variety of scenarios – rather than just the worst case.  If we only prepare for the worst case scenario then it won’t help us if the future is different than that one isolated possibility.  AmandaPops – don’t do anything rash.  Oldmanvan has good, though very unfortunate, advice.

Learning is one of the key elements.  I’d recommend everyone learn about sustainable farming and support it either as producer or consumer.  This is an easy step starting now. 

And I’m not saying as a producer that one has to buy the land.  Joel Salatin doesn’t say that this is a good first step – becoming an apprentice and starting small would be better.

Hope this helps,

James

  • Fri, Jan 02, 2009 - 06:01pm

    #45
    lundsta

    lundsta

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 14 2008

    Posts: 56

    count placeholder0

    Land purchase in the US

I was wondering what people thought about purchasing land in the US? Is it worth it? I found 5 acres and a house near a small commuinty. It looks fantastic! The price is 200k. Most of this discussion was about different countries. Is there no point to buy in the US now? I am a first time homebuyer and really need help any insight about what to look for or to check out further would be helpful.

 

 

  • Fri, Jan 02, 2009 - 07:50pm

    #46

    gyrogearloose

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 08 2008

    Posts: 376

    count placeholder0

    Re: Collapse Survival – should we move and live rurally ?

Yeh, Nelson is nice, better climate, slightly better rainfall, much higher land prices….. oops

10 acres ( land only ) in Canterbury within easy range of a small town, $130K  same thing in nelson $350 K

If we won the lottery, that is where we would go,

 

Cheers Hamish

 

  • Fri, Jan 02, 2009 - 08:04pm

    #47

    GnadenAce

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 21 2008

    Posts: 7

    count placeholder0

    Re: Land purchase in the US

Hi lundsta, 

I can give you the same advice my grandfather gave me about 40 years ago.  This was a guy that had an eighth grade education, started my family business that now supports three generations, and ended up owning over 1000 acres of what most city people would consider "unihabitable" hill land way out in the middle of nowhere, (although it looks pretty good right now).  His advice:  "Land is a good investment, they don’t make it anymore", and "the only time to buy land is when it is for sale".    

I’d say if you can pay cash for it, at least look at it. I wouldn’t go into debt right now to buy land.  You need to make sure the house is liveable, and has no major structural problems like bad roof, crumbling/shifting foundation.  Make sure you have someone that knows construction look it over with you, especially the attic and basement.  You’ll need to make double sure that you have a good constant (even in dry conditions) source of drinkable water and a functioning septic system.  Some of the older farms in my area have a very primative septic system that will function for the single widow that lives there alone, but when a family moves in and starts to dump 8 times the sewage plus what comes from the clothes and dish washer into the system, it fails.  (For anyone having septic problems, try RID-X.  It’s a concentrated bacteria you dump in your toilet. Works wonders)       You’ll also need to determine if the land will support agriculture.  There’s a lot of land near me that is available, but is full of rocks with very little topsoil.  If you don’t know much about the area, get friendly with a local farmer and ask his opinion.  Good Luck!!

  • Fri, Jan 02, 2009 - 08:14pm

    #48

    gyrogearloose

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 08 2008

    Posts: 376

    count placeholder0

    Re: Collapse Survival – should we move and live rurally ?

[quote=James705ca]

I’m not sure why you refer to the fossil fuels of "mainstream farming" when I always refer to "sustainable farming".  There are many branches of farming.  I am trying to follow the methodology of the farmer and author Joel Salatin who integrates the different methods including permaculture.  Perhaps you were just making a general comment about the current state of agriculture which I don’t disagree with.

[/quote]

Mainstream farming strips minerals from the soil that need to be replaced by the application of superphosphate etc

A farmer sending sheep off for meat could be considered to be strip mining his land of minerals and exporting them. That can only go on for so long before there is so little left that plants don’t grow well.

Organic farming can built up nitrogen based fertilizers, but can do nothing about mineral balance without "importing" with say seaweed, guano etc

Cheers Hamish

 

  • Fri, Jan 02, 2009 - 09:43pm

    #49
    lundsta

    lundsta

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 14 2008

    Posts: 56

    count placeholder0

    Re: Land purchase in the US

Thank you for your response. We don’t have debt right now are are renting an apartment. Based on what you said you still feel it is better to rent an apartment with no land then have a mortgage with land? We could have a down payment, but are unable to pay cash for the entire amount.

I will do more homework on the property.

 

 

 

  • Fri, Jan 02, 2009 - 09:48pm

    #50

    Damnthematrix

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 09 2008

    Posts: 1132

    count placeholder0

    Re: Collapse Survival – should we move and live rurally ?

[quote=James705ca]

Thanks Mike (Damnthematrix),
[/quote]

You’re welcome.  AFAIC I’m just doing my duty…

[quote=James705ca]
I appreciate your feedback. I must say that I’ve not yet studied Permaculture, and I don’t know about farming in Australia, and 1.5 acres lends itself more towards self-sufficiency than farming – but not necessarily. Have you considered Biointensive gardening? Incidentally I’m not trying to "take you on" here. You have real world experience that I don’t have. But I do have to start somewhere.

Here’s a rough idea of what I’ve learned from the farming books that have been written by North American farmers.

Step one would be to assess the soil quality that you have. Are amendments required to adjust soil pH or various levels of minerals? These amendments would be incorporated in stages. This is an important step because certain missing nutrients can have a large ongoing impact on your production going forward. However once the soil has been brought back into alignment you can then work to maintain its balance going forward.[/quote]

At this stage, I had a good laugh…..!  Are you reading 100 year old farming books?   I’m not having a go at you at all here, because what you describe is exactly what needs to happen.  However, in reality, modern farming strips minerals from the soil by applying copious amounts of chemicals to the soil.  Modern fresh food, even of the organic variety, is so seriously lacking in mineral trace elements that it’s actually making us sick.  If Switters reads this he might be able to expand….

Australia has some of the world’s poorest soils through lack of vulcanism and glaciation.  Our topsoil is rarely more than an inch thick, whilst in the prairies of Nth America it can be well over forty feet!  With soils like yours, you can get away with murder, at least for a while.  With ours, no way.  It’s not unusual for modern farm soil to be totally unable to grow anything without chemical fertilisers… 

We have reasonable soil here in Cooran, almost certainly because this town nestles between three very ancient volcanic plugs.  It isn’t great, merely workable…  and we have been working it with added minerals and lots of organicmatter from our fowls, goats, and next door’s donkeys.  We’ve still a way to go to achieve the results another Permie I know achieves, but she spent $8000 on soil tests and minerals!  That might give you an idea of what we’re up against.

The problem with modern farming is the extractive nature of the Matrix.  If there are/were any trace minerals in the soil, they are taken away IN the produce that was grown  Continue that for too long, and soon the soil is depleted.  Then, those minerals, far more worthy than any gold, is flushed down our toilets.  And what do most people do with food scraps in the cities?  Flushed down kitchen sinks and taken to landfill.

In Permaculture, all the losses are removed.  NOTHING leaves this farm!  Not even tin cans…  we bury them for the iron.  They very quickly corrode in our wet and acidic soil. 

I am currently making pemanent paths throughout the garden (Zone 1) from what we call here ‘crusher dust’.  It’s blue stone road base, I’m sure it’s called something entirely different in America.  As edges to these paths, I am planting a herb called Comfrey  (Symphytum officinale L.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comfrey

Comfrey, once well established, sends tap roots 3 to 4 metres (10 to 12 feet) down, extracting leached minerals and bringing them back to the surface, storing the minerals in its voluminous foliage.  We use the leaves to mulch the gardens, mulching slows down evaporation (limiting watering) insulates the soil from extreme heat (like the 105F we had New Year’s Day!) and protects the soil from erosion in the torrential downpours we can occasionally have in summer with raindrops the size of marbles!  The minerals will slowly leach from the crusher dust into the soil.

Now, this complex description of my current project is a classic design principle of Permaculture.  Anything you grow should have at least two uses, preferably three, or even four (Comfrey leaves also make excellent alternative toilet paper, and when used in a compost toilet improves the compost’s pH, and deters flies).

Permaculture, however does NOT lend itself to ‘farming’, especially with machinery….  you don’t want tractors destroying your Comfrey edges!  Having said that, as we go down the Hubbert curve, fewer tractors will be used, and as the economy tanks more people will be wantoing to work in the countryside…..  so you can see why I see Permaculture as one of the true magic bullets of the future. 

<SNIP>

[quote=James705ca]
The grass would include legumes to fix nitrogen in the soil. All of the grass builds up carbon in the soil. The roots go down into the subsoil to extract minerals. Since this system is powered by sun and water it pulls nitrogen and carbon from the air to put into the soil – thus you have more at the end of the process then you did at the beginning.
[/quote]

No….  in fact you would be at equilibrium.  Unless you import inputs (mineral and fertilisers), then the only natural inputs are solar energy and water.  If you are doing this on concrete, of course you have made the soil!

This is the reason that your permaculture example on concrete can work.

CORRECT 

[quote=James705ca]
To say that you can’t sell anything off the farm just doesn’t sit well with me. Sure you want to retain nutrients to preserve the sustainability of the farming, and to even build up poor soils, but the system does generate excess foodstuff that can go off the farm.[/quote]

ABSOLUTELY NOT.  If you remove anything, you are depleting the soil.  You can remedy it with inputs, but then you are going back to a Matrix type economy where you sell food to buy inputs to make excess produce to to make money to buy more inputs……… and ’round and ’round we go!

Now, this is possible because the inputs come from a long way away (god know how far my crusher dust tavelled on the back of tucks!) and is only possible with OIL! 

[quote=James705ca]
For the most part my farming example above doesn’t include fossil fuels. And peak oil doesn’t mean the end of oil.
[/quote]

PO doesn’t mean the end of oil NOW, but it means less and less forever until you DO run out 100%.  Furthermore, the quality of the oil worsens, whilst at the same time, it gets more expensive, notwithstanding the extraordinary price collapse currently experienced. 

[quote=Damnthematrix]

The IMPORTANT thing is that what you have remains YOUR property. Soil fertility is worth far more than any money you can get from selling produce.

I can’t stress how UTTERLY IMPORTANT this concept is….. Farmers today can ‘sell the farm’ at the markets only because they can then use the money to buy fossil fuel fertlisers to replenish the fertlity (but NOT the biota) of their soils. THEN, the entire system gets flushed out to sea, killing the oceans in the process. And we wonder why we’re in deep shit? I mean really, let’s get real here, the Matrix is wasteful beyond all comprehension……

[/quote]

[quote=James705ca]
I’m not sure why you refer to the fossil fuels of "mainstream farming" when I always refer to "sustainable farming". There are many branches of farming. I am trying to follow the methodology of the farmer and author Joel Salatin who integrates the different methods including permaculture. Perhaps you were just making a general comment about the current state of agriculture which I don’t disagree with.
[/quote]

Sustainable means different things to different people.  Even so called organic farming is heavily dependant on FFs to gather manures and other fertilisers from far away, and to irrigate.  Most people do not understand the difference between organic farming and permaculture…   Permaculture grows its own inputs, organic just means chemical free.

What does sustainable mean to YOU?

Mike

Viewing 10 posts - 41 through 50 (of 85 total)

Login or Register to post comments