This is what I have done
I’ve been aware of PO for more than 10 years now. 5 years ago it seemed so close that it was time to act before it was too late to. First step was to quit work, and cash in on our 2800sqrft home in Mississauga and move to a much smaller house with a large lot right smack in the middle of southwestern Ontario farmland. The first thing we did was build a year round greenhouse. It’s a 33ft diameter domed structure that uses special polycarbonate panels. We put in a 4ft deep insulated foundation for it. During the winter when the sun is out it gets to above 30C in Febs coldest days. At night it needs to be heated, currently with propane but that is soon changing.
The second thing we did was upgrate the house with all new windows, doors and roof insulation.
Next we are currently getting a ground source heat pump put in and get off natural gas. It will not only heat the house but a hot water line will go into the greenhouse and heat it allowing me to get off propane.
We are also starting to stock up on certain items and learning to garden and canning. Best to make gardening mistakes now when it is not crucial.
My son just bought a small hobby farm not far from us and is now raising chickens and geese. Already we are getting our eggs from them. That will expand next year as well as a very large garden at his place. We’ve planted lots of fruit trees here and there as well.
The last task will be to make sure our ability to shoot straight and true is honed.
Thanks for sharing, JR. It does help to read examples of what others are doing, and their rationale for doing it. And it helps just to know that people HAVE done it!
I’ve also been thinking about the line of thought "better to learn now, and possibly mess up, before failures could be much more costly". That makes a lot of sense.
But my thinking gets stuck between "learn how to can, build a greenhouse" and "what does that matter if I don’t solve the safety/security issue first?" I guess some of those preparations don’t have to be mutually exclusive, but with limited time available to think about things given the demands of "daily life", I do find myself getting stuck.
One way I’ve been thinking about it is like "levels of resistance", like I’ve read about when people discuss movement in technical charts for stocks etc. I think there are also certain "levels of resistance" you have to go through in preparing and, until you break through them, you can get "stuck" at a certain level.
E.g.,I’ve done a lot of the easy actions that don’t impact my current way of life, like purchasing things I think we may need like a high-quality water purifier, larger sized boots for my child, etc.
But I think getting through the next level of resistance, to get past my security/safety dilemma, means I need to accept and believe what may be coming enough to make hard decisions and take tough actions that WILL impact our current way of life. And that’s a tough level to break through; it would mean believing in the urgency and criticality of the current situation enough to choose to seriously disrupt my family’s life, by moving somewhere safer. I don’t think just owning a gun or 2 is going to make the difference except in the short term if the shtf and everyone is fighting to survive.
Maybe this is what Chris meant about how much time it took him just to psycholgically come to terms with this stuff! It isn’t east getting past these levels of resistance!
Be advised that if you own registered firearms, you’re inviting a police search if or when the president declares martial law. They’ll take anything they consider contraband, including gold and silver. I would be looking for weapons that are not registered.
Go to gun shows.
interesting posts. these are the nuts and bolts discussions and sharing desperately needed now.
i left nyc in 71 bought 142 acres in arkansas learned one hell of a lot. to say i was green would be an understatement. there are no gardening mistakes other than not ot plant one. the people of my community " the back to the land movement" of the 70’s had these dialogs all the time.
i have written on this site before about the security issue. i was accused of somehow diminishing this site by suggesting the use of flare guns. well folks they are "unregulated" weapons. i got hip to them when i did some bluewater sailing in the 80’s.
when you sail into a port if you have weapons you have to get them all out and declare them. it is a hassle. but to not have weapons at sea is very dangerous as the number of piracies currently happening will attest to .
the solution we found was flare guns. we could place them all over the boat and not have to worry about showing them to the harbormaster. i currently so not have a weapon as i decided a long time ago that if the social fabric came unwound it is not a society i would want to live in anyway. but the thought does enter my mind from time to time. as chris says if i receive new info i reserve the right ot change my mind. as for new info…… a friend just told me that ammo has a shelf life now. i had another friend who is a viet war vet who said they were using stuff from ww 2 and that it keeps a long time so i was very surprised to hear that it doesnt last that long anymore…………i have serious questions why?
i believe it is everyone’s right to make the choice to have a weapon or not. i have had them in the past to deal with rabid animals and snakes. i think it is a viable topic for dialog on this site.
i favor the security of community at the current time. if i had a wife and children to worry about my thinking would probably be somewhat different. personally i think the failure to act or getting stuck is not very helpful. do something….. anything you perceive to being in your long term interests. chris’s time frames are very useful.
stop watching tv examine your own strengths and weaknesses. look realistically at your needs short term and long term.
if you are in the city you can find a good source for bulk foods. there are subscription farms which will send you organic food. you can learn to can and dry your own you can join with other like minded folks to pool resources. there are lots of folks forming communities now. i see a new back to the land movement happening.
i think it prudent to plan near term as tho everything will reamin reasonably secure. so that means then working on the other things like food and water and energy.
it is clear to me that those who live closest to the land will fare much better than those more reliant on current systems of food water and energy,
i am currently expanding my garden putting more foodstuffs away, planting more fruit trees, blueberries, raspberries and other stuffl i like to eat.
i wish you all the best and look forward to hearing more about what others are doing.
I only became fully aware of the Peak Oil situation this fall. And since then my head has been reeling. But I figure the best way to make sure you don’t go crazy is to calmly and rationally begin to prepare.
Sharon Astyk’s blog is very helpful. I like how for the most part, she gives sound info and advice, but then, like all of us that are bracing for the coming storm, she has moments of frustration and helplessness.
On my agenda for this year:
*Make a victory garden, and along with this goes learning to can and put food by for the cold season. I’m buying seeds from Fedco in a few weeks and plan buying extra so I can give them to friends too.
*Buy durable goods such as tools. My husband was perplexed when I told him that I just wanted giftcards to Lowe’s and Tractor supply for X-mas. I’m sure he was expecting the usual massage or yoga class.
*We will be getting our gun permits in a few weeks. I think learning how to defend ourselves in a time of civil unrest could be pretty important and I would like to learn how to hunt (just in case that becomes a means for food in the future. Venison sausage, anyone?)
*As far as upgrading the house goes, we plan on installing a woodstove and a hand pump for our well. Solar panels are out of our price range even with the rebates from state and federal.
So far, I think that is reasonably all we will accomplish for this year. I’d like to give chickens a try but we’ll see how it goes. Also, no more kids for us. We have 2 little ones and I am extremely pessimistic about bringing a third into this crazy f*&^%$ up world.
I wish like hell our house was paid off. Like every other typical American idiot, we have a good chunk of credit card debt. We closed our accounts this year and have been trying to pay the things off but the task is daunting. I made the mistake a couple weeks ago of figuring out that if we did not have credit card debt to pay off, we could make double payments on our mortgage (we’re 4 years into a 30 year fixed) and it would be paid off by 2013. ARRRGGGHHH! I feel so stupid. I wish I had more of a clue in my early 20’s. Just like Chris says in the Crash Course, we spent money we didn’t have because we held the belief that the future would be better than the present. And it sure as hell isn’t going to be.
So, I have also been scouting on Freecycle and Craigslist for camping gear because I think we’ll need them in the event that we lose our house.
As a man who knows a touch about tactics, I’ll tell you, that a Flare pistol isn’t a weapon.
It’s a signalling beacon. When I see that arc cross the yard, I know exactly where to concentrate fire. Whether or not you want a firearm, don’t use the flare pistol as one unless you intend to give away your position. Theoretical situations could put a LOT of well armed, hungry men of low morals on your farm. It’s replayed itself throughout history, so remember that those who beat their swords into plowshares plow for those who kept their swords.
Insofar as Ammunition having a shelf life, it does and it doesn’t. The propellant will, after a VERY long time (75? 100?) years degrade and will not burn as rapidly, causing a decrease in ballistic performance – slower projectiles, which will not shoot as straight and will not have as much energy when they reach their target. I have personally fired ammunition packed in the 1930’s. To be short, ammo will stay stable for decades.
It’s always inspiring to hear what others are doing, and I think you’ve got the right idea.
Remember that shooting is only one third of the "combat triad" – mindset and tactics being the others. Make plans, survey your land and don’t forget about communications. HAM radios would be a great idea for you and your son, especially if you can use solar energy to power them.
Can you tell more about how the heat pump will heat the greenhouse? I’d like to learn more about this process.
Can you run it off wood heat? Can you retrofit a stove?
I imagine it’s a hell of a project to undertake.
If we all say "no", they won’t be taking much of anything. But it’s clear that the Obama administration is planning a ban on semi-automatics (which represent the majority of all firearms manufactured today – don’t let the "assault weapon" verbage mislead you) which will ultimately make it more difficult for the citizenry to defend themselves.
Contrary to commonly held belief, there is no "registration" in America, the forms you fill out are to facilitate the background check. There is (perhaps was, I haven’t heard) a specified amount of time, within which the gunshop is supposed to throw out rifle/shotgun and pistol 4473’s.
That said, a papertrail is a papertrail. If it’s that important, sell them now.
This is the kind of thread we need more of!
[quote=joe2baba]stop watching tv [/quote]
We stopped watching American TV a long time ago……! I guess for an American, that means stop watching TV.
American TV culture is truly bizarre. Here in Australia we are blessed with one channel in particular which shows European shows, and another which has a lot of British shows. They are commercial free BTW, represent 95% of what we watch, and I might add we don’t watch a lot of TV anyway, most of it is rubbish, especially on the commercial channels, and we never wanted our kids to be influenced by rubbish.
To not watch TV at all though could be counter-productive, because surely, there must be some TV that is informative and enlightening, even in the US?
Not to stray too far from the topic, but the worthwhile TV is drowning in a sea of materialistic BS.
In order to watch any given show – some of which are absolutely interesting and compelling, you have to sit through probably 1/2 hour of commercials, designed to entice you into spending like an idiot.
The Science Channel in particular is amazing, as is the National Geographic channel, History and several others in that vein.
Our news media is no better than tabloid journalism, and our shows are shoddy, poorly written humor designed for the "lowest common denominator".
Society is much better off with the "idiot box" off.