Collapse Survival - should we move and live rurally ?

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Amanda V's picture
Amanda V
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Collapse Survival - should we move and live rurally ?

I know we need to live in communities to survive.  But the average suburban plot of land cannot produce enough food to feed a family, let alone extended family.  Our family is considering moving to a rural small holding.  But the land close to towns costs a huge amount, and land further away would pose a big problem in peak oil, and local communities.   I don't know what to do, any suggestions ?

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

What country are you in amanda.

 

We moved 60klm inland from a major town - 100 klm inland from a major city. Up the top of a high mountain. 

I have had built a big greenhouse and in there i do above ground gardening - i have chooks and produce our own eggs - my folks have cows - brother has pigs etc etc - 

We run our own business which is based about 20klm from our house.

Our town has maybe 2000 people.

Everything is great and plenty of plenty - until last week when my two closest towns ran out of fuel.

It really opened my eyes and got me thinking about a lot of what if's.

And in honesty - if SHTF - i still think id rather be out her with no fuel - then in a city with no food.

 

 

 

 

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

Thanks for your reply.  You sound like you have got it pretty right with where you are, good on you.

That is really interesting.  I guess I want my cake and to eat it too.  And I suppose when the cities pour out to the country side, there will be more "community" there. 

It is so hard to know exactly where to be because it is so hard to exactly see the picture of what it will all look like. 

I am in New Zealand by the way. 

 Is there any books or documentation anywhere where someone is giving advice about where to live and how to set ourselves up  for these events ?   I don't just mean a permaculture manual, I mean thinking about ramifications of no electricity, what basic foods we could grow easily eg if we grow wheat, how difficult is making your own bread,  should we all be buying wood fired ovens, advice like should we all be buying a bike, etc etc. 

 And I think we all know the S will HTF, but the question is how badly and when.

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

I have been doing alot of research in answering the same questions. I would like to comment of a few you asked above.

making own bread......is simple from start to finish it takes time. You will need a good hand mill for the wheat and prepare yourself to gain a few pounds. (My husband loves homemade bread and eats alot of it)

It is a good idea to learn how to cook meals on a wood stove with the foods you grow (or have in an emergency stash). That way you are prepared for anything.

Bikes are a great idea. Don't forgot though that if SHTF that everything will be small community based. Walking like the good old days will be the norm.

 

The more prepared you are the less likely you will worry if anything should happen. A couple days ago there was a post on Recommended books. I am sorry I dont have the link, but all those books would be helpful. 

 

 

 

 

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

Good afternoon,

 

If you are considering moving to the country do not make the mistakes I did.

We decided to move and bought a rural block that looked picturesque.

However...

There was no reliable water and although the native vegitation looked green, the soil is very poor, so being self sufficent is not likely,

Living costs are a lot higher and services much lower. Vehicle costs are over 30% of my income.

Internet access is sllooowwww.

Career opportunities are very limited, which results in low income.

The area is full of rednecks who are gun crazy and malicious with NO respect for law or order. Just about anything including livestock and machinary regularly disappear.

Crime is actually much worse in the rural areas and the Police have NO control on what is going on.

On our property there are boundary errors which our conveyancer did not discover and which now prevent us selling.

If you are considering moving, do your homework, find a good community, or plan on creating one with people you know and trust.

Regards

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

AmandaPops,

I'm moving in this direction myself and preparing by learning as much as I can in advance. 

There seem to be two routes (or a combination) that you can go down.  Try to be individually self-sufficient or become a farmer or work directly with farmers. 

A disadvantage of trying to be individually self-sufficient is that you don't get the economies of scale of producing a particular item in quantity and then trading/selling within the community to get the other items that you need.  Here's an interesting book on the subject:  The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It The Complete Back to Basics Guide by John Seymour.

An advantage of sustainable farming is that you can produce a tremendous amount of food and it provides you with an incredible opportunity to use your labor and the labor of others that would be interested in partnering with you.  Since the value added part of farming is labor intensive (food processing) this makes a good match when society is creating a surplus of available labor as it is right now.

My favorite book on this subject is You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Start & Succeed in a Farming Enterprise by Joel Salatin.  With just land, soil, sun, water, livestock you can produce high quality food that is the future that will trump agribusiness' unsustainable practices that simply won't work in a world of peak oil. 

Personally, if we think that there is going to be a shortage of food I'd rather be producing a lot of it to feed the people that need it rather than just having enough for myself. 

The next best thing to actually becoming a sustainable farmer is to buy directly from a sustainable farmer.  My hope is that this becomes a grassroots effort, as both producers and consumers, because this brings sustainability back to the people and the planet.

Hope this helps,

James

 

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

Hi AmandaPops,

 I am planning to move myself to a smaller more rural community.  The key considerations as I see them are that you need to move to a small community and not to an isolated farm.  If possible look to get a small acre or 2 in amongst other small acreages where there will be other people around whom when the tough times come will be able to pull together and help each other.  As you are in NZ you are well ahead of 99% of people in the world because NZ has a small population of just over 4 million people with only about 300 000 people in the South Island (I would move to the South Island personally).  This small population is great in terms of having the carrying capacity of the land being able to support the population.  There will still be a lot of pain and trouble during the transition however I believe that a new more localised economy/equillibrium can be reached more quickly in NZ.  I live in South East Queensland, Australia and have considered a move to NZ however cannot bring myself to part with family and the warm weather.

 The other thing to realise, and this is something that my wife and I are "wrestling with" is that house prices are going to fall a lot so whilst you may not be able to afford something now you may be able to later as long as you invest wisely if you have any money to invest.  Personally I think physical gold and silver is a great investment and I am considering investing into some oilrig maintenance type companies or into oil refinery companies which have the technology to process heavy crude oil which is going to be increasingly the only oil available (most normal refineries cant process heavy crude).  The waiting game has its pluses but also its minuses.  You wait a while and the price of property comes down but also the "system" gets closer to collapse and you dont want to be caught out by any sudden systemic collapse.  One thing we are considering is renting a home near to where we want to own land and waiting there.  That way if things go pearshaped quickly we have hopefully already gotten to know alot of locals and learned alot about growing food etc.  (a side note, do a Permaculture Design Course, its the best money you can invest!). The advantages of buying earlier is that you get to set the property up with permaculture design principles which will enable a sustainable lifestyle to be obtained with much less effort and little external inputs.

 

Hope that helps... let me know if you have any other questions :)

 

 

 

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

 

 Hi AmandaPops,

I also recommend The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It The Complete Back to Basics Guide by John Seymour.

Although I just cracked it, it is obviously a good book - crammed with illustrations and detailed farming, animal-raising and food-processing knowledge.

So far the biggest challenge I see in self-sustainment, as explained by Seymour, is that it is very difficult to grow all the things you need yourself.  Also, if you are planning on "just growing tomatoes and chickens" and trading your excesses to others for different items, it turns out that you need to rotate your crops and animals - often!  Otherwise, crop and animal specific pests will quickly infest whatever you are groing. 

Experienced, knowledgeable farmers can and do overcome this challenge, even on small farms, just be aware that there is a lot of learning and planning to do.  What I've read so far in this book makes me realize how incredibly ignorant and helpless I will be when the S does HTF if I don't hurry up and "get smart".

Patrick

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

Hi again amanda - you are just across the seas from me - i am in south east queensland - also hi to Mikkwan.

In preps i am really pretty well covered. I wont go into detail but i didnt just prep for me. Ive put everything we have into prepping. 

As for cooking etc and if the house goes of the grid with electricity etc etc etc all i have done for these regards is to prepare ourselves as if going camping. I got a camp oven that cooks with just a few briquettes - it can do anything from a roast to bacon and i got a kelly kettle - porta loo - solar shower bags - solar garden lights - anything i could think of for camping. 

I didnt have thousands and thousands to take the house to solar - so i just bought up camping equipment. 

I have 3 huge water tanks and i bought a berkly water system as well.

Our problem would be fuel and keeping our shop open but if it all went to hell in a basket - id just walk away and rest my head beside my kids in a tent - care factor for material possessions is NIL.

Could you just rent something rural - get some camping stuff - food - and have the basics covered.

 

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

You guys I am so grateful for these insightful and really helpful comments, as I have been tearing my hair out.

One thing that concerns me - and it might just be a personal paranoia - is just how safe it will be in the early days of the transition.  All of these changes could occur within a very swift time frame - as pointed out in the crash course.

There will be a lag phase between this, and every single person growing vegetables in their back garden.  They say society is only 3 meals away from civil unrest (???).  And look at how Americans behaved with Hurricane Katrina.  Human beings do not behave civilly when hungry and fearful. 

If you have potatoes growing in your back yard, and the neighbour wants to feed his hungry baby - well.  Things will not be nice for a while. 

However, if we are to get through all this as a "community" we will need to live close enough to trade and have access to services.  Again, a catch 22 situation.

I am not worried about losing electricity.  My basic plan is a wood fired stove/oven.  Firewood on the property.  Collect the rain water.  And the first thing to grow, is potatoes !  Apparantly they are higher than you think in Vitamains esp vitamin C, and contain lots of calories!  From that basic point I suppose I will get more sophisticated.

Thanks again for all your comments and ideas.  I find it all really useful to think about.  We are in the lucky position that we have sold our property and are effectively cashed up.  But it is so true - I don't want to wait so long to buy something that I get caught out !

Keep the thoughts coming !

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

Amanda - you mentioned about the neighbour with the baby - as much  as it is possible - i hope to help them - when i can no lomger help - then i guess all i can do is go to an isolated situation with family.

 

I bought an awesome medical book - cant think of the name of it but ill look soon and write it in here - but the book is for women in tribes and villages - it gives the medical treatment first for anything and then it gives the home remedy - aweseome book.

 

As i said to hubby - i dont think there is anything we can do to stop anything - all we can do is prep - camping gear seemed the best option.

A really cool fridge is - a terracotta pot - then a smaller terracotta pot that will fit inside the first - in the first pot you put sand on the bas - then put second pot on top of sand - the gap between the two pots you fill with sand - pour water over the sand and cover the pots with a potato sack or a towel - instant fridge.

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

Love your fridge idea.  That's the sort of inspiration we can get from each other here I suppose.

Don't get me wrong.  I want to help as many as I can too.  I just have this sobering vision of the entire of Wellington city knocking on my door.  I won't have that many potatoes.  That is why I don't want to be too close to town but not too far either.

Here is a quote from one of Chris Martensons recommended books - The long emergency:  pp 244.

"... land will be wealth.  If government does attempt to reallocate land on an emergency basis, it might only foment a resistance that would threaten the nations operting system so to speak, and to mess with them might be explosive.  The long emergency will present conditions americans have never experienced, and the non rich masses may resort to the kind of desperate action that other historically put upon people have taken.  America is just not that special nor immune to either the hazards of circumstance or the tendencies of human nature.  Revolution might occur, nullifying previous land tenure arrangements, but with central government already disabled it might be limited to some locatlities and not others.  There will surely be a lot of nominally wealthy people left in the nation when the instabilities of post peak oil kick in, and if their wealth is in land, they may be subject to intimidation, confiscation, or worse."

New Zealand will be no different from America or anywhere else I don't rekon. 

Camping gear is a good idea but remember gas bottles are finite.  Tents are good - for expanding your local community!  Warm and wet weather gear.   And lots and lots of non hybrid seeds of many varieties.  And non perishable stored food. 

Also lots and lots of "how to do it" books.  And tools.  Axes for firewood.  Hoes and Spades...

I am bound to have forgotton a lot ... so would love as many more ideas as possible.

 

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

Hello AmandaPops,

Another New Zealander here with the same concerns. As we prepare, the question I've been struggling with is just how far down are we going to go.  Are we just going to have an extended depression...or go back to an agrarian, stable but energy scarce 1920's....or back to the 1790's with no modern tools and where an axe is your best friend.  Should I be working on building a solar/battery backup system for the freezer or building a forge? 

We've got some rural property, become serious gardeners in the last year, have chickens, cattle, sheep and some reliable sources of water.  We're building up supplies of seeds, tools, learning to can and preserve and generally going down the road towards self sufficiency, all of which seems a little surreal while living in the "real" world of jobs and co-workers who are pretty sure the economy will turn around by the second quarter of 2009. 

What I've realized of late is that as I go through this list of To-Do's I need to find/form/tap into a community of like minded individuals.  If it all comes crashing down and I'm the only one locally who's tried to prepare it won't really matter.  This site has been a fantastic support for me.  I've gotten a lot of information off the "Planning for the Future" forums at peakoil.com and have just found sharonastyk.com which I am enjoying.  For me the next step is finding locals who are aware and thinking about the same things.

I have hope for New Zealand as it has a small population, is geographically remote, is relatively agrarian and the North Island particularly has a wonderful climate for year round growing (at least compared with the Northern New England, USA climate where I grew up).

I worry about civil unrest during the powerdown as well but there are too many factors to really predict so we will just have to wait and see.  

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

"Personally, if we think that there is going to be a shortage of food I'd rather be producing a lot of it to feed the people that need it rather than just having enough for myself"

This is sort of my thinking too James- and maybe there will be people who through changed circumstance,would be happy and able to lend their skills/knowledge/labour to help make it happen in return for a new sense of purpose, community and security.

We live rurally - and distance to nearby towns/cities is an issue. I've got feelers out to see whether the green waste we (and our district) produce  can be realistically converted (directly or indirectly) into fuel to get the food to these population centres independently of the present transport energy supply chain(*).

If the worst came to the worst, I think it would be relatively easy for many rural communities/districts/regions to ensure their own food supply without dependence on this(*). But not so with the big cities. At least for the time being, we should be looking for practical ways of fueling present modes of transport to keep the food flowing to the big population centres. This must happen if massive social unrest is to be avoided.

Regards, Peter

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

AmandaPops and NZSailor,

Perhaps one or the other of you could add an email address to your profile so that you can meet and work together?  We will all need to bootstrap ourselves forward with those ahead on the planning helping those coming behind to make the transition. 

My plan, once I sort out my living arrangements, will be to spread Chris' message locally and try to encourage others to make the transition.  Chris has identified that building awareness is the first step, then understanding, then taking action.  The more people that you can reach and bring along will create the community that you need.

Here are the items on my to do list:

- start sustainable farming for myself, get renewable energy sorted out, lower my energy footprint

- spread Chris' message to those that are receptive

- show others how to sustainably farm themselves so that they can become entrepreneurial - my hope is that it could appeal to the unemployed or to young adults or to those environmentally conscious especially if they are receptive to the Crash Course

- set up a small scale biodiesel plant - with a crushing machine you can turn oilgrains (like canola) into a mulch for livestock and vegetable oil then the vegetable oil can be processed into biodiesel and glycerine.  I like the closed loop of the process because part of the biodiesel could go back into a farmer's tractor to grow more oilgrains.  What to do with the glycerine seems to be the question.  Here's a website that explores the issues:  http://journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_make.html 

- create a complementary currency to facilitate local trade - this is incredibly powerful.  Chris has gone down this road and realized that widespread acceptance of the idea is important to getting the idea off the ground efficiently.  See his comments here:  http://www.peakprosperity.com/comment/10505#comment-10505 

Rebuilding society at the grassroots level is a lot of work but we'll end up with a better world in the process.  There are many associated benefits to all of this beyond energy.  Better health, lower stress, working in community, pride in accomplishments, time to do other things...

The more people we have, with their wide range of life skills, working on the transition the easier all of this becomes.

James

 

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Can we reframe prosperity?

Today on New Year's day I am spending time redefining for myself True Prosperity as in 'have a prosperous new year'. Since I am a pastor, this time of reflection will result in a series of sermons... helping people reframe things like 'wealth' and 'prosperity'.

Any suggestions or ideas would be welcomed!

 

A growing belief of mine is 'this has to be a 'we' thing....not a 'me' thing. For instance "What can/should WE do?" may result in an entirely different action set than "What should me and my family do?"

 

So how would you define 'prosperity', 'wealth' ?

 

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

We are living suburbanly, if you will, on the edge of a Colorado college town of about 130k. We left SoCal a year ago, before I understood what was happening, but I agitated for the move out of a visceral feeling that I didn't want to be living in that particular soup of people -- overcrowded, disconnected from each other, materialistic, etc. The level of civility and genuine warmth here is much higher and I feel confident that will continue over into tougher times.

You might be interested to read what people are doing on suburban lots in the way of food production -- the shining example is the Dervaes family in Pasadena. www.pathtofreedom.org

A part of me longs for some land with woods and fields to work, but I also recognize that building strong connections with neighbors and sharing the work of food production, pooling tools and other resources and generally watching out for each other will be immensely valuable as well. So, while I wait to see how much things might unravel, I'm working on our quarter acre to learn to grow as many different crops as possible, raising hens and exploring the possibility of a dairy goat. We work with a local chapter of grow food not lawns and I'm hoping to get my neighbors interested in growing more of their food as well. I'll share what we have and invite folks over this summer for a harvest party and to show the sheet composted raised beds at work.

fwiw,

warmly,

sue

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Re: Can we reframe prosperity?

Jerry, I constantly toggle back and forth between a feeling of insecurity (dwelling there more often than I wish) and the occassional flashes of peace and gratitude when I wake up to the fact that in this moment, I have exactly what I need and it is wonderful and perfect.

I would define wealth, from my Buddhist-inspired path, as the realization that there is only this moment, and this moment is completely full of what I need. I do feel compelled to think about a hypothetical future and to take certain actions based on my thinking, and I'm not at all convinced that it's skillful to spend my energy in this way, but I am moved to do so and it's silly to pretend I'm more evolved than I am. So I do think about what might be coming, but as soon as I feel the tightness of fear rising, I remind myself that in this moment, I have all that I need and I can't know how any future moment will unfold. That's been the most reliable source of prosperity and peace of mind I can find....

for what it's worth,

sue

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Re: Can we reframe prosperity?

Thanks for your thoughts ,Sue.

It may be 'silly to pretend to be more evolved than I am', as you put it. Then again, it may be an evolutionary progression to acknowledge one's silliness in pretending. Or, maybe we each occupy many levels of evolutionary silliness all at once.

I received an email today from a friend, Ronda, in Nova Scotia (I'm in Pennsylvania). She told me about her partner Bob's moment of wealth this morning. Bob peered out the window upon the newly fallen, and falling, snow. He exclaimed,"I'm so glad I have this to look at. Some people may need a 56 inch plasma screen. I love what we have!".

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Re: Collapse Survival - should we move and live rurally ?
oldvanman wrote:

Good afternoon,

 

If you are considering moving to the country do not make the mistakes I did.

We decided to move and bought a rural block that looked picturesque.

However...

There was no reliable water and although the native vegitation looked green, the soil is very poor, so being self sufficent is not likely,

Living costs are a lot higher and services much lower. Vehicle costs are over 30% of my income.

Internet access is sllooowwww.

Career opportunities are very limited, which results in low income.

The area is full of rednecks who are gun crazy and malicious with NO respect for law or order. Just about anything including livestock and machinary regularly disappear.

Crime is actually much worse in the rural areas and the Police have NO control on what is going on.

On our property there are boundary errors which our conveyancer did not discover and which now prevent us selling.

If you are considering moving, do your homework, find a good community, or plan on creating one with people you know and trust.

Regards

 

Where are you located?

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Re: Can we reframe prosperity?
jerry_lee wrote:

A growing belief of mine is 'this has to be a 'we' thing....not a 'me' thing. For instance "What can/should WE do?" may result in an entirely different action set than "What should me and my family do?"

 

So how would you define 'prosperity', 'wealth' ?

 

Jerry,

I agree that it needs to be a "we" thing.  I believe that you can convey that to those in your congregation.  No matter what your religion, you are looked to as a leader and can find examples in your particular religion's writings that support the need to downsize and protect our future.  To me this goes hand in hand with redefining wealth and prosperity.  For me, I fight a battle of trying to open the eyes of my friends and famiy...I have very few that have developed an appreciation for what our future likely holds.  Therefore, I necessarily operate in the "me" much of the time and hope that those around me will become open to education at some point.

Sue had some nice thoughts on the "here and now".  For me, I am slowly coming to realize that wealth and prosperity center around being able to feed, shelter and defend myself, the company of people I enjoy and the abundance of nature.

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

Thanks Mark! You're right...there is an abundance of resources in my faith tradition for this task.

Now here's a  story of wealth and prosperity from my own experience.

*My children are both in their 20's, out of the nest  and living in other cities.

* I found myself in the last year or 2 befriending  people my children's age///probably a need to substitute a bit for the void of an empty nest.

* A young, energetic and talented organic farmer I patronize at the local market told me last Spring that he was branching out into beekeeping.

* I offered to come out to the farm and do a blessing of the bees. (Sounds a little off beat, but that's just me.)

*The day I went out to the farm for the bee blessing, Tom was taking his tomato plants out of his greenhouse and putting them into the ground.

* He felt appreciative of my efforts and he began handing me flats of organic tomatos. I ended up with maybe 60 plants, way more than I could ever plant in my 20 x 20 foot garden lot  ( Ialready had squash, peppers, beans etc.)

* I gave away half the plants and planted half.

*I had an abundant harvest and gave away as much as we ate ...mostly to other 20 somethings I was getting to know.

*Apart from the joys of harvest and sharing and making new friends, it recently has occurred to me....having young, energetic friends is a lot like having social security.

 

 

 

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

Just finished reading all of the above comments.  Very interesting, thankyou. Life will go on following the initial SHTF event(s). What the future will look like is very difficult to predict, and even more difficult to accurately prepare for.  As Chris says, "The next twenty years will be much different than the last twenty". This is a safe assumption. 

For me, the transition between the present (over-consuming, just-in-time, debt-based economy),  and what is to come, scares the "bejeebers" out of me. Eventually we will all be in the same boat. It's the difficult time between the sinking of the Titanic,   being the cold water and finally climbing into that "boat" that has me worried.  My initial concerns have been with working on transition skills and provisions; back-up food, water, fuel, and electricity, along with security, and community.  All of these with a mind to see me through to the next growing season.

Looking at events following the economic collapse in Argentina give some insight into the problems of the transition following   TSHTF.  Initially, sufficient food, water and imported items are in a concern.  Definitely those in urban areas are more affected, and those in rural settings, in stable communities less affected. An area of major concern in Argentina has been personal safety and security in both urban and rural settings.

In the United States it has been estimated that 30 million people are on anti-depressants.  When these people  don't receive their medications they tend to get mean. Add to that the inevitable failure of the social systems ability to feed the hungry through food assistance, and food banks. Then factor in accross the board reductions in enforcement agencies (police)  and you have "desperate times producing desperate people, who do desperate things" The pupose of considering safety and security issues is to keep desperate people from doing desperate things to you or your family - especially if you have prepared and have food.......and they don't.  What then?

 

 

 

 I

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Transition Towns in New Zealand

WEBSITE .. for contact

 

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

This thread points to a few differnet items.  On the one hand there is the fact that no man is an island and that together we are stronger. Very few people would disagree with this.  However, we live is a very hubris/ignorant etc society that over recent years has been driven to be more selfish and demanding of instant gratification, one only has to look at the recent credit crunch to realise this.  Also as a person who is sill current in the work place, I have little faith in most of my co-workers and can only rely on their duplicity, I think this holds for the wider society with a few pleasent exceptions.  Sorry if that sounds harsh!!  Once everything has been plundered, distances become more of a boundry
and this is where communities can start to be rebuilt with a degree of
safety and interdependancy.

The scenarios that could play out are many and varied and perhaps the most dangerous time is the first few days to few months when people realise the new reality and the plundering by many ill prepared people of anything they can get their hands on, this would definately be my own personal me/family time as no one would have their best interest at heart more than me as the husband/father to my wife and family. 

In the first instance be prepared to rely on yourself/family only, everything else would be a bonus.  Having camping stuff available is a bonus until there is a degree of calm, I can recommend looking at some of the survivalist sites for tips on equipment that would be needed in addition to the horticultural tools to cope with any sudden breakdowns. 

I have been starting to plan my scenarios including laying low and if necessary moving out though this would be my least prefered option.  My recommendation would be to get to know your local area, study maps, understand the water courses, the farms, forests, shops (people will dash for food, whereas I would go for any additional equipment needed) and highways.  Assess what other may do, work out the impact of what may happen and the likelihood.  We as a family have always grown some of our own vegetables etc and I have an interest in bushcraft, and I have learned how to make fire from first principles and some knowledge and experience of wide foods which would help to supplement, but things would be very very hard if one were to rely on this solely.

From a personal selfish view point, very few individuals have any idea of how nature functions and so this has to be to my advantage.  I intend passing this knowledge to my kids.  

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

Hi Amanda....  amazing to see Kiwis and Aussies mixing it here...!  Lucky you being in NZ.  If I had a choice, that's where I'd go.  Too damn hot here....  it was 40C yesterday (~105F I believe?)  Try growing lettuces in THAT heat!

Permaculture IS about what basic foods to grow.  These vary according to your climate of course, something I am still working out.  We grow sub-tropical things in summer, and European veggies in winter, but we are still fine tuning exactly what works, and frankly it all comes down to trial and error...

At least you're aware of Permaculture....  and if you haven't done one yet, do a PDC, best money you'll ever spend.

The ramifications of no electricity are mainly  lack of refrigeration.  The lack of TVs and computers will eventually be a good thing, though handy now to learn stuff and communicate.  So you will need to learn to process your own food for preservation (pickling, preserving, smoking, salting....) and grow stuff in season and eat it fresh.  Get a cow if you have enough water, or goats if you haven't. and learn to make cheese and yogurt.

Find local people who already know how to do this.  I was lucky that here in my neck of the woods we have one of the world's best Permaculture group (permaculturenoosa.com.au) full of enthusaistic and knowledgeable people.  I got on the committee and now edit the newsletter.

That's how you learn the stuff you need to know.....  CONNECTION!

Mike 

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Re: Collapse Survival - should we move and live rurally ?
oldvanman wrote:

Good afternoon,

 

If you are considering moving to the country do not make the mistakes I did.

We decided to move and bought a rural block that looked picturesque.

However...

There was no reliable water and although the native vegetation looked green, the soil is very poor, so being self sufficent is not likely,

Well that depends......  BECAUSE we picked somewhere to move to grow stuff, we investigated both SOIL and RAINFALL first.  We found rainfall maps on the 'net, and picked a really wet area.  So far we are 100% self sufficient in water, but we are also very efficient (more about that below)

FURTHERMORE, if you practice PERMACULTURE, the quality of the soil doesn't necessarily mean certain failure, only certain hard work!  Soil can be MADE.  I've seen Permies grow food on concrete slabs....

To do this you need INPUTS of course, someone elses's ENERGY, and you will almost certainly have to pay for it, though sometimes some people will let you steal their resources because they are unable to tell the difference between waste and resources..

To build up poor soils from scratch, you will need lots of chickens and hay.  You will also need to initially buy your own food, but ensure ALL the waste, scraps AND what goes down the toilet remains on your land....  so get yourself a composting toilet, or make one  http://jenkinspublishing.com/humanure_contents.html and http://jenkinspublishing.com/humanure.html

If there is anything at all for goats to eat, get some!  They will survive (not thrive perhaps) on anything, and their manure is also excellent stuff to use.  Learn to grow green manure too, and MULCH!  Make a worm farm..... 

oldvanman wrote:

Living costs are a lot higher and services much lower. Vehicle costs are over 30% of my income.

Internet access is sllooowwww.

Career opportunities are very limited, which results in low income.

RIGHT.....  if you move to the country expecting to live like in the city only different, well I have bad news for you: oldvanman is correct.  What you need to do is move to the country with the goal of changing all the things you do to live.  We don't exactly live in the sticks, because our village has a population of ~ 750, and we are within 5 miles of 'civilisation', and 20 miles of super civilisation.  100 miles to the big smoke.

BUY wisely.  In other words, buy CHEAP, and get out of debt.  I realise not everyone can do this, particularly youngsters who haven't yet amassed 'wealth'.  I was 50 when we bought our 1,5 acres.  We sold EVERYTHING of worth, and only kept 'personal assets'.  That got us out of debt, and set our budget.  So, we could not afford 40 acres (I don't recommend anything bigger than 2 acres actually).  It also set the budget for housing, so I built the house almost entirely myself, with some help from my son and friends and relatives as and when (rarely!) they could help.  I accepted all offers of assistance!  The result is that we paid $50,00 for the land, and I built the (fully solar powered) house (1450 sq ft) for under $100K.  If you use this site's search engine (damnthematrix permaculture solar) you will find loads of other posts...

oldvanman wrote:

The area is full of rednecks who are gun crazy and malicious with NO respect for law or order. Just about anything including livestock and machinery regularly disappear.

Crime is actually much worse in the rural areas and the Police have NO control on what is going on.

I hate to say this......  but that's why I wouldn't live in America.  Surely you picked a really bad area though...? 

oldvanman wrote:

On our property there are boundary errors which our conveyancer did not discover and which now prevent us selling.

REALLY?  YOU bought it...  why wouldn't someone else? 

oldvanman wrote:

If you are considering moving, do your homework, find a good community, or plan on creating one with people you know and trust.

Regards

It's a crying shame you have to tell us this in retrospect and after such a bad experience....  and I truly feel for you.  There's a lesson here folks......  We did our homework, and no way would we ever go back to the big smoke, especially now it's obvious TSWHTF in the short term.

Mike 

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Re: Collapse Survival - should we move and live rurally ?
James705ca wrote:

AmandaPops,

I'm moving in this direction myself and preparing by learning as much as I can in advance.

There seem to be two routes (or a combination) that you can go down. Try to be individually self-sufficient or become a farmer or work directly with farmers.

A disadvantage of trying to be individually self-sufficient is that you don't get the economies of scale of producing a particular item in quantity and then trading/selling within the community to get the other items that you need.

Here it's important to differentiate between what you NEED and what you WANT!  We don't trade anything we grow for 'stuff'.  I consuder we already have everything we WANT.

Consider what you NEED:  food, water, shelter.  I even consider electricity to be a luxury, a luxury we have paid for (in advance I might add, by purchasing solar panels).

NOTHING should go to waste.  Permaculture 101 means that EVERYTHING you grow should STAY on yourproperty.  If you sell anything, resources are leaving yourfarm, and will need replacing later, when it might not be possible to buy them again.  What will you do then.

It's important to understand that a farm is an energy and recources recycling system. This is why you MUST have a composting toilet as far as I'm concerned...  you don't want the minerals you ingeated from thefood you eat which came from YOUR soil to be flushed down the matrix never to be seen again.....  If you have a glut of cucumbers, feed them to the goats or chickes or ducks or whatever.  They then recycle the cucumbers into manure which you can put on your garden and grow tomatoes.... or corn, or whatever.  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...... 

James705ca wrote:

Here's an interesting book on the subject: The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It The Complete Back to Basics Guide by John Seymour.

An advantage of sustainable farming is that you can produce a tremendous amount of food and it provides you with an incredible opportunity to use your labor and the labor of others that would be interested in partnering with you. Since the value added part of farming is labor intensive (food processing) this makes a good match when society is creating a surplus of available labor as it is right now.

My favorite book on this subject is You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Start & Succeed in a Farming Enterprise by Joel Salatin. With just land, soil, sun, water, livestock you can produce high quality food that is the future that will trump agribusiness' unsustainable practices that simply won't work in a world of peak oil.

Personally, if we think that there is going to be a shortage of food I'd rather be producing a lot of it to feed the people that need it rather than just having enough for myself.

Fine.....  but they MUST work for YOU,  and they MUST use your toilet!  If you feed them, the energy from that food needs to be re-invested in the farm where the food was produced.

Mike Permaculture Nazi!

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Re: Collapse Survival - should we move and live rurally ?
Patrick Brown wrote:

 

Hi AmandaPops,

I also recommend The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It The Complete Back to Basics Guide by John Seymour.

Although I just cracked it, it is obviously a good book - crammed with illustrations and detailed farming, animal-raising and food-processing knowledge.

So far the biggest challenge I see in self-sustainment, as explained by Seymour, is that it is very difficult to grow all the things you need yourself.<SNIP>

That's not the point Patrick....  Growing what you need, and what you want, or more precisely what you now take for granted are two greatly different things!

We can currently eat stuff grown out of season half way 'round the world, thanks to Fossil Fuels....  but that will soon end.

Like I keep saying in the hundreds of posts I have now generated, we must change EVERYTHING we do, including what we eat.

Sure, we eat tomatoes and eggs and corn, and.....  but we are starting to grow things you can't even buy in shops, like Arrowroot (great alternative to potatoes) Black and White Sapotes (yummy fruit), Pigeon Peas (lentil like food that grows on a tree), Cassava and sweet potatoes for their tubers.  The Matrix has programmed us to a very small range of foods, and that must change.....

Change is coming, and we must change with it.

Mike 

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

Start a Transition Town movement.......

If your neighbou's straving, feed him/her.  And the baby.  But insist that in exchange they will have to work for you, and you will show them how to work for themselves...

The alternatives are not even worth considering.

Mike 

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

There is one thing we all need to remember here........  No one gets out of this game alive.  It's HOW you check out that matters.

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