Homesteading 101: Prepping and Beyond By John Steele
In articles to come I will be dealing with the Plan C, or is it Plan D (?), strategy of prepping for coming disasters, collapses or just the Spenglerian processes of social entropy that have taken down all previous civilisations. I know that the great majority of us expect that the world which we see today, and enjoy with its technological creature comforts will continue into the future, forever. Yet, it may not, and breakdown in some places of the world has been rapid, and there is even argument that the fall of Rome was quicker than most scholars think, due to migration and barbarian invasions, rather than just some particular economic libertarian reason like more taxes:
The strategy of many has been to go “off grid,” and to homestead, trying to be a self-reliant, if not self-sufficient as possible. The American sites celebrate this, but often are too preoccupied with firearms questions to produce in depth discussions of just how hard it is to do this, even to grow one’s own food. I have sorted through a long list of internet sites to now cite some realistic appreciations of these difficulties:
Here is a good comment attached to the above article which shows some of the difficulties going off grid raises:
“While the intent of this post may be good, it is a long way from being realistic. Those with actual experience with raising cattle, goats, chickens, gardens, etc. have to be laughing at how easy this writer makes it sound to provide meat and vegetables for the family. The yields from the various animals are simply not accurate. There is no consideration given to securing grain and hay for the animals, vital to maintaining them in months with low forage and winter conditions. Ever milked a cow or goat in poor condition? I can tell you from experience it takes a lot of good nutrition for a mother to just feed their offspring, let alone produce for the family.
Just try getting nine gallons of milk from your cow and an egg per hen every day on poor nutrition. Further, how easy would it be to protect these animals from other starving people, even at night in sleet storms and freezing temps? Grinding the hamburger? Storing fresh killed meat in the summer? I heat exclusively with wood I cut, season and house. While it “can” be done with an axe, not using a chainsaw because of noise is the advice of someone with a heat pump. Any experience with gardening on a large scale? Bugs, storms, predators, thieves, and fungus await. Heirloom seeds and seed saving?
Enough details, we won’t talk about time and resources spent in self defense, garden and animal protection round the clock, tilling the garden with a hoe and mattock instead of that noisy tractor, and so on. I have lived this stuff for years, and giving people a pie in the sky example is a disservice. The problems faced with every topic in this article are real, and grow exponentially in a survival situation. My advice is to live it now, and be prepared for lots of hard work, losses, failures and more hard work.”
I would agree with that. But, one can start now doing a little in one’s present home to become more self-reliant and reduce costs, because there are not going to be more jobs, or money for people like us. You do not need to go full apocalypse to appreciate the need to reduce one’s consumption to save money and adopt a more minimalist lifestyle.
This week to get your feet moving here are some sites that provide links to a whole range of prepper sites, some good, some of mixed quality:
I like to wander around the sites and spot graze, taking bits from here and there.