Hunger Game

My family and I were watching “Hungry in America” (or something like that) the other night, and it really brought home the importance of my blog. We need to have our act together before we actually need to. There was a family that lives in my neighborhood that was struggling to get food on the table. What if I had started prepping to be resilient 2 years ago? I could be helping to feed them fresh veggies and blackberries right now. What if I had started my blog two years ago and he had started taking the steps I’m taking two years ago? He wouldn’t be struggling to eat right now, at least not struggling as much. Planting a garden after I lose my job and my family is hungry isn’t going to help much.

There was another family in which the mom was obese. Her story wasn’t that she couldn’t feed her kids (obviously), she was saying that she couldn’t afford to feed them proper nutrition because it was cost prohibitive on food stamps. Because of this her kids were always sick. One had been sick nonstop for some extended period of time. I personally think that eating less food that is nutrient dense is better for you than keeping your belly full of non-nutritious food. I also think someone that is obese should eat less so that there is more to spend on nutritious food for the kids. I also couldn’t help but be angry that it never occurred to her to do some foraging research to find out if there were any nutritious plants growing wild that she could eat, like dandelions. Hello lady! Dandelions grow everywhere and they are a vegetable!

I stayed po’d pretty much the whole time I watched the show because the premise was that the government has the resources and should be feeding the kids of this country. No kid should be going hungry, I agree. Not in the richest nation in the world. But the problem isn’t that kids are going hungry, it’s that as a society we are helpless without money. The “Permaculture Prime Directive” states (and rightly so) that we are to take responsibility for our own existence, and that of our children. Take care of the Earth, take care of people, and return the surplus – recycle the waste. Unfortunately everyone believes the only way to do that is to have a good job. We have been programmed to believe that the only resource is money – that everything we need we have to buy. There was a time when the purpose of money was to fill in the gaps, to provide us with the things we couldn’t provide for ourselves. Food is not one of those things.
That program really drove home the need to not only stay vigilant about getting my garden going successfully, but also to get others educated as well. You have to be able to feed yourself if you ever want to be free and have liberty. If someone else feeds you, or you depend on someone else in order to provide food for yourself and your family, you are their servant. You can not do things they disapprove of or they will take away the means by which you attain your food. That is not liberty, and that is not freedom; that is slavery (bondage).

I have used this quote before, but it is extremely appropriate here:
“If we wait for the governments, it’ll be too little, too late; if we act as individuals, it’ll be too little; but if we act as communities, it might just be enough, just in time.” – Rob Hopkins, founder of the Transition Town movement.

In no way, shape, or form do I have the time I need to dedicate to my garden, but I refuse to sit back and do nothing and just hope I will always have the finances I need to survive. I am prepping for my independence no matter how slow the progress or how small the steps. And I’m doing it in a way that is sustainable. This is my attempt at hugelkultur. I also have a soaker hose running through my garden to hopefully mitigate the effects of this summers drought. (cause you know it’s comin!)

I’M BACK

I haven’t written in a while for a couple of reasons: one I just haven’t been that inspired, probably because I am exhausted and life/work has been quite demanding; and two I can only do it when Robin isn’t around because she hates me blogging/journaling as much as she hates my truck.

Just for clarification, I paid $1500 for my truck and have since put about another $1500 in it. So overall I have spent $3000 on a truck with a full (8 foot) bed, a manual transmission and an inline six engine. The thing is practically a tractor. It is a power house beast that’ll last forever. She hates it because it is ugly, and thinks I should have used the money to apply toward a credit card. If you ask me the truck is well on its way to paying for itself. We have used it many times for things like hauling stuff to the dump, bringing home the television armoire she bought used (no delivery option and it wouldn’t fit in anything but the truck due to its size and weight – it couldn’t be laid on its side without risking structural integrity), and bringing home a pallet of sod. I wouldn’t feel comfortable asking to use the neighbor’s minivan to fill with sod.

So back to my original point, I have to post in secret unless I want to deal with a bunch of attitude. She thinks that it is time that could be better spent finding another job in fortune 500 CorpAmerika. She just won’t accept that my blog serves any kind of purpose other than wasting my time. She thinks it’s about as useful as watching reruns of “Friends”, so I must get up early enough to do my posts by 6:30 AM. Like I say in my tag line, “…No Money, No Time, and An Unsupportive Spouse.” Thing is, I may one day want to create a blog that generates revenue because I am a huge believer in multiple revenue streams. In fact, that is a concept I am teaching my kids because that may be the only way many in their generation will be able to do more than just scrape buy. Redundancy implies resilience. This blog is a perfect training ground for that.

Another thing is: the more people I can show how to get on the road to liberty and resilience, the less power the current centralized systems have. Options are power, and the larger the community the more power it has. Many people look at what others are doing and have accomplished and feel like it is out of reach for them to do that. This blog shows them the baby steps that I am taking are steps almost anyone can take. That gives people hope and direction, which then brings them into the resilience community. But we must take action as individuals in order for the community to be viable. For me right now, if my job goes away, I am dead in the water. I have nothing in place to mitigate that catastrophe so I would be nothing more than a burden in that community, which by definition would mean I am not part of that community at all. I am still completely dependent upon the corporate payroll system and the just-in-time grocery system to meet my needs. That must change. I must get back up systems in place – and so must you!

Action

  • Took my youngest with me to buy some more raw milk from a local farm. [Supporting local community, supporting small farming, improving health through quality food. Also showing by example the importance of buying local and natural]

“If we wait for the governments, it’ll be too little, too late; if we act as individuals, it’ll be too little; but if we act as communities, it might just be enough, just in time.” – Rob Hopkins, founder of the Transition Town movement.

GETTING STARTED

I keep allowing myself to get distracted by all of the different preps that can be undertaken. Some of that is due to my paranoid nature, and some is due to the allure of being completely independent and self-sufficient. Some of it is the appeal of learning some forgotten skill set, something that makes me unique and would make me needed and vital should something occur that would require that skill set. It’s like being the keeper of knowledge, Indiana Jones or Tomb Raider style.

But alas, I need to stay focused on my top 3 priorities. Many preps are for complete independence from the system, or for total collapse; for instance, making my own fuel. But what about starting my garden, where does it land on the list of priorities? It isn’t going to do much for cutting the grocery expense, but it has a lot more value (utility) in helping me achieve my number one priority – health. So it is important to ask: How much will an endeavor I want to undertake help in achieving my goals vs. the effort and input required to accomplish it? How much value will it provide? Should it be a higher or lower priority than some less exciting goal like getting my resume updated? I can only make these decisions for my own situation, everyone is going to have a different priority/pressing need.

My three main goals that I have identified are: Health, Cash Flow, and Storm Preparedness. Beyond that each of these can be broken into subcategories. Health can be broken down into Nutrition, Exercise, mental health, Dr checkups, and procedures; cash flow can be reduce expenses and increase cash flow (which can be further broken down into multiple revenue streams, overtime, new job, etc); and storm preparedness can be broken down into first aid kit, tornado plan and supplies, loss of electricity.

Some preps have “crossover” value, meaning they can provide resilience for multiple scenarios or they meet multiple goals. The first aid kit is a perfect example. So is a garden. As mentioned above, it can provide quality food as well as exercise, it can reduce the grocery expense, it can feed the family in times of crisis. In fact, Jack Spirko at TSP said something profound along those very lines in his podcast from 12/21/11: “If you can not feed yourself, you do not have liberty.” Think about it, if someone else feeds you, or you depend on someone else in order to provide food for you and your family, you are their servant. You cannot do things they disapprove of or they will take away your ability to survive. That is not liberty and that is not freedom; that is slavery (bondage).

With all that in mind, I have started exercising and am starting a garden. Here is what I am starting with:

Back and Side Fence

Black Berry Bush