I just spent most of the last two weeks getting my ass kicked by a virus. When I was feeling like I might live but still too weak to be worth a damn I spent a lot of time catching up on news at home and around the world. We don’t have tv at our home (by design) so most of this was reading online.
When you are working ‘can see to can’t see’ a lot of stuff slips right past you on the periphery of your consciousness. When you take the time to bring it into focus, it’s kind of like seeing a kid when they’re say ten years old and then not seeing them for half a year and you go, “Who the hell is this?” they’ve changed so much. Well I went, hoolleee shit, stuff has really gone in the crapper since I last took the time to really examine things.
I challenge you to back up from your day to day, 24/7 news coverage and compare where you are, and the rest of the world is, compared to last year at this same time. Then compare it to a year before that and just keep going. It will be downright scary. Each day things are just a little worse compared to the day before and we all get so busy that it fails to register, nothing is getting better anymore. Our rights have been trampled, our money, what little we have left, is becoming worthless, stocks are imploding all around the world, shipping is down and the cost of virtually everything is going up. If I tell a crass joke I’m at risk of being cited for racist or some other kind of speech.
A therein is where being scared comes into this food growing thing. There’s an old joke “It’s not the fall that kills you, it’s the sudden stop at the bottom”. After getting caught up on the news these past weeks I’ve come to the conclusion the entire world is in free fall. If you are not mentally, spiritually, physically, skills, supplies, tools and group ready for the sudden stop that’s coming up, your existence is going to be in a world of hurt.
I’ve shared a little about growing a truck garden. I almost feel I’ve done you a disservice in sharing this information because it is only part of the picture, a small part of the picture.
I want you to, as soon as you finish reading the next couple of sentences, to do what I ask you to do, really do it – then come back to this article. Go into your kitchen or pantry and open the door to your storage cupboards. Take an inventory of what you can’t live without, then inventory what you don’t want to live without. Do the same thing with your refrigerator. Now add in the things that you are out of and need to run to the store to get. I’ll do the same thing here. After you are done come back to this article.
Ok, I’m back and as much as I hate to say it, I’ll bet the vast majority of you never bothered to move away from the computer. I’ve shared this before, don’t remember if it was here or not but when the crash happens I don’t want to just survive, I want to enjoy life. Come a Sunday morning I don’t want instant oatmeal from a foil package for breakfast. I want a two egg omelet with bacon and diced tomatoes, diced peppers, chopped mushrooms, a spoon or two of cottage cheese, maybe a sprinkling of sausage, fresh grated cheddar cheese, a healthy dose of sour cream and several shots of tobasco sauce. Which would you rather have? How about a strawberry waffle smothered in fresh butter and whipped topping? Maybe bacon, two eggs over easy and hashbrowns with a short stack beside ’em. These menu options sure beats those survival rations.
Back to our list of food things from the kitchen (or even our list of ingredients for the above few meals). How many of them do you know how to grow, raise or make? How many of them are you prepared to do starting tomorrow? Folks, I have to tell you, and maybe I’m preaching to the choir, but most of you aren’t ready for the coming shit storm and your group, if you have one, isn’t ready either. They probably think they are because they’re all up on their SUT and have a whole armory of AR15’s and ammo by the pallet load. They don’t have just a first aid kit, everyone of theirs is a IFAK. They have comms and battle plans and night vision and….
Here’s how the coming crash is going to get you and it’s not because you don’t have enough beans, bullets and band aids. It will get you because, without of lifetime of experience doing it, you can’t do it all and the people you have helping you won’t care as much you do about what needs to be done. I had a guy covering chores for me while I was down. He only had time to do just the minimum each day, checking the water and feeding stock. This still took him about four hours each day. All the other things just kind of slid on by because there was no one to pay attention. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bitching about the job he did and he did it without complaint on top of his own full schedule.
But Friday I get out to the barn and damned if a milk cow, who was due to drop a calf next month, hasn’t dropped twin calves, a little bull and a little heifer, in the barn. They’re both at least two days dead. Now I’m not going to say if I was up and about that they would have lived but when you are around stock day in and day out you just naturally keep track of how they’re doing. I most likely would have noticed something was going on with her. Not only that but the afterbirth has hung up in her and rotten afterbirth makes a skunk smell like the sweetest perfume. I had to go in, pop the button and clean her out, a nasty bit work let me tell you. Anyway, two lost beef animals, a cow that has come fresh and not been milked in three days. A whole lot of grief.
Later I’m taking a walk around what I call the home place and over in a corner, hidden out of sight, is a ewe on her back in a small depression in the ground, she’s deader than a doornail. She was due to lamb any day now. Hell’s bells and panther tracks, I don’t need any more bad news. Between the calves and ewe the coyotes will be eating well tonight.
This is what is going to get you in the long term when you are surviving. Your one and only of anything is going to die, fail, break or what have you and all you’ll be left with is a big dumb look on your face as you realize you may as well bend over, put your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye.
Folks if you haven’t already, you better be putting together a knowledge base of information in hard form. You better be making the time available to practice putting that knowledge to use. You better be learning how to make things, not just what you eat. You better be learning how to do things.
When I had to clean the cow out I had a fellow with me that has nearly seventy years of country living under his belt. He’s one of the most widely read guys I know and he had no idea what to do to deal with hung afterbirth.
You better be thinking about where your meat, poultry and dairy as well as your garden veggies is going to come from. You better be learning how to be a mechanic and how mechanical things work. You better be developing an understanding of electricity, water, energy and medicine, shit the list is almost endless, or you better be looking for people to include in your group that has this kind of knowledge.
Folks, I’m scared for you, and you’re out of time.
PS as soon as Wirecutter figures out how to get the seed starting article up I have a couple of food growing articles lined out to follow it, I promise.