Category5

The Doom Loop

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Published on Dark Green Mountain Project on August 26, 2018

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Just a time sensitive quicky today  A few articles showed up that were worth reading… if only to show how far we have gotten into The Doom Loop.

Its chilly out there this morning. Sort of a premature fall. Its sort of nice after that blistering heat wave. There lies the problem. The sigh of relief and subconscious desire for things to return to normal. A time to forget. A return to slumber. To apathy.

Its chilly because smoke from the west coast made it all the way to the east coast, a rather large continent away.

… But before I get there. A special hello and welcome to anyone trickling in from Peak Oil News  https://peakoil.com/. They posted my last article. People seem to like my rants more than my survival advice. I noticed my article was shoe horned in between Ugo Bardi at Cassandra’s Legacy and John Michael Greer. That was flattering. I guess I am now sitting at the grown ups table.

The real reason for this article was just to re-post another article which was definitely the best read of the month. -When I woke up this week, the sun was blocked out by smoke.

https://www.resilience.org/stories/2018-08-22/when-i-woke-up-this-week-the-sun-was-blocked-out-by-smoke/

Now, both MrsC5 and myself have been much more depressed than usual, this summer. I realize it had a lot to do with the heat. A weakened body leads to a weakened mind. Less resilience. No used getting into that here. But alot of where our minds were going to, is just how awful humans are. The shear, Evily Evil Evilness of 7.65 billion people and growing, being evil. The planet used to be able to absorb our evil. Not any more. Ugo Bardi pointed out a quote by Gandhi,

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”

Ugo then points out the problem with this thinking is that, back when Gandhi said this, the world only had 2.5 billion people in it. That was before we entered the doom loop.

Its not the super villain, Jeffrey Dahmer, Trump, type of evil that gets to me. Its the banality of human evil. The mom and pop, middle class, soccer mom evil. The little compromises and purchases and shortcuts and genocides happening somewhere else and intentional blindness. Little evils… with 2% compounding interest.  That is the real evil. We don’t see it because we don’t want to see it, and we tell ourselves little narratives to justify why we are not really evil. Its other people. Where the story really picks up though is when supper villain meets soccer mom.

Which leads to the number two read. -Why is it so easy to deceive people?

https://cassandralegacy.blogspot.com/2018/08/why-is-it-so-easy-to-deceive-people.html

( My answer. Because they want to be deceived to avoid all that uncomfortable introspection. He shows you the how. I tell you the why )

The good news is that all that heat and now smoke has been shaking more of the soccer mom evil types of people. The subject of hothouse earth, feedback doom loops, finally went mainstream media news over the last few months.

Soooo. Lets do a subject jump. Another banality of evil… with two percent compounding interest…

Preppers have been getting on my nerves lately. Don’t get me wrong. People have been calling me “Super Prepper” lately. Its the weird obsessive compulsive fantasies that they secretly hope for to justify their banal evilyness… like “Martial Law is coming” or “Collapse is coming”. Like man made climate chaos, they have trouble seeing that it is already here and they just got used to it. Its just not nearly as exiting as the movies.

The more paranoia inclined, less mentally stable, drone on and on about secret FEMA camps.   FEMA camps are actually real. They are called “PRISONS”. And they are generally filled with poor people. Cough…

So, here is your next very insightful read. -Battle Field America

https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/battlefield_america_the_ongoing_war_on_the_american_people

Now, I live in cana’duh. I wont even visit the States anymore. Won’t even do a plane change there. I’m done with them. Far too Sketch.

But it has been on my mind since seeing the Mounties got their assault rifles. Now they have high capacity magazines proudly on display on their ever increasing tactical vests. Disgusting. I recognize an occupational army/ organized crime group, when I see one. I don’t want to hear about the dangerous job they do. Statistically, its a far safer job than any of the jobs I have done. You are far more likely to die in any labor related job. Most cop deaths are from driving accidents, health or suicides. But its the cult like brainwashing and the shear banality of evil that makes this particularly dangerous. As I age, its the groomed, fresh, pimply faces behind all that tactical gear that spires my mind towards hitler youth posters.

Soooo…. if you really want to be scared about something, mix that last article with this article…

https://www.bellingcat.com/news/americas/2018/08/17/fascist-activists-spent-last-year-trying-win-police/

The depressing thing is that I have always known that was coming since my pre teen years. I’m not surprised. Its matching my timeline. Sucks to be right all the time. There is no mystery to life anymore.

On a personal note, I saw this future in a fever dream. In it, I was an old man, beyond warrior years to resist. I was forced to serve these fuckers. It stuck with me. With that said, Metalica comes to DJ-C5s mind.

 

For everyone’s information, if you ever wonder what I was going to do with the donations from this page and how I would use it for future experiments, You Readers gave enough to purchase this small motor.

donation

And this small upgrade that comes from Australia. Pull the pins and it works like a regular bike again, albeit a much heavier bike.

donation 2

1 liter should get 100 kms. That is the point. It gives new meaning to the idea of being a 1% motorcycle club

Here is the reasoning. Our nearest grocery store is about 50Km away. That means a liter should get us there and back. Gas is about 1.25$ a liter at the moment. So we can do a supply run for 1.25. As the economy breaks down and people can no longer afford the costs associated with a vehicle, we are trying to figure out if this will be helpful. And if gas supplies are promptly shut off, a 20ltr gas can from my fuel storage, might provide 20 supply trips into town…. or 20 commutes to a low paying job.

I will do a full article once it has had some hard work under its belt to judge whether it is practical for actual work. I have to work it hard for months before giving my thoughts on it. I set the rest of the bike up for grocery\cargo hauling. I call this rear set up “The poor mans long tail”. That is part of what this is about. The engine and upgraded parts cost less than 300$ canadian. This will be a Part Two of this article from South America.

https://darkgreenmountainsurvivalresearchcentre.wordpress.com/2017/05/07/c5-survival-advice-part-4-on-motorised-bicycles-from-south-america/

Now, this is MrsC5’s experiment of the year. She got her HEMP growing license this year.

hemp

I was not impressed with this idea. See the article on militarized police. My experience with cops… is incompetence (I am being very generous there. I see the world bottom up) . To avoid me or my dog getting shot because “I was resisting” or they “Felt their life was in danger”, first job of the year had me dangerously climbing on the roof of the barn and painting the permit number in REALLY BIG FUCKING LETTERS and then hanging a copy on the door. By the way, you would have to smoke a telephone pole of that to get high.

Speaking of which, Canada has now ended pot prohibition. You can now buy it at the government liquor store. Thank gods that evily evil clusterfuck is finally over. Its one of the only reasons that could get me to stand to sing Oh Canada. Still, don’t be fooled. As I predicted, It was not legalized. It was corporatized. This does nothing to help poor, small, mom and pop farmers in rural communities. The profits go to the 1% instead of 1% motorcycle gangs. That”s all.

So, that was a small test plot for MrsC5 to experiment with fiber. I lost my reticence once I saw the chickens go parahna over those fat filled seeds. I may have finally found an easy to grow source of chicken feed. Now I just have to figure out a how to harvest it.

You can also see we screwed up the test plot. It grew so successfully that it was choking itself out. We have to hand cast much  lighter so they have less competition. We now have to harvest this week because the chickens, in feeding frenzy mode, are getting over the fence to pull down the stalks to get to the seeds. Its all part of getting over the learning curve.

Speaking of which, we finally had some corn success… using the Three Sisters method. Corn, beans and squash together. (Beans grow up the corn. Corn moderates temperature by providing shade. Squash shades out weeds and slows soil moisture evaporation)

3 sis

We put it where the pigs used to be. It needed the fertilizer. What that means is, SHTF, if you don’t have animals for fertilizer, forget all about corn. Its a heavy feeder.

Further thoughts on the disaster of this years weather. All plants, wild or planted, are looking rough this year. New diseases have swept through that we haven’t had to deal with before. Stressed plants are more susceptible to disease. Healthy plant would be able to fight those infections off. That is the short form. There were secondary knock off, unanticipated problems as well. We got very few sour cherries this year and lost them all. The birds took them because they were starving. The wild service berry trees didn’t produce and that is the heavier fruit they would prefer. I also cant believe I would ever complain about the lack of bugs here. But less bugs means less pollination and less birds. There was alot of strange birds I hadn’t seen before, here in the spring. They aint here now.

One last photo. We finally got the windmill base cemented in a couple of days ago. Not much to see but I will fill in the blanks.

windapult

Its for the base of what I am calling a Windapult until I come up with a better name. From the mind of C5. The future tower should go up into place like a catapult. There will be a counter weight. I want me to be able to take the entire windmill down in a storm, by hand, without a tractor or mechanical assistance. We have wicked winds here. I have a Friend that lost his during a hurricane.  Another, where this blades just shattered when it spun apart. An ice storm is also a destroyer of wind engines because the blades go off balance and destroy internal parts. Plus, I want to be able to easily take the turbine down  for maintenance or repair. I’l ad a second base to act as a catchers mit so if the tower lines break in a storm and it comes down, that the turbine wont smash on the ground. As a bonus, the tower parts are from recycled material since we cant afford a commercial made tower. I was given an impossible task… but that is what I do. It’s all I do.

Mythos, and someone new to the crew, I will just call Jesus, came over to help me mix concrete by hand for the first time. It was quality boy time… with beer. Practical social male bonding. We work well as a team and I have sort of finally founds a group of equals. I’ll continue the man party next week, over at Mythos place because he needs help with mixing large quantities of Cob mix (Article to follow) and the week after that over at Jesus’s  Mini home build.(He looks nothing like jesus)

I bring this up because Jesus recounted a story of him talking with the boys at work in the warehouse where he lifts heavy objects. When asked what he was doing this weekend, he said he was exited about helping on a wind tower build because he had no experience in that and wanted to learn. On Que, the corn poned  worker of the group ranted, “What. Why are you doing that hippy shit”.

And those words stuck in both myself and MrsC5. It keeps rolling around in our heads. A psychic assault. A reminder of those 4 article I re-posted above.

The shear banality of evil.

I don’t talk about it on this blog, but there is a reason MrsC5 and myself are armed to the fucking tits. It’s because we know, when we do the right actions and adaptations, others that have not will project their weakness outward and that banal, shear Evily Evil Evilness will , instinctively, want… Need…. to stomp it out.

Lets end this with one last practical prepping update. My living fence is doing very well. https://darkgreenmountainsurvivalresearchcentre.wordpress.com/2018/04/18/c5-says-build-me-a-wall-permaculture-style/     Root taking is at least a 95% success rate. I did learn some stuff though. I had some failures in other parts of the property. The big mistake was the smaller cuttings I put in. They grew just fine. Then the deer said, “Thanks for the fresh browsing greens”. Deer keep forests at bay by eating fresh shoots more than grass. We have plenty of self seeded fruit trees around the property that may be decades old but never get past knee high. Some day I will put fences around them so they can get past browsing height. Same goes with the willow. We learned that when we do season two of willow planting, all willow spikes must be taller than deer head browsing height. Lesson learned for next springs continuation of the job to surround the house and get old watching my palisade grow.

willow growth

So much for this being a quick article. I’ve been at this all day. I better get out there and do something. I think I will begin harvesting the hemp seeds before the chickens get it all.

If all of this gets you down, tomorrow we have to do this with one of our hens that we noticed was on the edge of death and needed rescue. BTW, 12 chicks born this year. Culling to follow.

If you would like to give a Tip for writing services rendered or to support the cause, go to the top of the page and hit, “Giving just the Tip”.  All “Tips” go towards material costs for future experiments.

Its Not The Heat. It’s The Stupidity

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on August 8, 2018

flood

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C5 Says, Its Not The Heat. It’s The Stupidity

 

With your sweaty host, Category5.

(Thanks, J.T., J.S. and T.M. for the donations. Its been put to good use for a future article)

 

There is only one subject worth talking about. THE subject. The Heat.

Ya. I know I said I wouldn’t be back till the winter once all the chores and Honey, Do before the Apocalypse, lists of the year.

Much of those tasks haven’t been getting done though. It’s TOO FUCKING HOT. I have been bogging down. It has been like trying to build things while dog paddling through a swimming pool of humidity. I feel like Golom. “The light. It Burns me, Precious”. I have been hiding out in the house to avoid dying. I work in 15-20 minute spurts, then come back into the house drenched in sweat. Sweat that does not evaporate. That does not cool the body.

More so, there is almost no wind. The irony is, one of those, Honey, Do tasks is to build a short tower to put up the wind generator that has been sitting in storage for the last 5 years. We live on a wind path… but no wind.

Stationary weather fronts. The jet stream bogs down. It is the exact same issue that made last winter, fucked up cold.

It was nice that people kept revisiting my epic drunken rant, C5 Explains Why It Is So Fucking Cold, https://darkgreenmountainsurvivalresearchcentre.wordpress.com/2017/12/31/c5-explains-once-again-why-it-is-so-fucking-cold-2017-2018-its-hurricane-harvey-part-ii-stupid/

I only bring it up because I pointed out how that cold was related to last years heat and hurricanes. This year is no different. It is connected. The weather didn’t magically appear from the sky god. WE did this. We all did it. I did it. I accept responsibility for my part.

Still, some of the things I have heard said make me face palm. Its not the heat. Its the stupidity.

One of those epic face palm moments, was a popular article that got around that said something like, “We cant fully attribute this heat wave to global warming. Its also about the warm oceans and the jet stream…To early to tell…”

ARE……..YOU………..FUCKING………KIDDING ME! Well, bend me over and fuck me slowly. Clearly, the human race is too stupid to live. It takes “A Special Kind Of Stupid” to not be able to connect the warm ocean to heat or jet stream to warm air and ocean.

 

Its not even worth me wasting my time to complain about the tighty whity righty, man made global warming deniers.

The Super Face Palm inspiring moments are coming from the denialist LEFTIES. You heard me correct. The lefties. The progressives. The ones who’s personal identity of moral superiority comes with the idea that they believe in global warming and they are fighting those evil capitalists. Yup. They have a different type of denial. going on… but it is just as lethal… if not more. The devil is in the details.

Denial- Wind and Solar power will save us. Electric cars will save us. Revolution against the capitalists or nationalists or republicans will save us. The right type of government will save us. Technology that doesn’t exist will save us.

I call this DENIAL, not because of the impossibility of those things happening, but because its deceptively passive. They are not doing the needful because… the devil in the details… they are waiting for someone else to save them while doing NOTHING. Its in the descriptive parameters of the phrasing.

Scientists aren’t going to save you. The technology doesn’t exist for a reason…because it doesn’t exist. Worse, by repeating this shit over and over, its teaching others to be passive…waiting for salvation, while putting all their focus on blaming others and politicing.

And that gets us to our first read. Other than that the heat is present constantly in my thinking as I wade through my own survival adaptions… and just strait up survival, the reason I decided to do this post… instead of just waiting for the winter to write… was to post this article-

Time For Some Climate Honesty-Half Truths Are Doing No Good- once again, by Chris Martenson

https://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/114254/time-some-climate-honesty

Another Honorable Mention read, encase you missed it.

https://www.resilience.org/stories/2018-08-02/global-heatwave-is-symptom-of-early-stage-cycle-of-civilisational-collapse/

(Finally, Civilizational collapse is tied in… but he ruins it at the end with the worn out “Solution”)

Before I get to the final read, there is one other face palm moment I hear from The Denialist Progressives. Its, “We cant address Climate Change till we address inequality”.

Though, it is a logical position, it’s sort of like saying we will wait until Jesus returns and the Kingdom comes down to earth. Inequality aint going away. Its baked into the cake. In fact, it’s about to get a whole lot worse with climate change.

Hey, “Save as many as you can” is one of my catch phrases. But once you have saved as many as you can, if you take just one more person, everyone dies. You row the lifeboat away from the drowning before they overwhelm the lifeboat. You close the gate and put armed guards in the towers. Its hard to hear…but it really is the only “Moral” option left.

So, this next awkward read goes into the, “I am trying to scare the shit out of you”, category, to shake you from DENIAL. Consider it an intervention.

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php/topic,11419.msg159010.html#msg159010        (Scroll down once you get there)

Top lines to pay attention to are- “Just like that….. there’s hundreds of millions on the way when things get bad enough.

They will overwhelm the borders, and “society” will double in size over a few short weeks… collapsing all infrastructure – water, sanitation, roads, housing, police…..

The police were stretched with the 60 million people of the UK, they are completely ineffective at 110 million.

The UN can only drop aid by air, and gangs form, most people getting no food, the gangs hording everything.

The army can’t enter due to world condemnation of military involvement.

People starve, crime is rampant, disease everywhere.

And in one short month, society is reduced to the level it would be after a nuke attack.”

 

And that’s just scratching the surface. Consider the social chaos we have recently seen as people freak out over a few million refugees. Now change millions to billions as large swaths of the earths surface can no longer sustain life, and what can sustain life, can’t feed them without being stripped of future life or  regenerative sustainability. The real issue isn’t really carbon input. Its too many humans. Humans that cannot survive… if not for all that carbon input.

And that is why no body is in any big rush to halt Anthropomorphic Climate Change.

Just a reminder. The heat this year is the result of carbon inputs from  30 years ago. This is as good as it will ever be. If you cut off all industrial society today, ALL of it, You still have 30 more years of warming to happen (not including the feedback loops of methane… and ozone depletion)  just to stop from getting worse and it will remain that way for umpteen thousands of years.

All the worst parts of the Book of Revelations comes to mind.

 

 

So…what am I doing to save my own life, back on my doomstead. Back to the irony of me putting up this wind tower. I haven’t been all that exited about doing this job.. One of the down sides of wind power (besides the battery storage issues) is that it is a mechanical device. That means, they wear out quickly. It will require lots of upkeep and replacement parts. Parts mined, shipped, industrial manufactured, shipped again, warehoused and shipped again. Its nothing remotely close to renewable or carbon friendly. Lets not fool ourselves. I don’t. But it will make a cool lawn ornament that will be the envy of our morally superior progressive friends and  paranoid, tighty righty survivalists alike. I just wont tell them when it breaks down and it’s really just just a huge lawn Whirly Gig. Hopefully, it doesn’t launch itself into our, also very sexy, solar panels or greenhouse, during the next hurricane, super storm or micro-burst…. or burst into flames from lack of oiling, spewing burning plastics into the tinder dry grasses, right at the point of high winds.

This year has all been about upgrades to do with super storms. Next year, I have decided to completely change direction and fully put my mind to FIRE STORMS… because that is also coming. That is even more daunting.

So….What have I really been doing to save my own life? Yesterday, I began opening a hole in the floor of our house to get underneath. I can only belly crawl to a few places. I have been digging on my belly, hopefully getting to the place where I have a place to sit upright in the cooler earth. I’ll dig a small test hole to see if it just fills with melt water next spring before risking digging further. We’ll see.

Well, back to my hidey hole. See you in the winter unless some other disaster forces my pen.

Flood_destroying_the_world

 

 

SHTF Driving- Or, C5 Turns A Honda Civic Into A Truck

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on June 28, 2018

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shtf 1

 

(Special welcome to the regular reader coming in from Ecuador. You know what I’m talking about).  This should be a fun read today with lots of twists and turns.

 

I thought I would toss up these couple of Glam Shots to make a point. This is how MrsC5 first found me. I had some of these shots taken just in case I ever decided to tell the whole story

The reason I put up these “Me so manly. I’d do me”, shots is to provide myself a bit of Gear Head Cred… because I know some truck and NASCAR guys are going to have a bit o’ trouble hearing my Survival Training, philosophy and advice here. I get it. Most things that get people miffed are because of “Previous Investment” or our self identifying “Sacred Mythologies”.

So, I have a new survival rule for you.

C5 Rule of Survival- People ask me, What is “The Best” survival product  to deal with (insert your apocalypse here)? That is easy to answer. “The Best” item is the item you have on hand when you need it.

I have stole this rule from my first Ninjutsu instructor when I was 17. I have a Bad Ass side that I keep carefully muted. Like Bruce Banner, it doesn’t serve me well but I bring it out when I need it.

shtf2

I cant say that I learned a lot from him… and yet he was one of my most influential mentors that turned me into the person I became. He taught with a lot of self deprecating humor, making fun of himself. He cast off all the cultural trappings associated with that martial art. He didn’t treat himself as some type of master that his students needed to defer to. There was a practicality to it and it was his WORDS that stuck with me.

One of those was, “People ask me, What is ‘The Best’ survival knife or fighting knife. That is easy to answer. ‘The Best’ knife is the one you have on you when you need it”.

Because of his words alone, a knife is permanently welded to my body. From the moment I put my pants on to the time I take them off, it is there. Its not a very high quality knife. Its not very big. Its rarely very sharp. But it is there when I need it.

So, how do we get from the self aggrandizing  photo at the top of the page and yet find ourselves here?

shtf car

Or here

shtf car 2

Or here

shtf car 3

Where, o where to begin.

When you saw that title I chose, what came to your mind?

Did you think I was going to talk about, the bootlegger maneuver, the pit maneuver, drift steering, high speed judgment training, where to hit a vehicle, person or animal, off roading or mud bogging, hot fueling while moving, alternative fuels or wood gasification, or perhaps “The Best” Road Warrior, SHTF vehicle.

Yawn.

Seeing that rather impressive zombie apocalypse vehicle I built in the first photo, you might have been thinking to yourself, C5 has a cool, over the top mod to transform a Civic into a Road Warrior, Twisted Metal, Zombie Apocalypse vehicle.

Nope, we are talking ninja philosophy here. Philosophy leads Technique. Before the how comes the why.

By now you are thinking, “That C5 ripped me off”. (another line I have shamelessly stolen from the for mentioned instructor)

Other C5 Rules of Survival I could have used would include…

C5 ROS- If all else fails, lower your expectations.

C5 ROS- Go small or go home.

C5 ROS- Take all the old Survival advice and, pretty much, do the complete opposite… and your chances of survival increases substantially.

C5 ROS- Needs Must when the Devil Drives

C5 ROS- If you want to know how to prepare for the dark future I see coming, it all starts by coming to grips with that refrigeration is a privilege and not a right. If you can fully come to grips with and accept that, ALL ELSE FOLLOWS.

(That magic line came from one of the first conversations I had with MrsC5. She asked me what I thought about the SAS Survival Manual. I looked across the table to where it sat in my book collection, then replied, ‘It’s a false sense of security.If you want to know how to prepare for the dark future I see coming,  it all starts by coming to grips with….”. I realized later, it was one of the smartest lines to accidentally roll past my lips. And I am not talking about refrigeration in this context)

Do you notice a theme here? A general theme that consistently underlays my thinking in previous posts.

I could also have used one of the Murphy’s Rules of Combat… from which I gratuitously stole the concept of the C5 Rules.    http://www.murphys-laws.com/murphy/murphy-war.html

Murphy’s Rule of Combat- Always remember, your weapon was made by the lowest bidder.

(You may be noticing all the vehicles in the backdrop of those photos. They are done and gone to meet their maker. Our place is starting to look like a real farm with the slow accumulation of dead vehicles)

or… The side with the simplest uniform wins.

or… (in the case of this post)… If it is Stupid but it works, It is not stupid.

SHTF car 4

The photos are getting redundant but I was making a point. Its not theory or a one off. This is how I use it to get shit done. All my firewood of the year is in and I did it with a 14 year old Civic. I’m rather proud of myself for that one.

And a mystical, magical, timing synchronicity happened while doing this post. When I  first sat down to write this post, I was greeted by a randomly paused movie on the computer. It made me chuckle because the gods might be involved.

SHTF car 5

In the rest of the world, this is just how people get shit done. Its just that First Worlders are at a distinct disadvantage in a collapse…

…because they are insane…

and the rest of the world sees this.

Back to Ninja Philosophy. The ninja consistently kicked samurai ass because they saw that the samurai culture had the distinct disadvantage…. of being insane. More on that latter. My point being, is your Survivalist strategy underpinned by a philosophy of Samurai thinking.

There were a couple of things that happened recently that spurred me to write this post and say, we have to have this conversation.

The recent one was while I was getting willow for my live fence. (see the first Civic photo with willow on top, above)  By the way, it is looking good, in spite of the worst weather I have ever seen here, as predicted. https://darkgreenmountainsurvivalresearchcentre.wordpress.com/2018/04/18/c5-says-build-me-a-wall-permaculture-style/

A lot of farmers and CSA growers just got wiped out here. They will have lost everything. Some of them, their farms as well. In a proverbial SHTF world, there might be starvation here. This is exactly why we store food. This is exactly why we should never trust debt… and it is why I have been building greenhouses like crazy. (see the second Civic photo of me recycling large windows. The third and fourth photos are self explanatory)

FYI, If you have been observing world temperature maps over the last few years, you will have observed the entire world in various shades of red representing higher temperatures. Red. Slightly deeper red. Ridiculously dark red. There is only one tiny place on the world map that is blue. We are right in the middle of that blue spot. It may turn out to be the last habitable place on earth but that is too early to call. In the mean time, it is a bit of a pain in the ass. (as of the writing date, june 12, we have had killing frosts most days for the last couple weeks, the real killer being a well below freezing kill off. The day before it happened, it was a record breaking 36c for that day of the year)

So, I am driving home with this load of willow on my roof. Every vehicle that passed me was a newish pickup truck. F-150s, Silverados, Dodge Rams. Every single one of them. Each one of them single occupancy.  Not a single one of them carrying anything. All of them pretty shinny. The only one doing what a truck was designed for… was ME… in a Honda Civic. And I suspect, I was the only one of them with no debt.

Now, someone is going to come along and say, “You could accomplish so much more with a truck. Look at what you are hauling and how you live. You are who a truck is made for”.

My response would be, “OF COURSE!!!… Well duh. Of course”…. but that leads to story number two.

I have to be careful here. This guy is in my circle and I have a handy arrangement with him that makes my life easier. Nice enough guy. He works hard in a decent paying job, (ironically in road maintenance), then farms some cattle as a second job. He rolls up in a shiny new mondo truck. I mention that we will have no money coming in this year but it is OK  because we have paid for land and this gives us a lot of freedom. He mentions that he had finally just paid off his house. A bit later, he talks about all the bells and whistles on his truck. He then mentions it was an impulse buy and he is now 25 thousand dollars in debt. He then says he guesses he will just have to keep working. There is a lull in the conversation and not much else to say afterwords.

One of the best phrases I have heard over the last few years is “That is very 2007 of you”.

Its pretty obscure and most people wont get it. I use it a lot. My point being, 2018 problems can not be solved with pre- 2007 thinking. For those that do not know what I am talking about, I think future historians will call 2007 as the year western civilization had reached its peak and began its slide into “The Age of Consequence”. Oh, it was already long since bancrupt by this point. But it was hard for Average Joe Douchebag and Spandex Jane Soccer Mom, Prostitute Lite, to see this because upward mobility was still happening, the dough was being raked in and  Negative Nellie’s like myself were lumped into the category of crazy Y2K false prophets  that needed to be medicated.

It was rather hard to be prophet of doom during those boom years leading up to 2007. It left me scratching my head and my nuts, not in any particular order, trying to figure out how we were floating on thin air. It made no sense. Now we understand that it was all financial fraud causing a bubble. But before that, jobs were plentiful and even a bottom of the social ladder, dirtbag like myself could find work that paid more than minimum wage. So I did. Thus the toys in my sexy glam shot at the top of the page. This was a one time in my lifetime event. Then BAM! 2008 hit and shook the world.

So, what has Samurai Joe and Jill Jackoff learned since then. Absolutely nothing. Sweet fuck all. Backdoor bumpka. Neurotic Na’da.

Because they are insane. Batshit crazy, jello pudding, Koo Koo for Coco Puffs, NUTS.

The Commodities Crash (caused by a lot of broke people that could no longer afford to buy things made with commodities) sent gas prices into the basement. Being as gas was so cheap, those still employed, took out huge loans to buy big trucks. Go figure. And now the gas price is creeping back up, so oil workers are racing back to the bottom of the barrel oil, tar sands and fracking fields. At least the ones that didn’t commit suicide after they lost their financed trucks, houses and wives, during the crash. They have to get back to work, fucking up the planet to finance new trucks, houses and wives. The fuel prices will continue to climb until it sets off the next Liemans Event or commodities crash. The next time will be much worse. Then “The Crazies” will do it all again and again and again. Because they be crazy.

I’ve given up arguing with insane people because when you crack their delusion, they tend to get violent, vote for crazier people and start civil wars. Best to pull a Ninja and try to stay out of their way.

The first sign of crazy is people identifying themselves with the products or name brands they own or wish to own. If you find yourself asking “what vehicle defines me?”, well, “That is very 2007 of you”. Please go talk to a mental health professional before making any large purchases.

So, lets get to the meat of the matter. ANY vehicle is the Absolute Worst investment you will ever make. There is no getting around that. I don’t remember who said vehicles are now designed to last 5 years… but are financed for 7 years. It is a losing proposition. I know of no good vehicles. They are all walmart cars now days. Cheaply made and designed to be thrown away. Period.

So, if you are asking, what is “The Best” vehicle for when the SHTF, you are asking the wrong question. Its probably the one you have right now. Whatever it might be. Hopefully its paid for and isn’t a big drain on your resources. If you face that final handshake and pink slip and no more jobs are coming, bye bye truck, one way or the other.

The right question to ask is, What vehicle drains my resources “The Least”?

What is my least worst option?

 

{ This is the ghostly apparition of C5 coming to you from the future. That means I got to the end of my post and realized I  hadn’t put in the the practical advice I intended. Here is a good place to put what I forgot.

-Aftermarket roof racks are expensive so try to find uses. Detachable are better because racks affect the aerodynamics of your car, reducing gas mileage. Keep them in your trunk for when you find that item you may have to carry. Don’t forget ropes or ratchet straps. A blanket may help to avoid scratching paint. Also, some of these attach into your door roof so the door might not fully close. This may let water in or cause a whistle while you drive.

-The Civic doesn’t have the power for a trailer. Most cars do though. Just get the smallest and lightest trailer. You want to pull gear, not trailer. Most trailers are designed to be pulled by a large truck. That aint you. Adding an aftermarket tow hitch is a VERY good idea… but it can be pricey… and subject to rust. Keep your slide out ball hitch out or it will permanently rust into place. Keep grease in the receiver tube. Only invest in a trailer hitch if you are keeping your car along time. It ain’t working out for the old vehicles we cycle through.

-Some racks aren’t useful so you can modify them like this

SHTF Car 10

-Don’t overwork your vehicle. I have had 2 vehicles burst into flames in my life. Oh ya. Carry a fire extinguisher within reach. Keep all your liquids topped and watch your heat gauge. Carrying large loads (on roof or trailer) can catch wind and affect your steering. Go as slow as you have to. If you need to travel 30kph…travel 30. Put your blinkers on and make people go around. Pull over to let people go by if several people are behind you. Stick to the back roads or do the job at night to reduce other vehicles.

-Flat roofs are easier to use than curved roofs (why aren’t they making station wagons anymore?)

-Recheck all your ropes and straps regularly because they will loosen and your load shift from movement. Definitely check it after your first few miles.

We now return you to the real time article. Best to not alter the time line by going to meet myself and causing a temporal explosion }

 

Who’ld of thunk, C5 (and my local backwoods mechanic down the road) would say the Honda Civic or the Toyota Corolla would turn out to be the road warrior vehicle of the apocalypse. Its the least worst option. Its the best chance at throwing away the least amount of money on an older used car. Money that has much better uses, preparing you for when there is no money at all. If you need a high paying job to pay for your truck and gas, to get to your job, you are caught in a vicious cycle.

By the way, I also have this, for when the gas, the functioning infrastructure, the jobs and the money are no more.

SHTF car 6The bikes. Not the bus used as dry storage. There is 7 of them in there. All recycled or second hand rebuilds.

SHTF car 7This is my favorite. A long tail  on an early Stump Jumper. For when I have to do stuff like the first bike guy in the photo nearer the top.

Lets get back to a little Ninja philosophy.

Might as well start with, whatever image you have in your head from pop culture is probably wrong. Assassins with primitive weapons and masters of killing. Even that whole black clad in masks was a make believe creation that came about during the kabuki theater age where the set movers wore black outfits and you weren’t supposed to notice them in the backdrop. Now I am going to be the first person to ever say this. The ninja were sort of the Hippies of Medieval Japan. The back woods counter culture that were hiding in the least hospitable parts of Japan. They were there to “Tune in, Turn on and Drop Out. It was a mix of many cultures and traditions, but they were primarily there to avoid all the crazy turns of constant war happening around them, while seeking enlightenment from direct exposure to nature. The dominant warrior culture saw them as sub human, without honor, to be killed when possible. The true, underdog story. But being the outcast, they could see strait through the Samurai shit and all that crazy.

Masaaki  Hatsumi is the 34th generational grandmaster of the nine schools of Ninjutsu and is designated by the Japanese government  as “Living History”. What is meant by that is that part of the history of Japan is stored in this mans body.

Once again, the image you might have is completely different to this cheerful and playful person. He will say things like,” Its no great thing being the Grand Master of Ninjutsu. I still have to take out the garbage. My wife still yells at me”.

But we are getting to my point. He will talk about “Intention” or “Intention to cut” and to make his point will draw a razor sharp sword across his face without being cut. There is nothing metaphysical about it. Its a highly skilled circus trick. He knows what the blade will and will not do. But he is teaching about your intention and focus.

So, what is your “Intention” here. Are you a Do’er or a Talker.

This all isnt about learning nijustsu or getting a 14 year old honda civic.

Facing necessity, the only thing keeping you from doing this…

SHTF car 8

or this…

SHTF car 9

…is your “Intention to Cut”. Your will to do it. You can work out the how as you go.

Now you may look at that car and think it is filled with garbage and say, “Eww. Dirty poor people! I would rather die than do that…”

Or…

…do you think, ” Those fucking batshit crazy Samurai breeders. No wonder we are on the edge of extinction. First they destroy lives, demanding to drive to awful jobs to get money to buy this stupid shit. Then they throw it away. Well I better figure out how to get it home…”

That there is a mondo pool and one of the stupidest products they sold to the rubes. Its garbage in a couple of years, usually with mouse holes chewed in the bottom… but I will grab any one of them I can find. Its fantastic, rubberized tarp material. Once you cut it down, it is one big curricular rubber tarp, two or three long, thin  tarps that conveniently cover a stack of firewood and usually one good quality rope. We just use the tarps for weed control and mobile mulch lately. If you want a lazy mans garden without tilling or simply to hold garden space for future apocalypse growing, put this on your lawn and simply come back to it in a few years. Nothing will grow under it and the worms and moles will till it for you. Plus you get some valuable poles for other projects and a ladder to be used for….a ladder. Lately I am just using them for the grapes to grow up.

Grape vines climb

It all comes down to intention. The will to do the needful. Fuck what the samurai think.

Remember that bus at the top of the page that I used to live in. I used to have people come up to the door all the time and say, “I always wanted to convert a bus like that” or “some day I am going to do that” or “I always wanted to live in a bus”.

It was flattering at first. Oh, good. I’m not nuts after all. I made the right life choice.

But after hearing it for a few years, I would roll my eyes because I eventually figured out they were lying to themselves and me. If they really wanted to do it, they would have already done it. There are Do’ers and then there are Talkers. 99.9% are talkers. Talkers wont survive.

Do'er

Oh..My…God! Is it physically possible to be any more pretentious. Love it. Total Rock Star moment.

 

Oh, yah. I am supposed to give practical survival advice about SHTF Driving. O.K.

Drive it like your grandmother stole it.

Get into the habit of driving under 80kph. That is 50mph for the U.S. and 2 other third world countries. Sound silly and backwards? There is a point of diminishing returns in vehicles. When you jump up to highway speeds, you can used up to a third more fuel for the same distance. When things get tough, what fuel you have is All You Have and might be all you will ever have again. Memorize all the routs you can do that on.  Even in short  term emergencies, the first thing to run out is fuel. If you must highway travel, try to do it at nigh where you can slow down to that level without bugging  all the samurai. Ninja driving. Your struts and alignments will thank you. Especially if it is the last vehicle you will ever be able to afford and you are watching the nations infrastructure crumble, one pothole at a time.

If you can’t except any of this advice, keep in mind the old farmers truck advice. “The guaranteed way to destroy a truck is to put a winch on it”.

You see, without the winch, you would never say to yourself, “Oh, I can get through that. I have a winch”.

One last thought. During recent disasters and conflicts, trucks and 4x4s get confiscated or appropriated  by governments for disaster relief. They also get confiscated by local militants or stolen by organized crime groups. Anything Green or military looking can get you killed or questioned with a set of jumper cables. That bus colour was a bad idea. Recently, I cant even find my car in a parking lot because there are a dozen that look just like it.

Totally Ninja.


Its that time again. Its DJ-C5, your Wolfman of the Wasteland. Howooooo! Spinning secret ninja survivalist tunes. This one goes out to one of my home boys who I ran into today, working at the local country store… proudly wearing a Public Enemy T-shirt. Very stylish. I Want. He gets a Triple play for that fashion statement

Now, other than my soft spot for Public Enemy, I’m not a big fan of hip hop or rap… and certainly not Wanksters. But I got my big boy pants on and can acknowledge when someone hit a nerve. A survivalist nerve… and this song Represents.

This is what My blog is all about…. “You’ve only got One Shot. Do Not miss your chance and blow This Opportunity comes Once In A Lifetime”. plus I can really relate at the 3:25 mark

Staying with the personal survival theme. “I Wanna Get Out. Had To Get Out. Got Out!”

Well, Lets lighten the mood. As an equal opportunity Survivalist, lets bring out some Prepper Elvis, AuHauh.

Feel free to get up and dance. I know I will…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Farmgal, Farmgal, Farmgal

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on June 7, 2018

Fgal1

Discuss this article at the Doomsteading Table inside the Diner

 

 

 

 

With your host Category5…and guess who? Could it be Farmgal?

I have been getting some press and respect lately. Its been a nice ego boost. I have accomplished most of what I set out to do. Doing a slight adjustment to the prepper world to tweek it into something that is a little more Real, Relational, Relevant… and Rational.

Then I had a mini, introspective, self revelational attitude adjustment. That, “Wow! Do I Ever Suck or what” moment, evaluating just how little I actually know. People might look to me for their survival. In reality, I simply stumble from one problem I’m forced to solve and this leads me to the next problem to solve. Each time, I am dumbfounded at the shear lack of knowledge society has equipped me with to achieve my own survival in a world, presently imploding. I figure most people find themselves in the same place… or will find themselves there the moment they try to enact their own survival.

Then along comes someone, unassuming, on the periphery of the prepper world that can honestly say, “I know stuff”.  That person should be exalted into the Limelight.

It is my privilege to do that today.

I recently wrote in another article, “Farmgal is a top tier prepper. Some people have Fantasy Football teams. If I had a Fantasy Prepper Team, I’d make Farmgal the Captain of the team. If she showed up at Dark Green Mountain, I would say, “Thanks for coming to my apocalypse. You are in charge now…. “.

So, what does a Top Tier Prepper do? Not alot of running around in camo. She grows food.”

She also Forages food, Stores Food, Raises animals as Food, Saves her own seed to grow next years Food, Prepares all this Grown, Foraged, Stored and Raised Food in creative ways.

And she teaches others her expertise about FOOD.

Do you notice a theme here?


 

C5-    Farmgal, Farmgal, Farmgal! Thanks for coming to my apocalypse.

Farmgal-    First I would like to say Thank you to C5 for inviting me to do a post or posts. I go by the handle Farmgal on the net and I have adored reading C5 back to when he was called that the very first time.

I have been very interested in the tidbits of background that have been shared on the Green Mountain Blog about both Mr. and Mrs. C5  So for those that know me from my blog, you are going to get more background then you normally do and for those that are new to me, you might get a glimpse of what happened in the past to bring me to the present point.

C5-   Welcome Farmgal. Im honored to have you here… and to be my guinea pig for my very first ever attempt at an interview.

As a long time voice in the prepper movement, you have seen every shade of paranoid nut job, extremist and strait up racist. You have also seen great steps forward in people embracing there own resilience, safety and food growing.

What are your thoughts about the state of the Prepper Movement at this point of its evolution?

Farmgal-  Wow, I didn’t expect that question.. LOL, this could be interesting.

Well, the first thing that I feel is worth noting is that the overall prepper movement has been split into three factions. Survivalist Preppers, Permaculture Preppers and Tinfoil Hat Preppers.

The main reason’s for this is all due to Media.. The Survivalist’s didn’t like the backlash of being called a Survivalist and so many of them turned to the “softer side” and became a prepper.  I personally find there are two main types of Survivalist that use the prepper name. A) they want a split from the neo-Nazi White Supremacist angle that is tided to that movement. B) They use it as a humor shield.

That Humor Shield comes directly from Doomsday prepper.. it makes what they do seem lighter, funnier and more garden and fewer guns.

The core of what the prepper movement was trying to make happen shifted very heavily towards homesteader or permaculture.  This has led to where we are right now. A major slow down on “official” Prepper boards.

Which is going to bring me to what I personally see as the biggest thing happening in the past few years and it just keeps growing bigger..  The split in the prepper movement between the “male” vs “female” prepper.

I know this is a touchy subject but the divide was always there but its grown so wide in the past years. When I got into the prepper movement, we heard time and again from the prepper women that they didn’t feel that they could have a voice on the boards, that they were overwhelmed by the much more vocal males.  This lead to the biggest Canadian Prepper Board to create a women only area.. (I want to give a big old THANK YOU and nod to Denob for being willing to do this).

Its been many years since but the reason that this was a issue then, is very much still a issue today. We have a large group of male preppers that are “last man standing” that are ” we are going to bug out and live in the bush”.. They are the loudest voices.. Ooo Raaa!

Then we have a smaller amount of men who are some of the best prepper’s and we are darn lucky to have them.. they are family men, they are working side by side with their partners. They are the ones that are doer’s.. they show you how to weld this or build this with solar panels or will talk about 100 subjects that will help to create a better life for their family and those around them.

Then we have the women in the movement.. They are exploding in numbers.. they are a underground grass roots movement.. they are the driving force behind the homestead blogs, the permaculture blogs, they are the driving force behind community gardens, school gardens, Permaculture food forests, chickens being allowed into urban area’s, beekeeping on roofs, Canning being taught in local community halls, a booming push at farmers markets and CSA.   Its not just local to me (which is huge) its across Canada, and I have connection with thousands and thousands of women doing the same in the states.

C5-   Nice answer. You go, FarmGalfriend.

Now Mrs C5 is going to read this and tell me, “You ass! I could have been talking to women preppers all this time and you diddnt tell me.” Hey, I claim computer incompetence. I only came on grid a few years ago.

I hear ya. Last Man Standing types have severely fucked up prepping, or Last Man On Earth, types ironically referred to as LaMOEs.

If you will indulge me a little Megalomania, you had my back right from the start and have always been one of my biggest backers. Just like The Doomstead Diner, I carefully chose posting on the International Preppers Network. It was a very intentional, strategic gamble. I bypassed the big boards on purpose. I’m clearly no family man. I came crashing into IPN like a drunk bull in a china shop, telling a story of how I had just rode home with a few gallons of Sodium Silicate perilously dangling off the sides of my motorcycle, cruising down the highway and realizing I had just graduated to the next level of prepper. I came in thinking, “Wait till some of these LaMOE fuckers get a load of me. I better be prepared for a fight”. You were a board Moderator at IPN who’s voluntary job was to Moderate. So, why did you back me considering I was there to intentionally Shit Disturb and piss off the Survivalist Preppers, and the sometimes, even more dangerous, Everything is a conspiracy, Tinfoil Hat Preppers.

Farmgal-   A couple reasons.

One, you are always willing to admit when something didn’t work.. and you are always willing to try this or that and see if it will or will not work in real life. Its a personal pet peeve of mine when folks will only talk about “the perfect” it all worked so well.. because that is total bullshit in real life.. you can be the best gardener or with a chain saw or rifle.. and you are still going to have crop failure.. have your chainsaw do a kick back at some point and have a misfire..

C5-   Yup. Big pet peeve of mine as well. There is lots of “Survival Advice” and even “Pemiculture advice” out their that doesn’t pass the real life test. People post their grand ideas and builds  but they never seem to come back later and say, “Well that was a big ol waist of my time and money”. That is one of the points of the DMG Survival RESEARCH Centre. Honesty is important about failures. Boy, have I ever accumulated some.

Farmgal-  Two, You talk about a lot of things I do but never post.. dumpster diving, figuring out how to take some thing common and make it useful again, bringing home others “junk” and more.. I so often nod along when I read your writing.. (not all of it mind you) but a good portion.

Three, you are respectful to the ladies, its not that you don’t speak your mind but you are not rude in the same way as other and while I know that some would consider the way you speak about your wife as crude, I figure Mrs. C5 is cool with it, or she seems strong enough that she would tell you.

C5-   He, He , He. Yes. I use MrsC5 as the strait man in a lot of my comedy. She is a seething polecat though. She would have tracked some of these guys to their homes (lets just leave it to your imagination). Its actually Mrs Dr.C5.

Farmgal-   Four, your funny.. sorry but its just true.. your writing is fun to read.. I like to think that same sense of both adventure and humor blends into who you are in real life. I have found most folks that are willing to try new things, are willing to admit when something didn’t work out and are willing to laugh at life or themselves are some of the best kinds of folks

Five, You at times get to pick the fight that I as a mod would choose not to do. My motto was walk soft but carry a big stick.. Most of the time I read the posts and even if I have a strong reply, I ask myself.. walk soft.. or Big STICK time.. if you really look, I give advice, encouragement and information.. I rarely give my own thoughts on subjects.. It makes me as a mod far more Balanced, then I would be if I was just me

So there you.. and if I have to answer this.. so do you! LOL What made you like Farmgal..

C5-   “Quid pro quo. Clara”. You knew who Permaculture practitioners were (the OTHER preppers).   You actually knew who Transition Town were (the OTHER, OTHER preppers). You even knew the SCA (the ones I refer to as the OTHER, OTHER, OTHER preppers). Most Manly Men go limp at that point… or whine about socialists because their manlyness is threatened. AND you obviously know SEED SAVING which is a science in itself. Lets talk about that. Biannual seeds consistently kick my ass and make me question my manly survivalistliness. No seeds? No second harvest. No future.

I picked some serious fights… and then showed my own serious problems that they didnt even know were the problems they would face because they were too single focused and inexperienced to even know what questions to ask… Then Farmgal would magically appear and say, “Its a common problem. Perhaps you might try this. Here is where to go…”


 

Abrupt Stop

Now, if you have read this far, you are about to get into the Meat of the matter. There is a reason Farmgal knows something worth listening to about food.

I asked a question…. and then she answered honestly and deeply.

Her answer is none of your fucking business. You have heard me say the same about some of my past. She shared it with me because we have known each other for a while and built trust. You, not so much. I expose myself a lot on this sight because we have to be honest about realistic preparedness as opposed to, fantacy, invincible warriors of the wasteland, absolute bullshit. I have been around somewhat. If someones Survivaly Expertlyness starts by the credentials of their rank and regiment and what war they got sent to, their expertlyness immediately goes into the questionable file but I will always let them “earn it” from there. The people I look for are those who have been through shit without a regiment and a nations worth tax dollars for resupply backing them.

The only reason I have anything to teach you is because fucked up shit happened. I fell through the cracks of our society. I got first hand, SHTF experience. Farmgal has had fucked up shit happen. Most likely, more than me. She didn’t become a food expert because its nice to be nice and gardening makes happy tie died rainbows. I’ll only share one line from her intimately shared response.

“I remember my mother sitting at the table crying because she was so happy that she found a case of kidney beans that she had bought and tucked behind the stairs and she had found them.  It meant protein for the table..  That was the year I added in a small snare trap line of my own to look after..”

That was as a pre teen.

She was heavily motivated to know food production, inside and out.

Now, this is why I have chosen to embarrass you, The Reader, and often come off contemptuously. This is what the Tighty Whity Righty that see poverty as some type of moral failing or weakness need to hear. Its your future and the future of your children as resource depletion and economic contraction bites. Coming right up. The Lefty Looseis don’t get off the hook either. A bankrupt, overextended government cant fix injustice and subsidized renewable energy to run electric cars. There is nothing renewable about that.

Farmgal knew hunger and fear and homelessness and outcast status… and here she is, A Proven Survivor. Just like me. So, who do you want to get survival advice from. I thought so.

Lets continue the interview

______________

I said to Fgal, I recently had a good friend, doomsday blogger and one of the more influential local proponents of Transition Town implementation, hanging out for one of our dinner parties. He said he would be willing to do a similar interview. During the hang out, someone asked, what was the moment You Knew? What moment? What book? What decision or experience, made you decide to “prepare” or decide the world was going to implode? It is a peak moment in a persons life. You and I started much younger that the gen pop and I know your learning curve was better taught than mine from a young age. What moment convinced you, it aint a hobby, this is why I am doing this.

Farmgal-   Its never been a hobby, it never had a title or a movement to me until I was labelled with it as a adult. It just was the way to live.

(C5s interjection. This is not a story from The Great Depression. Fgal is younger than me. I was still comfortably in the burbs at this point)

So I was born in Alberta, Canada to parents that were both raised on the poor side of town, married young and were what was called Back to the Landers in the 70’s and 80’s. What that meant was that I was raised without power, by wood heat, with a outhouse and that it was a huge deal when we got a well instead of hauling water. That we moved a lot to follow work for my dad is a understatement.. I had moved 47 times before the age of 18 following my parents from small farm, bush cabin and in some cases what can only be called shacks.

I was running a small trap line (for helping bring food onto the table) by 8, which is the same age I got my first 22, my mom gardened, we wild harvested and we put up food and we ran limited animals, horse’s were a staple (the horse’s might have come and gone over the years) I had my own little milk goats by the age of nine.

But before that…

My grandfather (mom’a side) bought a farm and my grandmother and their children worked hard on that farm. They were poor but getting by nine children plus two extra (cousins that were brought in an raised because the dad had passed way and the mom split out the older children to their relatives) There was never  really enough but the worst was to come. It would turn out that the man they bought from kept the money they paid him and didn’t pay the person he bought the land from.. and in the end they lost it.

Not because they didn’t work it, or pay, themselves but because trust was placed in the wrong person…

First lesson to learn in life.. Never trust a person’s word.. look to their actions. Hard work and honesty does not mean that it can not be taken away from you.

Second Lesson in life.. Never EVER trust that the good times will last! they can be gone in a split second. You can get by without a lot.. but you can not live without food, water or a form of shelter (and in Canada winter.. heat!) The rest is gravy!

Third Lesson in life.. Sometimes you need to do things you don’t want to do and you had better be able to deal with it. The second part of that lesson is that you can have those shakes, those tears as a release.. it allowed.. but when you are done.. you get back up and keep moving forward.

That’s it C5.. the gut of it.. those three things added up to why I am who I am.. Never trust debt, always try and own your own land, always be willing to let go and move on, don’t hold onto anything other then those you love , everything else can be replaced if need be, shelter, water and food are #1 needs.

Feast or Famine..  Feast or Famine.

Every time you prepare, you hedge off that Famine just a little bit more..

Feast or Famine..  Feast or Famine. That is what I want people to take away.

C5-   Hey Farmgalfriend. That’s all the prepper Cred I will ever need to hear, right there. Not survivalist theory. First hand experience. Lets talk about your Learning Curve. John Michael Greer mentioned that in the future, survivors would get used to finding over grown garden patches and empty garden in a box kits next to the skeletal remains of preppers where the learning curve lasted just that much longer than they did. Tell us about your learning curve.

Farmgal-  My parents loved Black Powder Shoots and I have great memories of sitting with my dad melting lead and doing reloading, working in the shop making knives and training for the kids Ax throwing.. you get the idea.

It all changed to a point when I was 12. My dad got a steady job (that took him away from home for about 10 months of the year and they moved us to town..  across the tracks in the trailer court town, I hated it, I spent as much time out in the gravel pit with handmade huts to hide in. Spring, summer, fall and in the winter, I had a special hiding spot in a frozen culvert under a road that I would snow pack in and bring gear with me and heat with a candle.

Then as I hit 14 my parents started worrying about the three B’s, Booze, Bordom an Boy’s so I got shipped off in the summers to a family friends farm. I was back to hooking a line from a running tractor to run the well, and hauling water, having no power. Just a propane stove and a outhouse but I didn’t care. I traded working with four 2 coming 3 year old horse (halter breaking, sacking, ground work and ponying) for a bit of cash and a riding horse for the summer.  I learned how to run a team to haul logs from the bush, how to switch out summer wagons to winter sleds and how to cut hay with horse’s. It was always just enough but rarely more. I would disappear into this world during the summer for five more years..

Then collage and city living came while still working hunting camps in the fall for outfitters and taking this and that job in the country. I then meet my hubby and moved to Yellowknife NWT and spent as much time on the land as we could and still keep a job. Making due and only packing in what you point in fact need and of course learning even more about wild forage. O it was a grand time in NWT!

Then we got transferred to Iqaluit, Nunavut Canada. Conditions in many ways was very much 3rd world. Suddenly I was above the tree line, I was on a massive learning curve..

So C5 says show me your sheet metal? Here is the first lesson I learned up there and its stuck with me.. and is reflected in so many ways on my own place and when it comes to the prepper’s talking about being prepped and ready..

Show me your Worm Bins!

Within the first four days of arriving in Iqaluit, I was offered worms by three different folks and had chats on worm raising over coffee.

There is no soil up there.. there is no bush up there.. you can’t compost when 10 months of the year are too cold do so, you have a limited time for fishing and even more limited time for other sea food or caribou hunting.

You can get protein and fat but what you can’t get very easy is greens but you can compost all your extra’s in worm bins, you can get worm castings with is a rich potting mix and you can worm tea to feed seed planting’s.

You can get a very limited amount of soil shipped up in your sealift order but its going to cost you (if you are smart, you will bring up peat moss, its much better bang for your buck as it will expand massively in amount, its just that you have feed it to keep it producing year after year)

Remember that for X amount of months you have 24 sun but the highest temp it ever gets to in summer in the years I lived there was plus 8c..

C5-  That is important for some of our readers further south where the soil isnt conducive to growing much or has already been stripped of nutrients, or they can only afford to buy “Junk Land” on rocky hillside. Same for forest homesteaders. Forest soil isn’t conducive to gardens . You have to, quite literally “Grow Soil”. I recall Chris Martenson saying he wasn’t really a gardener. He was a soil farmer.

Farmgal-  The second thing that has to be done, was unless you wanted to be held hostage to the local store and their insane prices, you needed to order in by sealift a 12 to 16 month household supply once a year. And because you paid by both space and weight, you had better learn to like and use dried foods, get creative and figure out real fast that you can not eat willy-nilly..  because if you eat all of one food in the first three months you will NOT have it again for another 9 to 12 months!

So here is my Next show me.. Show me your copy of the Food Substitute book.. If you have long term food storage and you don’t have this book.. I am going to give you the eye.. the sideways eye that says, you have never lived it.. you have never worked it.. because if you had you would have done some thinking and found this little gem on your own..

https://www.amazon.com/Food-Substitutions-Bible-Ingredients-Techniques/dp/0778802450

So if its in your books, you get a cookie and a gold star! That’s were we end of Part one.. It made me who I am in many ways.

C5-  OK, Farmgal. Give us all a quik tip on how to better improve our survival.

Farmgal-   Show me your pumpkins…  Everything on a pumpkin plant can be eaten on the top side, the young leaves cook up like tender greens, the bigger leaves can be dried, crushed and used as green powder, the flowers can be eaten, the young fruit can be eaten and those rare few that you are going to let finish will give you the flesh but more important, it will give you the rich fatty seeds.

C5-   Nice. I’ve long time promoted my own joke, “Shit Hits The Fan, Tactical Squashes” to take the piss out of useless tactical guys that seem to think they are survivalists for some silly reason I have never been able to figure out. MrsC5 points out, its not funny if I am the only one laughing at my jokes. These posts are some of my least read but most important articles. No one looks at a squash or pumpkin and thinks, “Oh My God. We are saved”.

Give us a bit more on that.

Farmgal-    Give you a bit more on that.. well then lets talk about a few things in regards to the food front..  So it will not surprise anyone that I am going to say that you should be growing potato’s, I mean come on.. its darn near the perfect food. If you can grow it, it should be a staple and you had better have plans on your homestead on having a way to store a huge amount of them.  If its to hot to grow regular potato’s then I expect to hear that you are going sweet potatos (and you lucky dogs that get to do that, you are also eating those greens right?).
 
But lets get back to our spuds.. you are not just growing Yukon gold or any of those other really popular ones that you can get in the store.. right??  You are growing some of the older heritage ones because it means that they are also producing seed balls and like a really good little prepper, you are collecting and learning how to save, start and grow TSP right..
 
Right, I know you are, because all you need is one bad summer, some freak winter or you need to eat those potato’s in storage to save the life of your kids.. you have TSP in your seed storage and you have the ability to start over on year two, three or four???
 
Show me your True Potato Seed Collection? I want to see at least five kinds, and even better, I want to see the ones that you have breed though to the next generation!
 
The other thing worth noting is that everyone is so concerned about breeding pure strain of heritage seed and I get it, I do.. I mean I work with programs and I grow pure seed to send back as a seed grower that then sends that seeds across Canada to local gardeners.
 
However as a prepper.. Landrace breeding should be very high on your list for your own personal garden turn out.. I am in year five working with others in a three hour area on breeding a land race for the butternut squash that thrives in our climate. Some of the things I breed for are not what others do, but we have been successful at not only creating one that matures early for our season, averages 3 to 5 pounds for a average family’s needs but holds for up to 18 months with proper storage.
 
The reason given for the storage was to be able to provide local food a steady winter supply of locally grown produce but flip it for a prepper and bang, we have bred in the trait to hold a extra six months to go from harvest to harvest in zone 5, some thing that was unheard of six years ago!
 
Get out there and order from every seed house you can find and mix it all up and start working your landrace plantings.. they will be a saving grace in our new extreme climate gardening culture.
 
C5-   Then I will finish with one last question. So. I present you with my soap box. What do you really want to tell the prepper world, that you wouldn’t say as a moderator or on your own blog. Lett’er fly. Be a contrarian. Be Alpha Fargal”
 
 
Farmgal-  I have already answered and been more open in this post in many ways then I have on my own blog over the years, or at least shown another edge or side to myself.
 
Lett’er fly.. Alright you asked for it but I don’t think you will be surprised.. All that stuff you are sinking money into, all those toys, everything you are packing away, buying and planning to live “in a somewhat similar manner” as you or your family or the rest of us who live in 1st world countries..
 
Its a fool’s game..  you really can’t take it with you.. and those skills, they are great, train for them, work them.. you can have the best gear, the best training and simple infection can and will take you down.
 
The truth that I always think and never say out loud.. IF or when SHTF where to happen in a real way.. all this talk, all this will mean nothing.. not really.. break this or get sick with this or freeze to death.. all the Rambo talk.. blah!
 
As Mr. FG or Dear Hubby says to me. .” talk to me about how to work around climate change or job loss or reduced health, talk to me about energy crisis or peak oil or water wars
 
 Don’t bother trying to talk to me about the BIG EVENTS because if those happen.. nothing we are doing will truly prepare us for what would be coming. If it goes down like that.. we be fucked!”
 
It always makes me sigh and ground my feet again when he reminds me of that cold hard truth..
 
C5-   Thanks Farmgal for taking time out in what I know is your mega busy season of planting. A big shout out to Mr FG as well.

 

 

 

 

 
We will try to have Farmgal back as soon as she can fit us back into her schedule for a part two where she will tell us the rest of the story about here farmlife.
 
I am going to be a presumptuous ass and assign a homework assignment task for Farmgal to take some time formulating.
 
Farmgal pointed out the lack of bees this spring on here blog. I promptly went out to the flowering service berry trees. Almost no bees. I only counted 9 bees. Holy Apocalyptic Shit Storm Batman. Now, I know what hand pollination is… and have long predicted there will come a time that if you want to eat, we will be forced to hand pollinate. Its an epicly daunting proposition. I have zero experience in it. I might be able to handle hand pollinating squashes.
 
I hope Farmgal can take some time to think about what hand pollination of what foods would be beneficial to preppers or Adapters and what would just be trying to grasp the wind. Speaking of wind, what wind pollinated plants might be better to focus on. I think we could all use an Adapter specific tutorial from a seed expert. Hopefully Farmgal signs up for the task…. No pressure….
 

 

You can read much more Farmgal Here- https://livingmydreamlifeonthefarm.com/

And check out her 31 day Self Reliance Challenge and the other bloggers she spotlights.

31 Day Self Reliance Challange


Lets end this with a little ditty from DJ-C5, your Warrior of the Wasteland. The Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla.

This song has been on my mind alot lately while out in the garden or cutting firewood. I’ve played it a dozen times this week. It goes out to the rubes that fell for Washington’s latest  Bait and Switch. “What. No chemical weapons. And we just fired upteen millions of taxpayer dollar missiles. Quick, declare war on Iran before anyone notices… What can possibly go wrong?”

Bonus reads of the week… since we are getting in touch with our inner Amish…

https://qz.com/1275194/the-amish-understand-a-life-changing-truth-about-technology-the-rest-of-us-dont/

and, why Iran?

http://washingtonsblog.com/2018/05/stephen-cohens-misrepresentations-about-the-2014-coup-in-ukraine.html

No wonder the Amish rejected TV… and cars. Silly English.

High, high marks go to this one as well as a last minute entry, if you have ever got stuck in a gardens VS food storage VS hunter gatherer foraging argument, instead of all complimenting each other for a complete system of “Resilience”

https://www.resilience.org/stories/2018-05-24/grains-of-truth-and-falsehood-about-grain-bean-and-veggie-storage/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Post Apocalyptic Permaculture Pig- Redux

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on May 17, 2018

digging strawberries 4

Discuss this article at the Doomsteading Table inside the Diner

 

C5 and The Post Apocalyptic Permaculture Pig- Redux

Thus ends the life of Mr Wu. All that is left to do is tell the story. I have been avoiding thinking about this all year. Putting down my 600 lb pound friend and filling a freezer. On the way to the abattoir, tears started to come but I choked it back. Maudlin by nature, its easy for me to only focus on my failures or the experiments that didn’t live up to my expectations. This miffs MrsC5 sometimes. She says I don’t focus enough on my successes. Its true, of course. One of my skills is that I consistently do the impossible with nothing. Its my only real skill. Nothing motivates me more than to be told it cant be done. My usual response is, “Just watch me. If you don’t have any helpful advice, get the fuck out of my way”. But today, my thoughts were that we will most likely never try pig breeding again. We may have a pig again to do field clearing and tilling and freezer within the year. Having a bakers dozen plus a huge boar overwhelmed our abilities. But without the ability to breed ongoing generations, this was a survival Fail for me. It was not an experiment I could afford to fail in. I’ll explain why latter. More so, we lost friends in this endeavor. We also learned the people that had moved onto our land were not the right fit and had to go.

I had been psyching myself up to shoot Mr Wu and attempting a piss assed butchery. I had already culled one of his siblings as well as one of his offspring…but this would be different. He was my friend. MrsC5 would have nothing of it. She demanded a proper  abattoir and butcher. It seemed I had dodged responsibility but I was relived. When he stepped off the trailer and into the final pen, the abattoir was preparing for the usual potential chase. When Mr Wu followed MrC5 out the trailer and into the pen, the abattoir commented, “Wow. That is not something you see. You must have been very hands on with him”. Other than seeing he was OK, I didn’t want to spent any farewell time with him. That would have been too much. As I turned away, My final thoughts were the cheezy Babe movie lines, “That’ll do pig. That’ll do”.

It was the Abattoirs words that made it easier on me because I realized he had had a very good life. Now every body says that but in Mr Wu’s case, it was definitely true. The proof  was in his graceful end. He had spent his last year getting strange pussy and having many piglets on another farm while we were away in Peru. More so, he was totally free range, wandering the hills as he pleased (Not something I would recommend, by the way. Feral pigs are an environmental catastrophe).

When he was with us, after his harness phase, he was left in an orchard we wanted to reclaim surrounded by our ancient dead hedge experiment. This was mainly a Failed experiment. (Another Post…) Torpedo shaped, Pig Headed, little eating machines can push though or rip out of the ground, just about anything you can build, (including buildings) yet word was getting around about this huge pig behind a stick fence and they came miles out of their way down a dirt rode to park their car and stare at this pig.

But the BIG number of people that knew about Mr Wu came from an article I wrote first at Permies.com and repeated over at the International Preppers Network. Someone from Permies recently asked for More to his story. I said yes….but it should really start by re-posting the original article…and tweaking it into a Redux, more polished version. Its an important article. So, without further Adue. (He looks so tiny in these photos)


The Post-Apocalyptic Permaculture Pig

colour 5 header 2

If I croak tomorrow, I owe the Prepper and Permaculture world a brief synopsis of what we have learned about raising a pig on a harness. This is outside of most North Americans idea of how to raise a pig. I won’t try to sell you folks that this is “The Way” to raise a pig. Just “A Way”. This was a problem solving experiment, mainly to deal with the incredible expense of fencing or lack thereof in a wold of diminishing resources, both materials and financial. If we screwed up this experiment, we simply would have filled our freezer early and “eaten” the loss.

O.K. That’s way too serious of a way to start one of my posts. I’ll start again with the words of one of our farm sitters. “Taking the pig for a walk was the high point of all my farm experiences. I was frightened at first but then it was fun.” Mr Wu (bonus points go to anyone that guesses why we named him that) grossly outweighed her at less than a year of age. At this point, I don’t even leash him when taking him for a walk around farm with the dogs. It’s something to see, a huge pig, galloping across the fields with the dogs. It’s a little more intimidating when he is charging towards you like a small buffalo. I’m sure glad he likes me. This is one happy pig. Clearly we did something right…in spite of that certain people told us that we were doing something bad and this might even be cruel for the animal. I had worries, myself. These worries began to flow away the first few times he rolled over onto my feet to have his belly scratched…or when, one time, he broke out of his pen, he didn’t run off into the forest but sauntered up to the front door with a “What are you guys up to” look on his face.

Now, I take great pride in that I could beat most large dogs in a fight if they attacked me. I trained myself for that. I’m a little rough around the edges. A couple days ago, I came to the conclusion that I would not be able to win in a fight with this pig. Just like the dogs, he was born to fight. Just like the dogs, he likes to rough house as play. A couple of days ago he hit me with a sneak attack. He likes to drive himself between my legs from behind in an attempted to knock me over. My usual defense is to sit on him and ride him around for a while like a bronco buster. This time, he caught me off guard and after a few seconds on the ride, crashed down into a bush in a winded huff without any of my secret ninja pride intact. I looked over to him and realized if he attacked me now…I was done. Instead, I could tell he was doing the piggy equivalent of at laughing at me and his triumph. My point is that this is a happy pig that likes me and has a way better life than most animals we raise for food. At the moment, he is harnessed to a large tire in the garden, tilling up the garden and weeding or working in mulch. He is a pig with a job. A permaculture job. A post-apocalyptic permaculture pig.

Week 1 doc

pets looking towards Mr Wu doc(What is this alien creature? Are we supposed to kill it?) touch training doc(Touch training. He did not like me. I was the big bad wolf. To eat, he had to risk me touching him)

So, how did we get to this point of me on the ground with a pig laughing at me and why should you consider this option, especially in a survival, prepper, permaculture, collapse of western, business as usual, society context. And why should you listen to me besides that I am so charming? I have no pig raising experience. I have no farm experience other than the last few years. I am something of a Survival Expert though that means little. A C5 Rule Of Survival is- “There is no such thing as a Survival Expert. Anyone claiming to be is just trying to sell you something”.
Like I said, I had been trying to figure out a way to deal with small livestock raising without the expense of easily sourced or debt financed fencing of our fields. We just can’t afford to fence our fields. We can afford electric fencing and solar batteries as a mobile option…but these are a short term solution to a much larger problem. If you need to feed yourself but the money is gone or that fencing or batteries are no longer available…well, that whole C5 survival expert status means I have to solve that little problem for the next generation of have nots. People have probably seen tethered goats. One online friend had faced the same problem with her cow. She solved it by tethering it to a tire. The cow could eat its pasture and pull the tire further into the field for fresher grass…but couldn’t run off down the road to run amuck.

The big Lightbulb moment for me was visiting Cuba. For those not familiar with the subject, Cuba is often referred to as “The mini Peak oil” With the embargo in place and the collapse of the Soviet Union ending their oil supplies, Cuba had to adapt to non-Big Ag, mass production food systems coming to a complete stop. When we arrived, it was the end of the dry season, the rains hadn’t arrived yet and grazing was withered. Lots of animals were looking pretty thin. They were also all tethered, tied to anyplace there was grass. Instead of bringing food to the animals, they brought the animals to the food. Oh good. It wasn’t just me waxing all survivalist with this little problem.

Then we saw a pig out in a field. A couple of piglets were hanging out with it. Why was this pig so far away from people? Did it escape? Was it wild? Then I pointed it out to MrsC5, “Are my eyes deceiving me? That pig is on a leash. I didn’t know that was possible. The little ones aren’t even running off. They are all staying with the big one…unattended.” Then the little wheels started spinning in my head. Might I have just solved our pig fencing dilemma. A day later I explained to MrsC5 that we were going to have a pig on a leash. Luckily, she was immediately on board. Whew. Thank goodness I didn’t have to explain this nutty idea to her. It would be a hard sell to most people. The next insight while walking around in the rural hinterlands of Cuba is that all the houses had fenced yards…but the fences were often hodge podged together from any scraps they could find. A rusted piece of metal from the beach was wired in with scrap wood, boulders, cactus’s, whatever could be scavenged. Most likely to keep pigs out…or in. I never asked. But my theories about fencing in a world with severely limited resources was there in front of my eyes. It was the small, excessively rusty beach metal, carefully woven into the fence that sticks with me to this day. Week 3 with harness docputtem to work doc(Put’in him to work young, tilling in the garden)

There is another C5 Rule of Survival- “There is a big difference between KNOWING in the Biblical Sense and KNOWING in the Porn sense” Unless you have first hand experience in it…assume it doesn’t work…no matter what you saw on youtube…or what you read in my self proclaimed survival expertlyness bloggeryness

We wanted pigs because pigs were going to be the only way to get the necessary fat intake to survive a Canadian winter without slowly starving to death. We had already learned that chickens weren’t sustainable here, in spite of just assuming we could raise chickens as a survival assumption. A belief I’d had all my life. Knowing in the biblical sense knocked that right out of me. I can’t grow the food they need to get through a winter in this location with limited machinery. I tried. I failed. But I could grow rabbit or pig food. Perhaps you have read the old stories of people that had all the rabbits they needed but starved to death anyhow. Rabbits don’t have the necessary fat. Neither do deer for that matter. Bear, geese and beaver, yes…but we had already given up on the idea that any wild food source would still be around in a collapse setting. Most of the wild animals we take for granted almost went extinct during the Great Depression. It will be worse now. Think of hunting on the very last day of hunting season. Your chances are slim. So that leaves domesticated pigs. If you want cooking oil, it’s going to be lard.

But with everything else going on around the prepper farm…it had moved into the category of “Next Year” jobs. Next year became next year the next year and so on.

Then one of our Prepper friends made the decision for us. We got a call, “Guess what? I Just bought three pigs. Berkshire, Tamworth cross”. I jokingly replied, “One of those is for us. Right?”
I didn’t actually think he would say yes. OK. It took a few weeks. He was using the old reasoning. If you raise three pigs and sell two that pays for your own pig in the fall. But I think he got curios about how we were going to raise him with this whole tethering idea. We were caught off guard because we wanted to start with a much cheaper breed. It was after all, a practice pig. If we screwed it up the first time, we would just eat what we did wrong. But our friend had already chosen the friendliest and least skittish of the three for us. The one that was most curious and didn’t mind being scratched. The more Berkshire of the three. This put us into a panicky scramble. I had a day to whip up a small enclosure out of recycled fence material I already had on hand. I had to make sure he couldn’t dig underneath. I don’t know how to raise a pig. I butted it against the chicken coop to break the wind.

O.K. Less story telling. Just the facts. Lets start with what I did wrong right off the bat. You have to start this process at a much younger age than we did. Your pig needs to be touched, scratched and handled as young as possible. Our relationship started with me having to wrestle him down. It turns out I was good at this because of the dog fighting I mentioned above. Just pin it to the ground, pick it up and put it in the truck. I had to do it again a few days later to get the harness on him. Big mistake. To a pig, the only thing that pins it down is a predator in the process of killing it. It didn’t trust or like me again for quite a while. Pigs never forget. MrsC5 hadn’t been the one to pin him so she had to take over trust building with the pig. I was the big bad wolf.walking young Mr Wu 1 docwalking young Mr Wu in summer 2 docputting Mr Wu in pen dock

Trust got rebuilt as he realized there was benefits to this arrangement. In fact, we are onto a new phase of his training. While I write this, he is off leash outside. This is new and has had its own problems we are working out. He gets a few hours of wandering free now.

Back to early raising. He started in a small enclosure. Two days later, the entire enclosure had been tilled. We were amazed. This little pig was a tilling machine…and the wheels in my head started to turn once more. Anyone who has ever tried to till a garden by hand knows that is not as simple as first envisioned and your first real fear of possibly having a heart attack. People try to get around this back breaking work with deep mulching or cardboard mulching on any other way to avoid tilling. We suddenly had a non gas powered tilling machine. A single minded eating machine. The implications were huge.

 

tilled doc(this new enclosure was tilled in about a week…but he was much larger at the time)

Then came the next training. Getting a leash on the pig was the next problem. Remember, he didn’t trust me now…and I once again had to wrestle him to get the leash on. But I did and then walked him over to the new enclosure. He went right in and started tilling. Pigs are smart. He knew the enclosure was his safe place. We had to leave the leash on him and he just dragged it around for several months because it was easier to grab the leash than try to pin him to get it on. What a change to today. Now he comes up to the fence to say, “Please leash me because I want to go out. He is easier to leash than my dogs. It only took about three days for the pig to figure the leash thing out. He figured out that I was taking him to a new place for him to till. Let the healing begin.

Slowly his leash got longer when we tied a rope to it. He got attached to the fence or a tire. Unlike most pigs, he got to go places. It wasn’t long before the next big experiment. After a few beers I decided it was time to walk him to the top of the property. The pig, the dogs…and the cat. The cat had already embraced these walks. She knew if she walked in the fields she was hawk food so to explore further she would have to chase the dogs for safety. This was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. A small multi species commune on a walk, bound together for mutual support. The pig was curious enough to follow on this new adventure. It was going fine…until the kitty decided it would be fun to stalk the pig. Understand, the pig had grown fast…but even with this huge size difference, the pig’s instincts kicked in. Instinctualy, pigs seem to know that big cats are its major predator. This tiny kitty was death incarnate….and he yanked me home at a run to the safety of his safe enclosure.

As spring turned to summer and heat increased, we knew we had to get him out of the sun as leaving him tied in the field was cruel. Apple tree training had begun. We wanted some of the undergrowth under the trees cleared out. Air flow for tree health, a soft place for apples to land and ease of access, and eventually the goal – bring the pig to the food instead of bringing the food to the pig. As a bonus, interrupting the worm cycle of them surviving in the ground again after the apples fall. We still had to trim out all of the undergrowth to keep him from getting tangled…and boy, can that pig ever get himself tangled.pig in the orchard doc(its hard to see but he is attached to a branch )

Which gets us to one of the down sides of this type of pig raising. It’s way more labor intensive. A pig is a social animal. It’s sort of cruel to have a single pig unless YOU are willing to be its social pig herd. You have to be around. You have to check up on it regularly. You have to adjust his harness every few days because they grow so fast. If you don’t…that harness will strangle him or chafe his skin causing cuts and lesions so you really have to invest the time of touching and handling him.

And you have to be there to hear him squeal when he gets himself tangled, which he will. If we go out someplace, he has to go back in his stall so we don’t come home to a strangled or panicked, traumatized pig.

Your main garden will need a sturdy fence because the pig is going to escape occasionally. Pigs are uber smart and driven by hunger. Mr. Wu learned how to open the fence gate within a short period. He pushes open doors, lifts raised gates, tests every possible escape route. I’ve even seen him try to lift the rope that ties the gate shut because he knows it slides into place.

Your pig WILL escape. Getting him back in his pen takes some simple training that is easy. Tie a bear bell to the feed bucket. He knows if he hears that bell, glorious food awaits and food is his single driving force. The bell sends him frothing.Walkies doc 2Solar Pig 1

Now, the next big problem. All this hands on relationship completely changes the relationship. It had always been, I pop this guy in the fall and he goes in the freezer. Then that day came when he plopped down onto my feet and rolled over to have his belly scratched, exposing himself in the same way my dogs would. The second time he did it…I went, “You Bastard. You are going to fuck me up. How can I shoot you?” Now that was always the intention. He was always food and had a time limit. I am “Survivalist enough” that I could shoot and eat my dogs if I had too…but doing so would hurt my soul and I would have to carry that. I carry too much already. Now the pig trusts and loves me as if he were one of my dogs. I can do it if I have to…but don’t ask me to. I need a friend that is not invested emotionally in him to pop him for me. I can handle the rest. I just can’t handle betraying him. This is a common problem for pig farmers. Because of this, a common practice is to trade pigs with another farmer. Killing and eating a pig is fine. Killing and eating the one you became emotionally involved with can be difficult.

Then Mr. Wu got a lease on life. An execution reprieve. The same prepper friend that we got him from was so impressed with his size and personality…that he encouraged us to keep him for a few years as a breeder. He had decided to go purchase a sow and together, we would breed our own pigs. To cover our loss of winter food, he would share half of his own boar. Now we are going from zero experience to pig breeder. There will be much more to learn.

Speaking of learning…or our lack thereof, we found out just yesterday that our pig is not suitable for rotational grazing. We would need a different type of pig for that. Grazing pigs will eat grass. Mr. Wu has never been interested in eating grass. He is a rooter. If you want to have grass fed pigs…you need a pig that eats grass. Ours isn’t it. Grass is just in the way. He wants the worms, grubs and field mice. Rotational Tilling…probably. We are really disappointed by what he won’t eat. Our intension had been to winter him on carrots and Jerusalem artichokes. He is not interested. The experiment continues. So know your pig. Until then he will partial winter on apples and squashes we have stored all over the house. And pig rations but the goal is to get him fully off pig feed. We need food that we don’t have to drive to. Food produced right here on the homestead.

Ours roots so we are using him as a rooter. He is a cold weather breed so he will be out for the winter with a shelter he can go into as a dry place to sleep and escape the wind. We fenced a temporary winter enclosure that our intention is to be an extension to our garden. We wanted to move the garden closer to the house so we have to walk less which really does take up a lot of our farming time. Walking back and forth really does consume time when added up over the year so we have to streamline our calorie and time expenditures. Of course that means expending more time to build him a new area next year.

Born free 1Born free 2(Running free with the dogs. This is where we break out into a rousing chorus of Born Free, As Free as the Wind Blows…..)

I wanted to give a word of warning. Safety stuff. Remember, I said I am an amateur at this pig stuff. Not an expert… and we are talking about a Boar here…so you do have to keep in mind that it is sort of like making friends with a bull… or me for that matter. We are complex bundles of ancient instincts, hormones and luggage.

We also learned what the term, Pig Headed means. When he is at something he wants…he is all instinct and cannot be dissuaded. Slaps, punches or kicks will not change his mind. He is just too solid to feel any of that…and he will only get bigger.

So it is important for us all to not “Babe, The Pig” this story too much. There is a reason why pig farmers bring a pointy stick when interacting with there hogs…and occasionally a pig eats a farmer…or a child.

Someone sent a note that is worth you all reading as a cautionary tale to put some balance into my story. It read,

“Hey, really enjoyed your post about MR Woo
BUT
I have a friend who had a very very nice boar who would do the roll and scratch thing
Mine did that too.
But one day his pig went into “rut” (that’s what they call it)
And his friendly li’l 80-90kg pal sent a tusk UNDER his KNEECAP and chased him up a pecan tree
he escaped, eventually and spent 10 days in hospital
He advised me to dispatch my uncastrated boar, and I did, once he got scary (which was after his lady friend gave birth)
Maybe if you never breed with him, he’d be ok, I don’t know.
But I just wanted to give you this heads up.I have a four month old uncastrated boar which I am going to swap with another neighbor who has the same
and after I’m sure the work is done, I’ll dispatch him, which will probably be in six months.I’ll be sad, but me and my kids will be safe”

Well, My public service announcement is done. Like most things, You have to weigh the risk to benefit part. You have to assess your own abilities and manage risk. A chainsaw is extremely dangerous. Its also damned useful. So, it has to be used with caution and respect.

When I first started writing this, I was in the middle of a health crisis. I figured I had a responsibility to pass this on fast. C5 Rule of Survival- If your only goal is Survival…You have a ZERO percent chance of success. Live a good life. Its far easier to live with.

Rumors of my demise were greatly exaggerated.

Soooo. I still have a responsibility to continue this post. Good news. Mr. Wu cruncher on some Jerusalem Artichokes or Sunchokes recently and…finally…decided he liked them. With winter approaching, I guess a complex carbohydrate and starch became appealing. Double good news because sunchokes are highly invasive. They are an ultimate survival food for guerilla gardeners. Old School survivalism. Plant and forget. But highly invasive. You will never fully dig them out.

Now that he recognizes sunchokes as food…he IS digging them himself. Pig to the food instead of food to the pig. Still, I’m storing them in buckets, for the winter, of half sunchokes and half dirt.

Now, another commenter had written,”This is where, as a permie, I would take a serious look at the dietary diversity and history of the native cultures of your region. Somehow, all of those indigenous cultures were grooving along just fine without Euro foods.” I will add that many survivalist leaning “A’hunin and A’fishin like granpappy and the brave frontiersmen” types will say, “Why bother with all this work?”

I thought I would nip this in the swollen, unwashed anus.

Goddess bless the First Nations. In My Blessing the First nations…we really have to ditch the myth of returning to ” dietary diversity and history of the native cultures of your region. Somehow, all of those indigenous cultures were grooving along just fine without Euro foods”. I have written about this recently enough but should badger it again. Those food sources ARE GONE…and have been for quite a while.

Example. The First Nations in my recently adopted region…in pre colonial invasion days…a staple food source was the passenger pidgin. I bring it up because most people recognize the name and that it is now extinct….but that doesn’t really paint the real picture. Try to imagine the sky so thick with passenger pigeons and other fat filled foul that it would occasionally block out the sun. Imagine Fish stocks so thick that they would occasionally stop fishing boats against a wall and fishermen reporting they could walk on them. Seals in the billions…etc

Those day are gone. Trying to return to those days is a false narrative. The forests are now mono cultures…ad a shitload of people. I’m not dissing traditional skills…just pointing out the obvious. Most of the species we take for granted almost went extinct or actually did go extinct in areas during the Great Depression and had to be reintroduced with the hunting rules we have today. There is ALOT more people today. I use American Numbers to get my point across.
C5 Rule of Survival- “30 million Deer in America. 350 million people. One deer per person per month strictly rationed. You do the unworkable math and Prep accordingly.”
I’m not trying to be an argumentative dick. Im trying to save peoples lives that are looking at …being a fake indian…as a survival fall back option. The First Nations have plenty to teach us. Philosophy. Community. Endurance. Unfortunately they can also teach us about starvation…and the near death of a culture because of it. The invaders destroyed the food source to destroy the culture.

Now imagine 350 million hungry people deciding that going after 30 million deer is a good idea. In a real modern crisis….Ild give the deer about two weeks before they were extinct….forever. Other species follow.

Another commentor added, “I see your point, but the way I see it , after I look around at most of those 350 million folks, I am betting that 3/4 of them will be gone within a couple of months as they have no idea how to live without everything being delivered to their front door. Maybe the deer will stand a chance after all”. I have heard several versions of this excuse before. Its sort of like the “I want to be under the bomb” excuse.

Humans are tenacious. That’s how we find ourselves at this piece of history, finding ourselves the victims of our own success. Consider the Syrian Refugee crisis. They didn’t go quietly into the deep. They moved!

Its only the beginning. Future climate refugees will make this look like some boring historical subnote that most without history professor credentials will yawn at. We are really only getting started.

I’m not the only one that figured out the wilderness calorie problem. Hey. Most of my early survival studies were solely based around historic First Nation lifestyle arrangements… But about the same time I was beginning to question this (can my survival experience produce Actual Survival)…other random people were coming to the same conclusion. There was a “Hundredth Monkey” thing going on. While I was pointing out the C5- 300 million problem…others put it better…and I wish I could take responsibility for the far better way of looking at it that floated around several preparedness communities. …and it was directed at Hunters that were very good at hunting. Not the rest of the people with a gun or bow or pointy stick that plan on hunting for survival . “Consider Hunting on the very last day of hunting season. Your chance are slim”. Now add everyone else with the same plan.

So……Pigs……and community or villages. Its why I make my life harder than it has to be.

A pig on a leash. A pig with a job. A pig I can take places. A pig I can release to intimidate trespassers. A pig that produces life dependent winter fat. A Post-Apocalyptic Permaculture Pig. That’s all I got. I hope you can make use of this information

Colour 3 ender

_______________________________

And that ended the article…but it didn’t end the story.

Then the Girls showed up.

With those words, many a man has been destroyed. “And Lord, I know I’m one”. Sure, they seem soft, warm and inviting….Then you find out the cost. By then you are usually already trapped. The simple and straight forward bachelor days are over.

Mr Wu was a chick magnet…3 pigs walking in snow follow

Clearly, so am I. This girl piggy used to be soooo sketchy, trusting no one. Now that is gone completely. She looks at me with loving eyes and is first up to be scratched. Mr Wu taught her how to like humans, now that she sees that Mr woo loves me. Mr Wu taught her how to like humans.

And he taught her what to do. She now follows me. If not me, then at least the feed bucket when she is less interested.

He taught them to dig sunchokes

(He teaches them to dig sunchokes)

pigs & dogs in row doc(just a great shot, hiking with the dogs)

The second female was more problematic…and would eventually sow the seeds to the loss of a friendship…but I am not going to use my pulpit to point fingers. The second sow was stunted, bit us, didn’t breed, wasn’t  smart and instigated breakouts. The general rule with pigs is to cull deep and often. You slaughter the pigs with traits you don’t want before they breed those traits into a new generation. That, and an unproductive animal just consumes costly food. In this case, Mr Wu didn’t like her much either.

But the simplicity of tethering was also coming to an end. Too many animals. especially when the piglets would arrive. It wasn’t even worth considering. That sent me scrambling onto the next experiment. A huge experiment. An experiment that failed monumentally. The Dead Hedge. An ancient fencing method. Not really a failure. As MrsC5 points out, its too easy for me to only focus on things that didn’t turn out to be a miracle cure. It did work. the area looks great now. This would work for sheep. Just not for pigs…as they can tare through almost any fence. headge wall doc 2

hedge pigs We were un prepared for pigs shear tenacity. As mentioned, we will cover dead hedging another post. I’m just pointing out that our main experiment was not just going from zero pig experience to having a consistent source of pork. It was to do this without reliance on financed  industrial consumer products. Products that wont be around one day… like electric fencing or cement or brutally expensive steal wire fencing. Or even lumber for that matter.  What is the point of putting in 20 thousand dollars of dept financed infrastructure and risking your land to foreclosure for a couple thousand dollar return. I see this happen all the time. Our food system is broken to the core. Only multi millionaires can afford to farm now days and they don’t do it by small holding happy, healthy pigs.

But before I tell you my woes, This is a good place to give a shout out to Permies or Permaculturalists. They have been diligently trying to find work arounds or re inventing old technologies, here at the end of the empire. The best news is that they share what they learn. Like here. https://permies.com/f/61/pigs

And this is the most impressive thing I have seen anywhere. EVER! Using pigs to make ponds.  https://permies.com/t/38201/Progress-Gleying-Pond-Pigs

Permaculturalists have done some good work in rotational grazing pigs. This is usually done with with a mobile electric fencing. Its best if you only keep them in the same place for about 2 weeks, then move them to the next spot so the old spot can re grow. We could do that…and next time we probably will.

But here at the Dark Green Mountain Research Centre, our focus is always on a wold in collapse where you cant just BUY your way out of troubles. So, you can say we took one for the team. At least I feel better if I look at it that way.

But before our crash and burn, there definitely was a honeymoon phase. We birthed piglets without a single death. Eleven of them. MrsC5 was right in there pulling off placentas and moving them towards the tits so they didn’t wander off and freeze to death.just after birth docfirst piglets doc11 piglets suckling 3 doc

There is certainly something to say for the Tamworth sow. She was extremely good at not crushing the babies while laying down. This isn’t the case with other breads that flop themselves down, killing a large percentage. We had done it. We were officially pig breeders.

Then it all went to hell….

one piglet awake in sleeping puddle doc(so cute like this…)

dig training 1(and this….)

pigs in a blanket doc(and this….but who am I kidding. By this point they were already becoming a nightmare mob of hourly break outs)

dig training 2(I putt’em to work early tilling the old compost pile into garden space)break out dock(Of course, this is what we began to wake up to each day. They would break out and we would be having to assess the damage before we could even get in the morning coffee)

It went to hell in a hand basket.

Well, not so dramatic. It was the slow accumulation of 100 things. Death by 100 cuts. They required our entire effort. We were trapped. If you looked away, they would break something. Boy, could they break shit. Shit that I had built. Shit that I needed not to be broken…like my greenhouses. Like our garden fence. Like the garden for that matter. Like the pig fence. Oh the pig fence. That became a daily occurrence. They got under it.  They got over it. If that didn’t work they just busted it. We kept reinforcing it. We then watched in amazement as they destroyed all our work. Mr Wu was pretty big at this point so if he got bored, he would just put his nose under the fence and rip the posts out of the ground and we would find him in the mud room with his head in the feed bucket eating a weeks worth of food. Slaps wouldn’t dissuade him. Even kicks wouldn’t work. He felt nothing when he was in feeding frenzy. I can now see the value of an electric cattle prod…though that is not a good idea to use regularly if you want a happy relationship. We would have to yank him out the door by the ears with one person pushing from the rear, with every ounce of both our strienth. As time went by and we were slow being broken, on more than one occasion I was ready to shoot the fucker and be done with him. All of them for that matter. They ALL found ways to find my last nerve and jump up and down on it. Our farm had become our prison and the inmates were running the asylum.

Part of the BIG problems was keeping them separated. Pigs are heard animals. They don’t want to be separated. Separating Mama before she gave birth was the start. She kept busting her enclosure. She tried to dig through the barn wall. Those outside tried to do the same to get to her. Their winter enclosure had now become one big mud pit. I had to expand fast, thus the excessive dead hedged orchard. That was my next all consuming task. Though they liked this new freedom, all the same fence busting problems continued. I could no longer continue the experiment. I eventually needed to run electric wire around the hedge. They still found ways to break out but they eventually figured out the electric fence. Yet they found other ways to piss me off. No matter how sturdy I built there water trough, they would figure out how to flip it, forcing me to to make watering them twice a day a huge job by wading through the mud surrounded by demanding pigs. I was constantly covered in mud and pig shit.

And we were right back to the problem of how to keep them separated. Mr Wu didn’t want to be separated from mama. Mama didn’t want to be separated from babies. The babies were escape artists. All of this involved alot of breaking of shit. Shit I had built. Shit I could not afford to have broken.

For those considering electric fencing, we missed an important step with the piglets. Electric fence training. While they are young, they have to be kept in a small but fully enclosed area with the fence wire around it. They learn very quickly to avoid the wire. Well, we missed that step so they just ran through the wire…which would panic Mama so she would face being zapped or break shit to get to the piglets. It kept going on and on.

It all came to a head when Mama came back into heat. This sent all the males into a drug induced orgy like fucking frenzy. At one point, we found one of the kids successfully plowing mama. This was a major disaster. If she got pregnant now, she would not have built up enough fat to get through the next canadian winter. She would give birth in the winter, with most likely, all of them dieing, including the mother. In desperation, we called out for help from the people we were supposedly sharing this pig breeding arrangement with. We didn’t get that help. Instead we got blame. The two sow’s owner had worked up a paranoid fantasy in his head that somehow we were abusing the animals. Nothing could be further from the truth.  It was us that was being abused.

Where to go next. This isn’t all about me whining about what went wrong. I will get around to lessons learned and problem solving near the end.

Friends were lost. Attempts at money making was lost. Attempts at community building was lost. Our garden fence was breaking down. Our deep mulch gardening method wasn’t giving us results. And now the pigs. The failures were starting to accumulate. Our successes were harder to celebrate. I was feeling like a fraud. I was feeling like I had failed. We were burnt out.

But as friends were lost, new relationships were beginning. Mythos and Logos entered the scene as well as a few others. What a contrast. While others wanted to tell us everything we were doing wrong or taking this opportunity for some dog psychology, a weak dog attacking a wounded dog to place themselves in a better pack placement position, Mythos came in, took a look at what we had been doing and said, “This place is awesome”. They got what we were doing here, them being permaculture specialists. They had gone through some of the same problems. And it turns out, we were inspiring them as well as them inspiring me.

So, fall came and the pigs went off to slaughter. Relief. Just one problem. One of them had escaped and a whole Keystone Cop episode ensued that included me flying through the air in football like tackles, getting his feet, then me being dragged along and repeatedly kicked in the face until I let go. Escaped pig had won this round. He wasn’t going…but this did impress the hell out of the friends that were helping. I would never have to prove my generally aging warriornesslyness to anyone again. The little torpedo shaped ball of muscle had won but I still walked away with my manliness intact. Facial bruises and all.

Suddenly the farm became alot more peaceful again. Only two pigs to deal with.

I saw this break out as an opportunity for further learning and community building. I had killed a few animals before and been there at the skinning but I didn’t really  have much experience at butchery. Al least not butchery that gave you anything that looked like a steak. Believe it or not, European style butchery is not the only type of butchery out there. Now, I was inspired by a dear carcass I once found near a reserve. All the meat had been taken off without cutting through one bone. It was impressive. Skeleton filly intact. I figured this was my future. But a different opportunity presented itself. I had met a new person recently that I wanted to fold into the tribe. He had raised a pig before but wasn’t  involved in the slaughter…but he had some meat cutting experience. I had killed animals before but don’t know cuts. It was an excuse for a man date. Another  person came by for the  learning experience.

This is my theory on the best way to build prepper community. Just figure out ways to get diverse people to hang out together. If you click, you click. If not, you now know. Introduce them to other friends. They might click. You might lose friends someday but like any good prepper, you know the rule- Two is one. One is none.- Built in redundancy. Have plenty of replacements. As I have said before, preppers are over rated. I have met plenty of people that self identify as preppers but few are actually prepared in the slightest. Most come with baggage that makes them have a hard time working together. I wanted to reach further afield, to those that would not identify as preppers and it would lead to one of my best C5 rules.

C5 Rule Of Survival- The single greatest survival skillset is…(envelope please…)The Dinner Party.

Just get people that are somewhat involved in food production, in the same place. I’ll cover this another time.

So, I shot him in the head and slit his throat.

The pig. Not the friend or dinner party participants. I’m just making sure you didn’t drift off.

Its never so crass or straight forward. I have an empathy for animals. Under no circumstance would I ever want an animal to suffer. A few people I have known, maybe. Hum… Should I delete that or not. How about that local sports group….

But an animal is my charge and best I can do is to make it happen as fast as possible. I had seen a pig kill go terribly wrong once. Somehow the bullet missed the essential part of the brain and it ran off terrified and in pain. I grabbed the rifle out of the hands of the person that suddenly realized he had fucked up and went after the pig, eventually finishing the job with one more to the head but from a challenging distance. I didn,t want something like that to ever happen again.

I determined that with my own pigs, I would double tap. One to stun so he dropped. One to make sure their was no mistake about it. I also decided to use the BFK I carry around the farm for daily tasks. For those unfamiliar, BFK stands for Big Fucking Knife. The moment the pig went down, I used the BFK to open the arteries in the neck. I didnt want to diddle fuck around trying to find the artery. The insertion and downward cut halfway took off his head. With a cut that size the body instantly drained of blood and he was gone. Three decisive forces of will. Those watching commented on how it happened so fast that they had almost missed it. One moment he was there. The next, gone. I had to do something ugly but left proud I had done it right. If only my death would be so fast. I find that hope highly unlikely.

cutting meat doc 1

 

So, lets go over the list of my mistakes, find some solutions, especially in the context of trying to handle all this in a world in the midst of collapse. Most articles you read tell you rosy stories, whether that is the Better Farms And Gardens, Harrowsmith, Martha Stewart fantacy world or Fake Frontiersman in raccoon cap sillyness.  They never seem to go back to their Youtube clip and tell you how it all went sideways clusterfuck. Well, not here at the Dark Green Mountain Survival Research Centre. Research means being honest about mistakes and failures and not giving people false hope by prettying shit up.

The first mistake is obvious. All of this happened before we were ready…so we were always playing catch up. We were always reacting to each problem as it was thrust upon  us. We were never ahead of it the entire time.

Now, this is the normal survival learning process. You only learn from your mistakes. You adapt. That is why you want to be living your survival plan NOW. Nothing makes me roll my eyes and think, “Dead survivalist walking” more than hearing someone say, “When the SHTF, I am going to…..”. You have already failed. Go play more Call of Duty, watch porn and live a happy life  while you can but please don’t call your self a prepper. You can tell a successful man, not by his success but by the number of failures it took . I am a remarkably successful man…… cough, hold on.Wahahahaha…… Let me get my breath. I think I pee’d a bit.

There were too many mistakes this time though. Part of the problem is that we were trying to make money. MrsC5 was trying to make money by small farming. I think she has FINALLY given up on that idea and got it out of her system. I always knew that was a fools errand but never stopped her because I justified the financial loss as not a total loss. She learned to work for a dollar an hour or less…and any trade still taking place as First World countries become Third World countries, is probably going to be a small return of that level. She now has post apocalyptic business experience. Plus, she was thinking in larger production for that inevitable day when we would have to feed a bunch more people.

If you were doing this for personal consumption, You would have eaten most of the piglets at a very young age. Have you heard of the term Suckling Pig. That means it was a weekend meal…while the piglet was still suckling on mama. One meal pig. You would have kept doing this until you had a manageable number of  pigs. No worries of boar taint because the males would never make it to fucking frenzy stage. Most north amerikans would freak because it was baby pig shaped. Not a nondescript slab clearly grown on Styrofoam.

Next problem. Here in the not so new, New World, people wanted european farming. But over in Europe, old farms had STONE FENCES. A field was made by clearing all the stones and turning that into fences that a pig was not getting through. Same with their stalls to keep them separated. It was a multi generational job to move all that stone. I don’t have stones on my farm. Who knows where they ended up. Probably filling a hole somewhere. Pig enclosures would probably have to be built here with big, heavy, split rail logs. That is a huge job…and a temporary job. Wood rots fast where I live. Sunken log posts rot even faster here. Sunk in concrete so the pigs couldn’t yank the post out of the ground would be helpful as would concrete bases so they couldn’t dig underneath. Concrete is also damned  expensive now days and sort of defeats the purpose. I have no solution. Just pointing out the problem.

This brings up another catastrophe we faced. When the pigs were eventually  successfully contained behind the combination of of dead hedge and electric wire, they successfully tilled the entire area. I now have a cleared out orchard where once I could not get through it and all the apples were wasted and trees were being out competed by wild trees. They saved the orchard…once I put cages around the apple trees in a panic because the started to strip the bark off the trees I wanted to keep. But once it was tilled and the rains came and they sloshed though it all day, it suddenly became one gigantic mud pit.   One day, once again in a panic, I realized they were standing in deep muck and couldn’t lie down so they couldn’t sleep. I got them somewhere else. Oh joy. More work. A concrete slab where they can get out of the mud would be a must. They had already trashed my mobile pig shed because they liked to tear out the walls and Mr Wu liked to flip it like a play toy. A shipping container, opened up for plenty of ventilation  would work well as a pig barn because they couldn’t trash it and it would be easy to muck out but it seems a waste of a good shipping container.

Another insight that calls towards pig raising as not being a solo venture but a tribal or village or post apocalyptic group task. Back in the Ol’ Days… real old, like goats or sheep, Pigs would have a full time pig herder. That pig tending person would have saved us from all the damage the pigs did.  I remember from those Hollywood world war II movies, the germans would insult people by calling them Swineherder. I have no idea if this was a true insult or merely a Hollywood characture. But I can see this job as being given to a slow person…or someone with no other survival skills to justify keeping him fed.

Now, after all of that bad news, here is some epic GOOD NEWS. In Peru…. almost ALL the pigs we saw on small farms or in back yards…were TETHERED!!!! That’s right. It was normal. But only one pig at a time. Bad C5 that I am, I have no photos. We were always being driven past with no chance to see how they did it up close. A metal stake was pounded into the ground and they were attached to it. Same with cows. I don’t think they were harnessed like Mr Wu. I think they were hobbled like you would do to a horse that you didn’t want to run off. Only one shot to give you an idea.pig to market c

This may work better because a harness can be pulled against with great strength. A hobble, not so much. Thus the name. Hobble. But you would have to figure out how to do it right so you don’t hurt the animal.

I think that is all I got. I still haven’t figured out how to do it without electric fencing or excessive log builds. I’ll keep trying to find work arounds.

Only one friend ever got Mr Wu’s name. He went, “That’s Dark… but funny”. Mr Wu was a character in the Deadwood, TV series. Dead bodies in town were disposed of by going to Mr Wu’s pigs. It was my playful way of communicating to visitors or trespassers or poachers that if they fucked up on my property… that they would go to Mr Wu. Buduptup.

So, I guess this is Mr Wu’s Eulogy.  All I can do is raise a toast to his memory and say, Thank you for the survival adaption lessons you have taught us all. Me the most, my giant, gentle friend.

That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Build My Greenhouse

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on May 9, 2018

Discuss this article at the Doomsteading Table inside the Diner

 

 

C5 Says, Don’t Build My Greenhouse- Redux

C5 silicone

With your Zombified Host, Catatonic5. (I’ll return to Category5 soon enough)

(A special hello and welcome to the new, regular visitors from Italy and Finland. Big numbers  from Finland caught me off guard because MrsC5, who has visited there, informs me they have a huge and vibrant Metal music scene. Soooo…in the name of good Canadian and Finnish relations “Hail Satan, and have a lovely afternoon, Madam”)

 

My brain is mush. My body hurts… and it is going to keep hurting. I have grossly underestimated what it takes to build my living willow fence. I have been using a 30 pound breaker bar to pound the starter holes 2 ft in the ground . Ive put in about fifteen hundred willow so far. That about does the garden.

willow fence 1 I have added a few hundred to close up a few places on the property that looky lues or trespassers might use for easy trespassing. I have a hard earned, new Survival Rule to announce.

C5 Rule of Survival- Store more Ibuprofen

At the moment, I start my day with it. I end my day with it.

All my joints hurt.

Another Doomstead Diner and dentist, on hearing my new rule, wrote, “Ibuprofen is a miracle drug and that’s no shit.”

Whatever you are up to during the collapse of western syphalization will probably include joint and muscle inflammation like you have never known.

I have woken, the last couple nights to fever dreams. Dreams where I am working on some project and wake up sweating, only to drift off and have it happen again and again. OMG, I thought to myself, this is like tree planting dreams. Many years ago I tried tree planting to earn some cash. The physical stress and repetitive action created dreams that everyone there got. You would plant all day, then plant all night in your sleep and wake up exhausted only to do it again. Some planters had dreams where all there trees died from J roots with the foreman yelling at them . Others, that the trees would come alive and come after them. No, really. Something like this…

(That is the story of my doomstead life right there. So many good ideas meant to make my life easier… that took on a life of their own)

That reminds me. Someday I will do a post, “Survival Advice Learned from Naked, Tree Hugging Hippies”

So…… this is a good time to take a short mental break to rework one of my older posts. That is all my mind can handle.


 

Don’t Build My Greenhouse- Redux.

GB9

OK. Let me rephrase that. Build my greenhouse. Its a VERY good idea which I will explain…

BUT… just do it a lot simpler.

That is what I learned while building it. More so, That is what I learned after living with it for a few years. That is even more important. I have a LOVE/HATE relationship with my greenhouse.

A few weeks back, still well below freezing and snow covered, the sun finally came out after a long absence. I stepped out of the shower, working my way towards clothing, took one look at the greenhouse catching sun… and said “C5, Take a Fukital pill”.

I grabbed a six pack (who am I kidding. A 12 pack) and got in some quality, nude sunbathing in my greenhouse time, “exposing” myself to nature, soaking in how awesome I am. Or at least how awesome my greenhouse is. During the transition phases of spring or fall, we use the greenhouse to heat our house. We just open the sliding window and let the heat flow in. I want to upgrade this by adding a fan to blow the heat in. This saves us plenty of firewood. Other times, when it is just miserable outside, I hang out in the greenhouse, getting all the outsidy goodness without any of that sociopathic Mother Nature trying to kill me in cold and painful ways, part.

multi 1Multi 2

I glory in my genius and this multi use room. Its not just for growing stuff. The pumpkins are sun hardening for storage, safe from frost damage. Firewood is being speed seasoned and stored so I dont have to go outside for it. Its also one big solar dehydrator. apple doc

Ive done upgrades since those photos. A second set of reinforcing beams for strength. I just added several cloth lines because it is also our new cloth dryer. The lines also hold trays to be used for food dehydration. I am going to upgrade this again so trays are up high to get the most heat and be out of the way. We totally stopped using our solar dehydrator because it it was a very attractive FAIL.

food dehydrator 2 sm

Its now being re-purposed into a smoke house. The big greenhouse works way better. Quantity has a quality of its own.

But that gets us around to that the greenhouse is an ongoing build. I also hate my greenhouse and worry about it excessively. It aint all magic unicorns shooting skittles out of its ass. Ill add everything I have learned to hate and fear near the end.

 

The reason we are writing this now, is because I recently got some local green Cred. The local, provincial, farming magazine, recently gave a full page article of my greenhouse build and the locals have been congratulating me. MrsC5 snuck this up on me. The magazine had put out a call for, cheap greenhouse ideas. I thought I would get a feel good photo somewhere in the local announcements page, near the bottom. I wasn’t expecting a full page. But, full disclosure, I didn’t get the opportunity to tell everybody everything that is wrong with it.

A reader once commented on my original article, “… like you, I have done the scavenged windows thing but wound up using more lumber, had more joints (leaks), not really a problem if used as walls but yours will be a roof, spent more time and had greater frustrations….if you will consider polycarbonate it comes in 8 and 12 foot lengths, from memory 26 or 30 inches wide, I cant remember for sure, available at Homedespot.”

Correctamundo,  Kung Fu Fonzy grasshoppers.

This took far more time to build than I had hoped and I fear its too fragile…so I will be going back to work on it to reinforce everything. Potentially, some big storm or snow dump may smash it all and have me stripping off all the broken glass to be replaced with polycarb. We’ll wait and see. I had really hoped to do the entire front of the house that year. This is as much time as I can invest this year as everything else I need to do is falling behind. I’ll finish the last half next year. In retrospect, I would have passed on the tire wall as well. Too much time and energy was spent…shoveling dirt. I was looking pretty buff, though. LOL. Bringing it straight to the ground, or on a single layer of tires would have been, no nonsense, and given me more time to do the entire house.

OK. Enough whining and warnings. Im still pretty impressed with it and I will explain why it is still a really good idea. We have a nothing special house built from a mobile home. I joke with Mrs C5 that it reminds me of a Jehovah Witness hall. I hadn’t expected to live in an actual house. That is rather hard for a nomad. Especially a house with so little character.

GB1

But its not bad considering we are mortgage and debt free, plan to stay that way…and have a million dollar view. Lousy insulation and brutal winters, though. That’s a good place to start. Climate Chaos. 2014’s RRR winter, that’s, Ridiculously Resilient Ridge, meant we got hit with the Snowpocalypse out here in Nova Scotia. It killed off over 60% of the deer. Its been Polar Vortex’s since. Could be worse. Western Canada was burning at the time and California…enough said. This region, possibly might end up being the last habitable place on earth. We have no shortage of water here. Soooo….Yes, Its also a monsoon proof greenhouse for early plant starts, frost protection and deluge protected food. Its also a heat generator once the temperature drops for the house. Its also “Space Insulation”. One wall (and the windows) is now protected against the blowing cold sucking heat away. Ideally, I’d build similar structures around the entire house if left to my own devices . Slipstream the house against ever increasing winds as the new weather goes wacky.

A house within a house. Space insulation.

There is a new concept fore you that I stole as a kid reading the book, The Last Canadian. To survive the winter, they knocked a wall out of their cabin and rolled a smaller cabin inside it. This has many applications. Do you plan to winter in an RV. Build a shed over it. Its like wearing a gortex shell over polypropylene. One sheds the weather. The other insulates.

The other advantage of this greenhouse concept…It should be easy to build…in-spite of my previous complaint of over building. I’m no carpenter. I’m a Master MacGyver and Recycler. My most influential movie of all time was The Road Warrior.

“You are a maggot, Max. Living off the corps of the old world”. That’s me.

Other than the 13 rough cut 2x6s, fasteners and silicon, everything else was recycled. I do the impossible with nothing. It’s my gift…..but I don’t have a clue how to do anything “Right”. So this is a simple enough concept. Make a lean to off your house. Cover it with something see through. No complex carpentry required. All the necessary structure was already built into the house by people that knew more of what they were doing than I. I’m leaning on their expertise, quite literally.

GB2My willow planting is quite painful to do but there is little more painful than shoveling dirt… except maybe shoveling rocks. Remember my advice about the Ibuprofen.

GB3GB4GB5

FYI. Much of the glass was from double paned sliding glass doors. Its tough glass and there are two panes in each unit but it is tricky work separating them. I broke a few. I used a box cutter and lots of patience.

GB6GB7

We then added fridges as raised beds, barrels and filled tires to act as heat sinks that would hold heat into the evening. OOPS. And I almost forgot. Rain catchment.GB8

Isn’t that inspirational? Doesn’t it make you feel good?

Now, let me tell you everything wrong with it.

People ask me, if I could do it again, what would I do differently.

The answer is…. everything. I’m stuck with it now. Its the Bi-Polar greenhouse. I love my greenhouse. I also Hate my greenhouse. Where to begin.

Basically, I got too ambitious.

The most obvious thing is to change the angle. I should not of reached out so far. It should have been more vertical. More vertical means more obvious strength to the support beams. Six inches of strength is much different than six feet of strength.Vertical is better. Te he. Especially when a couple thousand pounds of snow comes down on you. No really, at its present angel, it must be shoveled off, each big snow…or the snow will keep accumulating until the whole thing smashes. Even small snows, we have to use a large broom to sweep the snow off to let light in.  I compensated by adding a support beam at the middle and one near the top (not in the photos). No need for either if it was more vertical. We are also free of hail here but that can change.

That is why I also built this. Time hasn’t been as kind to her though.

finished greenhouse

So much promise but she is, pretty much, dry storage at this point.

C5 Rule of Survival- Never enough… dry storage.

Another subtle vertical, tall guy joke.

Look up. Look way up… to the photo at the top of the page.

You see me siliconing  leaks, quite dangerously. There is no safe place to put a ladder without breaking glass. It was tough and risky. This local fame I recently got was based on the 100$ greenhouse idea. I don’t deserve this fame. I spent far more than 100$ alone on silicon. I still have leaks. Leaks rot wood. Siliconing and painting is an on going task. So is reinforcing against superstorms. I will be adding more cross beams as time allows then siliconing all the glass wood corners together so any wind flux may crack the glass but still hold it together. All of this could have been solved using polycarb.

Lets whip back over to Mythos and Logos doomstead. Remember this? This will do the same and be more storm proof

roof 1 docroof 2 doc

It aint all about me. The next build to finish greenhousing the front of the house  will look more like this… but more upright so snow slides off it. This is more sturdy and much easier to build.

Now, lets say you are trying to do the same concept during the collapse, on the cheap, to generate some heat. Lets revisit Mythos and Logos greenhouse again… and lets apply it to the side of an abandoned and squatted in, ex suburban home.

greenhouse 2 docGreenhouse plastic over chicken wire for strength. This is a solar heater for your post apocalyptic house.

 

Now, if you have read this far…you get into the real MEAT of this post.

 

If you look up? Look way up to the first photo… You will notice shade screen… and this opens you to THE BIGGEST problem with this build.

Its too fucking hot!!!!!

It aint just a greenhouse. Its a solar cooker.

It requires management. That means you can not LEAVE IT to go do other things.

If you go away and have not left the doors open… and the sun comes out… not only will you cook your plants….It will melt the siding off your house.

Thus, greenhouse operators learned to use SHADE CLOTH. In our case, we use breeder trash. Recycled from the side of the road, trampoline safety nets. Its a recent joke me and MrsC5 had on a road trip to pick up perennial arctic kiwi plants, the next provence over . If you are in the country, if there is a 4×4 pickup truck out front, there is a trampoline in the back. On country roads, every fifth house has a trampoline. No shit.

Store every safety net you find that gets tossed. That is breeder trash gold.

It’s a one time in the lifetime of a planet opportunity, while everyone is in “Think of the children” mode, worrying about lawsuits.

Well, they help keep the excess population down.

I may do some future experimentation’s  on using trampoline frames. I turned a single one into a small animal shed. Three or four of them could make a good greenhouse.

One more job of the years is to add ventilation windows, near the roof, on the ends, to let excess heat out, without leaving the doors open, where a micro burst of of heavy winds might catch it like a kite and rip it off the building.

In the mean time, Ill keep reinforcing my greenhouse. A storm is a coming.

Speaking of super-storms and and greenhouses… This is next years build.

bus greenhouse

Think of it as a ready made greenhouse, already designed for high winds, impervious to snow load or hail, with easy ventilation. Until then… it’s DRY STORAGE… and filled with bikes.

So, to sum up. Build my greenhouse. Its awesome. Just reduce half the angle so snow slides off it and add more strength to compensate for a climate in chaos.

————————————–

Now it is bonus time. In case you missed them. Best articles of the month

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/26/were-doomed-mayer-hillman-on-the-climate-reality-no-one-else-will-dare-mention

and more-

” The Surprisingly Solid Mathematical Case of the Tin Foil Hat Gun Prepper ” (It wont allow me to do a direct link to it but you can cut and paste the title and put it in your search engine and it will take you there. Well worth the trouble)

Special mention also goes to this one as well   https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/05/07/the-spy-who-came-home

That’s all I got. Back to putting willow in the ground. Its looking like a three years of spring job. This round is coming to an end. See you next month.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C5 Builds a Wall

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on April 18, 2018

Image result for woven willow fence

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C5 Says, Build Me A Wall! Permaculture Style

wall 1

With your rather obsessive host, Category5.

I try to do one or two, ridiculous, over the top, excessive projects each year that make people question my sanity. This year is no different. What challenge have I presented for myself this season? I plan on building an impenetrable fence.  Acres and achres of fence. My only building material? Willow Sticks. Oh, And I only have about a month and a half of the right weather to do it in. And…I will have to wait about five years to see the results. No biggy.

Why would I do this to myself? It has been an ongoing, ESSENTIAL problem to solve. A task for the Dark Green Mountain Survival Research Centre. How does one make essential fencing in a time when, post peak industrial empire, store bought, expensive, fencing is no longer available, either because of an abrupt stop to resource and energy input supplies to create such products…or… a slow hollowing out of the economy where you can no longer afford to buy such products… or… of Bank Overlord debt financing  to buy such items dries up or collapses… or… one day you just wake up and say to yourself, “Well, its just stupid to get into umteen thousands of dollars in debt for something that is just going to break down anyhow, while I am spending my life at a job I don’t want to be at to pay for it all”.

Fixing fencing in the spring is an, every year, heavy duty job for any farmer. I have fence repair to do myself… in my ample free time. Snark.

I really am working my way around to talking about solving fencing issues buy growing a LIVING FENCE. Specifically, a WILLOW fence, One where the materials are free and will get stronger over time while other fences get weaker over time. A post apocalyptic WALL. “We Are Going To Build A Wall”. I am going all Trump on your ass this year without spending the gross national product, Permaculture Style. Too bad I cant make the U.S. pay for my wall.

I’m also going all Survival advice from Monty Python, this round.

So, I have an impossible job to do, armed only with a herring.

Well, a herring, loppers, clippers, a hammer and a roof rack on our disposable Honda Civic, to tie all the willow onto from ditches, far and wide (more on turning a small car into a truck another time)

(April 6th) Its spring. At least what passes for spring here. The sun has come out today. I step out of the house, survey the doomstead, take a deep breath and say….

“What a shit hole!”

With the snow gone, everything is brown as nothing is growing yet, I notice every pile of recyclable materials, indistinguishable from garbage piles, everything that didn’t get put away, every good idea that didnt quite work, everything that broke, rotted, rusted or got over grown, all the wasted effort that now needs to be fixed, moved out of the way, torn down, replaced or thrown out.

I begin to throw myself at a project, then go, “Its too fucking cold. I’m going back inside”.

I know I need to psyche myself up. I know I need to go from a winter full stop to hitting the ground running, hoping this isn’t the year I give myself a heart attack  or injure myself badly.

We have gone through the snow season, are about to move into the mud season, followed by the biting bug season and then the too hot to do shit season. The fall is the only really nice season here when it would be nice to be all nature guy but that is also the busy season of harvest and the race to prepare for the next 6 months of cold.

Now, doesn’t going back to nature sound all romantic.

We have interviewed alot of people that wanted to live here. We often heard, “I just want to live a simple life, close to nature, and eat healthy food”.

We roll our eyes and think to ourselves, “Well, that would be nice. Maybe we should move to the city where that idea is appealing, go on camping trips a few times a year and have parks to walk in, while going to trendy, financially successful farmers markets that only work because of the excess wealth.”

Oh, stop being all judgy, Other C5. You had the same romanticism before Mother Nature stuck her strap on up the poop shoot of life.

I hear ya, Other C5.

(April 8th) I cut willow today. Its seems a bit early but its going to be a huge job

cuttings

(April 9th) Another Day. Another Snow Storm. Good thing MrsC5 moved the car down to the road last night… and that the high, destructive winds hit further north. Its one of the reasons we are doing this. Global Warming doesn’t necessarily mean warm. It means a complete rearrangement of existing weather patterns… and fierce winds, while they do it. We are building wind breaks around the garden. Micro Climates.

So. Why willow, instead of more thorny plants to keep the ninjas out?

One word. Salicylic Acid. OK, thats two words. And Fast… and Free  . FOUR. Four words… Ha, Ah Ah…

(C5 likes FREE. Nothing is free though. Its all sweat equity)

Salicylic Acid is found in Willow Bark. Preppers will know it works like aspirin. I have had to use this in the bush a few times, myself, to solve debilitating headaches. I always seem to forget something essential when heading away from civilization. But that is not why we are planting it. It also acts as a ROOTING HORMONE. This makes it quickly want to throw roots out. Some people will put an aspirin in plant cuttings to trick it into rooting. I don’t have time for that. I just want to drive them deep in the ground and walk away. The other reason, is I find willow growing in ditches everywhere. The road crews have to cut them back often. You can easily identify them, first thing in the spring, by the Pussy Willows. See the photos at the top of the page. That was a test plot I put in before going over seas. Proof it works. Later in the year, you can identify it by spear head shaped leaves.

I also put it in other areas that didn’t work. They had been out competed by other weeds. This was not a fail. It just taught me that I need to weed around it until it is firmly established. We want to do this job, first thing in the spring, while the ground is wet, So I can drive the cuttings at least two feet in the soil,  so the roots have time to establish, with plenty of summer grow time. Also, because this is the time of year when it is in a race to out grow its competition. We “Stressed” the plant by cutting it, and this has put it into over drive, trying to save its own life. Sort of like Adrenalin in humans. You wont make its life easier by waiting for leaves and keeping them on before or after planting. These don’t seem to make it. They are only focusing on leaf growth at this point, not roots and wood growth.

In the years to come, we will then bend them around each other so it becomes like a chain link fence, that you just can’t push trough.

woven

(Not mine. Stolen from alastairheseltine.com)

Clearly, you are not going to see the fence in this article. Instead, we will keep coming back to it in future articles to see how it is doing. If it fails, you get to watch it fail. Thus the Research part of Dark Green Mountain.

Now, before I lose the interest of the Manly Men out there that are getting distracted by wanting to go out and shoot bunnies, this is essential survival training for TEOTWAWKI (thats, The End Of The World As We Know It, for newbies). If you actually want to harvest anything in the garden you planted, first you need to keep the deer out. They can jump 8ft fences, so you want to go higher. The two legged garden thieves are also an issue, especially once people get hungry. This should also be a good way to HIDE a garden. Out of sight, out of mind. And hide yourself, while we are at it. You may be Rambo, but you have got to sleep sometime. If you like sleep, its best to do it in an enclosure others cant get into to catch you sleeping. At the absolute minimum, you can use these barriers to force people to come at you, from a direction you can see them coming. A visual barrier also defeats most snipers… or just Looky Lue’s.

Visual barriers like this are common in other parts of the world. See my article, Sharp and Pointy Things.  https://darkgreenmountainsurvivalresearchcentre.wordpress.com/2017/04/21/survival-advice-from-south-america-part-2-sharp-and-pointy-things/

But, in the Caribbean, its common to see this, for the same purpose.  Its the most common fencing material. Its sort of unsightly to north amerikans, prissy fucks that we are…but it does have the added bonus of that, if you move, you can take your fence with you. Chattel fencing. steel wall

Now, a Palisade seems like a good idea for the apocalypse. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palisade  but it is a ridiculous amount of work, without having an army of people to build it, and it will rot rather fast. I had given this idea some thought but realised it was suicidal to try. Why not let your your palisade grow itself… and grow stronger over time.

Besides, Nothing invites a police raid or mental health evaluation, like building a palisade. A tactical hedge on the other hand, makes you a gardening enthusiast.

Now, for the Technical Tactical Growies out there, instead of the Tactical Tyke Shooters and looters… I mentioned Micro Climates near the top. Besides stopping heavy winds, It will also create summer shade around the edges  for shade loving plants, while reducing summer evaporation. It will also make for happy pollinators and bug loving birdies to add there own squirty fertilizer to the soil. And it should trap some of  the days heat on your garden into the night.

Willow is also good for bank stabilization, terrace building and stopping water erosion. The roots hold the ground together. All issues related to the new weather and rain bombs that have been showing up the last few years. If you are going to get a year of rain in 24 hrs, holding the ground in place is pretty important.

Now, buy the time you read this, its probably too late for you to take on an obsessive build like this. Besides, once it is in…its in. Instead, its not too late to just stick 3 or 4  willow stakes in the ground and just do the permaculture process of Observing. Observe what nature does. What it likes. What it doesnt. Next time you need a trellis stick, you can just walk over and cut yourself one.

(April 15. Still Waiting for the ground to thaw. Melt. Unfreeze. Gathering willow furiously, though)

I have built myself a few Hadrian’s Walls before. Nothing new to me about this build or solving this fencing issue.

hadrians wall 1

hadrians wall 2

5 years later, its getting close to full breakdown. I am in a race to get the willow fence going before it is completely gone. I’ll save you the photos. It looks like shit now (F.Y.I. Recycled electric wire, barbed wire and  recycled clothes line tops the fence about 9 ft.

Then I did an even more obsessive build. The historic Dead Hedge. Real heart attack inspiring job.

Before

DH Before 1

After

DH Bass Akward 4

This is being taken back even faster and we will do a full report, “The Grateful Dead Hedge, Redux” soon. After good and heated discussions with Permies, we came to the conclusion that the dead hedge was good to use wile getting a Live Hedge going.. The Dead Hedge eventually becomes a Hugal mound that feeds and provides stored moisture for the living hedge

(April 17- Another day, another Franken-Storm. This is a storm stretching, quite literally, from Cuba to Cana’duh. It stretches a quarter of the planet. Its huge. Luckily, we are getting the rainy edge, instead of freezing sleet, further east and north. This should speed up ground thaw so I can start pounding willow stakes into the soil. But this weather gives me the opportunity to stop cutting willow today and do some writing)

I got a note from one of my relatives. It read-

I read your recent post and I have a comment concerning your pussies.  For the last 5 years I’ve become very knowledgeable in bioengineering techniques including live staking which is the foundation for your live fences.  I have used this method on just about every project I’ve worked on over the past 5 years for bank stabilization. I’ve also monitored the success/failure of these techniques, so I know what works and what doesn’t.  You said you are going to start collecting willows in the spring.  Be careful here.  Willows should be harvested in their dormant stage, so you should be collecting them in late winter early spring. You will need to get those willows into the ground as soon as it thaws.  I’m assuming you chose 3′ lengths because that’s how long your hole starter (rebar, dowel, stick) is and you intend to insert 3/4 to 7/8 of the length of willow into the ground.  This will only leave about a few inches (minimum of 2 buds worth) of the willow sticking out of the ground.  The deeper you go, the higher success as the willow tips will reach into the water table.  If you know your groundwater table is shallow then you can aim for more shallow willow insertions. We typically use 2 m long willows. If you want to make sure your willows don’t develop disease, paint the top of the willow (to seal the top cut wound, if you have one) and soak the bottom of the willow in root hormone to promote rooting activity.

Thanks T. I’ll post this a little earlier than intended so that other folks have time to do some test plots. To start, one of the reasons I chose willow was the Salicylic Acid. A rooting hormone. Most sticks you put in the ground will throw leaves and seem to grow…then be dead by fall. No roots. Willow, on the otherhand, will throw roots if left in water. I saw this all the time, back when I used to build bent willow chairs. If your test plots fail, you may try to start the plants in buckets, and toss in some aspirins to speed things up. Same chemical. Willow bark can also be used to trick other plants into rooting. We don’t have long, strait willow here so I work with what I got. Longer will be better, to face weed competition. Willow seems to be very forgiving. I have accidentally planted some upside down and they still grew. But the longer the better and I am doing them as stakes so I can just hammer them into the ground… as deep as possible. Im expecting a certain fail rate. I will have to come in next year and fill in any spaces that did not take. I’ll use longer stakes any place they will face obvious competition.

We will cut this short, because you don’t need to see photos of sticks in the ground, and you may want to go out and cut some before the leaves start. Even if you are a bit late, in warmer climates, go give it a try and observe. Willow is pretty forgiving.

Now, this isn’t supposed to the authoritative post on live fences. It’s just to point you in the right direction. Now you know such a thing exists. You can type, LIVING WILLOW FENCE, into your search engine, go to IMAGES and see lots of different versions… around the world. https://www.ecosia.org/images?q=living+willow+fence   There are lots of ways to do this. England and the rest of Europe have been using hedge rows and live fences forever. In fact, some parts of Hadrian’s Wall are a boarder of hawthorn because the Roman occupiers drove spikes of hawthorn into the ground to defend themselves from… everybody else who didn’t want to be occupied. Sort of like the U.S. Empire Storm Troopers today. A few of the spikes grew and spread. Hawthorn is pretty rare to root though… which is why we are starting with willow. I’ll try to trick some hawthorn into rooting, some other time.

Another version of this is “Hedge Laying”

During WWII, European hedge rows were problematic enough that they built specialized tank attachments to cut through them… since regular tanks could not get through them.

Once this latest storm breaks, its time for me to start hammering in stakes. At least I hope the ground is ready. We’ll see.

(One last afterthought before posting. Willow can also be used to help terrace junk land without rock walls…and help keep rivers or streams in place https://darkgreenmountainsurvivalresearchcentre.wordpress.com/2017/09/14/c5-on-terracing-junk-land-survival-advice-from-pre-inca-south-america-part-13-permaculturepermanent-culture/ )

This is my last, obsessive, Hadrian’s Wall, fence build. Its for all the marbles. Not just my garden. I’m putting up defensive barriers, as time and willow cuttings allow. I’ll soon be too old to build any more fences. I want to get old, watching my palisade grow.

So… get out there and build yourself a tank proof, sniper scuttling, Super Storm resistant wall. Plant like your life and your children’s lives depends on it. Because it does.

——

Since people have been mentioning the Canada part of DGM, why not have DJ-C5 end this with some Retro Canadiana. Nothing is more Canadian than RUSH. It leaves me thinking of a future of Climate Refugees.

O.K. Well, that was depressing, even for the Dark Green Mountain.

So, lets make this more inspirational.

Two good Holy Grail moments deserves another. Rather good, Survival advice from Monty Python.

I sure could use an anarcho syndicate commune. Or more peasants. Whatever works. I’m leaning towards peasants at the moment.


(Thanks, D.B. for the donation and kind words)

If you would like to give a Tip for services rendered or to support the cause, go here. https://www.paypal.com/donate/?token=MHI6RXIMnpmep-_sLNw_SK10fPfNKw2G24O8SOpLN3cKo-l-imCdw5inPYaBQMkbZFaOnm&country.x=CA&locale.x=CA   All “Tips” go towards material costs for future experiments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C5 Walks into a Diner…

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of Category5

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on April 3, 2018

C5 walks into a diner

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… Stop Me If You Have Heard This One…

 

With your Host, Category5.

 

A funny thing happened to me on the way to the apocalypse.

Stop me if you have heard this one. A disheveled, aging, survivalist in a leather jacket walks into the Doomstead Diner. He puts a tiny little piano on the bar, then whips out a 10 inch pianist…. Buduptup.

That’s right folks. The Dark Green Mountain Survival Research Centre is now being cross posted at The Doomstead Diner. Hey, Mom, I’m almost famous.

To the new folks reading me for the first time, Welcome!

As I go into Season Two, this is a good time to recap who I am, what I am about…..And some of what we will be  building or experimenting with, here at the Dark Green Mountain Survival Research Centre this year. There is a good place to start. No. That is not a spelling error. It’s a quickly disappearing, Canadian spelling. If I had known I would have so many Amerikan readers I might have spelled it the other way. MrsC5 and myself  live on a paid for 110 acre Doomstead in rural Nova Scotia. You can say, it is a place that has already gone into economic collapse… and sort of has been for the last 200 years. This has its pros and its cons.

Lets get straight to the obvious. I am not like the other survivalists. I like my apocalypse Rude, Crude and Irreverent. I am the Dirty Street Punk, Gen-X Version of Survivalism.

More so, I consider most of the survivalist advice out there as completely and utterly useless. I know. I have lived much of it. It is survival advice that can not produce “Actual Survival”. In many cases, it is the complete opposite of survival and almost guaranteed to get you killed.

Thus the beginning of the C5 rules of Survival.

C5 Rule of Survival  #1 – There is no such thing as a Survival Expert. Anyone claiming to be is just trying to sell you something, whether that is a product, service, political, religious, or racial position. TRUST ME on this. I wrote a book about it that you will want to purchase.

C5 Rule of Survival #2 – Never trust anyone that says, “Trust Me”.

(Do your due diligence)

C5 Rule of Survival #3 – Take all the old Survivalist Advice and, pretty much, do the complete opposite…. and your actual chances of surviving goes up substantially.

 

Now, there is no book to purchase, by the way… but if their was, those first three rules would be on the cover… With me, Buck Naked, under the title, Modern Survivalism, EXPOSED!

There is actually nothing new about that statement. The late Mel Tappan, Survival writer for Guns and Ammo, back in the day, confronted a lot of the things I also challenge. Back in his day, he used to say the problem with Survivalism was too many Doctors and Lawyers. Not enough plumbers and electricians. Nowadays the problem with Survivalism, and even its more moderate offshoot, Preppers, is, too many plumbers and electricians… that all want to be special forces, invincible, super heroes roaming the wasteland, saving us all from evil doers.

The lives of the working class have become so miserable and meaningless that they fantasize about insurgent war and mass murder. This is, historically, how death squads happen. They feed on the most paranoid propaganda fantasies and, over time, it becomes an addiction … that needs even more darker paranoid fantasies to get the same buzz and feeling of that they have special knowledge. That they are special. It is more of an Existential Crisis at the end of empire.

 

So, let’s try to forget that the last 60 years of Survivalism and Prepping even existed for a moment, shall we.

Let’s wipe the slate clean. Let’s strip everything down to the most basic necessities of life.

And it’s not what you think.

Here are the main things we are facing. We are running out of the most essential resources as the population continues to grow. We have an economy that must always grow exponentially or it will immediately crash. And the crazy, abrupt change in weather patterns around the globe, long predicted, is now happening as we watch. Meanwhile, the Gen Pop, or  general population are going into multiple versions of insanity and denial of reality.

(I sometimes like listening to this, simply for the beat poetry. What can I say. I am a Renaissance Doomer)

 

So. Let’s start with an easy one.

If you suddenly are let go from your job and a bunch of other people are in the same position, and over time it becomes clear that you aren’t going to have another job again that actually pays enough to live on… FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE…the big question is…

…Where are you going to live?

No biggy. Think it through.

I live in cana’duh so that is no joke. Exposure and hypothermia will kill you faster than hunger or dehydration. Everything starts there. If you have a mortgage, you need to fully understand that your house is not yours. Not in the slightest. Not even a portion of it. Not until you have paid off every last penny…or sold it to some other sucker. Miss a few payments and it’s gone. Let’s not fool ourselves with the idea that if the banks fail, your house is free. They will just sell you and your debt to someone else. 2008 is still fresh in many people’s minds. The 2014-15 commodities crash is still fresh in the minds of Albertans. Greece’s collapse is still ongoing.

Many Millennials will be laughing hysterically at this paragraph and saying to themselves, “… Like I would ever be able to afford a Mortgage. Boomer problems. Shit…”

So that is your first question to answer. Where will I live when I no longer have (enough) money coming in?

 

I am not going  to actually give you an answer. That is up to you to figure out.

I am just giving you the right question to ask.

I often say, Survivalists and Preppers are really bad at understanding Transitional Phases. It doesn’t fit into their carefully scripted freedom fantasy. They are waiting for some magic event. “Bang! And we are off! Let the apocalypse begin.”

Nothing makes me roll my eyes and think, “Dead Survivalist walking”  more than hearing those, all too common, words, “When the Shit Hits The Fan, I am going to….”. Insert lame survival plan here. If you are not living your survival plan NOW, you simply do not have the working system necessary or enough experience. It’s a full time gig.

Let me rephrase that. It’s a full time gig simply to figure out everything you are doing wrong and how much you suck at simply staying alive. This is called, The Learning Curve. “If the apocalypse had actually arrived, survivors a few years later would have gotten used to a landscape scattered with empty garden-in-a-box kits, overgrown garden patches, and the skeletal remains of preppers who starved to death because the learning curve lasted just that much longer than they did” (John Michael Greer)

 

So, I created the  C5’s  5Fs  to slim Survivalism and Prepping down to something that is Real, Relational, and Relevant.

 

C5’s 5F- #1 – Food Storage –

“Because it is Cheap. Because it is Easy. Because your Great Grandparents wouldn’t understand why you didn’t and would be really angry with you” (Chris Martenson). The reason this is #1 is that even your best efforts cannot guarantee that your food systems will work, the weather will cooperate, the forests won’t be stripped clean of animals (which is almost guaranteed) or all your best growing abilities won’t be destroyed by super storms, droughts or fires. Even if you have food production down, that food must still be stored each and every year… with extra in case the next crops fail. I also often say, “Someone may try to kill you a few times in your life (I have survived a few attempts on my life before so I know)… but you have to Eat, Each and Every Day. Often, more than once.” If that seems daunting and expensive, here is all my best advice on how to do it cheaper than your diet today.  https://darkgreenmountainsurvivalresearchcentre.wordpress.com/2018/03/14/season-ii-c5-serves-cock-favored-soup-doomstead-dining-on-survival-food-storage-home-at-the-dark-green-mountain/

cock

 

C5’s 5F- #2 – Food Production –

Food. IT IS THE ALPHA AND OMEGA OF SURVIVAL. The Beginning and the End. Every thing else is extra. If you do not have that, you really have NOTHING. And You have NO CHANCE. If you were ever wondering what to do with your life, that is it. Right there folks. If that is not enough, figure out how to do it without oil or machinery input or dept financing or a functioning market to buy or sell it. That is your full life’s work right there. If where you live is not conducive to achieving this, or will not sustain food production because of climate conditions, water, population density or climate change, I have a simple answer to solve this dilemma. MOVE. Not when the shit hits the fan. Not as a Bug Out plan. Now. It will take you years of hard work and adjustment. The locals will take many years, if not decades, to accept you. (plus you will probably fail a few times. Doomsteading attempts are like Ex Wives. The first two are practice)

multi use greenhouse 2

 

C5’s 5F- #3 – Fire wood –

I live in Cana’duh. Heating is not an option. All survival advice is regional. If you live in a warm climate, this may be less important. Without industrial energy inputs, this is your one and only energy source. No wood, no survival. If you do not have this or can not use this where you are, see my very simple answer to solve this dilemma, above. On our return to cana’duh, we learned there had basically been no winter here, other than the occasional, lethal, polar vortexes which are now the new normal, and of course, the Bomb Cyclone on the day I was leaving. I don’t use the term Apocalypse lightly. There was absolutely no snow… then we got hit by 4, count it 4 Nor’easters in less than a month, in March. It has been bleak….followed by periods of really fucking depressingly bleak. I took the first snow opportunity to move some wood by sled. We will do a full article on wood soon… that I will probably just call “C5 gets Wood!”

dog and sled

 

C5’s 5F- #4 – Fuel Storage – (Short Term)

Nothing extreme here. Fuel has a short shelf life. We rotate ours into our vehicle every six months to keep it fresh. This is simply for interruptions in the fuel delivery system. A buffer. An Edge. Better to learn to live without it. I am a realist here, though. If fuel supplies abruptly shut off, the Vast Majority of the human population will be dead in short order. Energy Transition Will Not and Can Not solve this. Too Little, Too Late. If we had put war time level effort into this back in the 70s, maybe. Now? THE ONLY WAY OUT IS THROUGH. This is what this Blog is about. If you take my advice, this gives you a Very Slim chance at survival. Very Slim. If you don’t, you have none. FYI, I don’t plan on using this gas storage to run generators or “Tear around Nam looking for the shit”. It will almost all go into my chainsaw. If an abrupt stop happens, I have about two years till the gas goes bad. I was watching The Walking Dead the other night…and somehow, magically, they are still driving around. Never once have I heard them say, ” So. What are we going to do about the disintegrating TIRES”… and goddess forbid, they ever have to use their windshield wipers. TWO YEARS. This is how long I have to buck up enough firewood to get me through old age. Really. That is my SHTF job #1. For everyone else, you will quickly want to memorize the term, “Rocket Mass Heater” and let your fingers do the walking. People will become less uncomfortable using the term, “Faggot” again, in its historical usage. Look it up…and tremble.  https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/faggot

gas 1

C5’s 5F- #5 – Friends – (Long Term)

The People part of Prepping. Also the single hardest Job. And it has been an almost Full Time Job to achieve this and solve this problem in my life. It’s time for Survivalists to get real and kick the ideology driven idea of  Self Sufficiency to the curb as a masturbatory fluff Fantasy, that can not produce “Actual Survival”. Have you actually ever met a real person that is actually self sufficient? Me neither. If you think you might have, look a little closer and I suspect not.  There is a reason humans have almost always lived in villages. It is a survival system. Full disclosure. I don’t live in a village… and this makes me extremely vulnerable. My main goal in life before I die is to create one. A goal of which I expect to FAIL. I am running out of time. But you never know. I have been known to pull off miracles before. You are reading me, aren’t you? In the mean time, we throw alot of parties, go to others parties and try to think of ways to get like minded people to do stuff together. Building social reliance, social bonds and mutual support networks. Social Capital.

 

That there is the absolute minimum to survival in a rapidly changing and highly fucked up world, where a mass die off is quickly approaching. It is truly daunting. You now only have two options. Party like it is 1999 (or 2007)… or make a decision that you are going to try to save yourself and others. If you choose the latter, it is NOW time to get busy. Not tomorrow. Not when the Shit Hits The Fan. Now. Yesterday would better.

There is also another way to use the C5’s  F5s when thinking about all the other Vanilla ISIS, Yuppy Scum Survivalists out there that dominate the medium.

That would be to say out loud, “Well, Fucking Fuck the Fucking Fucked Fuckers”.

I am rather proud of myself for that one.

The other would be to say to them, “Go back to playing more Call Of Duty and watch lots of porn and live as happy of a life as long as you can, now…because your ‘Prepping’ can not produce ‘Actual Survival’… and you are quickly becoming a Clear and Present Danger to those of us that are actually trying”.

This is all my best advice, right there, shortened for  modern attention spans. Drop Mic.

Hang on. I dropped the mic. It rolled under the couch. Almost got it……….Got it!

OK, Grass Hoppers. This is my Kung Fu. Pay attention. I really do have other shit to do.

Up top is commentary. Now comes the practical survival advice.

There is an essential product you will have to purchase to stay alive…for when the shit hits the fan. Not a magnesium fire starter. Not a Glock or AR15. Not a Mylar lined poncho so the N.W.O. drones can’t find you.

A ladder. You heard me right. An aluminum extension ladder. The higher quality the better. It’s essential.

No, seriously. Have you EVER heard a survival teacher tell you, “You need an extension ladder or you will die”? Ever?

Can you figure out why? Think it through.

It is because you will have to get up onto your roof and clean the creosote out of your stove pipes… at least once a year. No one is coming to do it for you. If you do not do this, you will have a creosote fire and your house will burn to the ground around you. There is no getting around this eventually happening to you.

If you have lived it, that is Sooooo obvious that it is not even worth stating.

But that is the difference between REAL SURVIVAL TRAINING… and the other crap you read online. I expect A LOT of forest fires. Urban fires. Suburb fires, etc..

If you want REAL SURVIVAL TRAINING… here is a good one. It’s from my online friend, a trusted and reasonable prepper,  Denob. The administrator of the Canadian Preppers Network and IPN.

So, how do I know this. Do you think it comes from a divine prophetic ability? Nope. I was working on a project and left my ladder a little too close to the road. Some crack head redneck local decided to drive off with it. My first realization was that I could no longer get on the roof… and I hadn’t done my chimney clean in the spring like I was supposed to. I quickly made a ladder but it was too heavy for practical use. I am still waiting for a second hand ladder to show up at a garage sale. I suppose another piece of survival advice is, if you already have a ladder in your garage, it should also have a lock and something to attach it to. This is so thieves don’t use it to break into your house by going through any open, second story window.

The other… is that my stove gasket has been hanging down, probably should have been changed 2 years ago, and I have been waiting for spring when I no longer need the stove, to change it out. This means I burned alot of extra wood and had too hot a fire occasionally because there was too much air going in.

I suppose a third is that I had a creosote fire once, Way Back, when I first had to use a wood stove and it was new to me. It’s so common that the local fire chief took out his wood stove and only heats with electricity now. He was traumatized by seeing too many ruined lives.

But I can just hear the push back and comments from the survivalisty tactical tykes out there, when confronted with “The Ladder Factor”. It would be, “Well, you cant fit that in a Bug Out Bag”. No, really. I got that comment once when telling people the #5 purchase preppers should make is a Broad Fork https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadfork  (#1 item being a wood stove). Another would be hearing, “What are you going to do, swing it around in a circle to hit attackers with”. Really. I got that comment when presenting the #3 item. A quality, corded power drill…and a spare. It’s why I don’t and just can’t allow comments on my site. I just want to STRANGLE the fuckers!

It’s for my own mental health.

 

Sooooo. MrsC5 and myself just came back from 9 months in Peru and 3 months in Barbados. While MrsC5 was volunteering with a Canadian Development agency, I was taking the opportunity to study how others survive with less resources. We had basically burnt out from trying to achieve all that stuff  mentioned above and needed a break to recharge. For the new comers that are just tuning in now, the series started here  https://darkgreenmountainsurvivalresearchcentre.wordpress.com/2017/04/18/survival-advice-from-south-america-part-1-the-arrival/ and you can work out how to read the series in order, yourself, if you wish. There is some epic posts in there.

And what can you expect from us this year at The Dark Green Mountain Survival Research Centre? It’s going to be a busy year.

The sexy stuff  happens later in the year. We have to do some upgrades, stabilization and rust proofing on our shipping container outbuilding while bringing in a second container to be turned into a hurricane proof, fireproof, polar vortex resistant, guest house. The “Research” part of this is, “how cheaply and quickly can we possibly pull this off?” Emphasis on cheap and fast.  It will be used for people staying here. But it is also a back up home if a superstorm turns our main house into match sticks or embers.

As soon as spring hits, I will be in a race to get as much pussy as possible. Pussy willow I mean. I will need at least a thousand 3ft willow cuttings. We will be starting living fences from scratch. Animal and human barriers. Mainly around the garden, since our deer fence is decomposing quickly, but other places as well. While doing that, we will revisit the ancient fencing method of Dead Hedging.

And I will soon try to do an experiment on mobile defensive barriers, and time how fast it takes to build each 8ft mobile section. The idea is to put it in front of vulnerable parts of the house, then as more can be built, the safe zone can be expanded outwards. The big part of this experiment will be to observe just how quickly nature destroys all of our effort and whether it is worth doing on mass. So, it is a multi year experiment.

And we will be revisiting Mythos and Logos Doomstead where they will be teaching us how to render clay from clay-ish soil, the main building block in cob building material. It’s heavy, slow work. I will be doing alot of bitch work while I learn, with you as the beneficiaries. I will be doing this to begin paying them back for saving my ass and tending our doomstead when we were in a bind overseas. I also have to do the same paying back, for a friend I will simply and mysteriously call “S”. She will need some help finishing her mini home and that will give the opportunity to talk about that subject.

We will also continue to work on C5’s F5- #5. The people part of prepping.  I may call this post “50 Shades of Grey. The Ties that Bind- Sexy Adult Parties and Guy on Guy action”. It’s on Community Building or Growing Social Capital. What did you think it was about? Oh, That. Well, whatever gets you UP in the morning. Never mind.

And more. Lots more. There really is a lifetime of work to do here. We will see how much we can get accomplished in between the usual food, firewood, some odd jobs off site since we have no income coming in this year and taking care of repairs (lots of repairs. Nature sure likes to break stuff) . Stay Tuned.

See you, next month


 

If you would like to give a Tip for services rendered or to support the cause, go here. https://www.paypal.com/donate/?token=MHI6RXIMnpmep-_sLNw_SK10fPfNKw2G24O8SOpLN3cKo-l-imCdw5inPYaBQMkbZFaOnm&country.x=CA&locale.x=CA   All “Tips” go towards material costs for future experiments.

(Thanks for the donations, N.S. and J.D.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C5 serves Cock Favored Soup- Doomstead Dining on Survival Food Storage

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on March 27, 2018

cock

Discuss this article at the Diner Pantry inside the Diner

With this article, the Diner welcome Category5 to to the Pantheon of Diner cross posters.  In this case, C5 is a rank up from the typical cross-poster since he also has become an active participant Inside the Diner on our Kollapsnik Forum as well.

Like me, C5 is also concerned with the FOOD issues and how to eat cheap on the way to full on collapse, and he recently gave us a Shout Out on his blog, Dark Grean Mountain Survival Research Center.  So it's only fair we give him a Shout out back!

C5 is also another Prepper on the Diner with a Doomstead, another Hoser from the Great White North of Canada.  He's a welcome addition to our team of Kollapsnik Bloggers here on the Doomstead Diner.  We look forward to more of his articles in the future.  We also welcome any of his friends from the Permie Community to come join us for a Collapse Meal Inside the Diner on the Forum. Click the links for "Inside the Diner" or the Forum link on the Nav Bar to learn how to join our merry crew of Kollapsniks!

One warning, he is about as long winded as I am so it's a good idea to sit down with the adult beverage of your choice or a nice meal to accompany the reading. -RE

 

 

 

 

Season II- C5 serves Cock Favored Soup- Doomstead Dining on Survival Food Storage, Home at The Dark Green Mountain

 

With your host, Catergory5 …and… Some people I don’t have permission to promote… but I am going to do it anyhow. Devious bastard that I am.

I have noticed something by watching the statistics.

Few people read links I put on the page.

Fore those of you who don’t read my links….. You are not going to have much fun this post.

Its an important post or I would not of done it. I really do have other things to do.

Click the links… or it wont make sense. DJ C5 might as well kick this season off with the soundtrack to this fine article, below

 

We are teaching people how to swim, proverbially.

Periodically, I stumble onto really good survival advice… that others don’t or wont take much interest in because it is just not sexy enough. All the Real Survival Advice that can produce Actual Survival….definitely not sexy. As I have said many times, someone may try to kill you a few times in life… but you have to eat every single day. Often more than once. This should adjust your focus onto what is really important… and know what is just masturbatory fluff.

One of those better series was presented by Re at The Doomstead Diner. “SNAP Card Addendum”.

I’ve unrepentantly stolen a couple things from Re. The first is that I refer to my place as a Doomstead. It was the perfect word. Homestead was the wrong word, bringing to mind imaging of settlers carving something out of the wilderness. Its falsely progressive sounding. A Doomstead is for when society is regressing. Our place is not a farm. That implies it is a business of exploiting land, and selling something. A Doomstead implies the process of buying and selling has gone wonky. A Community implies something hippy or religious utopian. A Doomstead community on the other hand implies that you need each other simply to stay alive  in the midst of a dystopia. And it is definitely not a Bug Out Location. That implies Business As Usual with a last minute escape plan. You know I consider this a Denial Plan. No real Plan at all. A Doomstead implies acceptance and that you have put collapse adaption theory into practice…and boy, did it ever need practice. It took 5 years of full time work to simply be able to say we had Addendaed the shit out of our lives and skills to the point we simply would not die…but we would not like it much. Five years of work meant we simply wouldn’t have distended tummies and sunken eyes, ethiopian style, while freezing to death. Yup. Its a Doomstead. Then we burnt out and went traveling, knowing it was the last chance. Now it is time for more Addenda.

The other thing I stole from Re was the word Addendum. Not commonly used but I am a wordy guy and it is a useful word for what I do here on the Doomstead.

Now I am about to steal Re’s Soup….

Re’s articles, that I am shamelessly stealing are on Cheap Eats. Food that can be afforded by those on Welfare. We don’t have SNAP Cards here in Cana’duh… but the principle is the same. I have been on Welfare before so understand how hard it can be to get enough nutrition. I consider the whole episode as Survival Perspective training.

If you are thinking of checking out at this point because somehow you are just too good for this and it would never happen to you…just stop. Get over yourself… or better still, just stop reading, go back to the other Yuppy Scum Survivalist sites, roll the dice and takes your chances.

This isn’t just about staying fed while poor. Its Survival Training. Wrong word. Its Adapter Training. It will also teach you how to better use products in your food storage. How too stretch it out. How to make it healthier. How to use the absolute cheapest available industrial production food (some of the cheapest food to put in your food storage system) and yet get flavor AND nutrition AND enough calories AND still be comfort food… during a time when you will really need comfort food.

For those with less funds, this is a path to being able to to build your own food storage prepping supplies. Simply put, the only way to get past, hand to mouth eating mixed with periodic hunger, is to lower your food cost… and then focus that money into food storage as a buffer against food or financial interruption.

More important than Re’s actual advice, is that this post should re train you how to think about survival food. How can I “Addendum” my food. How can I make it Better. More nutritious. More “Edible”.

What got me thinking about writing this, is that we just came back from some places with SUBSTANTIALLY higher food costs. We simply could not afford the “Junk” food. Junk is a good word for it. Its barely food. But its cheap… thus North Amerikans eat it and think it is food. I store alot of it in my food storage because it is cheap and shelf stable. Its also grossly underpriced. Its artificially priced. It doesn’t represent actual work…and my subconscious has been SCREAMING at me that it is about to go away… some time very soon. My subconscious has steered me right before.  It pays attention to what my conscious mind might not have all the facts about. And my subconscious has been screaming at me to quickly rebuild my pantry, specifically, the cheap “Junk” food. Like canned soups. A simple doubling of the price would suddenly make many peoples lifestyles drop dramatically. Depression, divorce, homelessness and mis-focused political outrage would follow.

In Barbados, a can of Chunky Soup was going for about 8-10 dollars. A bag of Chips, 12$. A carton of Juice, 7$. Our standard of living dropped dramatically when our food costs more than doubled. It got me thinking of the Arab Spring. A doubling of food costs, shattered the existing order. Syria?  That has all been about climate change, farm abandonment and food cost rise. Suicides buy farmers from India to America. Cheap fuel uncertainty.  Market manipulation and fraud. And who can forget the truly weird weather this year around the globe. Rain at the poles while snowing at the Vatican. There is nothing weird about the weather to me. Its as expected. More to come, and speeding up.

Well, lets just jump in. Remember, you are supposed to go read it. This is where I jumped into Re’s series. It may not SEEM like advice for the apocalypse. But it is the beginning of training in how to Think about food.

 

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2016/10/16/snap-card-gourmet-pizza/

 

What got my attention in this article…is that I had done similar things. It wasn’t just me. Oh good. I chatted with my friend Mythos on the subject since he had also been from the shit. We talked about the cheapest street level food. I always did the meatball sub at Subway as the cheapest source of edible calories. It would turn into a soggy mess if not eaten right away. Re was correct in avoiding tomatoes or sauce. But his insight to cut up a sub, stretching it out into several meals, got my brain going. The sub wasnt the whole meal. Just part of it….And it can be “Addenda” or added to. Add the better things you like. Its just a base. So, I said to Mythos, “The absolute cheapest street food was Wendy’s Chili on the Value Menu.” Mythose jumped in, “Exactly. I would start my day with Wendy’s chili if I was going to put in physical effort that day”. Its when me and Mythos really started to bond because we realized we were from similar backgrounds. The next would be the pizza. Dollar slices weren’t really pizza. Just flavored fresh bread. That makes it perfect to Addendum. We do that at home. We occasionally get the absolute cheapest frozen pizzas when they are on sale for 2.50 to 3.50$. There is almost nothing food like about this product. Its barely edible. A waist of the energy to bake it. Instead, we use it at a cheep base to put other meats, cheeses or vegetables on. The use of the the toaster oven in Re’s article was also good. Way more energy efficient that heating a full stove.  A dollar saved is a dollar earned. Last would be the roasted chicken. When I lived in my van, I could only do this in cold weather since I had no reliable refrigeration. And it was cheaper than roasting a chicken once you factored in roasting cost. It was several meals. A chicken meal or two. A sandwich meal or two. Then several meals of soup once the rest was boiled up. Stone Soup. The real food of the apocalypse. Whatever you have on hand, Addendum’s your food. That is my point here. We do the same with our own chichens today. Its many meals. After the first meal, MrsC5 strips everything off the bones for other stir fries, then starts a soup from the bones to suck every gram of nutrition out of it.

Now, lets move on. This is where it gets really useful. I dare say, exiting. If you are not exited… it means you have never known hunger.

 

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2017/01/01/snap-card-gourmet-soup-ammendation/

 

Exited yet? Hopefully you are figuring out where I am going with this. Using your food storage in creative ways you might not of thought of before. But before we get there, here is more.

 

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2015/11/08/snap-card-gourmet-gumbo/

 

OK. Hopefully you get it by now. If not, let me spell it out. You can take a single can of the cheapest possible shelf stable food and change it into a meal that can feed many. Alone, you can barely call it food. But if you start to look at it as a base OR a flavoring, everything changes.

Some of you will remember I started to write a book but then decided I suck at writing books so stopped. But in my failed book, I told a story where new people came to my Doomstead at the beginning of a collapse. My character wanted to test them, so I took a single 50c can of condensed cream of mushroom soup, put it on the table and made it clear this was the meal tonight and it was meant to feed the six people around the table. I wanted the new comers to know just how valuable that little can was.

That can was barely enough to feed one person and its nutrition was negligible. So, how is it possible. It was meant to be a sauce or flavoring to make unpalatable food, edible. A 50c can of cream soup was meant to flavor a 1.50 bag of spaghetti or rice. From there, we would “stone soup”, or, Addendum it up to a nutritious meal. Foraged greens, onions from the garden, whatever tiny bit of meet was available, some dried stuff from last year, etc.  The story was supposed to be a food storage teaching tool. One little can of cheap processed food, becomes a big pot of healthy food for several…or just alot of leftovers.

Re took it a bit further though. Even I hadn’t thought about taking a can of Chunky Soup and just turning it into a better soup. Face palm. The simple genius of the idea. The best I had come up with was pouring it over rice, pasta, free bread, wheat berries, greens or potatoes, fresh or instant.

Now, some pups might be unfamiliar with the term “Stone Soup” or the parables from which it comes. No need to waist my effort here. You can look it up here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_Soup

I will say goodnight to Re and The Doomstead Diner at this point. Thanks again. You can find him here. http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/  Their forum section is also a news source I regularly visit though it is a bit hard to find. http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/  Scroll down to the bottom of the page. But I will also leave you with a few more from the SNAP Card Addendum series if you with to continue reading.

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2014/11/23/the-snap-card-gourmet-004-chicken-snap-alaska-re/

This may seem a bit pricey….. but its the proof. By eating cheap, you can then splurge. We do this. Or, you can now start saving food.

And, its also about veggies. Not just cans or meat.

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2017/05/14/the-endless-salad/

A meal plan

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2015/12/27/snap-card-gourmet-weekly-menu/

and more

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2014/11/16/the-snap-card-gourmet-003-eggs-toba-flambe/

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2014/11/09/the-snap-card-gourmet-002/

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2014/10/31/the-snap-card-gourmet-001/


 

 

So, REAL SURVIVAL TRAINING is all about food.

 

It is the Alpha and the Omega. The Beginning and the End. Remember that every time you eat.

 

We say goodby to Re but the subject is just getting started.

Im quoting…..myself.  “An example, I have used before.- A popular YouTube “prepper expert” put out a video saying, “Sorry. I cant do any more Prepper videos because I cant afford to buy any more guns to show you. I just lost my job. I am about to lose my house (behind him was the big suburban Barbie dream house). I guess they will repossess the truck as well. I cant afford the gas for it anyhow. ”
All I can respond is, “Your survival advice is shit, dude.”

Dude, I could bitch slap you all day about how your Rambo advice is bad, M’kay, or I could try to help you Adapt. Here is how I can best help you adapt to your new found roll of not having the god given privilege you were sure was your birth right.”

 

https://www.leannebrown.com/   -Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day.

 

It will direct you to a free PDF file you can store on your computer.

You see, I often say that preppers and survivalists are really bad at Transitional Phases. They are planning for a future event and they just cant wrap their heads around that it has already arrived. It just looks different than the SHTF brochure.

I am quoting once again from one of my old articles because its relevant to this post-

“People complain about the rising cost of food. If you believe that…it is because our society has become totally out of touch with their own food production. Read that line again.

Food will NEVER BE CHEAPER THAN IT IS TODAY. Industrialised food production is INSANELY cheap. Its totally creepy. That they can ship food from across the continent cheaper than you can grow it locally….creepy. No other good word but CREEPY….and fragile. If you have any fantasy that it will be cheaper to grow your own food, just knock that shit right out of you. You cannot compete with , on one hand, multi million dollar (Big bank Financed) industrial mega farms, and on the other hand, exploited small farmers making a couple bucks an hour, always one harvest away from losing their farm. Total exploitation. It’s the problem with capitalism that no one but me talks about. Eventually, all the capital ends up in a few hands while destroying every one else that cant compete with the big boys. Tyranny. That is where we are today. Eventually all capital theoretically ends up in one hand. That is the nature of our competitive system . Trickle Down?…my unwashed ass . You cannot compete with McFoodCorp. Don’t even try. Growing your own food is way more expensive. You don’t do it to save or make money. You do it for FOOD SOVERNTY. You must be willing to pay your local farmers more for food…to keep that food local…and within your grasp as the 2000 mile food chain breaks down.

But while we have it…there is no good reason not to have a stocked pantry…other than being a FAKE prepper.
“FOOD STORAGE- Because its Cheap. Because its Easy. Because your great grandparents wouldn’t understand why you didn’t and would be really angry with you.” (Chris Martenson)
We are talking prepping for poor or under prepared people here. Forget all about specialty prepper food here. No freeze dried #10 cans or MREs or any of that stuff unless you have extra cash to burn. Just buy the usual stuff you usually eat…but buy more of it…when it’s on sale…for a third or half the price. Use what you store. Store what you use. There is no need to traumatise yourself with huge costs. If you just pick up 6 extra cans when you stumble across them half price…it accumulates really fast. Your grocery bill actually goes way down. Here is the good news. Most of the crap food we ship across the continent is prepared in a way that it stores a real long time. Forget all about the Sell By dates. I’m fine eating a 5 year old canned food or rice or pasta.”

So, hear are a few other tips we learned in our travels. Down in Peru, certain food was cheap, cheap, cheap. Produce. Fruits and veggies. This is what happens when you only pay people a few dollars a day for hard labour, in a country with deceptive labour laws and no real safety net. Coming to a deregulated free market capitalist country near you.

And before I get too far, As a bonus, we will send you two more cheap assed shelf storable foods if you order today…..

Ramen noodles… and Corn meal. My mind chose to focus on this in our travels. Let me explain.

My gods! You can still get ramen noodle packs for about a quarter…in spite of inflation. Lets put that in perspective. Canadian pennies are now gone. The nickles arent even worth using any more. Dimes are the new pennies. Dimes and quarters are almost worth throwing out or turning into washers. Washers are more expensive. Yet you can buy a meal for a quarter that will last at least a decade.

But you cant really call it food. Yet this should be the most obvious food to Addenda. It shows it right on the damned package. At least on the good ones that cost more….but taste better. The actual Asian ones. They have more packets in them with oils, garlic paste, dried meats and veggies, etc. But even still, its only supposed to be a base. You addenda vegetables and meats. Duh. That means you can take a product for one measly quarter… and feed at least a couple of people on it, using up leftovers and scraps from the fridge…or foraged greens and meats. Alot of foraged greens or meat is hard to choke down. This is how you make it edible.  It also helps you psychologically transition from a food source you have grown up on…to developing a taiste for foraged foods that that your mind might reject. We developed food burn out in South America. Its a real issue that few in the prepping food storage community talk about. So I ate alot of noodle packs (though they were a lot more expensive in our travels. The real cost of un subsidized shipping and oil. Coming to a continent near you) but I added other food stuffs to it to turn it into a real meal… just like they showed on the packet. Some times I would just put  an egg in to boil as the noodles are cooking to reduce fuel costs. A penny earned.. It has been my experience that noodle packs that are a few years old, take a little longer to cook.

So, lets recap. 25c to 2$ meal that feeds two after addendum with whatever else you have. Can I possibly make food storage any cheaper?

Why, Yes I can, other C5. Yes I can.

Consistently, the single cheapest industrial food to be found in any supermarket, even in Barbados… was corn meal. Now, corn meal doesnt have a very long shelf life. Its for use within a couple years. We have been eating some that is about 3 years old and am surprised with the lack of rancidness. We learn as we do. Things subject to going rancid, like nuts, oils or flower, should really be stored in the freezer or fridge.

The most boring but simple use of corn meal is to breakfast cereal it up like cream of wheat. Yuck. Cream of snot. It will take some serious addendum. But why waist typing time.

Corn bread is the big one. Its been a staple in poorer communities forever. I’ll eat it but I am not a big fan. But it gets way better once you start to addenda it. Add canned or frozen or fresh corn to it. Onions. Greens like spinach, beet tops or the one tolerable wild green, lambs quarters. And left over meat. Ham chunks or bacon. Yum. Now corn bread is something I might get exited about. For 2.50 a bag, I’ll learn to Adapt.

So, that is why this not so very sexy post is important enough that I put all this effort into it.

Psychological prepping….

It is learning to accept that, as things break down, you may have to work labour jobs that pay way less than minimum wage, no matter how skilled and privileged and indispensable you think you are. You think it is bad now, with 70 year olds stocking shelves at walmart? Amerikans got all righteous indignation in the face of their Recession that is not really a Recession. In spite of what you hear from the talking parrot at the top, the economy is not booming. They are just repeating a lie over and over again from the oval tweeting pulpit till people believe it and repeat it. Chocolate rations are not down. They are up 10 grams. So says the ministry of truth. People got in their 2 minutes of hate on the internet and then the poll both. They were ripe to hear, “make merika great again”

And they believe that shit. News flash. Nothing can stop the avalanche. The fundamentals are the same. Same debt based economy. Same resource depletion. Same lowering of  purchasing power. Same shitting where we eat.

So, True story. I was shucking peas in front of the TV while drinking a twelve pack. After a few hours of mindless shucking, I had a bag of peas to put in the freezer. Sure. they were nice, near organic peas but that is not the point. I could have bought the bag of peas in the store for about 5$. Net loss to me? At least 25$, dozens of hours… and a hang over.

MrsC5 took this opportunity to bite. Basic dog psychology. She said, “Well. That is not very good use of your prepping time. Now, is it?”.

I understand what is going on. The female is testing me. She wants to know if I am a submissive. So I shoot her a Han Solo cocky smile and say, “This is psychological prepping. Its not just a job for ‘Brown’ people anymore, Princess. Get used to it”.

Relationship balance restored. She has affirmation that I can be a man when the chips are down. This, subconsciously, makes her feel safe. Just encase you are wondering what is going on.

If you ever wonder about this Blog and its value to “Actual Survival”, Its main purpose is to confront you with the same question….

“Its not just a job for ‘Brown’ people anymore, Princess. Get used to it”

 

 

We have covered all of this stuff on food before, though I might have been being sneaky about it.

First we covered Survival Acres 5 part series, The Fallacy of Bugging OUT, to kick the shit out of the idea that their will be food waiting for you, or you can grow what you need in time in the wilderness if you Bug Out. We stomped that idea so thoroughly that the Zombie corpse would never be able to rise from the grave again. https://darkgreenmountainsurvivalresearchcentre.wordpress.com/2017/06/23/c5-presents-the-fallacy-of-bugging-out-part-i-by-survival-acres/

We covered the absolute cheapest store-able food. Wheat Berries. I went to a person that says things that doesn’t represent me or my views in the slightest. But when a person is right… they are right. I think he sees the same in me. https://darkgreenmountainsurvivalresearchcentre.wordpress.com/2017/06/09/c5-presents-the-worlds-most-boring-survival-advice-also-the-best/

I then covered, if you have no money at all, taking advantage of waist food in our system, by getting your class issues dirty.  https://darkgreenmountainsurvivalresearchcentre.wordpress.com/2017/07/21/c5-practical-survival-advice-for-the-poor-when-its-already-too-late-to-prep/

Then I taught you how to get food for a food storage on the cheap. The “Junk” food, corporations sell for almost free. https://darkgreenmountainsurvivalresearchcentre.wordpress.com/2017/11/16/c5-practical-survival-advice-for-the-poor-episode-iii-taming-the-hunter-gatherer-instinct/

Then I showed you what REAL food production would be like without oil and just how busy you will be each and every year. That you Can Not do it on your own. Especially without the knowledge.  https://darkgreenmountainsurvivalresearchcentre.wordpress.com/2017/10/19/tales-from-the-dark-green-valley/

Then I got Naked to show you some work arounds. Self Reinforcing Permaculture food systems that grow whether you are there of not. https://darkgreenmountainsurvivalresearchcentre.wordpress.com/2017/12/13/return-to-the-dark-green-mountain-the-naked-truth/

And now I have brought you Re… to teach you what to do with your cheap, stored food.

I also threw in some posts on animal production but I am no expert in that subject. A rank amateur.

On the general overview of “Dont Starve To Death Club” That is all I got. I have badgered it to death and I will keep badgering it.

 

FOOD

IT IS THE ALPHA AND OMEGA OF SURVIVAL. The Beginning and the End. Every thing else is ADDENDUM. If you do not have that, You really have NOTHING. And You have NO CHANCE.

 

One last unauthorized promotion. All the advice I just gave you is of questionable health benefit. People may trip over their own classicism or food purity self rules. How about I give you some healthier food… and what to do with food storage once industrial food storage is all gone… and food storage is what you now do with food you actually grew…and stored.

For this I turn to FarmGal at Just Another Day On The Farm.

I think I might have accidentally scared away FarmGal. I may have accidentally insulted her with my random Bratty comments. One local friend, I was surprised had been reading my blog. She commented that it was more fun because she knew the writer. Her words. “I am reading along, being challenged….and then Comes that moment when I realized,  he decided it was time to be a Brat.”

Yup. That’s me. Its my most charming quality. But you might take it personally if you didn’t see the quirky smile. That I was just being a brat. If I am really picking a fight, you will know it because I will name names and call that person out.

Farmgal is a top tier prepper. Some people have Fantasy Football teams. If I had a Fantasy Prepper Team, I’d make Farmgal the Captain. Thanks for coming to my apocalypse. You are in charge now….

So. What does a Top Tier Prepper do? Not alot of running around in camo. She grows food. Then she eats food.

Much of her blog posts are her doing recipes. If you look a bit closer… you realize its food she had grown, gathered and stored from the season before. It was time to eat it. Yup. When The Shit Hits The Fan, you are going to need a good cook. That is real power. I pledge my allegiance… to the person that magically provides food. Nothing Magic about it though. That type of thinking about food magically appearing is what has got us into this mess.

You can find Team Captain Farmgal here.

https://livingmydreamlifeonthefarm.com/

 

So, if FOOD is the Alpha and the Omega of survival,… it sure seems sexy to me….

True story. I met MrsC5 online. After she contacted me… I read her profile and responded,…

“When I saw that you grow, can and cook your own food, It gave me a bit of wood”.

Survivalist Sexy. Oh Ya, Baby. Give me some sugar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knarf plays the Doomer Blues

https://image.freepik.com/free-icon/musical-notes-symbols_318-29778.jpg

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