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Messages - Farmer McGregor

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Doomsteading / Re: Chicken & Egg Issues for Doomers
« on: February 20, 2017, 09:53:25 PM »
I have always been concerned about the economics of keeping chooks.  It is wrong to simply equate the cost of feed with the number of eggs produced.  There is also the meat produced, the fertiliser produced, and the sheer joy of watching the birds living and breeding.  On my forest walk yesterday I could here some scratching going on, and was surprised to see my boss hen and her six chicks ripping apart a lotten log and greedily devouring the things living inside - beetle larvae I think.  This would have been 100 metres away from home.

I'm just heading off to town where I will buy a 25 Kg sack of coarse grains, (rice, millet, wheat, sorghum, cracked corn, sunflower seed) that will supplement 25 free-range bantams for 2 months at a cost of less than US$1 per Kg.  What I want is MY eggs, not factory-farmed eggs.  As long as I always have a dozen fresh eggs on tap, the rest can all go to breeding - the wastage is horrifying.  The alternative is to Vaseline them and keep them in the fridge, and I don't have the space.

As to whether they can survive or not without my additional feed, it seems they can.  One bunch that escaped and went bush were still alive six months later, and more than 6 Km away.  Whether they would stay at home without free feed is difficult to say.
"What I want is MY eggs, not factory-farmed eggs."
My opinion as well.  I'm very deliberate about what my hens eat -- you can see more discussion where RE moved it to here:

And though there are ancillary benefits to keeping chickens which we should not disregard (as you note above) there are still raw economics to consider if you're living on the edge of destitute, or when considered from the perspective of collapse: Can we successfully keep chickens if those grains you mention are either very expensive or no longer available?  In my bioregion, it would be damn hard to keep chickens alive without feeding them; turned into the wild here they wouldn't last a week during the winter.  They would quickly starve if the predators didn't get 'em.

Will it be cost effective for us to go to the work to come up with a winter's supply of chicken feed, when they don't even lay well (if at all) during the short days, or would we be better off to save the grain for ourselves?

This is an example of the type of questions I'm seeking to answer while I still can (before TSHTF).

Doomsteading / Re: Chicken & Egg Issues for Doomers
« on: February 20, 2017, 09:27:06 PM »
I will split this off as a new thread and drop it on the Doomsteading board for further discussion and analysis.

Dang, RE!
You plumb freaked me out!  Page 7 back at "Driverless Carz etc." up and disappeared along with all this discussion.
Couldn't figure out why I couldn't get it back in spite of repeatedly reloading the page (which I have to do a lot sometimes).

You need to spread out your eggs with some other stuff.  For instance, out of 4-6 eggs, I can make around 20 Matzoh Balls with some fairly cheap Matzoh Meal.  Then Make your Chicken Broth from all the bones of your dead chickens.  Be sure to crack the larger leg bones so the marrow is better rendered into the soup.

Then grow carrots and celery and run a few potato towers also.  This will add more calories and more vitamins to your soup.

I can make one batch of Matzoh Ball soup last all week as my only nourishment, no more than 6 eggs and another $5 in other materials.  I don't grow my own food, so I do have to buy the carrots and celery, but with a farm you could grow those on your own.

I'm all over that soup/stew business from stewed chickens with the bones broken, etc.  That bone broth is very important food for us -- again, got to keep the ole' bod healthy.  Which is where I take exception to surviving all week on a batch of Matzoh Ball soup. This is NOT adequate nutrition to keep your engines running well over the long haul.  You may not feel it, but you're slowly starving; systems are wearing out, breaking down, and you're failing to provide the building blocks to prevent it.  There are problems with the Matzoh Meal; it may help keep you from starving in the short term, but it contributes very little or nothing for the long term.

A dozen (less than a pint) of raw egg yolks a day is barely a minimum of good nutrition if we want to maintain robust health.

My home grown spuds and carrots are very important winter fare since they are very storable without consuming energy in the process.  We eat A LOT of soup and stew.  Just pulled several pounds of grass-fed beef bones out of the freezer today that are headed for the big stock pot for a big batch of beefy goodness.  Got to clear out the old cow parts to make room for the ones we're about to cut off our retired milk cow.

The questionable sustainability of keeping chickens is a good discussion thread.
Another would be about what makes for truly good nutrition, and how the massive physical degeneration being experienced by the great, great bulk of our society is directly a product of bad diet, bad food, bad information.
Greg, aka Radio

Doomsteading / Re: Chicken & Egg Issues for Doomers
« on: February 20, 2017, 08:49:37 PM »
All the farming stuff gets read by me. I appreciate it, and learn from just about everything that gets shared.

My main problem is laziness, and too much time spent working my day job, which makes several people's worlds go around these days. I'm grateful for the work, but it takes away from doomsteading. Gardening is the one doomer activity I've managed to get some other family members involved in. I'm not nearly as good at getting the whole systems approach to work for me, but I'm trying to head in that direction with my pigs.
Do what you can do.  Take baby steps, as they say.  It's what all of us are doing.
Some of us have more opportunity, or in my case, sacrifice other things (like cash income) to create opportunity, so we can take more steps than others.

My focus, of necessity, is to try to make most things cost justified while learning everything I can in prep for collapse.  Right now, many activities like selling eggs or veggies don't pay, but I want to be good at it when it does.  Cuz' I believe that time will come.  Survival may depend on it.
My grandkids' survival may depend on it.
So I keep trying and learning and getting better at those things that I figure out will be of value later.

RE brings up a good question in his response right after yours.  I'm going to reply to him also.

Doomsteading / Re: Chicken & Egg Issues for Doomers
« on: February 20, 2017, 08:43:55 PM »
This does bring up an interesting question in Resilience.

Why do Doomers raise Chickens?  Well because they want a source of food when TSHTF, of course.

But at the same time, all these Chicken Raising Doomers BUY the feed to give to the chickens so they have energy to lay the eggs.  The feed costs more than to buy the eggs at the convenience store.  OK, they're better, healthier eggs, but still $6/dozen and you're maybe breaking even?  Even in Alaska I buy eggs at $3/dozen.  Think of all the money you would save if you did NOT raise chickens and just bought commercial eggs!

Post SHTF Day, how will you feed your chooks so they keep producing eggs?

Excellent question!

Did you notice my statement in the earlier comment that I ought to write a post about how chickens are unsustainable?  It has to do with exactly what you're saying here.  Doomers don't realize that they may well be better off eating the chickens just to eliminate the need to feed them.

Yes, my eggs are expensive, but I know what I'm feeding those chickens and I can guarantee you will have a hell of a time finding eggs as nutritious and toxin free.  Being healthy a decade from now is every bit as important a goal as having a well equipped prepstead -- won't do much good to be prepped for social collapse if our bodies are collapsing.  Besides, if I didn't keep the chickens and do my careful cost analysis, I wouldn't know that they're not worth it -- just like those doomers.  Hence the proposed post about this very topic, looking at it from several angles, since I've thought it through from many angles.  There's a lot to discuss here.

Doomsteading / Re: Chicken & Egg Issues for Doomers
« on: February 20, 2017, 08:16:46 PM »
I am retiring the Spelling Gestapo for a while.  It was getting irritating to Diners, clearly.

You eat 3-10 Eggs a DAY?  If I can eat 10 eggs in a week that is a lot.  ::)

Long responses do take a while, but Diners do read them.  If you think your predicament is bad, walk a mile in my shoes. I drop down more prose in a day than you can eat eggs from your chickens in a week, and who knows how many people actually read it?  I mean, I have stats from Google Analytics that SAY I have 400 people every day come read my shit, but I can't be sure they are all not Bots.  YOU might be a Bot!

When you write, you write for yourself.  If other people read it, that is a nice bonus, but you can't count on it.


Thanks, RE.  Good encouragement.
Please don't retire the SG, not now, I was just getting started and having a lot of fun with it.  I like it.  Let 'em be irritated.

As to the sheer volume of your work, I must say I have been blown away by it.  It's way more than I even have time to read on a daily basis.  And I will have many days, sometimes weeks, where I can't even check in.  I don't even know what I'm missing out on, but it's a obviously a lot.  You're impressively prolific.

Re: eggs.  Put ten egg yolks in a cup.  It's not even a pint, and it's mostly liquid.  Hardly a meal, but sometimes that's all I can manage for lunch -- along with a pint or so of raw milk.  Thing is, those together constitute a whoppingly (uh oh, red squiggles under that one...) nutrient dense infusion that requires almost no effort by your body to digest.  Both are a complete superfood, so together, well, I can go all day on that.

Surly Newz / Re: The Surlynewz Channel
« on: February 20, 2017, 07:59:21 PM »
This is Surly's News Channel, not mine.  But I honestly didn't know where to post this.  And couldn't resist.  So I hope Surly won't mind.

Vitaly I. Churkin, Russian ambassador to the U.N., dies at 64

I find the timing of his death interesting, but didn't want to post it somewhere where it would automatically be assumed I was suggesting it was in any sense not a natural death.
I too found it interesting. Just hope it doesn't piss of the Russkies... (Oh jeez, the SG'l probly ding me for that one)

Geopolitics / Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« on: February 20, 2017, 07:41:42 PM »
He looks for Yes-Men and Syncophants and Toadies, and there aren't enough of them with any credentials to find out there.


I believe that's "sycophants" there chief.  You better get your shit together if you're going to be the SG Chief. 
Score, Lucid!  Point for you!

Doomsteading / Chicken & Egg Issues for Doomers
« on: February 20, 2017, 07:31:02 PM »
Greetings to LucidDreams, JDWheeler and others:
I find myself questioning whether it is worth it to compose a response like what follows (it take a lot of time).
Have the people I'm responding to moved on and will never read this?
Will anyone else read this?  Or does it spin off into The Cloud as a terrific waste of time.
Please let me know, dear readers, lest I despair.  I will be watching.  SG, just go somewhere else.

Speed limit changes to 50 mph about a mile from the house, so by the time people get here they're doing 55-60 mph.  We recently had a drunk driver flip three times, took out our chain link fence, and ended up in the middle of our front yard (which is why we don't let our kids play in the front).  It amazes me how many people build houses right on the fuckin' roads around here.
Our speed limit is lower here but we've had several incidents involving speeding drunks.  One idiot blew past here, scattered a cluster mail box all over the road before shearing a section right out of the middle of a power pole (he was airborne at this point, we went w/o power all night) then clipped off a blue spruce tree (about 10 inch diam. at the base) before coming to a halt upside in a neighbor's yard.  So I feel your pain.  Fortunately, I was blessed some years back by a few dozen dump truck loads of fill dirt from a nearby utility project that gave me a five foot berm across the front of the property -- protects the front of the house from such jackasses.

We were selling eggs back then for three dollars a dozen which basically just paid for feed.  I might incubate a couple more birds this year, but the four hens we have are able to keep my family covered up in eggs...
At $3/dz you were indeed barely (actually, probably not) paying for feed.  Definitely not if it was organic feed.  We sell ours for $6/dz and we know we're not making any money.  But people around here won't pay more.  If we were in big city yuppieville (down, SG, down boy!) farmers market we could easily get 7$ or 8$.  The only reason we sell any at all is because we have too many to use.

Only four hens?  I eat anywhere from 3 to 10 eggs a day.  Most of them I open, drain off the whites (albumin is hard to digest) and swallow the yolks raw, washed down with raw milk.  I want to up the number of those...

We tried ducks a couple of years ago, and we quickly learned that they are much more difficult to keep than chickens.  The wild life (around here at least) go absolutely bat shit crazy for duck meat.  I think we've had 6 total and every one of them was lost to predation.  I haven't lost one chicken in five years of keeping chickens.  My wife actually wrangled a hawk one time to keep it off of our ducklings.  I couldn't believe my eyes when she did that, grabbed that fuckin' hawk by it's legs and threw it about 20 feet away onto it's mouth was hanging open watching her do that.  The hawk got up and flew up on top of our garage and preened itself for a few minutes before flying off.
That hawk story is hysterical!  Holy crap, don'tcha wish you had a video of that?
Reminds me of one time where I was in the chicken yard where I had a particularly aggressive and sneaky rooster (this was before we crockpotted him). For whatever reason that I was working in there I was carrying a broom with me.  The broom handle was thin hollow metal that had originally been coated in a layer of plastic which had worn off.  The little fargin' bastidge made a play for me so I swung the broom handle (holding it at the broom end) and when it connected with his head it made the most musical resounding "DONK" sound -- KO'd the little bugger.  I thought, oh shit, I'm gonna hafta do an emergency Gut & Pluck to salvage him.  Went about my chore for quite a while (15 minutes?), looked back at him laying there all sprawled out with one leg and one wing stretched out all wonky, his head laying on the dirt with one eye up -- and saw him blink.  So I bent over him and said "You can get up now you idiot".  And he did.  Shook the dirt off and walked away.  He didn't bother me so much after that.

As for ducks, too messy with their need for water water water.  Only had them cuz' somebody dumped them on us.  Can not cost justify their existence on my prepstead at this time.  Maybe never.  I would guess that the predation problem has something to do with the fact that ducks are stupider than chickens and are much slower on the getaway.  You know, the old thing about when your camping party gets attacked by a bear, you don't need to be the fastest runner...

Another post I could write would be about the unsustainable nature of keeping chickens, at least in my climate...

RE is all about aquaponics, and I've ran into other people that are all about it as well.  I've never tried, but I'm of the opinion that it's not worth the effort for several reasons
The reasons you've stated are a major part of the problem.  I'll work on a post about my experience

(many other)...projects like a soldier fly larvae operation to feed the chickens (have the SFL delivering themselves to the coop through their exit shoot).  Building a rocket mass heater.  Vermicomposting operation.  Pond build.  Spring is around the corner so I will be busy with annual seeds.
Man, that's a fine bunch of projects!  Definitely better uses of time.
SF larvae huh?  Bet you've been reading this book:

I am interested in a number of possibilities with mass insect farming for the purpose of converting waste biomass (which would otherwise simply get composted) into protein for chickens (or heck, for that matter maybe for us!).  Obviously, red wiggler vermiculture is at the top of that list -- earthworms are a rich source of the amino acid methionine, an essential nutrient for hens, they are a breeze to produce in volume, the feedstocks are cheap and abundant, and the byproduct is black gold.  Super win-win-win.

Take a look at good 'ole meal worms, the larvae of darkling beetles.  Easy to grow in pretty good volume, and here's the kicker: they (according to some sources) can be raised on chicken manure.  The fact that I have them breeding spontaneously in the litter around my watering fount in the hen house shows the truth in that.  I just haven't mastered doing it on purpose in captivity.  Will keep trying.

Keep on keepin' on there, Lucid. We have a lot to talk about.

Comment to JDW:
If I get ambitious to do so, I could write some interesting posts for the doomsteading forum.  Some might be provocative, like "Why I Dumped Aquaponics".  Heck, that statement alone could provoke a firestorm.
LOL... you provided sufficient explanation when you said "We have 7 acres...."  Aquaponics is an intensive system, it only makes sense in small spaces.  Not much point to it if you have the room.
Sorry, not so.  Everything I do is intensive, including my annuals vegy garden done in the borderless wide raised double-dug bed method I learned from John Jeavons' work decades ago.  Bartholomew's square foot method is just a miniaturized version of Jeavons' "Grow Biointensive" style.  And I don't believe his production claims.*

My problems with aquaponics have nothing to do with having acreage.  I need every possible square inch of my earth to be productive (and profitable since 'not profitable = not sustainable'), and the most important crop I can grow is grass.  Properly managed grassland is said to be the most efficient harvester of sunlight available to us.  Look into Allan Savory's work.  I want to keep a milk cow and need desperately to minimize the amount of hay that I ship in from off-site.  MUST     GROW     GRASS!

*I should write a post about all those bullshit books that claim "grow all you own food on one-quarter acre".
Even the ones that claim to do it on five acres piss me off.  Grrrrr!

The Kitchen Sink / Re: Driverless Carz & The Pricetag of Civilization
« on: February 19, 2017, 05:54:42 PM »
I hope Radio sticks as your nickname.  It's better than Nick, and has a fun relationship to the initials, FM.
I agree about Radio -- it's fun.  And as I mentioned elsewhere, it harks back to my days as a ham radio operator, something I never lost my love for.

But 'Nick'???

I'm intrigued by your rural way of life.  I used be a country boy for reals (uh-oh, spelling police alert!). Somehow the small city life grabbed me, but I miss having wild animals as my nearest neighbors.
The rural/farm life has its pros and cons.  Hard work, no escape from chores that have to be done even in blizzards or when you're sick or your back is killing you (one of my occasional problems).  And of course, it's nearly impossible to support yourself off the land unless you scale up and become industrial; right now, the cost of food in this country doesn't even come close to the true cost of production, so we compete against an unfair government subsidized slave labored behemoth.  I'm focusing on learning how to do it well in the expectation that as collapse progresses that behemoth is going to go down.  And maybe go down hard and fast.

On the other hand, I just came back in from evening chores where I was marveling at the smell in the wind, the little storm that is moving past, the view of the mountains from out in the back pasture...  marvelous stuff.
I give thanks for it.

...if you ever want to do something like that again -- or anyone is in the area for any reason -- I would enjoy hosting a get-together.

Thanks!  That's a great offer FM!  We may take you up on it!  How many acres do you have?  Can you put up some pics of the farm?

What do you have besides Chickens?  Pigs?  Goats? Cows?  Eddie is raising Mangalitsa pigs, a Hungarian breed.

We have 7 acres in the "urban/rural interface" area outside the largest northern Colorado city.  It is the farmstead from what was a large farm originally owned as the first land claim in the area by a French settler.  Someday I can do a picture essay, just not now.

We have way too many chickens (I've been butchering batches of them when weather permits, we're down to about fifty) and way too many Jerseys: Our original momma cow that we've retired and I will be cramming her into the freezers as hamburger just as soon as I can get some preparations done for that (we do this ourselves, so we have to get a lot of ducks in a row); her two older sons which are also destined for freezers, but we have made arrangements with licensed processors so that we can sell the beef (thankfully! I really don't want to do them at home) -- incidentally, Jerseys are fawn brown colored so these boys are my Golden Oxen!; a daughter that is our only milkable (no, SG, no) cow but is dried up since she's in her third trimester; and three youngsters that will grow up to be milkers or beef.

Learned that waterfowl can be really foul; pigs and goats don't work here yet due to infrastructure and fencing issues.  Furthermore, other than pigs, these can be hard to cost justify.  Since we be way po', everything has to pay for itself somehow.  Can't have many useless eaters.  That's why I'm retiring a bunch of old laying hens.  Fortunately we have a good market for organically fed stewing hens: they make terrific bone broth.

If I get ambitious to do so, I could write some interesting posts for the doomsteading forum.  Some might be provocative, like "Why I Dumped Aquaponics".  Heck, that statement alone could provoke a firestorm.

'Nuff said.
--Greg.  FM.  Radio.     Nick???

The Kitchen Sink / Re: Driverless Carz & The Pricetag of Civilization
« on: February 19, 2017, 02:58:10 PM »
I have a small business to operate here on my mini-farm which provides my meager cash income so that I can also pursue my prepsteading (time-out, SG, it's a made-up word!) endeavors.  Winter affords me some free time to sit at this keyboard; growing season not so much.

What kind of small biz do you run off the farm?

Actually on the farm.
We are on what remains of one of the oldest homesteads in northern Colorado.  In the late forties the farming family figured out that they could put a gas pump in front of their vegetable stand and sell gas to the passing traffic -- the road used to be a combination of two state highways which were re-routed onto a bypass in the eighties -- so they bought a Standard Service franchise.  Shortly thereafter they replaced the vegy stand with a bona-fide gas station building, quit farming, and sold off most of the land.  After the bypass was built, reduced traffic flow killed the gas station, so the building was re-purposed as a feed store serving the local ruralites. (Oh shit, here comes the SG...)  The big shed that previously served farm purposes became the feed warehouse.

We came here over a decade ago and inherited the feed store business since 1) It is the only reasonable use for the buildings that the community will support -- not much demand for any other retail business around here; for that matter, not all that much demand for THIS retail business.  But more importantly 2) If we undertake a 'Change Of Occupancy' to a commercial structure we become subject to The Forces Of Building & Zoning Department of the County Government.  A change of occupancy is their opportunity to make you bend over and pay their salaries through permit fees to bring everything up to modern code.  You know, important stuff like handicap access and restrooms for employees (even if you don't have any) and traffic access/egress parking landscaping bullshit.  In effect, they hold us hostage to a 'grandfathered' occupancy.  Unless we want to spend megabucks to do anything different, our only other choice is to shut it down.  So a feed store it is.

The upside is that we have developed a tremendous relationship with a lot of the local community.  They like us here.  And it is a ready market for our excess agri-products, some of which the Official Food Police would have a cow (yes, some of it is home-processed beef and chicken) if they knew about it.  We also do a lot of teaching on numerous topics all germane to the collapse narrative, homesteading, food & health, etc.  So it's not all bad.

Yesterday I was snooping what, IIRC you called the Diner Convocation, which you boys held some time back, and was thinking how if you ever want to do something like that again -- or anyone is in the area for any reason -- I would enjoy hosting a get-together.
Greg aka FM aka Radio, unofficial self-appointed junior SG

Environment / Re: Fifty States Research Project (FSRP)
« on: February 19, 2017, 02:19:20 PM »
I'm not familiar with what you mean by "front range."
Think about the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains stretching from Laramie, Wyoming south to Colorado Springs.  That zone, for a few miles toward the east, is referred to as the 'front range'.  It's where most of the state's population resides in a handful of cities including Denver.  We are roughly half way between Denver and Laramie, nestled right up against the mountains; in half an hour walk I can be climbing foothills. In a fifteen minute drive I can be camping in the national forest.  Our elevation is about 5500 feet above sea level.

Temperatures can be extreme, highs in the summer over a hundred (F), winter spells as low as -20, with night to day shifts possible as much as 60 or 70 degrees (thin, dry air warms and cools quickly).  Average last frost on May 17, first frost around September 20, though we have had snow well within those dates.  Sometimes BIG snow.  Average annual precip of 14 inches, hence semi-arid by definition.  Most of that comes as winter snow.  In 2016 we had zero rain fall from late June until early December.  The front range can support the huge population because of the water provided by snow melt from the mountains to the west.  We even defeat the Continental Divide by boring tunnels through the mountains of the divide to channel water eastward that would normally end up in the Pacific Ocean (the part we call the 'western slope').

My place, though, has (what is for us) good irrigation water, a precious commodity in this part of the world.  Until recently, it was actually illegal to gather rainwater or gray water, and the parts of the law they relaxed are so limited that technically, it remains prohibited for most residents here.  Doing it anyway -- they can throw me in jail for water theft.

One of the major problems we have with many non-native plant species is that they are winter killed by desiccation of tissues -- even the roots -- by the extremely dry air, especially the winter winds.  In effect, they get freeze-dried.  Heck, a really dry, cold, windy winter will kill native plants.  A couple years ago we had a hard freeze (10 degrees F.) on September 10th that killed a number of otherwise hardy trees.  Truly a brittle climate.

Of course, in good permaculture form, we identify microclimates in sheltered areas, and create them using berms, hedgerows and hoop houses.  Hoop house space is badly needed for season extension, so growing novelties is strictly limited for now.

Hope that gives you something to work with.
Thanks for responding with all the good info.

Geopolitics / Re: The Blame Game
« on: February 19, 2017, 01:36:56 PM »
"aggegate" was a typo.  I'll go fix.  :icon_mrgreen:

Thanks for the  :emthup: on the rant.  Did you ever listen to any of my audio rants?  I have dozens of them up on Diner Soundcloud.

You know, I haven't listened to any yet, since that takes time where I can focus on the audio.  How I like to do podcasts is to download them onto my little portable MP3 player then listen while I'm doing menial labor, of which I do a fair amount during the growing season.  It's hard to pay attention to a good discussion or interview if my brain keeps having to shift gears away from it.  I'll get there, assuming that your podcasts are downloadable, which I am not seeing on a cursory glance at the soundcloud website.  Having to be near a computer to listen generally isn't a situation where I can pay uninterrupted attention.
Umm, hate to kick an expired equine, but "aggegate" wasn't the only typo.  Look again, Chief. :WTF:

The Kitchen Sink / Re: Driverless Carz & The Pricetag of Civilization
« on: February 19, 2017, 12:51:07 PM »
Monsta, Lucid, RE & K-Dog,
Thanks for your encouraging words.

Regarding those other sites; like K-Dog, I have also lapsed on even checking in on Club Orlov due to the limited scope of discussion along with a particular slant that is not to my taste.  JHK's blog is a good short read because he is such a wordsmith.  The commenters are mostly jerks.  K-Dog, I gotta tell ya that when I have time to scan the comments there I scroll quickly looking for two things: the big green line that indicates that Kunstler himself has posted a reply, usually cuz' somebody pissed him off, and for your avatar because I like to see what you have to say.  And I know that Greer's blog is heavily moderated for sometimes trivial reasons, but it does result in a lot of intelligent commentary.

RE, I hope that my concerns for GO have not impugned you in any way.  Obviously, I don't have enough history here to appreciate how your relationship has developed.  I'll catch on if I stick around long enough, though my presence will be spotty at times since I have a small business to operate here on my mini-farm which provides my meager cash income so that I can also pursue my prepsteading (time-out, SG, it's a made-up word!) endeavors.  Winter affords me some free time to sit at this keyboard; growing season not so much.

Again, thanks to all, and keep up the good fight!

Environment / Re: Fifty States Research Project (FSRP)
« on: February 19, 2017, 12:02:51 PM »
A lot can be done in your personal sphere of influence, and that is mostly achieved by setting an example to follow first... ...anything we do will have to be done by us doing it with our own resources.  There's always the possibility that as the years go on, and GM and I keep at what we're doing, we'll have a local following to help breath life into SUN with boots on the ground.
Well said.  I'm convinced that much of what needs doing will get done as you've described.  I have lost confidence that institutional approaches will accomplish much, rather they largely fail, and sometimes make things worse (I like how Joel Salatin and Wendell Berry talk about this dynamic).  The formalized organizations I've been involved with mostly just wasted a lot of money and time; lots of long meetings, websites and other PR campaigns including huge amounts of effort put into fund raising so that there are dollars to give to those that get themselves appointed as paid staff...   Fooey!  (Hey Chief, is that spelled right?)

Very little, if any, actual work that changed anything got done.  But folks were busied and made to feel important because they were 'changing the world'.  Until they moved on to their next 'mission'.  Be encouraged; from what you describe you're on a great path doing a lot of cool stuff -- I put ten retired laying hens (out of about 70) in the freezer this week myself.  And my retired Jersey milk cow is destined for the same fate soon.

On to bamboo.  I keep running into folks talking about bamboo.  What do you know about how well it can be grown in the semi-arid Colorado front range?  I'd like to explore that.  Do you sell what I might need?
--Farmer Greg (aka Radio, I guess)

Geopolitics / Re: The Blame Game
« on: February 19, 2017, 11:27:45 AM »
Wow.  Good article.  When you get 'em all on one page, it sure shows what a fustercluck the blame game really is.
Kinda all-and-nothin' at the same time.  Clearly foolish to try to pin it all on any given category since they are mostly inter-related.  Best we can do is to try to limit our personal involvement in activities and choices that make us blame-able.  Darn hard to do, that.  No doubt impossible as members of industrial society.  Need to go join that Kalahari bushman.

This part grabbed my attention:
Our society in aggegate has become like Parents who never will spank their children or even rebuke them in any significant way.  Kids pick up on this pretty quick, and generally by the time they hit Junior High they feel INVINCIBLE!  The Teachers are POWERLESS to punish them for misbehavior or disrupting the class learning.  In fact, often the TEACHER is balmed for the problem, both by the parents and by the school adminstrators.
and not because of its egregious misspellings (Help! Help! SG needed here!) but because it brings to mind my own grandson whose parents employ the exact technique described here.

Along with the failure to discipline (gods forbid punish) him, they indulge him in a manner that is teaching him that he is the center of the entire universe.  Ever heard of solipsism?  Sort of like narcissism on steroids.  Extreme self-centeredness.  The point of corporal punishment is to teach that bad decisions and bad behavior bring bad consequences, thus imparting an understanding of how the real world works.  So kids like him grow up not realizing that when they get away from home the real world is going to kick their ass.  Of course, when it does so, they thinks it's somehow unfair.  It troubles me deeply since I love him and them deeply.  He is being set up for some really hard knocks as collapse inevitably makes life less comfy.  Holy shit.

As to that other matter...
'aggegate', 'balmed', and 'adminstrators', are obviously just finger-dyslexia induced typos.  Do they qualify for SG floggings since they are not blatant you-did-it-wrong misspellings like 'whillies' vs. 'willies'?
Eh, Chief?  :icon_scratch:

Thanks for a great rant.

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