Country Living Series

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Too ignorant to feed ourselves vs. elitist snob survivalist

Here's my WND column for this weekend entitled Too Ignorant to Feed Ourselves.


A reader named Marty took exception to the column and wrote me the following email:

Hello,
In your article TOO IGNORANT TO FEED OURSELVES I have to take issue with you. Not that anything you said was incorrect it's not. It just that you really give a false sense of hope to the lifestyle you prescribe. I know that which I speak as I live in a very suburban housing development and have raised chickens in my back yard and have had gardens all my life. My lot is a quarter archer (not very big) and I grow as many vegetables as I possibly can.

The problem with this is we've eaten all them before the beginning of fall. This is not because we didn't conserve but that I just cannot grow enough in quantity to sustain for any great period of time. While I agree people do not know how to grow food and sustain themselves, I think the survivalist nuts give short shrift to the quantity of food needed to sustain for long periods of time. Not to mention, if a farmer doesn't have fuel to get his food to market, that would indicate a much broader problem beyond ones ability to sustain a stock pile of food and water.

And another thing: Lots of people do (quietly) know how to grow their own food. If it ever really came down to it, they would teach those that do not know how. It is not so complicated that it could not be quickly learned. That's the short sightedness that exemplifies the "survival" community and the same short sightedness they accuse the folks on the other side of the coin of being. That being if all things remain the same what would be the outcome?

The fact of the matter is Mrs, Lewis all things will not stay the same; people will adapt. Things will move more to a local level and as distribution changes we will survive. This survivalist crap has been going on since the 70's and it will keep going on till the end of this age. If I had started saving up food and supplies when these nuts first started gaining prominence, I would have a warehouse full of rotten food for an event that has never taken place. Is it possible all the things you say could happen/will happen? Of course it is but given the observable destruction of stars we have seen, it is also entirely possible the sun will not rise tomorrow as well. I am not holding my breath for either events.

When it all gets boiled down to it you are an elitist snob survivalist because you call the rest of us stupid for not knowing how to raise a chicken or grow a potato. I don't know how to cure cancer but others do and I rely on them and their passion. Does that make me ignorant to the point I should attend medical school just in case I should contract the deadly illness?

66 comments:

  1. Bless their heart. Some people will just never get it.
    Kelly in K'ville, NC

    ReplyDelete
  2. In defense of Ms. Lewis, most people don't know how to grow their own food nor do they consider that they might need to know how. Look at your avg daily meals and identify all of the things that you eat that don't grow where you live or do but not during the time of year you were eating it. After you have eliminated those items, calculate the time it takes to grow the ones left on the table. I think it would probably take someone who has never grown a garden about 3 years to get it right. The rest of the time they would be very hungry! Food storage is only step 1 just like hunting your meat is only step 1. Those solutions are not long term and if something like the nation wide trucker strike happening the 11th of Oct went for longer than the predicted 3 days we would all be in a lot of trouble. Under those circumstances even the things still left on the table after our little experiment would be unavailable. "People will adapt".. and what learn to grow all their own food in the 3-4 weeks before they die of starvation!? Go to the grocery store and ask the manager how many days of food he has in the store. Then apply Katrina like buying rate to the mix. 3 days may be too long.
    -Old Soldier

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wait.. What? The truckers are striking in a couple of weeks? How did I miss that?

      Delete
    2. Not striking exactly. Heard it on the radio Friday, I think, on one of the talk shows. They are having a protest rally at the Whitehouse to protest Obamacare and some of the other things going on. I think it's only supposed to be for a day or so, but I didn't hear it all so I could be mistaken.

      Delete
    3. Yeah .. google "Trucker Strike"
      should be the top listings.
      Several sources now.
      -Old Soldier

      Delete
  3. Sigh. Based on the use of the pejoratives - "survival nut", "elitist survival snob" I suspect it is less of a case of not getting it and more of an issue with not wanting to get it. I would reference the author to any of the recent disruptions caused by natural causes or manmade causes. The evidence that people will adapt and things will move to the local level in a gradual transition is simply not there - look at the panic two weeks ago in Acapulco.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. couldn't agree more..sheeple don't even want to consider that their lifestyles might have to change...and i don't mean that in a bad way, they've just been raised or bought into the status quo

      Delete
  4. While I do agree with your article as a whole. I also have to say that your reader Marty does have a bit of a point;survivalist have been saying its going to fail for so long that the possibility of sounding like chicken little is there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For many it has failed all ready; what does everyone think happened in 2008? Personal "collapses" happen all the time for a variety of reasons. My husband and I have started over three times. Those large buckets of rice sure came in handy. We weren't storing them, we actually ate the contents and replaced them, always keeping several months worth on hand. The produce out of the garden made the rice much healthier and tastier and all together helped us stretch our savings. At the time, we weren't considered "survivalists", just a retired military family who bought in bulk and grew whatever we could in order to live within our means.
      Nothing has to be saved for "someday". The best assets are skills that don't come from reading about it, but doing it. I live at 5300ft above sea level. Growing food is a challenge. This is the fifth year of gardening and only next year will we have produce that is third generation from our own seed. If the collapse never comes, which is what we pray, we will still eat. This year the garden produced enough to sell at twice weekly farmers markets. It was a full time job. We have learned much, such as we can grow wheat, but the harvest requires more personal calories than what we get out of it. Wheat was replaced in our plan by increased potato production and next year we will be growing beans for drying.
      It takes years to learn this from experience. I guess others "could" learn from our endeavors, but we currently don't save seed for everyone. Just where will people come up with those, if they don't have them. Unless they have a prime steer or a tame milk cow to trade us, they will be out of luck.
      sidetracksusie

      Delete
    2. Great reply.
      We did our first garden this last summer, and were schooled in just how hard it is to get a crop from ground to table.
      Ah well. The people who say 'why kill a chicken to eat when you can buy one from the store', those are the ones who won't be able to learn and will be the ones to worry about.

      Delete
  5. I have no doubt that 90% of the people out there THINK they know how to grow their own food.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There it is in a nutshell!

      Just Me

      Delete
    2. Amen. I tried to grow some tomatoes this year for the first time ever. Holy Cow! Do I have respect for all who have succeeded!!!! It is way harder than just sticking seeds in the ground and hoping.

      Delete
    3. Exactly right. Think of how many people have stated they would "gather" their food from the wild. Uh huh.

      Delete
    4. I have had very successful gardens in the past, and have hit or miss seasons since I've moved. So there is a learning curve, based on location, soil, etc. At least I have the basics, but folks who've never gardened are facing a whole lot worse situation than me...

      Delete
  6. I was told several years ago that it takes two acres of land per person to produce enough vegetables/fruits to survive. This does not include the land necessary to raise livestock. So Marty with his quarter acre has minimal chance of raising adequate food for himself not including any family members. I was raised on a 40 acre farm in eastern Kansas (wish I was back there now) with cattle, chickens, a large 1 acre garden and various crops. For a self sufficient farm one had better have multiple willing hands and a strong work ethic because farm life is hard but enjoyable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure who told you, but he is way off. M.G. Kains (Five Acres and Independence, 1935) gives a layout for a half-acre plot that can feed a family of six.

      My wife is an avid gardener, and we have a small garden in the city (about 35' X 50", which includes berry bushes and fruit trees, as well as the "usual" vegrtables: beans, tomatoes, onions, and herbs) and a plot out on her boss' farm about 40' X 60' where we grow more tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, corn (which is a space hog), squash, and pumpkins.

      I am almost 6' and we have a chest freezer that I could lie down in. We can the tomatoes and squash, but freeze corn, beans, blackberries, elderberries, strawberries, raspberries, and currants. We are STILL eating our corn and beans from last year (even after giving lots of corn to friends) and our fruit keeps threatening to overload our freezer that I have a hobby of making wine.

      The problem with "most people" that I see is that those in the big cities - even if they were to take the initiative to look into gardening - will have no place to grow their food if they wanted. The flight to the cities over the last several decades, along with the extreme division of labor, will take its toll with the smallest hiccough...or do people think the pictures of people in NYC dumpster diving a few days after Sandy were staged?

      The time to learn skills and adopt a prepper's mindset is before they are needed.

      Steve Herr

      Delete
  7. Thirty years ago, there were five large dairies in our county along with several that were smaller. There were countless others in surrounding counties, too. The Federal government bought most of them out so that they would shut down.

    It was announced at the end of this week that a dairy that had been in existence for over 100 years two counties to the south of us (the only dairy that still existed in the area) was closing. It was alarming to me because so very much of our food is no longer locally produced but is outsourced.

    It isn't just the dairies. Other aspects of our food production have disappeared. A lot of our manufacturing capacity has disappeared. It's more efficient for it to be based somewhere else and shipped in. Unless, of course, it can't be shipped in for some reason, be it a natural disaster, high fuel prices, or a war in the middle east that has cut off fuel supplies.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Well, aside from being a gratuitous name-caller and sporting a very disrespectful and contrary attitude, Marty seems to have it all figured out, doesn't he?

    No denial or unrealistic thinking there, huh?

    A.McSp

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow! Somebody actually has a cure for cancer?!? Neato! One less thing to worry about! Now I can spend the rest of my time farming for my entire local community with fuel that I don't have. Ya know, cause they can't possibly grow enough by themselves.

    Tim

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow Patrice you are now boh an elitist and a snob! Bet you didn't think you would be called tthat after you moved to N. Idaho and take up homesteading.

    This person does not seem to know the difference between stupidity and ignorance. Get a dictionary fella, they are different words that describe different things!

    I have a step brother that will not eat eggs with brown shells because all eggs come from a grocery store and all the eggs are white. He won't eat fresh produce from our gardens yet thinks what produce is in the store is safe even if it comes from thousand miles away and from a third world nation.

    I think this person is being purposely blind! That if you can't make everything you might need in life you should not learn to garden or any skills. I have been practicing gardening for over 4 years and I still don't get everything right and I sure didn't learn it in 3-4 weeks taught and helped by people that are very good at gardening.

    I'm preparing all the time and becoming more self-reliant as well as I can even though I live in the city and I am disabled on a fixed income. It's taken four plus years but it is starting to payoff big time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had a friend who brought me some farm fresh eggs that she had bought. They wouldn't eat them because the yolks were too yellow. We didn't mind them a bit. :)

      Delete
  11. The problem is he does not get is most people will find the easy way to get food. That means force. I have since the 70's been one of the back to earthers on paper but lack the income to make the dream real and I know that the people like the author is doing something that when a collapse happens, what ever type it will be, her family will be able to carry on.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Dennis

    The problem is he does not get is most people will find the easy way to get food. That means force. I have since the 70's been one of the back to earthers on paper but lack the income to make the dream real and I know that the people like the author is doing something that when a collapse happens, what ever type it will be, her family will be able to carry on.

    ReplyDelete
  13. How sad. This poor deluded guy sure does think highly of himself. I've thought that you, Patrice, and your family had a great deal of common sense.
    I'm afraid Marty will be the guy at his neighbor's door when the SHTF. He'll be certain that his neighbor will be more than happy to "share" with him because he is such a grand fellow.
    Sad. Just sad.

    ReplyDelete
  14. “Lots of people do (quietly) know how to grow their own food. If it ever really came down to it, they would teach those that do not know how. It is not so complicated that it could not be quickly learned.”
    .
    I find those sentences to be the most dangerously naïve; playing a piano is not complicated yet to play Bach's Piano Concerto #1 in D minor takes a great deal of practice. To call those who are practicing “elitist” is quite odd to say the least. To think that one has time to practice or to be taught as one is being ushered to the stage for performance during the event is downright mindboggling.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Your dear critic needs to check out the Dervaes farm in the heart of Passadina CA. If he thinks putting a couple of seeds in the ground and harvesting a tomato or two is his idea of gardening, he is fooling himself. It takes time and hard work to be successful, but it can be done. Not only do these people feed themselves on their little city lot,but they have a business selling their produce as well. They raise over 4000 lbs of food on their little, bity city lot. But, it isn't just by tossing a few seeds in the ground and ignoring it. It is their life work. Marty, you have given in to the notion that you need government and or corporations to take care of you. We aren't elitist, but determined to be free and independent. Yes, we need each other. Yes, we need things other people can do that we cannot. BUT, I don't want to be so enslaved that my basic needs must be taken care of by 'the man'. Good golly man, stand up and put your boots on and get out and make it happen. Take care of yourself and your family. If you have always had a garden, expand it. Or is having the gardener tidy the lawn each week as much extra work as you think you can handle. Man or mouse Marty? Me thinks I smell cheese on your breath.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I agree with both Mrs. Lewis and Marty. Most young people just don't know what it takes to support themselves, however some of them will adapt and learn. The problem as I see it is most will not learn how to support themselves until it's too late, by that time they will either be dead or using whatever means they can to keep from starving and dying.

    With respect to gardening I suggest 3 ways of doing this. First is conventional (plant in the ground, water and then harvest). Second is container gardening. Third is aquaponics gardening (raising fish and using the fish waste to nourish the plants).

    Using more than one gardening technique should hopefully ensure that you can grow enough fruits and vegetables to support ones-self thru the year. As for raising animals you need a lot of land to raise them, depending on what animal you want to raise.

    These and other skills needed to survive do not appeal to the younger generation because they see the hard work that is involved and want no part of it. Search the internet for articles pertaining to farms closing up and children of farmers leaving the farming life for an easier life.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I find the notion that because something large scale, catastrophic disaster NOT happening, folks should not prep? My family is the very reason we ALL should be prepping. We do not need a national crises to realize a personal crisis that can cripple us if we are not prepared. Food storage can alleviate stress and money woes when a job is lost due to a car accident. Growing foods and then knowing how to preserve them is actually sustaining without bringing income in.

    Appreciating this commentor's limited concept of utilizing his land efficiently only brings to light HE DOES NOT NEED food. Trust me. We live in the desert southwest. WE NEED FOOD. We grow so much on our humble farm. We use tires to grow in, and we can, dry, freeze, all our foods, all the while living off of the daily harvest.

    Since the 1970's people have been acting like chicken little...perhaps. BUT remember this...even the clock is correct twice a day. Prepping may be for something small, or something grand...but the only ones that will know will be those that act BEFORE a crises.

    The others will not understand the nuances of gardening, preserving, and protecting what they have...if they are tossed into a crises without any thought before. I do know I am correct in this, as history proves this true. In regional events such as Katrina-look how people acted. They could not even respond appropriately for a few days. Imagine if a blizzard occurred that left folks without power for months on end, like the blizzard of 78 did in Ohio, then what? It is not one skill that makes one prepared but a total transformation of understanding that the solution to every problem begins with me and then ripples out...not the other way of government down to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. wonderful perspective, #HumbleWife. Very similar to my perspective...I may not have a job in the next couple months, so my 'preps' right now are focused on that...power outages of days/weeks are not uncommon in my area, so we are prepared for that...and if SHTF, I have at least the beginnings of preparedness, along with knowledge that will help my family get thru it

      Delete
  18. I'm a city dweller, one of about 3 or 4 million in the Seattle area. I depend upon somebody else to produce my food. For quite a long time, say until age 50 or so, I didn't really think anything about it, but lately I have become uneasy knowing that my food (and city water) are dependent upon other people acting correctly - people I have never met and will never meet.

    Now lets compare my life to my mother's life.
    Remember, she is only ONE generation away.
    My mother was raised on an Ozarks farm in the 1930s and 1940s. I was raised in a Southeastern city in the 1960s and 1970s.

    My grandfather's farm provided the essentials, and my mom's family only went to town for manufactured goods, spices, etc.. My mom's family ate from their farm and garden probably 80% of the time. Milk and butter came from trading with the dairy farm up the road. Vegetables, beef, chicken, and eggs came from the farm.

    My mother's family could survive and thrive indefinitely, no matter what happened, while I will quickly starve without the massive daily influx of food into the grocery stores.
    Not a good place to be.

    We have a small city garden patch, but more than 50% of our "crops" failed to produce this year, despite the pretty good advice of some of the other patch members.

    Bottom line is - we're now in the process of looking for some land.
    If a realistic expectation for a non-farmer such as me is something like 35%, then we will need several acres just to break even on food. Much different than "I'll just toss a few seeds onto the ground and our garden will thrive".



    - Charlie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Charlie,
      I can completely understand your concern, we also live in a city and even though I grew up in the country, I have become quite dependent on store bought food and all the amenities such as water that come directly into my house. I am most concerned about the growing food aspect as we transplanted ourselves from Oregon to Arizona and I know nothing of growing anything in the Arizona weather. I am at a complete loss how to learn how to grow things here and never learned to can any produce for a rainy day, I helped my mom as a child but never learned how to do it for myself. I am hoping to get to know some ladies here who can help with this problem before things get so bad.

      Delete
  19. Your reader Marty has taken one of your columns and tried his best to shoot it full of holes, while ignoring everything else you have been saying for several years, now. Trouble is, poor ol' Marty is shooting blanks! If Marty had read more of your past columns and articles, he would know you are ANYTHING but an "elitist snob"! Then again, Marty's mind is obviously so made up that there's no convincing him of his error. You have said MANY times that we need to stock up with canned goods, dried goods, water, etc., as well as growing what we can. I seriously doubt that Marty really has a garden or has ever grown anything besides a few hangnails. His lot is a quarter "archer"? Does he mean a quarter ACRE? Whatever. I'm not buying his insulting ravings for a second. He's (she's?) just another brainwashed liberal-progressive living a lie. He/she sounds like a miserable human being. --Fred in AZ

    ReplyDelete
  20. It would be a lot more accurate to say that people are too ignorant of food production to feed themselves. Being too stupid to feed yourself would be letting apples fall on your head, yet going hungry because you could not find apples in the grocery store that had closed. Ignorance can be cured with education from others as to how to grow food.

    I have 1/3 of an acre that has a house with a large footprint. About 80% of the yard is in shade. On my 1/3 acre I keep four hens that would provide me with protein.

    I believe that with stored dried beans, sugar, oats and powdered milk, I could feed myself, a household of one with gardening. Adding a rooster so I could always have meat and more hens would be the only thing that would be needed. I already have access to pecans and grapes in my yard, grow potatoes and turnips for the greens. I have never tried to grow carrots, onions, or garlic, but will be doing that soon.

    I would miss pineapples and bananas, but am growing pineapples now and have dehydrated bananas.

    I do think that if people are trying to keep their old standard of eating they will have to have more land to grow beef and have a cow and pigs. Since 95% of the meat I eat is chicken, I would not suffer by going to eating 100% chicken. I can adapt to not having lots of variety in my diet. I would have the proper nutrition, just not three kinds of citrus fruit like I can have now. Rose hips work for vitamin C. Maybe altering our ideas about endless variety would result in needing less land.

    We are not stupid people. We are ignorant people.

    ReplyDelete
  21. He makes some good points, but so do you. Opinions are a dime a dozen. I take what everyone says or writes w/ a grain of salt, and use my own judgement and common sense.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Wow ! I didn't realize you were an elitist snob. Shame on you. But that's OK. I never could tell the difference anyway.

    Huggs..

    ReplyDelete
  23. I guess she forgets that people need food daily and healthcare, not so much....usually. And that people would rather steal food than work for it. If people liked to work for food (by growing their own) and it was easy to do, well there would be no food stamps now would there? lol!

    ReplyDelete
  24. He could use a dictionary, a grammar book, and basic typing skills, too :)
    Jeff

    ReplyDelete
  25. well...I guess he (she) told you, huh?

    Shadowfaxhound

    ReplyDelete
  26. We live on 15 acres and have chickens. 2 years ago I thought I would grow corn to help feed them. I got some Painted Mountain corn because here in Texas if the crop is not mature by the middle of June it will die. The first year I dropped the seed into the ground and waited. I got about 1% germination! OK this is not Illinois and there was not enough moisture in the soil to let the seed grow. The second year I soaked the seed overnight and got a 90% germination. I had planted the corn in solid rows about 6" apart. When the weeds started I discovered that I could not till all the weeds away. I managed to harvest some corn but not much. This next year I will plant in hills with enough room to rototill going both ways to get the weeds. Sweet potatoes do very well here so I will plant some as a shade crop to help shade out the weeds. I will also have to irrigate to make this happen. This is not an easy journey!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I too want to grow corn next year. However, I live on a quarter acre lot in Florida. I was reading of how the indians would grow complimentary crops together. Known as the Three Sisters, they would grow corn, squash and beans in the same plot. The squash would provide shade for the corn roots, while the beans would add nutrients to the soil, and the corn provided the beans somewhere to climb. Has anyone had success with this? I want to try for.a late February planting.

      Patrice, I enjoy your blog with all you show like cheese making and such, and your pictures of your homestading life.

      Thanks, Alex in Florida

      Delete
    2. I don't know about Florida and this method might work great there. I always have to plant our squash far away, cause it just takes over. I have 6' pole beans it climb up and over and anything underneath struggles to survive. I grew pole beans with corn last year and it did the same thing, but where the weather is hot it might work great... just not in New Hampshire.

      Delete
  27. Marty has contradicted himself in at least one place and overestimated in some others. He has a quarter acre that can't produce enough to last until fall yet would have a warehouse full of rotting food if he start prepping. He also has some misconceptions about gardening that are far to lengthy a list to show here. I have been keeping a garden for many years and am still learning. You will also have good years and bad years with a garden. I think Marty has assumed that he knows more than he does and can do more than he can.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I actually live on a large-scale family farm where we raise corn, beans, and a small amount of wheat. We also have several hundred head of beef cattle. I only recently started storing food for my family, and feel like I am SO far behind. But, I am reading like crazy, and trying to put into practice some of what I am learning. One of our biggest concerns is actually how other people will react should a collapse ever occur. Likely our herds would be decimated by people killing for a single meal and leaving the rest to rot. We simply cannot control the trespassing deer hunters who are NOT hungry right now, much less a starving local population who are unaware of how to feed themselves should the store shelves ever become empty.

    This was the first year I gardened in several years. Historically, I would go to the store and buy my plants for the garden. This year, I started my own seeds. I actually did buy plants, too, because I was a little late in getting things started. I have learned a lot in my small plot of garden. I am already planning out when I will plant my heirloom seeds (that I am saving from this year) for next year's garden. In other words, it is definitely a learning process. I have many of the supplies that I will need to provide for my family, but I can tell you from the meager amounts of produce that my small garden supplied, it will be lots of work to put it up!

    I suppose my point has been stated by others before me, but Marty and others like him will likely be surprised to learn just how hard it is to provide for his family if TSHF ever happens. Honestly, I hope it doesn't, but I am not going to bury my head in the sand. I couldn't live with myself if I had been given a head's up, and I chose to ignore it. I would rather be where I am right now than where he is. I may be behind, but he hasn't even got the right mind to get started.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen, at least we have gotten a start, and are not ignorant of the skills needed. I'm still learning too, and forums like this are a great help. I applaud Patrice, and I wish I was in a position to make a move like hers. Her knowledge is invaluable.

      Delete
  29. Even if one can produce food quickly, where will those who wait until the last minute obtain canning equipment and jars? Yes, lots of root veges can be kept cool and beets can be left in the ground (well, more than just beets, we enjoyed tremendously sweet parsnips this spring) but will people know that? Will they bother to grow beets and parsnips?
    Learning is doing. Just wait until many try to grow food in their suburban lots (which can be done) and they get blow their well kept sod and find hardpan. Where are they going to get soil at the last minute?
    sidetracksusie

    ReplyDelete
  30. Wow. A lot of great comments today.

    My reaction to "Marty?"

    1. Gardening, a skill "quickly learned?" BWAHAHAHA! Are you kidding me?

    2. Seems like what "Marty" is ultimately suggesting - the importance of being a contributing part of a close community - is something this blog has been talking about, encouraging, and participating in for years.

    He's on the same page and doesn't even know it.

    Just Me

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do agree with this. I know many who start gardening, but usually take 2-3 years to first of all get the soil up to snuff and then to gain the skill of planting and growing the right amounts and the right crops for their particular zone... and zones are shifting too.

      Delete
  31. Gardening quickly learned? I've been an organic farmer for 35 years and I still have crops fail. As for having a mountain of rotting food evidently marty has not heard of stock rotation.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Wow. Seems like Marty is a little sensitive about this subject.

    Yes, a lot of people do have the 'knowledge' of how to grow food. Stick a seed in the ground, water it, wait, harvest food, right? What Most people lack is the experience and skill that comes during the 'wait' part of that process. Also missing is the understanding of what comes before 'stick the seed in the ground' step. It is the part between the 'knowing' and the 'harvesting enough to sustain life' that is the catch. That's what most people lack. In a crunch, gaining that understanding will take more time than it will take to starve to death, even with help from those who can grow enough. Oops.

    Marty seems to think that because 'knowing' how to do it is easy, no skill or supporting base of knowledge is required. I doubt he uses this same philosophy when faced with choosing a surgeon -- hey we all 'know' the steps to removing an appendix, right? Seems like he is expecting those who can to bail him out during tough times. Probably won't happen that way.

    I've gardened for a long time, but there is a huge difference between gardening for seasonal fruit and feeding your family. My hat is off to those who can, or who even come close. I keep and rotate my food storage to give me a chance to survive my minimal farming skills as I build them over time, which I've already started to do.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Wow, the hostility toward survival-minded people... What is Marty trying to compensate for? Never mind, just a rhetorical question.

    Not everyone will be able to grow/raise all of their own food (like us). The question to ask yourself is, 'What will you be able to provide of value to those who have food?' And I might add the same for 'security', 'medical needs' etc.
    Montana Guy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree wholeheartedly...I hope to be able to use my medical background/experience in exchange for the skills I lack in, but I continue to learn and explore where I know I am lacking

      Delete
  34. Somebody needs to tell this er 'gentleman' Marty that thirty years ago the number of SHTFtype preppers probably were less than one third of what they are now. These days, every little home around here has a garden going, and every time I pass their pathetic corn stalks, and lack of amendments to the soil--they all look like they are learning the reality of the effort it takes to produce food. Thirty years ago we did not have 17 TRILLION in debt and counting, with money being printed everyday to keep the markets from collapsing. Thirty years ago, whenever years ago, folks who think they can get by on how to farm from a book very quickly came to the realization that growing your own food is an art. And that is why preppers share with each other in the art of breadmaking, milking a cow, canning food, etc...

    Seems like the only 'elitist snob' around here is you Marty, for your reliance on false arguments, one right after the other. So what if everything you say is true--you still have to have something put by for a rainy day, at least to get to Friday? We all prep, just some are prepping for the long haul, and thankfully we are sharing our experiences as a community. (Liberals always seem so jealous of this that and the other that folks have.)

    You seem to forget that during WWII folks canned, saved, and made do, same as the Depression, same as the Civil War, and now with so many on welfare, food stamps, unemployment and disability, in numbers equal to the population of the East Coast...these are tough times for many people who are taking to prepping as a means of survival.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Even assuming that all the sheeple *could* be taught how to grow their own food (and who exactly is going to take time out of their own survival to run courses on this?), or they already have the skills lying dormant somewhere what are they going to use for seed crops? What are they going to eat while the food grows? Does Marty expect to plant an apple seed and a little corn at breakfast time and eat apples for lunch and a loaf of bread for dinner?
    Many of us don't have sufficient land to grow all our own food (and it takes a lot of land) but we have preps to tide us over until either the world settles after an event or we can persuade someone with land to trade for our services. I don't fancy having to pull potatoes for a local land owner in exchange for a small percentage of their harvest but it's still better than starving.
    So Marty, to apply similar "but it hasn't happened" logic you expect everyone not to wear seatbelts, or have any form of insurance (fire, theft, medical)? All prepping is; is having some "continuity of essential services" insurance (where essential services are water, food and heat).

    ReplyDelete
  36. "marty" still has a whole lot to learn and if he/she ever gets out of their comfort zone long enough he/she would know that by now. prepping is a lifestyle and not something that you just do one time and then your 're done....

    ReplyDelete
  37. I have often wondered about city people, genuine inner city downtown apartment dwellers. How are they going to feed themselves? People like that really do not know diddly squat about food preservation. And if they did, how can they keep it safe?
    No, Patrice, you are not an elitist nor a snob. Name-calling is something I abhor. But, ignorance can be taught. Marty needs to learn that.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thirty-five years ago my sister and her husband had a financial calamity that left them with VERY limited income for over three months. During that time they used the income they had to pay utilities etc while eating very well on their stored food. My sister and I grew up in a household where we were always on the knife-edge of total financial disaster. My mother grew food, canned, kept chickens for eggs and meat. We learned that it was important to have the non-perishable staples stockpiled in preparation for the next lean period. Three months supply of beans, cornmeal, flour, sugar, canned vegetables, etc is what we consider the bare minimum to have on hand. Of course we rotate our supplies and use the oldest as part of our regular diet. The knowledge has been passed on to four of our five kids. One still thinks we are slightly crazy and shops two or three times a week and keeps almost nothing in stock. A daughter went through a time of limited income and used from her stockpile to keep balanced meals on the table while buying only the produce and other fresh food as needed. We NEVER know when we can have a time that we can't buy food either due to lack of money or isolation from convenient sources.

    ReplyDelete
  39. It's true that many people don't have a clue where their food comes from, let alone how to grow it themselves. My mother raises chickens and provides me with fresh eggs. When a friend and I were discussing eggs one day, I mentioned that I got mine "fresh from the hen's hind end." She was appalled that that's where eggs came from, and swore she'd never buy another egg again. She reminds me of the woman who told Sarah Palin to stop hunting and just go buy her meat at the store "where it's made," like everyone else does. Some people are simply clueless.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Without in the least wanting to denigrate preparedness -- common sense by any other name -- I do wonder at your finger-sawing sanctimony, Patrice. Your well is 650 feet deep? You're going to drink and bathe with the brown water from your run-off pond in a grid-down situation? That's run-off containing the decomposition compounds of plastic sheeting and old *tires*, which latter contain a whole poisons cupboard of noxious chemicals? And indeed to mention the run-off from barnyard and garden manure? You heat with wood. But I've looked at the photos with which you illustrate your blog, and if you had to burn only what you can cut on your own property, you're going to be pretty cold in a year or two. You show sweeping vistas of -- fields --with forest only in the far, far distance, if at all. Grid down? No gas? How are you going to get wood from that far distance? How power a chain saw? There's going to be lots of other people, too, all your neighbours, and all the despised welfare recipients in your near town, competing for that distant wood.... and didn't I notice just a little while ago a population density map at survivalblog showing a dark blue focus of population in the north of Idaho? Surprised *me*, but there it was. All of them, that whole blue (shivering with cold) press of people determined to keep themselves and their children warm with wood from that far distance. Your sanctimony is really playing games with reality, if you really believe any of the dire things you expect to happen, actually do, and that you'll be exempt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. I always find it amusing that most city folks and non preper's think that they can poke hole's in our plans. First, the population density per sq mile in Idaho is 19.15 people.per sq mile. Idaho is ranked #44 out of the 50 states for the lowest density.I really don't think that the Golden horde will be swooping down on the farm, if some do, than I am sure that there are plans in place to take care of them. Second, you don't have to have wood for heating, have you ever heard of " cow pies " ? These are still used for heating and cooking in many parts of the world., they burn slowly and are relatively efficient.As for the water, there are water filters on the market that can filter not only the mud but also algie, and other microbes. Another means of catching water is with old fashion rain barrels.while most of us have spent a great deal of time thinking of ways to survive in a grid down situation, I am sure that there will always be something left out.I doubt that Patrice thinks that she is exempt, just better prepared than 0ver 90% of the population.

      Patrice, I just want to thank you for all you try to do and show us, your faithful readers.

      Dee 'in the Great American Southwest

      Delete
  41. " If it ever really came down to it, they would teach those that do not know how. "
    An extremely naive statement that.

    Of course in the meantime the government will feed you as your crops grow right? The people who can't will try to steal from the people that can, which brings us to ammunition storage...

    ReplyDelete
  42. An analogy:

    Gardening/prepping/survival skills etc...are INSURANCE.

    Why do the vast majority of people who own a house have fire/homeowners insurance? They have it (besides the fact the mortgage co. requires it) to protect them from what has an infinitesimally small chance of occuring - the total loss of their home. If they did not, very few would ever be able to come back from that type of financial devastation.

    Although odds wise, your house burning to the ground are small, you still have insurance to protect you and your family from financial ruin. Just because my house has not burned down yet does not mean I wasted all my money on homeowners insurance for the last 25 years! It's there when I need it.

    Prepping is INSURANCE for an economic/societal disaster. To me it's very cheap insurance. I believe the odds are greater for an economic, societal downturn than my house burning down! So, if I have insurance on my home, why wouldn't I want some type of 'prepping' insurance too?

    I own gold and silver for the same reason. Have owned them for years to hopefully help protect my family from a dollar destruction. Will it work? Who knows, but I rather have it than not. To me it's another form of cheap INSURANCE.

    Ol' Marty seems to believe the sun not rising has the same statistical probability as an economic disruption in the food supply. I think Marty has deluded himself and needs to read a little world history.

    ReplyDelete
  43. In Law Enforcement we called people like Marty "Professional Victims".

    ReplyDelete
  44. GROW their own food? Most of the modern folks today don't even know how to COOK their own food. People today eat so much processed crap that the average American can't even make Macaroni and Cheese from scratch. They need the powered neon-orange crap that comes out of a box. How many people can make bread from scratch? And that's if they have access to wheat?

    My wife and I make most of our own foods, mainly due to an allergy issue. We don't eat preservatives, to include sulfates, sulfites, nitrates and nitrites. We make our own bacon. We make our own ham. We make our own sausages. For a good long while I was making bread on a weekly basis for the house. I've canned my own veggies and broths/stocks. And out of all the people we knew, we were one of the few who did canning, and the ONLY ONES who did the meat preparations. My wife and I can butcher an animal from start to finish. The people around us don't even know where to begin.

    I know that I'm preaching to the choir when I rant about this on this particular blog. But I highly doubt that the average American could last more than a week if the power were shut off.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hmmm I haven't read the article yet, but I know from the comments that there's a wide range of thinking on this topic. I grow food because I can and we slaughter and have our freezers and shelves full for one year at a time. I also know that if we had the electricity go out our jars would freeze and break and the freezers would fail. Our dried food would be OK, but it's hard to get by only on dried foods. Am I worried about this? NO. I have a heavenly father who tells me that I should observe the birds of the air... they toil not, neither do they spin or gather into barns, but the Father cares for them. If all were to fail, God never does. He has promised to supply our needs.

    ReplyDelete