“A rapid change to premodern technology will be very messy. We don’t have enough horses or plows for food production. ” ~ 74
“The few exceptions? The Amish and Mennonite communities, but they can’t grow enough extra to consider. And even some of them use fuel oil powered tractors with steel wheels for the farm. – ” Whirlibird
Yes, it will be messy, but I wholeheartedly believe that those of us already in the country, with food in the ground will make it out alive. Here’s why besides the history of people’s, in 2007 I went without a car for over a year. For the first 6 months I lived off of my garden and some chickens we had that could scratch for their keep. Now I had no idea then how to put food by, and truthfully how to garden properly so we survived…barely. I have since learned so much about gardening with natural fertilizer, have gained so much capital to garden with natural means, and know how to save every scrap now.
If I on less than a large farm could feed myself, a husband, and 5 small children on a garden for 6 months when I was a beginner, surely more will do better than I did. No we didn’t have every food we needed to have a very healthy diet. Yes, we ran out of sugar, oil, oatmeal, flour, and other essentials. We didn’t have milk except breast milk for the baby. We didn’t have meat other than eggs and the occasional hen, rabbit, or fish.
Now I readily admit that when winter came, we were up shits creek without a paddle for several reasons. I hadn’t planted enough to can. I didn’t even know how to can. I had no root cellar. I didn’t know how to cook some of the vegetables I grew, although I did learn that winter quickly. I had no way to dry foods in order to keep them. I didn’t know I should save seeds, how to, or even if I could. I had no idea how to grow herbs or use them. I had no freezer with which to keep my harvest. Most of this has changed. I now can, cook, dry foods, root cellar, grow and use herbs, and know that the essentials most people think are essential are not.
The only essentials that are hard to get are salt, sugar, and vinegar, one of which can be made right at home like you make wine and another can be gotten from beets.
This year we hope to grow wheat, oats, flax, vegetables, pears, peaches, and plums. I also hope to get my asparagus started and rhubarb. I have perennial onions, garlic, and more already in the ground. Today I plant more onions and potatoes so that we have an early start to a great food year. We have goats and one is pregnant so we will probably get milk. We have fruit trees that need cleared and sprayed with regular olive oil today, to keep the bugs away. If I could find a way to grow olives, I would be in heaven. We have a pig for bacon to get us through the winter alive and to make soap with if need be. Yes, I have expanded my skills set completely. We could get by for longer than 2 weeks now. I don’t know how long, but I believe at least 2 months food wise if I scratched and pecked and longer if the harvests started to come in nice and fat.
I learned to sew and crochet. This year I want to learn to make linen. I am starting with sowing the flax. Then at year’s end save the seeds, since there are no seed sources in the US available for the home gardener. Then I will rett the flax, and clean it of towing, then spin and weave. All of these will be new skills I have to learn. All of these will require equipment, a spinning wheel and a loom. I can make the loom, but a spinning wheel is a devil of a thing to try and make. All and all my linen project will probably take 2 or 3 years to finish and then I will have sufficient experience to make cloth from plant fibers.
We are building animal pens and pastures this year and I hope to have enough to get sheep. I hope to harvest their wool to spin, dye, and crochet. Of course if I never get sheep this year, I hope to in the next year or two. The point is, I am ever moving towards being self sufficient. Four sheep only provide one sweater and socks per year. Not enough for our whole family for sure. However, enough to add to our needs and in times of desperation, we could make it into socks alone, or a blanket alone.
Anyway, I am rambling…I do believe people can make it. MB you are right about the housing. My husband and I are having to practically rebuild our house to make it livable here in the south. So many things we have already done to reduce the heat in the summer.
One glaring thing I haven’t addressed is security. I am a firm believer you can not shoot your way out of every situation. You have to be unavailable. We live two miles back on a dirt road. Before anyone reaches us, there are numerous bigger, wealthier looking homesteads. We are surrounded by smaller homesteads in our immediate vicinity, with many people that hunt and are like minded. We have a BBQ in the summer and talk about our plans. Imagine a ring of very sparse enormous homes with large cattle and plenty of food, inside this is a much smaller circle of small land holdings, smaller homes, with may be 4 goats a piece and some chickens or a pig and a small garden. The larger homes have everything a thief will look for and at the heart is a community of small land holders that have fire power. Finding the center will be difficult unless in SHTF there are still Google maps since everything is off the pavement. Being located like this keeps us safer from those that would seek to harm us from the outside.
I don’t understand why everyone is so fearful when the solution is to become more self sufficient and to avoid conflict by avoiding population centers if at all possible.
I know that Selco said the country dwellers suffered much. I know also in Argentina the same occurred. That happened in very remote areas away form any other house at all or in the suburbs just outside of cities. I am neither very remote nor in the suburbs. It is more like a suburb community without businesses where everyone has ten acres surrounded by large stately farms. It is a very unique area.
When was the last time you went without electricity, running water, food, and had babies screaming for food...now you know why I prep. These are the things a mother's nightmares are made of.