The Valley of Alliswell

Tue, May 6, 2014 - 8:56am

Waiting on the mountaintop can get lonely and cause you to question your deepest held beliefs. For a while, it is a great party, sitting there with your closest friends, closing 401K accounts, buying silver, telling stories, singing “Any Minute Now.”

But weeks, months, and now 3 years pass and the end doesn’t come. What now?

In our case, we didn’t go to that mountaintop because some charismatic leaders with an oratorical gift “persuaded” us to sell our goods, buy a newsletter subscription and go all in. (By the way, anybody seen that guy lately?) No, we read, studied, looked at charts, compared it to the silver charts and saw that silver had moved from the teens into the mid- twenties. We saw a few other signs of the times too:

  • Jobs continually exported
  • EZ credit, liar loans and a housing bubble
  • A housing crash
  • The collapse of Lehman & AIG
  • 60% loss in my retirement account (what a sheep!)
  • Zombie banks. Citi stock at $1, BOA at $5
  • Congress taking desperate actions
  • An endless string of wars
  • Bechtel, Halliburton, & other big boys rebuilding what the military just bombed
  • Unemployment rising
  • Government subsistence rising
  • Corporate austerity at my job
  • No promising political or economic solutions

As I looked around the economy, I didn’t see any shiny spots except for the precious metals. And because I am a researcher at heart I started reading everything I could find. That’s when I came across this new term: Keynsianism. Oh, how I love –isms—I love to study them, debate them, examine their evolution out of previous -isms. And after all that thinking and reading, debating in numerous long hallway discussions with two other PhDs in History and Political science, I concluded, as did most of you, that Keynes was an academic propagandist who invented an intellectual foundation to justify fiat currency systems, to explain, predict, and control their development once a nation left the gold standard. 

This fine Keynsian system, as I learned, placed that control over nations in the hands of a few policy setters. I learned that these policy setters were not elected government officials. I also learned that most of them cut their teeth working for the same few Wall Street banks. Talk about things that make you go “Hmmmm….”
This was my enculturation into a faith in precious metals as I became a fiat apostate. Then, considering that long list of “signs,” a list that seemed to grow each week, I went over the deep edge and began purchasing metals with every extra piece of fiat that came to me. We also began preparing to be self-sufficient with a stock of goods to get us through the first year along with farming supplies to make the full transition. I found myself on the mountain top with my wife and kids, waiting. Was I being unreasonable in the summer of 2011?

But the end never came. The kids grew cynical. Pressing demands required that I look down below.

My employer became another “sign” as I recognized the psychopaths running my institution. My blood pressure was too high, and I was gaining weight, eating to relieve stress. The world was not ending. 

Some time ago, I’m not quite sure when, I moseyed down from the mountaintop and stopped looking for black swans with my ZH brand telescope. I had seen a few of those swans—MFGlobal collapse, Greek default, Cyprus bail-in, near defaults of key financial platforms—but fiat banksters shot down each black swan and buried them under newspapers filled with Kardashian stories. 

I found another job and moved. My blood pressure and weight are back to normal. And the end has not come yet. My “net worth” in fiat has also been cut by 40%, but I consider the time a “gift” to add to our nest egg at lower prices as well as build a sustainable lifestyle in a new city. And something became apparent…

The world’s central banks were panicking, acting quickly, decisively, desperately, and illegally to stave off the effects of crumbling portions of their Keynesian system. Moreover, they were hiding these actions from the world with a simple dearth of media coverage. Only the crazy, cult-like conspiracy theorists in the underbelly of the internet were discussing these things. 

Today, I am somewhere on the mountainside trying to get ready for a new life. We have made some firm decisions that help us establish a life there.

  • We are leaving the banks, paying off all loans.
  • We keep our old cars running, rather than buying new ones every 3 years.
  • We invest in gold and property for the long-term—a 30 year plan. 
  • We heat with sunshine and a little wood (American southwest is good for that).
  • We invest in renewable energy sources (solar electric) for our home.
  • We recycle everything we can.
  • We rotate a one year supply of food through our pantry, just in case.
  • We are planning large garden because it’s fun and healthier.
  • We shop at the farmers market and avoid Walmart.
  • We try out entrepreneurial opportunities to earn income.
  • We conserve water.

With this new, different, anti-consumerism lifestyle, I find that we fit in well with the American culture around us. They have a little box to put us in. We are “environmentalists.” The arguments one must make to justify any of these lifestyle changes have been made by others in the mainstream media. I don’t have to explain or justify myself to friends, colleagues and relatives—and they approve. I even wear weird hats now.

I am also becoming convinced that waiting on the mountaintop is for religious cults, not sensible people who are establishing a life that is more resilient to economic and political upheaval. We have seen war, political and economic disaster strike nearly everywhere but in the US in the past century. We know how tough life can get after an economic system breaks down and a nation does not have the mature leadership who knows how to rebuild. But people develop black-market economies. Most survive and eventually, sometimes years later, life settles into a new normal.

People who are happily snoozing in the typical American lifestyle are in grave danger. They keep up with the Jones with a large home mortgage, and two car payments. They shop at the latest outlets and become merely consumers, laden with credit card debt for the latest electronic gadgets, retirement invested in Wall Street, and living hand to mouth with a stagnant paycheck while their home value erodes, prices inflate, and the dollars in their checking accounts lose value each year. These folks live in fear of a layoff, then ride the government gravy train into poverty and bankruptcy when that sacred “job” gets outsourced, believing that next month things will get better. They know that half of their earnings end up in the hands of bankers through interest and fees, but do nothing about it. They rely on the stores for all their food and supplies, even though they have seen the shelves go bare 24 hours in advance of a big snowstorm.

And all of their long term investments are in the form of paper instruments managed by the Wall Street banking and investment machine. 

This the “All is Well” cult. They live in a fertile valley and have been persuaded by the marketing industry that our American lifestyle is desirable and stable. They lean on the “Full Faith and Credit of the US Government” just as surely as I lean on my personal faith in Jesus. Their attitudes and beliefs about money are formed, and shaped by the “financial experts,” because modern money is just too difficult for anyone but the experts to understand. 

The main difference between their cult and mine is this: I have faith that current economic policies are failing and that paper wealth will be bailed in. They have faith that QE worked, the economy is recovering and that markets are stable and safe. What do you believe and why? What are your reasons? Do you know what they are and can you articulate them to yourself? Or are you blindly following a crowd.

Unfortunately, the fiat system broke in 2008 and the central planner repair of QE has only kept it from death, but has not made the economy healthy again as promised. In the meantime, the doctors at the BLS assure us the patient is recovering, while the FED slows down the QE drip next to the bed and speeds up the Belgian intravenous drip of US treasury buying hiding behind the curtain. But our consumer-based, media controlled system continues to proclaim that we are in an economic recovery, that all is well… and if you don’t feel it yet, just be patient. What do you believe, and why?

So these folks continue to sit in the valley of Alliswell as the floodwaters of economic disaster slowly rise around them. And so I ask, who is the fool? The consumer-cult crowd, beset with normalcy bias, and unaware of world events that WILL affect the lives of everyone on the planet, or the person getting educated and taking action? 

Personally, I cannot live in a large city any longer. My risk/reward buzzer starts going off when I consider it.

Thus, the purpose of my rant here is to call people down from the mountaintop to establish a sustainable long term life on the mountainside where you are safer from the disaster below, and to call those in the valley of Alliswell to remove their blinders, to become informed, start climbing up to the mountainside where you have a view, where the rain falls more regularly, and where you can build a very enjoyable prosperous life. I argue that life on the mountainside has the best chance of surviving any potential disaster that may come. With a community of like-minded neighbors, with useful skills, you will find people who will stand beside you and protect what you have built together. It also meshes very nicely with this ubiquitous fiat-system (while it lasts) and allows you to still draw wealth out of it and invest for the long term.

I am not quite there yet. If you come to my home, you’ll see stacks of supplies here and there, projects in various stages of completion, and a family trying to survive in a tough economy. My priorities are divided between duties to my employer and reestablishing life. I also wish to purchase acreage in the country for my “get-away cabin.” It’ll be a nice “environmentally friendly” vacation place, in the eyes of my valley-dwelling friends and relatives, but eventually we shall have all we need for a self-sustaining life with a community of neighbors.

It is nearly impossible to persuade people you love from a distance. Those in the valley of Alliswell know that something isn’t right. Yet they still trust their cultish leaders and do not see the mountaintop as a reasonable place to go. I think they are right about the mountaintop.
Why not ask them to move uphill with you to a safer place. Perhaps that means out of the city to a small town or rural setting with at least an acre. Perhaps that means self-employment or a useful skill or trade in a smaller economy? Certainly it means to a healthier lifestyle free from bankers and corporate leeches that suck out our financial lifeblood. Certainly it means relocating wealth from the paper system into homes, land & commodities that will serve you well in this economy and the one to come.

Whatever you do, it is a big decision. But there are reasonable options.

About the Author


May 6, 2014 - 9:00am



May 6, 2014 - 9:00am


First comment too! oops second lol

May 6, 2014 - 9:09am


Gee, Doc- for a brainwashed dupe who has been bamboozled into subscribing to an unscrupulous huckster, you have a shockingly clear view of what you are doing and why you are doing it. Who would'a thought? Reading this, one might almost be persuaded that you are a rational actor with free will, whose broad-ranging knowledge of our current economic, social, and political situation has convinced you that the future is not going to be quite like the past. One might almost think that you are using this information to act in your own rational self-interest.

Not bad for a cultish groupie.

May 6, 2014 - 9:12am

Awesome post Dr J

Going to get the Mrs to read this one Silver66

May 6, 2014 - 9:19am

Excellent Piece

So you got tired of the death watch, too? I'm doing very similar things. Your long term plan is hauntingly familiar.

May 6, 2014 - 9:27am


cinco de sixto

May 6, 2014 - 9:34am

Wonderful post

Now that's an action man. Most excellent!

Mrs. Cog
May 6, 2014 - 9:43am

Insightful article

As a recently relocated mountain dweller, I am an advocate of transitioning to a more self sufficient lifestyle if - and it is a big if - it is to live and enjoy a different view of what it means to be happy and well, not to wait or hide or hunker down. Things seem to stack well at higher altitudes too. :-) Disclaimer: Of course, I also recommend kidnapping your favorite author to bring along, especially if they are handy with a chain saw, willing to compliment your learning curve with cooking and can make you laugh on a regular basis lol.

sierra skier
May 6, 2014 - 9:44am

Another 6th.

Cinco de Sixto here.

Wonderful post Dr.J

Just the right amount of religion/faith. Just the right amount of common sense. I too am working my along the path to self sufficiency like you. Being a California resident I first became aware in the early 90s when the state started on firearms and full capacity magazines. Over the years my views expanded into the other forms of preparations including long term storage and PMs.

I have had tools and skills for decades that give me the advantage for barter with those as well. Just the act of becoming prepped gives comfort and peace of mind knowing you have done much of what you can to offer protection for the family.

Firearms and fishing are two of the rewards my son and I have found to spend quality time together and yes y wife often joins us shooting, fishing though not so much.

Without completely removing our selves from life it behooves us to tack action as we can to improve our lot for a more comfortable lively hood when the future presents economic difficulties.

May 6, 2014 - 9:47am

Great piece

Dr J! You are making me put on more coffee this morning and enjoy a leisurely read, something I can't always take the time to do, but today I can and I thank you. Mr. pm_newbie and I are planning early retirement. Poor on the fiat side of things perhaps, but rich in getting our garden going, maintaining our health and active life style and enjoying life. Part of it is motivated by prepping, but part of it just seems to be a better way to enjoy this home we call earth. I think we are sympatico. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. A great read!

Verus nemo
May 6, 2014 - 9:48am


We're doing much the same thing here, expanding gardens, canning more fruits/vegetables/meats, etc. Who knows how long this TEotGKE can take? May as well 'balance out' to ensure individual sustainability while it's easiest to do so.

I'm hoping soon to acquire a couple of peach trees to plant and train into an espalier trellis on the south side of my home soon. We're a bit far north to have them exposed elsewhere on our property but believe that we can get them to survive and produce where they're protected from the cold and dessicating winter winds. We already have an apple and cherry tree, several plum trees producing, raspberry patch, a large and growing garden, etc.

Great article, Doc. Genuinely appreciate your outstanding and valuable contributions to this vibrant (cultish?) community!

Mr. Fix
May 6, 2014 - 9:50am

Waiting patiently,

I am in no way shape or form deterred from my core belief that the United States is being set up for an epic fall. Every single action the federal government takes is treasonous, and there are no exceptions. With no one in power capable of reversing current events, it is only a matter of time, and opportunity. I use the time to prepare accordingly.

Thank you Dr. Jerome for an excellent article, my preparations are very similar to yours, although admittedly on a slightly smaller budget. Prioritizing certain preparations for me means being able to survive in a complete collapse from day one, while also having everything I need at hand to assemble what I need for long-term sustainability. As a result, I've got quite a pile of stuff that I will need to assemble “when the shit hits the fan”,

 but in an economic collapse, I'm going to need something to occupy my time.wink

Colonel Angus
May 6, 2014 - 9:55am


Someone from the congregation has to say it.

We planted a dozen trees this weekend, and my back is feeling it. Cherries, plums, a Granny Smith apple, and then a couple of pines and firs. The Mrs. insists that we have Christmas trees, even if SHTF. The garden has gone in, and it has expanded from previous years. We also got a good tip on how to expand more and use territory you might not have though of...the answer is raised beds. My back will be feeling it even more very soon.

And we worked with two different neighbors over the weekend. They have some wonderful skill sets. I'm hopeful I'll eventually be able to add to the mix and be useful. Well, we're the only ones with chickens that is that close, so there is something. 

Verus nemo
May 6, 2014 - 10:06am

Hey don't look now, folks, but

I think that we're becoming an 'alternative Peak Prosperity' community! I wonder if Trader Dan levies his same cultish allegations against Chris Martenson and his subscribers? I doubt it... 

May 6, 2014 - 10:07am

Congratulations Dr. J!

That is your best piece yet, and that is saying something.yes You have captured my reality in a way that no writer has before and I appreciate you sharing your journey.

If there is a collective conscience here in Turdville, I would venture to say that is it. You are on the right path because your path has heart, and there is no doubt in my mind that you will arrive where you imagine you are going.

May 6, 2014 - 10:08am

Doc, that sums it up well

What he said. That article is perfectly timed and I'm sure it resonates with most of the TFMR readership. Doc J, thanks for taking the time to write this.

May 6, 2014 - 10:17am

Great reading thanks Doc!

Daily reader here at TFMR, never comment but, Jerome, thanks for a morning coffee reading to ponder life's decisions. Great thanks also to Turd and all the guest posters.

Big L
May 6, 2014 - 10:19am

It's a pivot!

That actually works! Or more of a turn, you know, like a bend in the road. Less like a speed bump more like a thrill ride. :-) Great post, Dr J! Thanks again.

John Galt
May 6, 2014 - 10:19am

Great Post, Doc!

I too was one of the foolish ones who set off for the mountain top long ago, only to discover how cold, desolate and windy it is up there. 

Not unlike you, I have since re calibrated my longer terms plans into something more modest - hopefully finding a balance that is both more sustainable and livable from a sanity standpoint.

I think the long term key to survival for all of us is going to be connecting with and helping each other through the times ahead. The time for the lone wolf is over. 

Thanks for posting this. Much of what you have said is accurate and resonates with things I have been feeling too.

Patriot Family
May 6, 2014 - 10:27am

Great Post

We are on the same path. I'm not the complete "doom and gloomer, on the brink of epic destruction" kind of guy, but we prep because we see the same warning signs and I am not sure how bad things will get or how fast. The financial system works - until it doesn't - but that could be a long, nasty downward spiral. Either way, we are prepared from a materials viewpoint but still need to buy a decent piece of land in a good community.

One of our requirements is finding a location where at least a few neighbors share the same views and are preparedness minded. That has been awfully tough. We would probably buy real estate in an area where we knew such people existed if we could find them; people who are planning in advance. The closest we came was looking at property up where Katie Rose lives. Haven't seen her here on TFMR for quite some time.

May 6, 2014 - 10:31am

@Dr. J nice article . . .

Very well-rounded approach to the issues. As someone once said, "the markets can be irrational longer than you can afford." Or, something to that effect. I consider myself lucky, but you also make your own luck, to a degree. I married a farm girl 40 years ago this month. We have always lived in small towns, not more than 25 miles from her place of birth. While raising our 4 kids, we didn't have much time to think about the "big" issues--it was hard enough to keep everyone fed, disciplined, and learning. Once past the difficult years, we looked to the future. In 1999 we bought 40 acres of farmland and built a home on it, with our own well (which can be hand-pumped), a solar storage unit for electricity, and a large garden. We also bought 125 ounces of gold then, with money we had saved outside of retirement plans, my wife thinking I was nuts, but she went along with it. We also have about 6 acres of woods on the land, which provides firewood. We rent out part of the farmland to a neighbor, who grows tomatoes, squash, watermelon and pumpkins. He lets us take all we want for our own needs, as part of the rent payment. As the kids got older, went to college, graduated, and got married, my wife and I came to feel that things were not "right" in the U.S. and world. Everyone here knows that feeling. Even while the two younger kids were still at home or in college (2003), I quit a well-paying, but grinding job. I took the 401-k monies out of the "system" paid the taxes and penalties, and bought silver with it. I do not trust the banks or the western, fiat, debt-based system, or the politicians they own. The system is setting up for a grand seizure. The PTB are doing everything they can to keep it limping along so they can be prepared for when they let it all loose. The people in the U.S, generally assume the world will always look like it does today. We have prepared about as well as we can, without going up to the mountaintop. We have stored food, ammo, several rifles, handguns, and a shotgun. I do believe that there is a elite that wants to carry out the Georgia Guidestones' message. Of course, they fully intend to be among the remaining 500,000,000 people out of the current 6 billion on earth. So, while I wish it weren't so, I do expect there will be an EMP attack, which will leave the infrastructure basically intact, other than what gets destroyed in riots and clamp-downs by the 2-billion-round owning DHS. The weakest people will die off pretty quickly in the first month or so, but there will be roaming gangs that act as nomads, seeking food and shelter wherever they can find it. There will be little in the way of police protection, so people will need to bond with their neighbors and work out mutual protection agreements. None of this will guarantee anything--we may not survive the first month. But, at least we will try. The rest is in God's hands.

May 6, 2014 - 10:43am

I sure hope not

Ancient, I sure hope you are wrong about roaming nomad gangs, but in a collapsed economy, held together by a police state while inept politicians and bankers fumble with the economic controls, I think we all ought to be ready for what you describe. Easier in the country than in the city. Thanks for the affirmations to all. Perhaps, I am not crazy.

Left Field
May 6, 2014 - 11:04am

Homesteading in a community

There is no plan B for the most of our country. The men and women will be suprised and angry when they realize the promises of security and consumer goods filled holidays are empty. Here in my area I am doing the "Dr J" But my goal as well known community leader is to put the Dr J plan in reach of as many in my small town as possible. I am working through my Grange Hall. A few of us took control from the remaining four oldsters and have created a place that is linking the people to the Dr J plan. We are now up to 180 active members. We have a seed bank and seed exchange, classes in food preservation, classes in food fermenting, we have had Chris Martensen and R Heinberg as speakers. We are also hosting a group of young farmers every month to help them overcome the obstacles to success. This is a partial list....we do stuff almost three times a week. Thank god for those old farmers who left us the hall and the organization. Because I am involved with so many people developing their skills and openly talking.... I remain gives me the energy to do more. I am not alone, I have my Turd family, my Grange family, and my actual family. Thanks to you all.......I am going to keep going ......we are in Sonoma county and all Turd Friends are welcome to visit and teach us what you know. The wine and 420 are excellent here and you can't freeze to death In the winter. I will host any who wish to come for a visit.

ancientmoney Doctor J
May 6, 2014 - 11:23am

Dr. J re: I sure hope not . . .

I hope not, too. But, if the system breaks down, food stops being shipped, and/or a natural or human-caused EMP or some other disaster happens, all bets are off.

Desperate people do desperate things to stay alive and to keep their loved ones alive.

Ideally, everyone who preps would have enough to share, but that may be asking too much--of the preppers or those who want what was prepped.

TreeTop Dweller
May 6, 2014 - 11:25am

Invested in more metal last week

DrJ- based on your prepping, a fellow Turdite (luv2stak), posted the below recommendation and I had to have it. Works great and will not be affected by an EMP attack!


Invested in more metal last week -- a broadfork for the garden. It's the BEST-- a MeadowCreature tool, USA made, all metal, indestructible -- like a doubled-handled 'pitchfork on steroids' -- with 5 five wickedly curved, talon-like 14" blades that sink into hard ground (even our local clay) when you step on it and rock back and forth. Then, pull back on the long handles and loosen and aerate the soil. Fun, 'easy', good exercise, lasts for generations...

At $249 with shipping, it was a challenging decision, but I feel really good about being able to cultivate our food garden without depending on a gasoline-powered tiller, or grinding up the useful earthworms. It also makes digging new beds and holes for trees much easier. Works SO much better than a shovel!

May 6, 2014 - 11:31am
May 6, 2014 - 11:32am

Jim Quinn

THE BURNING PLATFORM HAS BEEN UNDER RELENTLESS ATTACK-PRAY FOR HIM-HIS WRITING IS THAT IMPORTANT To all the TBP shit throwing monkeys, I have a few messages: “I shall return.” “I have not yet begun to fight.” “I should have ducked.” I am currently hunkered down in a bunker beneath TBP Central as predator drones circle overhead waiting for me to show myself. The website has been under a relentless denial of service attack since Thursday afternoon. The site is being inundated with over 3 million hits per day that make it impossible for anyone, including myself, from getting onto the site. I’ve been at the mercy of incompetent IT help desk drones from my server company who have failed to solve my issues. They are unable and unwilling to take the necessary steps to protect my site from attack. I have been put in touch with some very helpful, like-minded people, by fellow liberty loving bloggers who believe in free speech and dissent. I’m currently having the site migrated to a private server run by someone who values the truth and believes we can’t let the evil bastards win. We should have TBP back up and running sometime this week. If you think I was pissed off before, wait until I come back. Anyone who would attack my site for this long must not like what I have to say. That means I’m hitting a nerve. Ideas matter in this world. If we can change enough minds, we can take this country back. The establishment will continue to try and censor the truth and subvert any website that dares to challenge the status quo. I’m just a guy with no IT skills, limited financial resources, and a keyboard. I won’t be surrendering to these bastards without a fight. But in the meantime, in the immortal words of Warren Zevon: I'm a desperate man Send lawyers, guns and money The shit has hit the fan

May 6, 2014 - 11:34am


Doc's picture of that home garden inspired me- it's Spring and good stuff is happening! Many people think about planting fruit trees as part of a plan to become more self-sufficient, so I thought I would share a few experiences- if not your thing, no worries just scroll past!

Having never done any of this stuff before, when I became convinced in 2008 that I needed to develop some resources outside the system, one of the first things I did was to plant fruit trees including apples. I kept to heritage varieties, tried to have some different tasting apples with different harvest times, and started to work. Now, six years later, the trees have developed to the point where we are finally in position to harvest some genuine bulk. I originally planted four types of apples:

Dutchess of Oldenberg: Old Russian apple from at least the 1600's, is fast-ripening. A mostly yellowish-green apple with some blush. Excellent for canning and baking pies (a bit on the tart side if eaten straight), this apple is very hardy for colder climates and was bred to ripen quickly. Ours are ready in late July or early August, trees took longer for 1st fruit.

Macintosh- Early 1800's Canadian variety, one of the few heritage types available in stores today. Is a pollinator for other apples, which is very important. Fairly sweet dessert apples, our ripen in early to mid September. Good for eating and sauce.


Cox's Orange Pippin- My favorite, a truly great American apple dating to at least the 1700's- these were famous old Virginia apples that were once grown at Mount Vernon and Monticello. Ripens late September/early Oct. Distinctive yellow skin with mottled red blush gives the "orange" color, these are considered the gold standard of heritage apple taste- crisp flesh, very sweet, amazing for eating. Wonderful scent, too- apparently make a great base for cider due to sweetness and scent, but I haven't had enough apples to try this yet. Maybe this year I'll finally get a press!

Cox's Orange Pippin apples ready for storage

Smokehouse- An old Pennsylvania apple, probably brought by German settlers during the 1700's. The variety was found growing out of a smokehouse at an old abandoned settlers cabin around 1810, and is perfectly suited for our climate. Ripens early Oct, a very useful "combo" apple for baking or eating. Has a strange, mottled appearance so it isn't grown commercially, but flavor is quite good and it smells a bit like honeysuckle when you eat it.


OK- so I planted these and worked hard to grow them. Made all the rookie mistakes, which I learned a few lessons from:

1. The first and second year are for developing a proper limb structure, and nothing else- you have to force the limbs to grow at an ideal 20-30 degree angle, and most trees try to send their limbs straight up. You have to force them to grow sideways early on and keep at it. Be very aggressive in doing this.

2. Be FAR more aggressive in trimming back limbs and cutting out growth that goes in unwanted directions- newbies like me always treat the tree too gently, and wind up with alot of unproductive growth that goes in the wrong directions. Cut like hell, and never let limbs get too long. When you cut them back, the remaining wood will thicken considerably, and this is what will "take the weight" of the apples later.

3. Fertilize fertilize fertilize- do it in Fall to feed the tree over winter while its dormant, do it early spring to feed new growth, and then twice again during the summer. Ya gotta feed them regularly- it makes a huge difference.

4. Organic or no, Nature hates your trees and will try to kill them. You HAVE to spray to kill funguses, insects, microbes, blights, etc. We are organic and use copper and sulfur, plus a few sprays of natural insecticide at certain times, PLUS surround and neem oil to keep bugs off the fruit. Trust me, this is totally required if you ever want to harvest anything- I will spray a total of 10-12 times this year. A ton of work.

Finally, I also found out that while these 4 are great apples, NONE of them keep well in a fridge or root cellar... not a good thing for someone trying to stack apples for self-sufficiency! So this year I went to see a legendary Amish orchardist in our area, which I should have done first thing if I had known about him, and had a GREAT experience- it was March and he let me taste a dozen varieties of long-keepers from his cellar that had been keeping since last fall. Much to mu surprise, one of the best keepers also happened to be the best tasting apple I have ever had- no kidding, this thing is absolutely killer! We planted two and shockingly, they have a few blooms so we might get a couple this year!

It's called the Goldrush, it is a late harvesting apple (November) that we can pick once temperatures are getting cold at night, so it will keep well. Crisp flesh, nice scent, and a VERY potent apple flavor- sweet with a hint of tartness and just an explosion of flavor. Honestly, best apple I have ever had- and it keeps for 8 months or more under proper conditions! The prepper's dream!

OK. Go forth and plant!

May 6, 2014 - 11:42am

RE: Jim Quinn

does anybody know what the last thing posted on TBP was?

Mr. Fix
May 6, 2014 - 11:54am

Mountaintop living:

I see this has been addressed several times in the thread.

18 years ago, I bought a mountaintop log cabin with a spectacular view in all directions, but it does have some obvious downsides.

 First off, it has its own climate, I am well above what usually winds up being the “snow line” in the winter.

 Although I have endeavored to insulate the crap out of it, it is still a challenge to keep it warm in the winter.

 Modern cars do not last long traversing the mountain pass on a daily basis, transmission and brake failures are quite common on most late model cars, and the big old ones tend to overheat when climbing the mountain.

 Using “older cars” (60s and 70s models) works for me, but they have oversized radiators, and additional transmission cooling.

 It's also somewhat costly providing gas for these old-time monsters.

 I still think it's worth it, not just for the spectacular view, but it is defensible from every direction.

 I'm more concerned with hungry mobs then attack drones, and I have enough acreage to grow my own food, and more than enough for wood to provide free heat.

 At 450 feet deep, my well water is clean and pure, and the walls of my cabin will provide protection against small arms fire.

 I don't by any means think that I am invulnerable but here, but I do feel relatively safe and secure.

 And what a view…smiley

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Key Economic Events Week of 1/21

1/22 10:00 ET Existing Home Sales
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Key Economic Events Week of 1/7

1/7 10:00 ET ISM Services Index
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1/9 2:00 ET December FOMC minutes 
1/10 Speeches from CGP, Goons Bullard and Evans
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