It's a long hard journey ...

33
Sat, May 21, 2016 - 10:47am

It’s a long Journey

Since recent events, like the opening of the Shanghai Gold Exchange, Deutsch Bank paying 5% interest for a limited time, the rise of bankruptcies and other crazy shi… stuff that Jim Willie explains so well, it really might be different this time... maybe… at least getting closer.

Good thing we still have time. So, I thought that yet another prepping perspective might be in order… Gotta stay on the cutting edge, you know.

Back in 2011, when I began stacking and figured that I’d be very wealthy very soon, my wife’s sister came to stay for a week. She was an uber-prepper. We had begun to stock up on a few items, but she kicked us into high gear upon her arrival. She and my wife canned, dehydrated, sealed and stored away a year’s worth of food that week. Her urgency was palpable. And she said we were just getting started. At Christmas, she sent a gift box complete with survival tools, gas masks and camp-cooking utensils. We were prepped… or so we thought.

A year later, her husband—a policeman in a large US city who thought his wife was crazy for prepping, was selected for crowd control training about the time the police were becoming militarized. (I think that might be him ln the left.) He changed his tune and told her to keep prepping and bought her a pink handgun for Christmas.

As the fury of prepping subsided, we settled back to normal life to wait for the end, and waited, and waited. We recognized, after some thought, that things may unfold differently than we thought. The collapse might happen slowly. And these growing kids of ours would need to be fed for more than just a few months… in fact, if the unthinkable occurred, we would have to feed the whole family indefinitely.

Well, that part was easy, we bought about a hundred dollars of Heirloom seeds sow we could grow all our own food if needed. Now we were ready. Just go out back and plant those seeds and we would be eating well forever.

But the para-military police never came knocking and we decided to move from Ohio to Arizona to be close to immediate family. After the moving process, we had to be sure we were prepped all over again. And then, a good friend, who had also been prepping and owned a 160 acre farm, was robbed! They stole all his guns, some cash, and took his wife’s jewelry. And he lived 7 miles out of town! The incident made me feel very vulnerable…

Well, Arizona is in the arid zone. Farming is hard here. Gardening is hard here. Preppers abound, which is comforting, but in vitro zombies also abound. And what is worse, we could only afford to buy a small townhouse in this college town and the volcanic cinder, pine needle laden dirt is terrible for gardens. That is quite a step down from our 5 acres, pond, fresh water spring, chicken coops and unlimited garden space in Ohio. So we have re-started our prepping odyssey… sort of…

In our efforts to re-ready ourselves, we connected with a nearby member here on this blog (he goes by "Geofarmer"—his real name is Qui-Gon Jinn) who lives nearby and we stopped by to visit and see his self-sustainable farm/business/family estate/dream property that we totally drooled over. We learned a few things that day.

Aaaahhh, the life of a farmer … filled with healthy food, baby animals, fun for the kids, beautiful land, lying back in a field, hands folded behind my head, watching clouds while chewing on an grass stem

and…

…a whole lot of hard work, government meddling, spring storms that kill blossoms, pests, drought, skunks running amok in the garden, zombies, and did I mention hard work?

I need to go home and rethink my life!

And as I have been rethinking for the past few months since our wonderful visit to his family farm, I wanted to share some of his wisdom that sunk in (probably the wrong things from his view) and how that wisdom is causing us to reformulate our plan.

As Qui-Gon said, “It is a long, hard journey from a bucket of heirloom seeds to a self-sustainable farm.”

But do not despair. I am convinced that one can make it there—especially when eating hangs in the balance. And knowledge can pave that road and even make it shorter.

Apprentice farmer lesson 1: Ground—where.?

Land that has never been cultivated is bereft of nutrients in the soil—the kind you may not have time to develop in a difficult situation. Do not reinvent the wheel. The best ground, according to Qui -Gon, is an old farmhouse where they have been cultivating that dirt around the house for generations. In the US Midwest, most old farms have been split up, with the old homestead selling cheap with 2-4 acres of ground. But that is the real prize, if you don’t mind an old house in need of renovation. Good, fertile, gardened, ground with fruit trees and a steady well. The 67 acres that used to be the main plot? Let the farmer next door buy it and farm it. Then make friends with all the neighbors! And either renovate the home or build a new one right on that site. It’s not the house on that 2 acre lot, it’s the dirt! Actually, I was really surprised at how little ground Qui-Gon has set aside for serious farming-gardening. Only about an acre? His other ground is for commercial-type crops like Halloween pumpkins. (Note: this is not Qui-gon's farm. He warned that I should not reveal its location or anything about it or my training would suddenly end, badly.)

Apprentice farmer lesson 2: Water—yuck !

I always though you just drill a well and you got water. But in my area the ground water can be good or it can be bad. In fact, the place we purchased for our bug-out home has bad water below it, coming up from an old lake bed 300 feet down, filled with minerals and even arsenic. Qui-Gon says that if you water your garden regularly with that water, you will concentrate those minerals in your topsoil, eventually decreasing yields and ruing it. The answer? Collect your rain water! Even in my area, where there is only 14 inches of rain per year, I can store enough to keep a solid garden going strong.

Apprentice farmer lesson 3: Plants that give instead of take

You know, some plants just prefer to grow in your area. They take little care—just sun and water and a bit of mulching and they will give you more of their produce than you can handle. Enjoy it and recognize that this plant is a giver. Do not despise teh gift through familiarity. Grow more of it! Meanwhile, your favored tomatoes are a pain in the arse, with fat green tomato worms attacking it (don’t eat those). Why fight nature. Find the plants that grow well in your environment. Plan the right thing! In fact, a "Master Gardener" colleague at the school is bring me some pinto beans that used to be the staple in this area, but are no longer grown due to housing developments taking over all the tillable farmland nearby. There is only one farm left that grows these drought resistant, high elevation loving beans. And I hope to have a sack of them soon.

Apprentice farmer lesson 4: Two growth cycles instead of one.

This was a simple one. Grow plants that go through their cycle quickly instead of slowly. Plant an early crop in the spring—something that doesn’t mind a late frost too much. And then plant another crop later in the summer—one that will mature before winter sets in. In my area, I can find two types of beans that will do this.

Apprentice farmer lesson 5: Keep the future in mind.

Make your decisions on a longer time-table. What will you eat this winter? What will you eat next summer. What about next year? Your choice of what to plant and grow require some foresight and common sense. Those two-week radishes and cherry tomatoes will not keep you fed next May while when you are waiting for your spring crop to mature.

Apprentice farmer lesson 6: Hard work

Did I mention that farming requires work—lots of it. It’s not the kind that injures your joints from too much lifting or twisting with a heavy load in your arms, but simply the consistent daily grind of taking care of your dirt and plants. Storing your product. There will always be something to do. Frankly, it is a full time job.

Apprentice farmer lesson 7: Innovation

While you should not reinvent the wheel and we should all hang out with people like Qui-Gon or even take master gardening classes, don’t forget to apply your creativity to solving your own unique problems. Sleep on it. a creative solution will pop into your mind as you open your eyes in the morning. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Experiment. Start new projects. See what works for you.

Apprentice farmer lesson 8: Ability to do without.

There are some things we may all just have to do without, like my Sugar Frosted Chocolate Bomb cereal each morning with 1% low fat milk and two spoon fulls of white refined sugar.. Goat’s milk may have to suffice. And I’ll have to switch to oatmeal with some strawberries and honey (yuck). But sacrifices will have to be made.

Qui-Gon also warned about Zombies. I hope somebody can dedicate a whole post to this issue. But if food really gets scarce, the place where there will be the least is in the cities. In some areas, (and mine is one) we may be faced with hungry people looking for pizzas invading the town and sneaking through your property each night. Wadayagonnado? Just food for thought here… Like the realtors say… “Location, location, location!”

Did I mention that farming a is whole lot of hard work? We sort of knew that from trying to raise chickens. Building a coon/coyote-proof coop is tough. You don’t just pound in a few green steel fence posts and string the chicken wire. Actually, the coop is probably most important: needs to be safe, secure, and easy to get the eggs. But most of all, you have to remember to close it every night—cause that’s when the predators come. And really, chickens need to free-range and feed themselves mostly, or you will spend as much on feed as you would on eggs. While my inner health nut sees no problem with that, my inner survivalist does. So we have determined to spare no expense on a coop, but trust natural selection to weed out the dumb chickens, leaving the stay-at-home egg layers to us.

My final naive thought here is that … we will make it. And that will be in no small part to other members here like Geofarmer who have good answers to difficult and complicated questions.

I plan to work very, very hard on our garden-farm to grow whatever kind of food my region will yield. We may get sick of eating the same things every day, but that will be balanced by our love of eating. Without a doubt, working hard and steadily from sun-up until sun-down will provide sufficient food to stay alive. (I am appreciating my grandparents more every year). But the continuous work will need to become what I enjoy doing—I certainly may not get to do much else…

And I’ll need to continuously educate myself in gardening—knowing what to grow and how to best grow it, how to store it, and how to guarantee that we will have a crop next year. The experts say that it takes 8000-10000 hours (4-5 years) to become an expert at something.

Youth versus age. The young have boundless energy—they can afford to do things over, to make mistakes, to survive on little if need be, and enjoy each other’s physical presence to make up for the hardship and still enjoy life. But us old farts only have limited energy— I need to do things the right way, the first time. We can survive on little but prefer not to, and look less to physical comforts for enjoyment, but cherish time with kids, grandkids and one another in meaningful conversation. We desire to know that our children will make it, and will pass on life skills to our grandchildren.

I will also need to learn to hedge my bets, so to speak, growing food I may not necessarily like, but has a better chance of survival in a dry year… as well as another crop that has a better chance in a wet one. There is no end to what I must learn, perhaps just to keep my family alive.

And finally, we will have to learn to have fun in different ways. Dining out, movies, theater may be a thing of the past. But family dinners, baby animals, and GEP (Grandkid Entertainment Productions) will have to do. And I suspect that I will enjoy these more deeply than I ever enjoyed having my mind dumbed down watching TV and reading the Wall Street Journal.

I have no doubt that any and every skill for surviving in a different world will at least come in handy, and at worst, such skills will be essential to life. Nothing we learn will be wasted. So I welcome my 69 year old aunt who is great with making plants grow, as well as my 27 year old nephew with military skills. We all need one another if we want a life better than the hunter-gatherers of a past age—an age where game and vegetation were bountiful. We will need to create a community of relatives and friends… but that is fodder for a later post.

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Owtovit
May 24, 2016 - 4:25pm

Apprentice farmer lesson 1: Ground....round 2...

Ever heard of terra praeta.....how to make bad ground good

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terra_preta

yeah yeah Wikipedia I know but it's a start for ya research

Owtovit
May 24, 2016 - 1:19am
Dyna mo hum
May 23, 2016 - 11:03am
LostMind
May 23, 2016 - 8:29am

@RoyalFlush - Don't take this personal, not meant to be...

You maybe right, but more than likely wrong. Many of the things I was going to say AE said above.

We are living in interesting times and really do not know what will happen in the future. We would like to believe that PM's will be our saviour, but I cannot risk that in its totality. You are a firm believer in getting out of the US, which has a tendency to make your opinion bias towards that direction. I just want to live, survive, then thrive through whatever the hell is coming our way. I have kids and responsibilities that prevent me from just picking up and hauling tail... That being said, you still could be right and getting the hell out of here maybe the wisest action available.

To your comment above. Yes, land could go to pennies on the $. But what $ will you use to buy it? Where will you get said $'s? Did you have them in a bank? Did you have them under you mattress? Are they worth anything? If I had $200K to buy 40 acres of great agricultural land today versus buying PM's, what should I do? When is ALL of this going to happen? When should we prepare to support ourselves through this coming doom? Will I invest ALL of it in PM's and hope that someone will trade? What will my government do towards PM's? Will they make them illegal? Will they shut down the use of them for 5 years? 10 years? I do not know. BUT

IF I bought my land, which is still on sale in the Southeast, then I would have something that would feed me and my family. It would allow me to have something of value that I could trade with others to survive. IT would allow me to have water, food, shelter, and a place to stand my ground.

You maybe right. I have to be prepared if you are wrong. I have PM's, a little Bitcoin, pixels in the market, and a decent level of defense mechanisms. What I do not have is my own food source, my own water source, my own fort to defend, and I live in a community that has 5+million people in way to close proximity to me. This is not where I want to be when ANY reset occurs...

So... More PM's? Put my $ in the bank? Roll the dice and hope that when the wheel of fortune is spun I hit exactly that right number and color? Or hedge my bets and be prepared for what is more likely to occur?

Timing is key... When will all this occur? When will the great deflation explosion occur? To many things to roll the dice and speculate about IF you have the capability to make provision now for your future.

So, back to the original questions. Yes, raw land and agricultural land is a go depending on WHERE you live and want to live. You can wait it out or you can prepare for all the other more likely events to occur.

I think land may go down eventually, but I do not know what anything will be when it happens. It will take time to prepare that land to provide for you once you get it. Will you have time? Will you be able to do everything that you need to do? I'm not willing to take that risk...

Self sustainability is a personal decision based on the needs of that individual. I care more about providing during the great reset than profit from it afterwards. You must be able to survive it before you can profit from it. I use my $200K to build self sustainability, I then use my PM's to be a land Barron once the reset occurs? If only it was that easy...

Yes, Royal, you maybe right. But you have to survive the timing...

AlienEyes
May 23, 2016 - 7:36am

Mega Trends

Southern land prices are hot and getting hotter. The Southern states are blessed with, water, good soil and longer growing seasons. The South is also fortunate to have "Right to Work" laws, low cost electric power (in most areas) and an abundance of land which has kept land prices low outside of major metro areas. Unions have always been viewed as socialist extortion schemes in the South (which is exactly what they are).

The north has suffered from factory closings and an out migration of industry and jobs. The South has suffered this loss of jobs in only three areas, farm jobs, textile jobs and tobacco jobs. This has resulted in a population explosion in the sun belt and in staggering losses of jobs and population in the frigid north. The price of farmland in the South has started to climb and this trend will continue and accelerate. The southwest has lots of land but suffers from a critical water shortage that is not going to get better but only worse. The massive population growth in the southwest is already starting to stall because of their critical water shortage problems. In addition to water shortages, much of the west coast and southwest is plagued by high taxes and lunatic labor laws which seem to be designed to force industry out.

When it all comes crashing down, it's a fact that people in the South will have little chance of freezing to death while a disruption of services coupled with skyrocketing energy prices could cause massive casualties in the north in the near future. Our technocracy has become so complex that the malfunction of any critical part could lead to a national disaster beyond comprehension. Enter the debt crisis. When the money that oils the machine becomes nearly worthless it will make the so called "Great Depression" look like the good old days.

While our pathetic excuse for a government squanders trillions of dollars, one of their highest priorities is to suppress the price of precious metals because PMs are the mortal enemy of fiat currencies. At some point in the future, PM prices in dollar terms and land prices will surpass every estimate of their future value and for exactly the same reason. They aren't making any more of either one. Population growth guarantees their rapid increase in value because of scarcity. The more people, the more scarce PMs and land will become. The future estimates of PM prices in dollars are unbelievably low for two reasons. The dollar is constantly being devalued and the world's population continues to rise making PM's and land more scarce and therefor, more valuable. Silver and lowly copper will also rise like gold because when an ounce of gold is worth 100 k, how will you make change for a purchase? That's where silver and copper come in.

In the not to distant future, we might see a new currency that is backed by PM's where you would deposit your gold in return for fiat that is actually backed by your gold on deposit. Banks would be on a short leash and would only be able to charge a small, fixed percentage for facilitating fractional transactions.

Another possibility that I would favor would be the inclusion of gold strips in a new currency. At 100 k gold, the new currency would incorporate 1/100 of an ounce of gold in a $1,000 note and 1/1,000 of an ounce of gold in a one hundred dollar note. Then we would have a currency that is not just backed by gold but that actually is gold. Such a currency is now technically possible and verification of the gold strip is also now technically possible. Fifties and twenties could incorporate silver strips in the same way.

We do indeed live in interesting times.

luvabean
May 22, 2016 - 11:36pm

@flush

do ya' think i could buy land as well? with no banks?
how would i do it?
i just wanna' homestead to call my own...
and how do i resize my pictures? i'd like to have a better profile pic to choose, from my photo albums on my laptop...pm me with the details if you have time<3

Royal Flush
May 22, 2016 - 10:07pm

@lost mind

now might not be the time to buy any land. there might be a time like in the late 1800's when nobody had any cash or at that time any silver or gold to buy anything. everyone was trying to sell but there were no buyers. nobody had any cash to buy anything with. the banks were not solvent and there were no loans being made. this is coming here soon - stack and buy your land when the crash happens - when the bottom is right in front of your face. whole towns disappeared at that time in history. everyone moved to better pickings and could not sell the property they had purchased years before. too bad for them - you should take advantage of that when it happens in the next months or years. pennies on the dollar my friend! :)

luvabean
May 22, 2016 - 9:28pm

aww guerilla<3 i feel ya'

yer just a big 'ole ape fulla love! i am not educated...at all, ha! but managed a pretty damn good life offa' the little white lie that i graduated, and my own ingenuity.
i see what is happening now, and that kids that have paid into the system won't even get these opportunities.
sheesh, whatta' farce and yer just dying to tell them, huh?
alas...culture of what is deemed valuable is very hard to beat. i really feel ya.
so, as crazy auntie what are my gifts? one thing that i've done...as i am a big "question asker" myself...
is wait, and listen...
did someone make a passing joke, a worry, an observation?
i watch and listen. i like to kick back witha' beer and just watch the beauty that is my own family's microcosm.
there is nothing like it, and it is mine! i understand your feeling that it's dire.
hell, brother...i am spending every last cent rounding out an all inclusive plan for some of my family that giggle at me and shake their heads. don't matter...i do it boldly, with my own two hands....and they have seen it for years.
i have only gotten alittle justice that through different medias...i don't seem as "crazy" anymore and thankfully many have jumped on board.
but the kids? hunny....you can't reach 'em til they're ready. no one's wrote the book yet and we'll die waiting for that edition anyhow.
so getting back to what i have seen crack the code for kids. i love 'em...as you do...i am blessed with being able to talk pidgin' child, teen and adult.
it all starts with the listening and the question...after i hear something that piques my interest i wait for a quiet time one on one...and start out witha' laughy kinda' offhand comment like "i thought it was funny when you said...it made me laugh" or "ya' know, what you said earlier got me thinkin'...i am curious about more" not so crunchy, right? you get what i'm sayin' and it'll flow...
more often than not those little trial balloons missed by everyone else in their ego parade are what bridges the gap.
i am surprised by the kids sometimes. i am genuinely stunned at what they've seen and how they come to terms with it. i learn as well.
and again, i know what i have self hewn and what suggestions i could make...but the conversations sometimes have me up at night unlike any doomsday call for gold.
it is not until you can be naked in front of their thoughts, that you'll ever really get 'em.
i'm just sayin' what's worked for me on deep secret "tell auntie and pinky swear" kinda' stuff.
if you ask for understanding...be prepared for what you get. and if you wanna get to this point ya gotta' just get off the soapbox and walk beside 'em. *please, please...don't take this the wrong way....i shouted from my soapbox for years....truly, truly gave up and just sat back and watched with a couple of beers and chat...and this is when i stumbled across my revelation.*
open, honest...never self disparaging, always with dignity and purpose, for yourself and for your loves...
led first with enough love to understand that you wouldn't want them up at night with nightmares.
no nightmares, only solutions. make sure you don't have nightmares first, as well...
it'll just rattle yer plans anyhow. <3
try it! find the movies, music...whatever won't rot yer brain! HA! that they listen to...find the message you want to give through a context they understand...
or don't do any of this and just be truly you and wait, give 'em their full reigns and let those colts gallop...
they'll always come home to the good pasture they remember
sent with love, hunny
<3'bean

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NUGTCALL
May 22, 2016 - 9:11pm

Keep it simple

Just but a 2 year supply of soylent and you have the best nutrition technology can buy. All you need is water. Easy Peasy, don't be a nut job.

LostMind
May 22, 2016 - 9:06pm

Real estate?

Now is not the time to buy housing. I do believe now is a good time to buy raw land or agricultural land. The real estate market is about in the third/ fourth quarter of 2005 and headed to March 2006 fairly quick. Just heard from friend that something seems to have just broken in the Charlotte market last couple of weeks too.

Always try to find land that backs up to state or county land, especially if it's good hunting area. Consider it free extension of your property. Wetlands are also good too have for hunting and buffering...

Great article too Doc. Thanks

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