Mass Psychosis Over The Mass Psychosis:
I understand the need for a continued conversation about COVID, social media censorship, and government propaganda. I understand that people should have the liberty to talk about whatever it is they deem important, hence this site. At the same time, enough of the COVID hysteria about the COVID hysteria! We get it, people searching for the truth can find excellent info from Dr. Robert Malone and many others. For those being bullied into getting the jab for their job, it is up to the individual to weigh the cons of unemployment against the long-lasting health problems of the jab. If a college mandates the shot why the hell are you even considering going to college in the first place? People complain about these tyrannical systems yet still fund them through participation.
Perhaps it's a form of fear porn that many people have become addicted to over the past 2 1/2 years or the fixation enables them to make more money off the constant discussions of it, who knows. All I can say is that we are stuck in the past instead of quickly adapting to the consequences of failed leadership. Who cares if Facebook or Twitter deletes your account. They just freed up your mind to build parallel systems! No longer will you have to torture yourself scrolling through the pathetic lives of no-nothing people. Can we please stop hyper-focusing on the above distractions?
Do The Work:
There I said it. Now can we get on with actual real-life, boots on the ground, resilience building? I started the weekly update to show what two people, on a modest budget, with a whole lot of determination can accomplish. We are not making millions of dollars off of memberships or paid advertisements, we are simply two men who are working together with our heads in the game to get meaningful shit done. We do not profess to have all the answers or know how the future will unfold. We do however understand the macro problems/predicaments affecting our lives and are doing our best to apply micro adaptations to give us a fighting chance.
Personal Thoughts and Feelings:
I find myself getting discouraged seeing so many people not take our problems and predicaments seriously. Every minute that Americans ignore the problems of resource scarcity is one step closer to these problems becoming predicaments. As I have explained before, the definitions of these words come from John Greer of Ecosophia. Basically, a problem can be solved but a predicament can only be adapted to and sometimes even that does not work.
Since developing this website and immersing ourselves in the resilience community we have quickly learned that a lot of people are just talkers. You rarely see examples of boots on the ground work. Those that are supposed to be leaders in this community hyper-fixate on distractions. The precious time that is wasted on abstractions really hurts our collective progress in developing systems of abundance through parallel structures. We need to focus our time and energies on creating nutrient-dense food, potable water, shelter, education, health, security, governance, common culture, and so much more. This may seem daunting but in actuality, we get to be creators of new systems. We are able to take ideas that have worked in the past and improve where we need to. In many ways, this is pretty exciting. So what are we waiting for?
At what point will any of this be taken seriously? My guess is when the last packages of food leave the shelves for good. A great test case is currently unfolding out west. Look at the predicament Californians are facing with their water supplies drying up. They all knew damn well it was a vital finite resource. What are they doing? Nothing actually. There were no meaningful mandates for low-flow faucets and showerheads, people are still watering their useless lawns and ornamental plants, rainwater collection on a grand scale was not valued, and the golf courses are still open. They will waste every last drop until it’s gone, bitch and moan that no one saw this coming and then look for ways to steal it from somewhere else. Notice I said predicament? There is no way out of their mess. Californians could have taken honest to God constructive steps to deal with their water shortage when it was still a problem decades ago. Now, however, they pissed their time and water away and they will face the consequences of their inactions.
Likewise, the same situation is unfolding with food production in the United States. Currently, it’s the beginning of May and there is a ton of opportunity/time to help mitigate this current problem. Unfortunately, human stupidity will invariably win out, and most Americans, still living in their palaces of privilege will squander their time away until the food runs out. Then they will whale and moan, complain that no one saw this coming, and look for food to steal from anyone or anywhere else. It’s going to take starvation to course correct and focus our time and energy producing things of value. COVID will be a thing of the past (excluding the effects on the jabbed), social media censorship will no longer be a source of sustenance and you will be a lot thinner.
Practicing What We Preach:
Do you think by now, it’s a good idea to clear our minds of frivolous distractions and get gardening? Why, yes it is! We recently bought a 4 cycle garden tiller from Lowe’s for the purposes of removing all the grass inside our two-acre fenced house site. We have long 20-foot wide beds placed on contour in between planted rows of edible perennial herbs, medicinals, bushes, and fruit trees. Each section runs perpendicular to the long and narrow rectangular chicken pens that will enable the chickens to access individual rows in between planted food forests. This design is similar to alley cropping. Over time, the chicken manure will enrich the soils between the fruit tree rows which will grow soil life and by extension soil fertility.
Adapting Our Diet to a Changing World:
I was quite surprised to find out that the average American diet consists almost entirely of gmo wheat, soy, and corn. How crazy is that? No wonder we have so many health problems and vitamin/mineral deficiency.
On the farm, we have been adapting our diet to fit into our alternative lifestyle. Plant-based foods make up the bulk of our diet and are increasing in diversity as our Permaculture-designed food systems expand. Believe it or not, several invasive plants are welcomed additions to our diet. Chinese yam, Autumn olive (yummy berries), and garlic mustard (which makes delicious pesto) are just several very nutritious plants we are consuming in season. Chinese yam (Dioscorea batatas) for instance, has a reputation to grow to incredible heights smothering native vegetation when left unmanaged, locally however the deer population eats them back so they do not cause any environmental damage. Inside the protection of our enclosed 2-acre home site, I have been planting this yam along fences, young sycamore trees, and specific trellis structures to grow upon. The root, or more appropriately called a tuber, is of course a true yam (unlike sweet potatoes which are in the genus Ipomoea) and so they produce giant edible yams sometimes measuring several feet long after a few growing seasons. Each year, the vines themselves produce small potato-like bulblets that will grow into new plants. You can easily collect these bulblets in late summer and cook them just like potatoes. Furthermore, these bulblets are shelf stable for months! They require no refrigeration or special care. I have mine in a zip lock bag on the kitchen shelf all winter and there is no spoilage at all.
Check out this great Youtube video on how the Chinese mass produce this amazing crop. Some states ban the cultivation of the plant even though the plant kingdom does not give a damn about human laws and grow happily wherever they can. Maybe we should too? The way I see things now is that I want my food to be as productive (incorrectly labeled as invasive) as possible.
The point that I am trying to make is that we need a greater diversity of food going forward. The current destructive Big Ag model is failing spectacularly right now (too bad for the farmers who took out loans to buy $500,000 combines…whoops!). The supply chains that create the toxic chemicals, provide fuel for the gigantic machines, and the countless critical elements for everything in between are going extinct. Good riddance in my opinion. Without abundant fossil fuels to prop this destructive system up, we are going to see a huge reversal from 1% of farmers producing food for everyone else, to 99% producing food in some way and 1% not having to.
We're All Going To Eat A Lot Less Meat:
Sorry folks, it’s true and this is not from any personal disdain for eating meat either. When I have the opportunity, I very much enjoy eating humanely raised pork, beef, and poultry. CM brought up an excellent point the other day though, that the time, money, and energy it takes to raise a chick till slaughtering age is totally idiotic. Why kill the preverbal goose that lays the golden egg to simply have one meal?
I’ve heard people say that chickens are expendable dumb animals. These folks have no idea what they are talking about at best and at worst are sociopaths. Every chicken has a soul (it’s alive right?) has a personality, and has incalculable contributions to the world. Our flock has taught us that they have tremendous value outside of the narrow view of producing eggs and meat. As mentioned earlier, we have really poor acidic soils. To watch the evolution of chickens turn dead dirt into fertile soil is truly spectacular. This factor alone is enough to make them a vital part of our food security but their benefits don't stop there. Chickens provide insect control, organic compost production, organic waste cleanup, feathers, enjoyment, weed control, friendship, and of course delicious eggs and occasional meat (sorry roosters).
Inspiration to adapt:
I love watching folks from around the world grow and create amazing recipes from their labor. Even if I do not understand the language, I am able to watch how people live in places unknown to me. On Wild-Girl’s Youtube channel, meat is not something consumed on a regular basis. Vegetables make up the majority of their diet and boy do they know how to create delicious-looking, meals! On special occasions, they will butcher a chicken (usually a rooster) and cook it up. New Year festivals may even include duck or crab depending on the financial status of the family. This is where CM’s comments really opened my eyes to the reality that Americans will not be eating a lot of meat going forward. Vegetables will make up the majority of the meals for most people. Of course, there will be wild game, fish, eggs, and some dairy for folks in areas that have not been stripped clean but the overall outlook appears to me to be dominated by plants.
What About “Sustainably Raised?”:
Even the incomparable Joel Salatin’s model is out of the question. Before I begin, let me just say that Joel’s system is the BEST modern humanely raised livestock and poultry system out there. In my eyes, he is the most influential “farmer” in history. This is how you raise animals with dignity and respect for everyone involved. That aside, I believe any model beyond the small farm/backyard model is going extinct. Why do I think this? One word…Supply. Joel requires hundreds of pounds of feed every year to keep that scale of production going.
Despite having large fields to roam in, meat chickens (and other poultry) are simply not going to be produced en masse. If Joel’s system is going out the window in my opinion, how much more will any large-scale super sadistic factory farm operation go away too! Once again, good riddance to such an abusive system. The concept of mass-producing animals for meat is just not going extinct due to the dwindling resources needed to keep that system afloat with limitless feed. Millions of gallons of fuel to plant, maintain, harvest, process, store, ship, and repeat is going away. The remaining fossil fuels will need to go directly into producing foods at the local level instead of going into animal feed production which goes to meat animals and then into people. This process is clearly inefficient and was made possible by abundantly cheap fossil fuels. What will replace these dying behemoths? Locally grown animal products that the local environment can support. In less densely populated areas, wild-crafted game will add additional sources of meat. One could even make the argument that rodents in more urban areas may be on the menu for those able to get past the stigma.
A Real-Life Example:
As an example, when raising chickens at the local level going forward, locally sourced small grains, plants, and insects will be the focus of their diet. In warmer months, insects and plant material will dominate and then transition into grains, seeds, nuts, and stored fruits for colder months. In our climate, I discovered using a broad fork in their main pen yields an abundance of earthworms under the soil which are an excellent protein source. Colder areas may not have this option in winter, but why would someone live in deindustrialized Wisconsin anyway? Mulberries, traditional fruit trees (apples, peaches, pears), chestnuts, elderberries, and the like should be prioritized when designing local chicken food systems. Plus, humans can directly eat many of these species as well.
Our vegetable garden starts directly south of our 40’ container and is flanked on both sides by the chicken pens. These pens have access doors on the garden side as well as on the opposite side where the food forest orchards are broad beds. There is a synergy between our human environment and the chicken environment that yields tremendous benefits for everyone involved. I highly encourage you to get yourself a copy of Introduction to Permaculture, which explains in detail a variety of design options that integrate chicken systems into your backyard, homestead, or farm. The knowledge in this book is the foundation upon which our whole system rests.
To me, it's important to begin producing as much food as possible where you are with the resources at hand. The problems we are facing in our nation’s food supply will very quickly turn into predicaments if we continue to waste our time on distractions. I want to encourage anyone reading this to take your local food production seriously as time is running out. It normally takes 60 days from planting a bean seed to harvesting your first green bean. All that time nothing edible is available. Food just doesn’t appear out of know where, it takes time to create something of value. Let’s get growing and build a brighter future together.