Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thinking About Hard Times

As for the garden projects, I have more sunflower heads to cut and shell. Then there isn't much more to gather from the garden. I do want to pick beans off the shriveled, frosted plants. I had hoped they would reach the seed saving size but alas, so I'm going to try to see if the chickens wouldn't eat the over sized beans.

And while I'm talking of gleaning from the garden, will the livestock relish old yellow and dry corn stalks? I've set a goal this year to harvest my garden to its fullest level. Ignorance I'm sure will prevent me from doing as much as is possible but with each step I will grow closer to using all that the Lord hath given me.

It isn't that every crumb is necessary, but one day soon it may well may be, for many of the leading experts are saying next year the world will sink into a depression. One that will make the last one pale in comparison.

This mess we've gotten ourselves into could get really ugly with fewer skill available than the last depression. Think about it. Who knows how to cook completely from scratch? How many can raise a self-sustaining garden? Who is knowledgeable about raising livestock in the most basic way. I mean by this that they aren't running to the feed store for pre-packaged livestock feeds. That they know for instance that pumpkins are very good for goats. I have just learned this. I know in the book Farmer Boy they fed them to the cows and I guessed they were good for goats too but I didn't really know for sure until recently. Now I need to see if I can get my girls to eat part of my surplus pumpkins. How many of you can sew? How many of you can do basic vehicle mechanics, a little plumbing, a little electrical, a little woodworking etc. In general, how many of you can take care of yourselves.  
This may shock you, but I considering myself and my husband one of those people who are dependent

Don't scoff. The more I learn, the more I realize I haven't a clue about how to be self-sufficient. For instance, if we had to save seed and grow another garden from those seeds creating a crop true to its parent, we'd be in a hurt since we really don't know how. Oh I've got a few books on the subject but you and I both know that books are only a jumping off place to the unknown.

Everyone's soil and climate is a bit different changing some of the information in the book. It's like reading the birthing process of goats and then spending the next few hours trying to explain to your laboring doe that she is doing it all wrong. "No, the back feet don't come first, and aren't you suppose to be dilated more?" Your goat of course has no idea because she's never read the book and doesn't care anyway. 

It's this base knowledge that very few things are as simple as they first appear that grounds me for the more I learn, the more I realize how little I really do know.  If pressed to live off what we produced, we'd be mighty uncomfortable.
When I think of the days ahead I think of Kirk's (mother's) father who during the Great Depression worked for the railroad as a steward - six days a week. He only had a few holidays off. He didn't spend his days whining about how bad he had it. He was just glad to be employed.

I think of Kirk's father's dad and the stories of how his folks and siblings survived the depression on a ranch in Montana. Kirk's dad is the child in the middle.
Clothes weren't none too fancy (notice the one size fits most jumpsuits) and shoes... well, note those bare feet.
 The little red head on the right with the unruly hair is Kirk's dad. He tells of getting up in the frosty morning to  herd the goats and cows in to be milked. On the journey, he'd sometimes stop to stand in a freshly deposited cow pie, (manure) to warm his feet which ached from the cold. Shoes were for school.

These are some of the pictures that adorn the walls of our home, reminding us of just how blessed we are. Reminding us of that history repeats itself and it's due for another round of hard learned lessons about frugality, living within our means, honesty, and integrity.

Yes, when I look at the moral character of those in the 1930's and realize how these good people were refined through hard times, it isn't any wonder they were called 'The Greatest Generation" after WWII was over. These already good people were made even greater by the sacrifice bore well once more.  

Think today of our young and adults. What would our entitlement spoiled culture do during a Great Depression?

 And mind you one of these days there will be a depression. History always repeats itself when lessons fail to be learned from it. So it might be next year or a few year yet but this world needs arighting. Greed and self-centeredness have twisted it all askew.  My fear is like the spoiled little rich girl that doesn't get her way, things could become mighty ugly before they are fixed once more.

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