Friday, January 31, 2014

Something I Just Have to Get Off My Chest

I ordered my seeds for this summer. Can you believe that some of the items are already sold out. It is only January. Yes, it was January 30, the last day but for us here that is a ways off from gardening time. I will start some seeds in March, in the house, but the garden won't be planted until the end of May. I'm ordering from northern seed companies so why the rush? I know some of you are working on your gardens right now, those down south, but you shouldn't be the ones ordering from these companies. The seeds are acclimatized and suited for the north. Southern seeds are adapted for a whole different environment. For instance the growing of indeterminate tomatoes versus determinate. Up north we need cold hardy and fast producing vegetables for our chilly short season. I saw a joke the other day on Facebook about "Wyoming Spring - the best day of the year." That isn't too far off unless you are referring to fall and then sometimes that is even shorter. Yes we joke frequently about having two seasons, winter and summer, winter being the longest.

 The shortage of seed catalog items leaves me wondering. Is there a resurgence of people starting to garden? Not that I'm just starting to notice or that I've not heard that there is but I'm talking still. It hasn't gone out of fashion since it involves that nasty word work?  Is it becoming big time? I've had to order earlier and earlier each year to assure I get the seeds I want. Makes you question supply and demand. When the need is really serious, I don't care if you do know how to grow a garden, will you be able to?

The same is true of chickens. If I need chicks, I order by the beginning of February for the beginning of May arrival and still I don't always get what I want. I know with chickens they had a resurgence in people wanting to raise them because I talked to the owners of a couple companies. At the same time I'm seeing these same companies struggling because of the volatile weather and strain economically by the government on businesses. How long can they hold out. How long do they want to?

So is this push to produce your own gaining momentum? I hope so. I spoke to a gentleman a few days ago and he stated that he wanted to can this year like he did with his grandmother as a child. He is trying to convince his wife as she isn't feeling as unsettled about the future as he is. People think the store has always taken care of them and it always will. They might want to look beyond their borders and back in history. An imbalance is occurring in the US and across the world. I can't help but think of Russia years ago and maybe the Soviet Union even now. The people grew just enough for their own needs or they were taxed heavily. Our government has made a number of similar moves, some successful and some not. They are still trying to outlaw Farmer's Markets. It isn't about safety. It is about control.

I meet more and more people who speak of such things and of their uneasy feelings. I had to laugh when my blog view numbers spiked big time after Obama's State of the Union address. Coincidental - I don't know. I do know that history repeats itself. Just as in nature she rebalances herself, so to will our world. It is painful and ugly when it does.
*****************************************************I'm stopping you here if you don't want to hear the grizzly truth. Skip to a fun blog coming up tomorrow. **********************

Some, including members of my extended family, look at the changes happening today and say we are evolving and things are progressive. I would agree. I don't agree that it is in a positive direction. I say we are progressing toward destruction. Emotions rule. Principles are rapidly being lost. Where are the men who put their lives and fortunes on the line for a better world. A world which they in their lifetime would not enjoy the fruits of.  These were our founding fathers. These men were born of trial. Just as they say the "Greatest Generation" was those who went through WWII well, they rose out of the Great Depression. The rise and fall of generations can be charted throughout history and there is a distinct pattern in it. The more self-sufficient or self controlled we are as a person and a nation, the more a society prospers economically and morally. The more dependent it is upon others and the less self disciplined it is, then destruction always follows. The founding fathers of the United States studied history and governments extensively before putting the constitution to pen. They took into accountability the nature of man. We would be wise to follow in their footsteps. And on that note, let's take Obama's pen away from him. He keeps claiming he has a pen and will use it to write executive orders and that he can put into vacant offices whom he pleases. Checks and balances were put in place for a reason. Government moves slowly for a reason. Yes, good things don't happen quickly but then neither do disastrous ones.

Each day as I cook, clean and go about my daily tasks, I ponder, "Can I make this? Did I make this? Can I do without this?" My ancestors are looking smarter by the day. I often ponder the lessons of the Ten Virgins in the scriptures. Five had to leave before the Bridegroom came because the oil in their lamps ran out. I've looked upon this parable spiritually and temporally with my oldest daughter. She did some research historically and biblically and found that when things get tough - really tough, the same pattern emerges. People band together, often it is extended family but not always. It is for protection but each individual family unit is responsible for clothing and feeding their own members. Within these harsh rules of survival the weaker units perish. There just isn't enough energy, time, and supplies to go around. The concept that a village needs a butcher, the baker, the candle stick maker etc. to survive is a socialistic theory that is thrown out the window when the going gets really rough. The village is for prosperous times. Always in every survival instance it is the mentally strongest that make it. Those who are creative, self-disciplined and yes, have useful skills. Though keep in mind that skills alone won't do it.

As often as I've heard of people wanting to become more self-reliant, I also hear of many who have this idea twisted. They think they can simply do no more than put away food and supplies for a year and hide out. This to them is self-reliant. Somehow miraculously the world will completely collapse and be restored once more within a year's time. Though they did nothing to participate in the restoration of balance, someone else will have done the job for them. This someone will gladly offer them supplies upon their arrival. Did they miss the childhood story of The Little Red Hen? Unless I have it all wrong and the Internet too, I believe these are the Doomsday Preppers and they think they are pretty smart. As I see it, these people are just as helpless as when they started the year before they went into hiding and what is smart about that? They have fooled themselves into thinking they can do little ( don't think putting away a years supply isn't hard but in comparison to becoming self-reliant, it is nothing.)and expect to eat, drink, and be merry for surely someone will bail them out in the end. In reality the end might of just been pushed back a year. 

Just as all those people who say I can grow a garden if I need to. Good luck! In Wyoming you don't just throw seeds in the ground and voila, a crop. Even if you could, that is good for the first year but somehow these same people think they can save seed with no effort from that years crop and grow another. No clue about cross pollination or cross breeding or even that some crops like cabbage and many onions take a three year cycle requiring knowledge and skill to keep cabbages and onions coming. If their supplies are stolen? No knowledge or skills are left to bail them out. As for the farmer that will bale them out, good luck. He is specialized to the point of little use. He too is dependent on the store for his supplies and crop. At this point everyone will be fighting for available supplies and they will go sky high in price. Think the gold rush in California and other places. Good luck with the - I can do it if I need to theory - because I can guarantee if you aren't doing it now, you won't have the supplies or honed skills to do so in the future. I've raised dairy goats for 28 years and I'm still trying to figure things out. You know how much I study. Knowledge coupled with experience creates wisdom and it comes a drop at a time.

Even in the turkey business it is a co-op of people who produce them. One has the breeding stock, another hatches the eggs, and another raises the chicks to completion, while someone else produces the feed, then the final stage is the processing plant. Five different operations are involved. No self-sufficiency there. Each co-op member is specialized and knows only a piece of the complete pie. This is the way of our world. One of these members joining a group for survival is only minimally helpful. Anyone who has been a part of a large operation and a very small self-sufficient one knows there is more differences than similarities.

 I can't tell you how many people have light mindedly told me IF they needed to grow a garden they could. I wish they would please inform me how to because I know I'm going to starve and I've had a garden for 35 years. I have so much to learn to keep it going from year to year. I will guarantee that if you aren't doing whatever survival skill now that you will need, you won't have the supplies or knowledge to do it when the time comes. I've heard, "I can make quilts if I need them." but of course their cupboard is bare of supplies. From where shall they come, the store of course. My analytic brain asks, "If the store has quilting supplies then why doesn't it have a supply of blankets?" We have a completely dependent society who can not understand the concept of someone else not being perfectly capable or desiring to insuring their needs, wants, and survival. They have to, or they would have to stop eating, drinking, and making merry. I'm just betting they won't plan on the dying part and become liars and thieves.

If you are indeed working on self-sufficiency you are set up to handle just the number of people doing it presently in your situation. You can't afford to do more, time, money, or energy wise. All those wishing to be saved at the last hour will find themselves without supplies to travel, if and I mean a huge if it were safe to travel. They will plan on arriving at the doorsteps of the more prepared. Only we aren't prepared for them. It will take a miracle to survive. Yes, in the Bible story Elijah went to Zarephath and asked the widow to feed him. The widow and her son had only enough oil and flour to make a cake from it and then they were going to starve to death. She obeyed, made him the cake. A miracle happened where the oil and the flour containers always had enough thereafter because of her obedience. What people forget is many around her starved to death. Her obedience saved her. In the days ahead obedience is key.

We have prayed repeatedly for wisdom to know what is The Father's will in preparing for us as a couple. Those doing as much as they can, can not make a goat produce milk before her time or create more crops than they have seed for. We have enough seed for Kirk and I but not enough for the nine more members of our immediate family. I'm just talking kids, and grandkids, not even our parents. We can't keep the seeds viable long enough to wait for the future to arrive. We can't afford to do much more than work on our own survival. It is a time, money, and energy thing. The horrible decisions that will have to be made, I fear most. It angers me that because of light mindedness on others part, we will even have to make them. I'm hoping there will be given forewarning enough to be better prepared. Will there be hand outs, sure, people will have compassion but they must survive too and it will have limits. Remember the Grim's story of the cricket?

People will band together and invite those into the group who have skills they badly need. Over the years we've been offered places as people imagine the formation of their band. Will you be? Why this dismal tale. Please, I beg you, prepare yourself. In doing so you will save yourself from the toxic chemicals in nearly everything we buy, from diseases, and health calamities plaguing our day because of a light minded society who thinks freshness and uniformity in crops comes first. If self-sufficient there will be a more comfortable margin between you and those who's only concern is the profit margin. All I ask is if you wish to bury your head in the sand, please don't come knocking at my door in the future when you pull it out.

I feel better.

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