One thing I've learned in life is that I *REALLY* learn from my failures when I try something new, and I *LOVE* that!
I don't mind failing as long as I can learn why I failed and then improve it! I've found that "knowing" something from scratch after hearing or even reading about it is one thing, but it's a world different to actually go out into my yard, kitchen or garage and try to make it happen in real life with my own two hands.
When I talk about ways to learn from failure, I mean:
--Okay, that lashing didn't work to hold down a tarp/cover in wind and rain, what kind of knots would have been better?
--Okay, I kind of got some stuff growing, and it took a lot of digging and some money, but the damn gophers and rabbits got away with a bunch of the harvest. What could I do better to protect it?
--Okay, I know it rains and that is water that would be "good" for gardening, but what can I do to catch and keep it?
--Okay, I have magnesium and flint in my backpack, and I tried to make a fire... yeah... now I also have Bic lighters in my backpack, sure they can be broken but I learned that those starters don't always work very well, and it wasn't even windy when I tried! When is the last time you "made fire"? Give it a shot! Try it... I think it's one of the most classic examples of what I'm talking about where practical application of skill trumps "book learning" and does it EVERY TIME.
So I was reading the thread about our way of life ending and I was hoping to start a new thread based on what things we can all do to take steps that are beneficial to our families stability and health.
I don't want to label anyone a "survivalist" or anything else for that matter, but there are still people who prepare for hard times, and they have a huge leg up when bad things happen to good people. Whether it's from hard times or just a good way to spend time with your family/friends, becoming more self sufficient is NEVER time wasted. Ever.
It doesn't matter what the problem is... earthquakes, firestorms, economical meltdown, spontaneous rioting after some superficial trial that turned into a media racial hot button issue (and the riots happen either way, conviction or acquittal) or who knows what causes it, does it really matter? Once you're in the Oh CRAP!!! situation, you're there! The upside is that preparing for them has very basic underlying principles that resonate with almost all of the potential scenarios. Water, Food, Security. Start wit the very basics.
All of us can do simple things every week to help improve our situation.
Don't wait until Obama is re-elected and the liberals run wild with even more programs that kill jobs and take food off your families plate. Cycloneman said better learn to grow veggies...(if Obummer is re-elected) the only problem I have with that is "learn to" don't "learn to"... DO GROW VEGGIES. Right now. Today!!! Hey, and go one better, if you have the room for it, plant a tree! plant a fruit or nut tree. Even though you cant eat all of that once it's really producing a few years later, you can share it with friends, coworkers and others, or you can sell the excess at a local farmers market, or you can just donate it to charity!
Here's some books I think could be beneficial to people looking into how to get started on growing some of their own food, on how to start relying less on what the infrastructure supplies and more on their own hard work! (Seriously, if you spend a Saturday or Sunday in the garden were you taking away from your work curing cancer, or were you watching T.V.?)
Backyard Homestead http://www.amazon.com/Backyard-Homes...9827330&sr=8-1
Mini Farming http://www.amazon.com/Mini-Farming-S...9827429&sr=1-1
4 season harvest http://www.amazon.com/Four-Season-Ha...9827471&sr=1-1
Seed to seed http://www.amazon.com/Seed-Growing-T...9827624&sr=1-1
How to build water storage (all the way up to large scale!) http://www.amazon.com/Water-Storage-...9827692&sr=1-1
Look up rain water catchment, there are laws in some communities that force you to put the rain water into the ground rather than storing it for your garden, but, that doesn't mean you can't build catchment with gutters and storage and "test" them, etc... and if the bad times are horrifically bad... do you really think whoever is left at the city/county code enforcement bureau is going to risk walking onto your land to issue a citation?
Mormon guide to preparing food supplies
There's a particular link I'm looking for and having trouble finding it, it's a PDF that is basically buy this, this week, and it covers your families food consumption for the week but you slowly add to the items your buying, this week you buy an extra bag of sugar, next week you buy a big bag of rice, the week later you buy pasta, etc etc etc, and with barely affecting your weekly budget, at the end of a year, you actually have a reliable and effective food stores program in YOUR OWN PANTRY! and all you have to do is practice FIFO (first in, first out) and replenish when you go grocery shopping, and you can sustain that as your family eats their every day meals through out the year.
I have the .PDF file, I just cant find the darn link to it online, maybe someone else can post it
Now that you have some idea of what you want to have in stock to live a healthy life without dependance on the grocery store being open 24/7...
canning, jarring, preserves etc...
storing food http://www.amazon.com/Storing-Your-G...9828519&sr=1-2
Seriously, the list goes on and on, there are VOLUMES of books that experienced gardeners or self reliant or even large city urban apartment dwelling wanna-be green thumbs have tried and documented
If you want to get even more prepared, there's alternatives that are reasonably affordable on even modest budgets. You don't have to buy a garage full of MRE's in order to have some self reliance.
Costco buckets do 1 month of food for 90-100 bucks depending on if you want the one thats vegan only or the one with chicken. And that single bucket has individually freeze dried portions for 3 meals a day, for one person for an entire MONTH! for 100 bucks.
Costco link on food storage, go crazy lol! http://www.costco.com/Common/Search....rch&lang=en-US
Uhm... that's a pretty good way to at least get some peace of mind and start working on the gardening and self reliance thing as a parallel task right?
The sooner you start taking command of your own food and water resources, the better prepared you are if they ever become affected by unforeseen events!
The same can be said for Medical and defense and all sorts of other needs, but those would probably be better off in separate threads...
anyway, for now, happy gardening and stay healthy!