I feel like we’re on the brink of societal collapse. It seems important to focus on the positive things we can be doing so that the transformation will be less chaotic. That’s what I’m going to be working on.
This past year I began to feel a much more urgent need to learn skills that could help me become more self-sufficient. These are skills I’ve always wanted to learn, but it’s all begun to fell urgent nowadays. I expanded the garden and was able to can and store a lot more food this year for the winter. Not nearly enough, but at least it’s made a noticeable dent. Next year one of my goals is to start a serious food storage effort. I want to have at least a year’s worth of food always in reserve and more than that if I’m able. For the coming year I’d like to buy a good supply of beans and grains and other staples (salt, sugar, vinegar,…) and then can and dry and store as much garden produce as possible.
My burning need is to disengage from the system. The system is making life on earth unsustainable and as long as I continue to participate in the system I’m a guilty party.
How do I more fully disengage? By taking back a lot of the responsibilities I’ve delegated to others, particularly nameless, faceless corporations. I certainly can’t do it all in the coming year, but I feel confident I can in the next ten years.
I really like all of the new initiatives that have been springing up in the past few years. There is an increasing group of people awakening to the true reality of our time.
The Transition Town initiative is an interesting movement. It was started to help prepare towns for peak oil, but I think it’s much more broadly applicable to all of the crises we’re facing. I think the financial crisis is a much more ominous worry—like possibly in the next few months. We really need more time to re-build resilient communities.
I’ve been giving considerable thought to my town of Snyder. I actually think it has a lot going for it and if society collapsed we may actually be a very cohesive community. We’re small enough, old-fashioned enough, and skilled enough to potentially pull together quite well. Most people already garden and many have backyard livestock of some sort. We could grow most of our produce, plus eggs and small-scale livestock, and the surrounding farms can produce grains. I think we could all look out for each other quite well, and do alright.
In the next year I’d like to get hens and meat rabbits, and all of the accoutrements I’d need. I’m planning to expand the garden to 800 square feet at least and get the soil tested and amended. I’m planning to grow oats and get a grain roller, start nixtamalizing my own corn to make homemade masa, hopefully finally get a pressure canner AND finally clean out the storm cellar. I hope to order some bulk grains and beans in February through a Denver-based bulk grain sale and buy a bunch of buckets for food storage. I plan to get suitable crocks for making sauerkraut. Ideally I’d like to get a high quality grain mill, but I’m not sure that’ll happen this year. And I’d like to finally put up a clothesline.
I’m no longer buying any disposable products except toilet paper, and any clothes I buy (besides underwear) are secondhand. I’d like to learn how to knit socks so I can make several pairs of durable and warm wool socks for Collin and me. Store-bought socks nowadays are so cheap they’re almost worthless. I think manufacturers purposely design them to wear out as fast as possible.