Bell Peppers - Sick of the Systems

Self-Reliance in the Backyard

TomatoesSo if you have read any of my past posts, you know that I think that our dependence on the many systems in our lives gives us a false sense of security. It is absolutely misplaced trust. Go back and read The Intertwining Systems for kind of a scary eye-opener. But we’re about doing things around here, not just complaining about the systems or being too stuck in our ways to do anything. We’re doers, aren’t we? So what can we do to put a buffer between our lives and the food system?

Grow your own food

Having a garden and growing what you ate used to be a normal part of life not too long ago. It just made sense. Why is it not the case today? Why doesn’t it just make sense in our culture? I don’t know. I have many ideas but I don’t want to get into it now. Let’s get into growing your own food and why it does make sense.

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How do we change anything?

If you want to change things in your life, the change must start with you. You must start to change yourself before anything else can change. Otherwise you are just coasting through like everyone else. You are like the wave on the sea tossed by any wind that comes its way.

Do something!

Typical Politician - Head up their ass
Typical Politician

If you are sick and tired of the systems, do something about it! I know those in power, some of those running the systems, don’t want you to know this, but guess what?  You do have power.  More power than you may think. You can cause a change in that which you don’t like. That is a dangerous concept because it puts you in control and that is what they are afraid of. Once a populace knows that they are the ones that are actually in control, it’s game over for them. They have lost. And they will stop at nothing to make sure that does not happen.   That is precisely why they oppose so many ordinarily good ideas, leaps forward for a society, and label them as bad, as the poor choices of the masses. They are scared shitless of these kinds of changes.  And yes, sometimes those in charge just have their heads up their asses.  But often, they do know what they are doing and are doing it for control and money.  What?  A politician wanting control and money?!  I know, it’s crazy.

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Credit Card Debt

How do I pay off my debt?

Credit Card Debt“How do I pay off all this debt?” “How the hell did I get here?” These questions have been asked since the dawn of time, since the first time one man lent another man money. It seems like a simple enough thing for us to wrap our heads around – if you have a debt, you pay it off. Simple, right? Yes, but that doesn’t mean that it is easy. If it were easy, there wouldn’t be so many people still in debt. Let me tell you a story.

Phil’s fight with debt

Years ago, there was a guy I knew named Phil. When he was nineteen, Phil worked in a furniture warehouse making OK money and doing fairly well for himself. He received a pre-approved credit card application in the mail one day. He didn’t really think anything of it. He just threw it away with all the other junk mail he got. Soon Phil started getting more and more of these applications. They were

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Clipper Sailing Ship

Where do you want to go?

Where are you? Where do you want to go? And how the heck do you get there?

Today I wanted to help you get an assessment of your current situation. Whether good or bad. And also where you want to go, where you want to be. It doesn’t matter how good you are with direction, how disciplined you are, your perseverance, whatever. If you don’t know where you are, you will never get to where you want to be.

The ship

Clipper Sailing ShipThis reminds me of an analogy I heard on The Survival Podcast by Jack Spirko. I’ll add my own details, but you’ll get the point. So before a ship even leaves its port, the ship’s captain plots a course for its destination port. To do that, the captain must know where he is currently. And for the purpose of this analogy, the ship does not have any GPS navigation equipment.   Back to the story. The captain knows that if he is in Norfolk, Virginia and he wants to go to the port in Dover, England, he must plot a northeast course across the Atlantic and go through the English Canal before arriving in Dover. He only knows that because he knows where he is to begin with. If he were actually leaving a port in Argentina, but thought he was leaving Norfolk, he would plot that same course. He thinks he’s in Norfolk. Except this time, he would really be confused

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9 Year Old Suspended for Threat of Magic

Educating our children through fear.

Kermit Elementary, Kermit, TX
Kermit Elementary, Kermit, TX

I just read a shining example of how our education system is working for our children from The Odessa American and The New American. The story starts with a 9 year old boy seeing a movie: Lord of the Rings – The Battle of the five Armies. Harmless. The boy then brings a ring to school, still no harm done at this point. And then apparently copying the movie, the boy told one of his classmates that he “could make him disappear” with the ring. What is the problem with that?

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Self-Reliance in the Pantry – Part Two

Long-Term Food Storage

Packaging rice in jars - Long Term food storage
Packaging Rice

So sticking with growing your pantry, I wanted to talk a little bit about long-term food storage. To me, this includes the food that lasts longer than the average canned food shelf life of 1 or 2 years. Stuff like beans, rice (you know, the classic survival stores), grains, lentils – essentially, dry goods. Properly stored, this stuff can last for years. And then we move onto freeze-dried food. The big #10 cans of this and that, that last 15, 20 or 30 years. Brands like Provident Pantry, Auguston Farms and Mountain House. That’s your REALLY long-term stuff.

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Self-Reliance in the Pantry – Part One

In one of last week’s posts, The Intertwining Systems, we saw how precarious our food system really is. I showed you just some of the points of failure and how if just one of the many systems that prop up our food system were to fail, it could fall apart.

Pantry - Canned foods
This pantry needs to grow!

So what are some things we can do about it?

For one, we can start storing our own food. I’m not talking about going out and buying 120 cases of military MREs (Meals Ready to Eat). I mean buying a little extra of what you already use on a regular basis. Just a little at a time. If your family likes canned clam chowder, the next time you buy a can, buy

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How would you do with a winter storm like Juno?

Blizzard 2015!

Blizzard from Staten Island Ferry
View from Staten Island Ferry

We talk about lessening our dependence on the collective systems here and for good reason. The systems are not always there functioning as they’re supposed to. The less dependent we are on them, the better our lives are.

Buried_Cars_in_Cambridge
You’re not going anywhere!

Look at the images below, some found on Twitter, with hashtag #Blizzard2015. This is what happens when the masses think that they can always go to the grocery store to pick up this or that and the store will always have food and other essentials. So why keep anything like that in the home? If we need it, we can just go get it. Think again.

Then, the nightly news guy says, “this is going to be the big one, go out and get some food and water.”

Everyone panics and buys everything they can at the grocery store.

Here is the aftermath:

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The Intertwining Systems

The Food Distribution System and the Energy System

Food System - ProduceToday I was thinking about our food system here in America. Of course, it’s the same the world over. Our food system is a very precarious system indeed, relying on other systems to keep it functioning the way it should.

I’m not saying that it relies on only three other systems, but let’s pretend that’s true. Now, imagine our food system is a three-legged stool. With all three legs planted snuggly on terra firma, everything is fine. The stool sits there securely and functions as, well, a stool. The seat of the stool is our food system, and the three legs, let’s call them oil, just-in-time inventory and supply. There is a lot more to it than that, but this will suffice for the point. Now, imagine that one of those legs breaks, just snaps in two. What happens to the stool? Here on Earth, the stool, now being unevenly supported by only two legs, will fall over.

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Are you done with the Systems?

Or at least want to be?

Motherboard
Ever feel like you’re just a piece of the System?

Can we really just walk away from all of these systems?   For some of us, yes. Usually that involves pulling up roots, moving out into the woods and going completely off-grid. That may be a dream for a lot of people, but some don’t want to do that, some just can’t. Others may just not want to be completely off the systems, they don’t want to walk away. Even if you do want to throw up your hands and go off-grid, does your family want the same? Would they be happy?

So what are some ways that we can lessen our reliance on the systems?

Think about all of the systems we are a part of. Go back to my post that lists out many of them. Now try to think of at least one thing for each system that you can do in the next month to lessen your involvement with them.

Comment below with some of your ideas.

Until next time,

Stay free.

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