Monthly Archives: April 2013
Within the community of those who are preparing for The Approaching Day, you’ll find a broad spectrum of speculation about what will bring about that day and therefor what that day will look like. Each of us has our own answer to the question “Why prep?” Each of us must decide for ourselves what we anticipate and those expectations will guide our preparations. Yes, in all scenarios you will want to have an adequate amount of food and water stored. But how much of each and how or when you expect to replenish your stock when it’s gone will depend largely on what you expect will happen.
Here are some examples of events that preppers anticipate and are preparing for:
Severe weather — Recent weather patterns have shown us how unexpected and far-reaching these events can be. Having food and clean water, a heat source and backup communication plan makes your experience of these events significantly better than those who have not prepared.
Economic collapse — Whether it is a collapse of the US economy or the world’s, such an event will usher in a time of high unemployment, scarcity and civil unrest.
Terrorist strike similar to 9/11 — Such an attack could hit anywhere and could bring about chaos and scarcity.
Nuclear strike — A generation ago, the population was trained in how to react to a nuclear strike. Most people alive today aren’t. But you can see how preparing for a nuclear attack would be significantly different in many ways, yet similar in many ways, to preparing for an economic collapse.
Pandemic —A pandemic is a widespread outbreak of deadly disease. Thousands of people could be infected before they are even aware that they are sick. Thousands more would be infected before the sickness was diagnosed. A rising death toll could cause worldwide panic, chaos, and food shortages.
Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) — An EMP would wipe out all electronic devices over a widespread area. That means nothing operated by electronics will work — not only your computers, laptops, and smartphones, but also the power grid (that means you now have no electricity), sanitation systems, gas pumps, and all electrical service. A power outage in our town a few years ago left our local gas station unable to close its doors, run its cash register, or pump gas. They had merchandise they refused to sell because they had no way to process the transaction, yet they had no way of protecting the merchandise. It was an odd and exceedingly uncomfortable experience. An EMP would take that experience and multiply it exponentially because the outages would be over a much wider area. Again, scarcity and chaos would quickly result.
Civil unrest — Any of a number of events can precipitate civil unrest, but once it takes hold it is difficult to contain. Looting and violence are typical.
There are other events that could occur, but you can see that each of these events have several things in common: scarcity and civil unrest are common denominators. Regardless of what you anticipate the cause of The Approaching Day to be, your preparations should consider these things. Beyond that, your preparations will be directed by your expectations, your resources (both money and time), your skill set, and your degree of motivation.
What event are we prepping for? Phil and I have approached prepping with an “it’s anybody’s guess” attitude! So we go with what we know. What we know is that the world is becoming more dangerous and more fragile. We also know that most preparations we make now will be helpful in a variety of different scenarios. And we know that we cannot be prepared for everything and we’re not to be anxious about what we can’t be ready for. What does that mean for us? It means we are preparing for scarcity of food and water. It means we are preparing for a world with limited electricity, heat and gas. It means we are gradually expanding our preparations to include other precautions.
What are you prepping for? What steps are you taking now? What time frame are you working within? We encourage you to keep reading here to learn more about being ready for when a calamity of any sort occurs.
Sandy and I are city kids, through and through. Despite our urban upbringing and having spent the first ten years of our post-college life in Los Angeles and Chicago, we feel well prepared for life in a small town. I mean, hey! We’ve seen every episode of Green Acres. If ever there was a real-life Lisa and Oliver, it’s Sandy and me. But now that we’ve decided to start to prep, we’re really glad for God’s provision in moving out of the city to a small town several years ago. That’s God’s plan and wisdom, not ours. And like Oliver from Green Acres, we feel a need to get in touch with the land and grow some of our own food. (This coming from a guy who only strays into his yard to cut the grass once a week.)
A big part of prepping is learning useful skills, things that will help make us less reliant on outside sources. How long can I last if (when) the grocery stores get picked clean? The canned food I have in the house won’t last forever. I have to find a means of producing more of it. That’s where planting a garden comes in. In all fairness, we did plant a small garden once before, and we were stunned at how much food we were able to grow from it, but we’re just not “yard work” kinds of people, so any time the urge to plant another garden reared it’s head, we laid down until the feeling went away.
Not this time. We no longer view gardening as a “take it or leave it” pastime. It’s become more of a life-or-death necessity. So we’re going to take the plunge again this year, but we don’t want to over-extend ourselves until we get a better handle on it. We want to expand as we learn, so we’re starting small. And when it comes to small gardens, there are two very viable approaches that are wildly popular right now — container gardening and “square foot” gardening. We may do a little container gardening this year, but we’re going to focus our efforts on square foot gardening.
What Is “Square Foot” Gardening?
Square foot gardening is an efficient method of growing vegetables and herbs in small, organized spaces. So-called “square foot gardens” are raised beds divided into individual sections that are (wait for it…) a square foot each. So what’s wrong with conventional “row” gardening? Mel Bartholomew, the creator of the Square Foot Gardening Method, says it’s all wrong:
After looking at other people’s gardens, it was usually very predictable. Here’s what I found out about single row gardening: Too big an area, too much time, too much work, too much effort, too many seeds, too many weeds, too many plants, too many problems, too costly, too much harvest, too many tools. IT’S JUST TOO MUCH OF EVERYTHING!
People can grow 100% of the crops they used to grow in large plots in just 20% of the space. These smaller, more organized gardens are easy for beginner gardeners, can be located close to the house, and are easy to protect from pests and frost.
What You Can Grow
Herbs and bulbs are great for square foot gardens, as are beans and most vegetables. (You can grow flowers, too, but I don’t think you’ll want to eat them.) The only things that don’t work well are bulky vegetables like artichokes, ground spreaders like melons, and root spreaders like blueberries. Good picks are:
- Cherry Tomatoes
Picking a Location
- 6 – 8 hours of sun a day
- Away from trees where shade and roots can interfere
- Close to house for convenience
- Good drainage
Making the Raised Beds
Raised beds are made from frames or boxes that should be 6 inches deep and 4 feet x 4 feet square with no bottom. (We’re framing ours with concrete cinder blocks.) Actually, your beds can be as long as you like, but they shouldn’t ever be more than 4 feet deep. You need to be able to reach into the raised beds to tend the plants. If you have access to all sides of a bed, making it 4 feet deep will mean that you only need to reach in 2 feet from either side. If you are placing your bed against a wall or other barrier, make it only 2 feet deep so you can reach all the way into it.
Square foot gardening doesn’t require to you till the soil before you plant. Instead, you fill the boxes with new potting soil, ideally a mix of 1/3 blended compost, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 coarse vermiculite. So even if you live in an area with crummy dirt like hard clay or light sandy soil, no problem! You’re not using the dirt from your yard. Your plants will grow great in this “potting soil” mixture. Each box should have a permanent grid on top that divides it into 1 foot x 1 foot squares. Don’t skip this step or you’ll miss out on many of the benefits of square foot gardening!
Planting and Care
You plant a different “crop” in each square foot. Some crops grow one plant per square foot — others 4, 9, or even 16. If you’re growing from seed, plant seeds sparingly. Water the entire bed gently by hand with tepid water (never cold). As you harvest each square foot you can add a little potting mix, then replant it.
Of course, you’ll have to deal with insects and critters just like you would in any garden, but it’s much easier in a square foot garden. To keep hungry critters like deer and rabbits out of your garden, it’s easy to build a removable wire mesh cap. If you end up with garden pests, use organic pest control methods so your food stays safe to eat.
For more information on Square Foot Gardening, check out Mel’s excellent website at www.SquareFootGardening.org. Other great resources for small format gardening are RaisedBeds.com and Eartheasy.com. EarthEasy is very slow to load, but it’s a great site. Your patience will be rewarded.
I read an article on another website today that I’m going to give you a link to. (Your patience will be rewarded.) I’ve read some other posts on this site and have found that the author carries some things a bit further than I would, but I believe that this article about 25 things to do before the economic collapse hits is dead on.
Jesus provided a description of the Last Days in the Gospel of Luke 17:26-27. He said, “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.”
Now I wasn’t around in the days of Noah, so I can’t speak from personal observation, but it sounds like what Jesus was saying is that it was “business as usual” for the world at large, even though a warning was issued by the only man in the world who took God at His word and got prepared to survive the coming disaster.
We are living in a “business as usual” world. North Korea has been threatening missile strikes on America, South Korea, and all of our allies. (Do we still have any allies?) While this is happening, the stock markets in South Korea and the U.S. continue to inch upwards. The financial markets are bullish on the future! Rank and file citizens continue to be more concerned with entertainment than survival. “March Madness” is just over. Now we can focus on opening day for the baseball season. Or we can obsess about our favorite celebrities.
Business as usual. We’re not thinking about our impending future. We’re not concerned about Eternity — either with God or without Him.
I believe that God doesn’t bring this type of disaster upon the earth without giving people a chance to prepare for it. The first item of preparation is to be reconciled with God. Without that piece of business set right, all other preps are just temporary shelters. But then we need to equip ourselves, like Noah did, with what we’ll need to ride out the storm. And we need to get the word out to others.
Amos 3:7 says, “Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.” Hmm. I guess that makes me one of the prophets. Go figure. You want to be one, too? Then get the word out. First about Jesus (Revelation 19:10b — “For it is the Spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Jesus.”) and then about the signs of the times. If you want to know more about being saved, check out this article.
OK, here’s the link I promised you. It doesn’t take long to read, but it is sound advice. 25 Things To Do Before the Economic Collapse