Being Sustainable

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Amish Heart

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I've got the hatching of the chicks, turkey and chicken going well. I need to resurrect my worm bin from a storage box and get it going again. I haven't bothered with it since we moved. The red wigglers in the worm bin did more for the soil with worm tea than for chicken feed though. The chickens got to eat some, but more as a treat. I'm doing sunflower seeds in the jar sprouting, and can do 2 gallons of sprouts for them once a week. So extras to plant this fall: the giant radish (hog radish), giant beet, sunflower, elephant kale. Thinking of doing an extra animal food garden
 

goshengirl

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This is on my list of priorities for this year as well. First it’s getting the chickens off the pellets and breeding our own chicks instead of buying them. I’ve started growing meal worms and started a worm bin. I still have a lot of research to do but can’t get to it right now.
That’s where I’m at, too. And what @Amish Heart said, too. It will be tricky, with the building and moving. But there are folks on this forum who’ve kept trucking right through the moving process, so I hipe to emulate them.
 

Southernsurvivalist

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This is a good thread, Ladylocust. It evokes a lot of thought and forces you to look critically at your situation. I have always looked at prepping in five general categories: Shelter, Water, Food, Fire, and Security. I will ask the question of each category.

Shelter: Yes. I am sustainable. My residence is not that old, and in very good repair. It isn't going anywhere and neither am I.

Water: Yes. I am sustainable. Beyond what I have stored I have surface water and catchment systems and ways to purify where needed. Water won't be an issue.

Food: No. I am not sustainable. We opt for long term storage and supplies, not grow and raise your own. We need more.

Fire: Yes. I am sustainable. In this category I include warmth. We could survive long term power outages. It would be uncomfortable, but we would survive. We have access to large amounts of firewood if needed, and methods to cut, process, and haul modest distances. We have more than enough clothing, blankets, portable heaters etc. to survive.

Security: In this category I would say we are 50-50. Can we protect what we have? Depends on who tries to take it, and how long the fire fight lasts. From common rabble probably yes. From a well armed and well trained force? No. In this category I would add medicine and first aid. For general first aid we are fine. Prescription drugs are an issue.

So am I sustainable? I would say somewhere in the 75% range. I know where the holes are, and we are working to improve.

I would get off of prescription drugs. The vast majority of them can be substituted with something non prescription.
 

Morgan101

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I would get off of prescription drugs. The vast majority of them can be substituted with something non prescription.

What do you have that is an effective treatment for asthma or diabetes? I'm all ears.
 

Southernsurvivalist

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What do you have that is an effective treatment for asthma or diabetes? I'm all ears.

I'm not a naturopathy doctor. Besides high fiber diet and excerize, cinnamon, alpha lipoic acid, milk thistle, aloe Vera, etc. Will help with blood sugar level, neuropathy and glucose utilization.

Asthma: mega doses of Vitamin D. Also, detox your body of all heavy metals. There's many ways to do that.
 

LadyLocust

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I am loving the input! Did I say that already?
I also need to work on pet food though that's minimal at the moment.
Also, I don't mean self-sufficient. If I was looking for that even in real history, it has been a very long time since there was a people who achieved that status. It would need to be a self-sufficient community.
By sustainability, it could even be trading but a way to acquire what you need. I just read of a man who was quite wealthy during colonial times. In his records that exist, are notes of trades as well as sales. It makes sense to me, I'm a little odd.
 

elkhound

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I am loving the input! Did I say that already?
I also need to work on pet food though that's minimal at the moment.
Also, I don't mean self-sufficient. If I was looking for that even in real history, it has been a very long time since there was a people who achieved that status. It would need to be a self-sufficient community.
By sustainability, it could even be trading but a way to acquire what you need. I just read of a man who was quite wealthy during colonial times. In his records that exist, are notes of trades as well as sales. It makes sense to me, I'm a little odd.

read about jeffersons monticello and washingtons mt.vernon...jefferson had a brick pond out back by kitchen entrance.they caught fish and brought there to keep alive until needed for meals.washington had a separate garden just to produce seed for crops.

jefferson had this huge kitchen garden but had crop fields as well.crop fields were bulk items and kitchen garden was lesser.it should be noted bulk crop stuff is where calories came from but most kitchen garden stuff was low or no calories.

i challenge folks to count calories..growing calories and growing 'most of my food' is two different things.you can grow all your vegetables but thats not going to keep you alive...no calories.theres a reason all diets say vegetables are 'free' in calorie count.

jefferson wrote alot so you can find nuggets of info....

Thomas Jefferson grew a dozen varieties of “Indian Corn” (Zea mays) at Monticello, starting in 1774. While serving as Minister to France, Jefferson requested seed from home for “homony-corn…which we used to make 20 barrels a year for table use, green, in homony, and in bread.” Flint corn is traditionally used to make hominy, or hulled corn, and milled for cornmeal.
 
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elkhound

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19_fishpond.jpg
 

LadyLocust

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read about jeffersons monticello and washingtons mt.vernon...jefferson had a brick pond out back by kitchen entrance.they caught fish and brought there to keep alive until needed for meals.washington had a separate garden just to produce seed for crops.

jefferson had this huge kitchen garden but had crop fields as well.crop fields were bulk items and kitchen garden was lesser.it should be noted bulk crop stuff is where calories came from but most kitchen garden stuff was low or no calories.

i challenge folks to count calories..growing calories and growing 'most of my food' is to different things.you can grow all your vegetables but thats not going to keep you alive...no calories.theres a reason all diets say vegetables are 'free' in calorie count.

jefferson wrote alot so you can find nuggets of info....

Thomas Jefferson grew a dozen varieties of “Indian Corn” (Zea mays) at Monticello, starting in 1774. While serving as Minister to France, Jefferson requested seed from home for “homony-corn…which we used to make 20 barrels a year for table use, green, in homony, and in bread.” Flint corn is traditionally used to make hominy, or hulled corn, and milled for cornmeal.
I have a book on Monticello 😊 I kinda did an experiment w/ pole beans this year. Did you know cleaning beans to eat as beans is a very boring job!?!
 

elkhound

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I have a book on Monticello 😊 I kinda did an experiment w/ pole beans this year. Did you know cleaning beans to eat as beans is a very boring job!?!

why yes i do....i hand shelled 110 foot row of dry pole beans this year.it wasnt a drop in bucket to what i need to live a year either. i sat with my disabled elderly father and we shelled them and it was much better. i done last batch alone.the shared time is a must. its how a grew up we all done chores together. it all mostly falls on my shoulders now.growing up and into adulthood grandfather,dad and myself grew 9-75foot rows of potatoes to keep us all alive.its all my job now.i grew 4-120foot rows by myself and harvested 10 bushels from 58# of seed stock.it was work i aint going to lie..not as much fun as the 3 of us.i am getting old and very broken now..but i will do it till i drop.
 

elkhound

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a picture and some of my notes from this experience...this is an old heirloom pole bean a lady grew in my area her entire life.she died over 20 years ago but a cousin had a few seed from her and grows a dozen or so plants each year.i got a start from him and had a crop failure my first year and this was my 2nd try and it had to happen as it was all the seed i had to plant.she called it a october bean but its not what my family called a october bean. i have some very old cultivars from my grandfather but seed is so old now. not sure i can get it grown out as all attempts have failed as of now.


final bean data...beans dried and in jars. used my little digital scales..not certified..best i have to get data with...beans filled 4 half gallon jars a bit of a 5th jar plus a baggie full of seed i saved from the one plant that produced so much in hopes it might be better genetics to plant back next season. bottom line total of all of it minus tare weight...110 feet of row..100 feet in dry farmed garden and 10 feet in garden with access to a bit of water...total 14 pounds 10 ounces.

random thoughts..i went a long time without rain..i think a month..if long row had gotten any rain at all during critical time i pretty sure harvest from it would been 20#. but who knows for sure. if i am alive come spring i will be doing it again YHWH willing !

i think i am going to put a row or three in of a bush bean and see how they produce verses pole bean.

grannygrubdrybean.JPG
 

elkhound

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Washington and Jefferson both owned enough slaves to keep themselves fed.

not addressing backlash per say but spring boarding off his post ..so not directed at you backlash just talking point you mentioned.

i hesitated even talking about jefferson or washington because of slaves. but it doesnt change the fact of basic model or set up they had in a pre industrial or pre electricity era when talking shtf deal. i dont think we will ever be without electric..now dont anyone twist what i am saying here..yes some might be out of electric while others are not..it all depends on location location location and each individuals depth of preparedness. but back to slaves...it took major food production to feed a large group of folks is bottom line. just looking at feeding a small town will take team work on many levels. if folks want to go off and lonewolf it thats fine but they might just perish in short period of time.without mechanical help every aspect of food production is huge labor output..even items not taking great strength takes huge time allowances measured in days and weeks. its one reason in past time was referenced in season to season or harvest to harvest..not weekly grocery needs etc. but you go search out and see details of certain items it took like material bought to cloth everyone under his roof/care/slaves etc. he kept detailed records of everything it seems.he has a huge garden book out as well. like amishheart mentioned he went bust multiple times in his life.

folks need to go watch video of feeding 6,000 miners i posted the other day.

logistics people logistics..many miss seeing all the production that goes on from dirt to table and all the in between it takes.just think of all restaurants and time,energy,food prep and cooking it takes not to mention fuel for cooking. very few cook for even what was considered a large family back in day of say 10 to 15. my grandmother had brothers/sisters totaled 15..grandfather and brothers were 9 total..think about feeding 9 hungry growing boys? you need a beef herd for sure...lol

blah blah blah...lol
 

elkhound

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looks like most of his time he held 41...go read more under slavery its pretty interesting bits of history i not read before.

Jefferson lived in a planter economy largely dependent upon slavery, and as a wealthy landholder, used slave labor for his household, plantation, and workshops. He first recorded his slaveholding in 1774, when he counted 41 enslaved people.[346] Over his lifetime he owned about 600 slaves; he inherited about 175 people while most of the remainder were people born on his plantations.[347] Jefferson purchased some slaves in order to reunite their families. He sold approximately 110 people for economic reasons, primarily slaves from his outlying farms.[347][348] In 1784 when the number of slaves he owned likely was approximately 200, he began to divest himself of many slaves and by 1794 he had divested himself of 161 individuals.
 

elkhound

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back to food production..my great grandfather was born in late 1870's and lived till 1961.i was born a few years later and would like to have met and known him. he never owned land nor drove a vehicle only horses and mule teams not tractors. he raised 15 children and made his life off the land in one form or another. i know one place he had rented he grew 5 acres of tomatoes.guy traveled to that plot of land and they harvested and canned them in tin cans for the mans grocery store and they put labels on them and boxed them right in edge of field. i know when that was because my grandmother said she was about 10 years old..so it was about 1931.

i know he grew turkeys and butchered them and packed in salt and shipped to city from railroad station i my area.

he really didnt travel so he mail ordered many seeds from little catalogs they use to send out back in the day. i have one of seed booklets my granny saved from way back then.

blah blah blah..just me rambling on like a idiot..i love gardening and such !
 

TeeJ

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I will bring up the question of the 800 pound gorilla in the room; Prescription Medication. My family cannot live without them, at least not for very long. Those here that use them know what I am talking about. Those that don't have been very fortunate. I really don't know any way to be sustainable when it comes to prescription medications.
I talked with my wife about this last night - she has several prescription meds that keep her from randomly going into anaphylactic shock. While the prescription meds keep her alive and allow her to function, high doses of over the counter Benadryl will keep her breathing, even if it kinda dopes her out. So we keep a 90 day supply of Benadryl on hand - but that's not exactly self-sufficient. She has been researching herbal alternatives that will help as well - purslane has helped a bit, but I doubt it would be enough to keep her alive...
 

Morgan101

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I talked with my wife about this last night - she has several prescription meds that keep her from randomly going into anaphylactic shock. While the prescription meds keep her alive and allow her to function, high doses of over the counter Benadryl will keep her breathing, even if it kinda dopes her out. So we keep a 90 day supply of Benadryl on hand - but that's not exactly self-sufficient. She has been researching herbal alternatives that will help as well - purslane has helped a bit, but I doubt it would be enough to keep her alive...

I understand peoples' desires and goals to be self sufficient and self sustaining. I understand the benefits of learning and maintaining those skills our ancestors used. I am also keenly aware of Progress. In 1860 the life expectancy in the United States was under 40. By 1960 it had gone up to nearly 70, and today we are very close to 80. The old ways are good, but often the new ways are a lot better. Advancements in medicine are a huge part of this.
 

LadyLocust

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I understand peoples' desires and goals to be self sufficient and self sustaining. I understand the benefits of learning and maintaining those skills our ancestors used. I am also keenly aware of Progress. In 1860 the life expectancy in the United States was under 40. By 1960 it had gone up to nearly 70, and today we are very close to 80. The old ways are good, but often the new ways are a lot better. Advancements in medicine are a huge part of this.
Just a little additional info on using the life expectancy as a gage. It includes many infants who died as well as women in childbirth (My FIL's mother died giving birth to him & that was just in the 1930's) Also, the number of people who died because of minor cuts or injuries was substantial - pre antibiotics. The average lifespan excluding those is much closer to that we've seen in more recent years. Also, the average life span is decreasing. My children are not expected to live as long as me (by age.)
 

LadyLocust

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On another note, I've realized something I really like. I've ordered from Azure Standard for sometime, but what I like with ordering bulk & a once per month delivery is that it makes it much easier to calculate how much of a given item we are using.
I can look back on previous orders and see when I last ordered it. Cheese and olives are two items I get from them. Yes, we could live without, but. . .
 

Morgan101

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Just a little additional info on using the life expectancy as a gage. It includes many infants who died as well as women in childbirth (My FIL's mother died giving birth to him & that was just in the 1930's) Also, the number of people who died because of minor cuts or injuries was substantial - pre antibiotics. The average lifespan excluding those is much closer to that we've seen in more recent years. Also, the average life span is decreasing. My children are not expected to live as long as me (by age.)

All true, but even if we look at 1960 to today there is a jump of 10 years, and the decline last year was only a year and a half. Infant mortality has shown significant decreases, and I guess my point is that we are the beneficiaries of significant progress. I like it this way.
 

thankful_k

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For me it's about maintaining skills. Hunting, gardening, starting a fire without "store bought" means! Even knowing where water sources are, watching where edible animals (squirrel, deer, quail, etc) nest and frequent are important! I harvest my own vegetable seeds, very important skill! The list can go on, but just keeping your "knowing how to do things" sharp is most important for me! My husband would die in a few days if left on his own to survive!
This ... it's about having knowledge to do things, rather than money to buy stuff
 

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