Posts Tagged ‘Organic farming’

I came across this volume at a local bookstore and liked it so much I just had to add it to my preparedness library. According to the publishers site, it is a basic how to add on for anyone wanting to live a simpler life. Here’s what Skyhorse publishing says about the book;

Anyone who wants to learn basic living skills—the kind employed by our forefathers—and adapt them for a better life in the twenty-first century need look no further than this eminently useful, full-color guide. Countless readers have turned to Back to Basics for inspiration and instruction, escaping to an era before power saws and fast food restaurants and rediscovering the pleasures and challenges of a healthier, greener, and more self-sufficient lifestyle. Now newly updated, the hundreds of projects, step-by-step sequences, photographs, charts, and illustrations in Back to Basics will help you dye your own wool with plant pigments, graft trees, raise chickens, craft a hutch table with hand tools, and make treats such as blueberry peach jam and cheddar cheese. The truly ambitious will find instructions on how to build a log cabin or an adobe brick homestead. More than just practical advice, this is also a book for dreamers—even if you live in a city apartment you will find your imagination sparked, and there’s no reason why you can’t, for example, make a loom and weave a rag rug. Complete with tips for old-fashioned fun (square dancing calls, homemade toys, and kayaking tips), this may be the most thorough book on voluntary simplicity available.

While the intent of the book is to fuel an interest in simpler living, or a suggestion we return to some of the slower ways, it is much more for the prepper and survivalist crowd.

Part 1 deals with the issues around finding, buying, building and setting up your homestead. There are many points dealing with the preparedness aspects of homesteading here but it still covers enough about the mystery of land buying and what to look for that it makes it worth the purchase.

Part 2 addresses the questions of power for your homestead and looks at wind power, small scale hydro power, wood burning and solar power. One of the problems we will encounter in the coming times will be a questionable source of electricity from a decaying public grid. One of the discussions deals with the somewhat taboo usage of hydropower. There are in fact in use a great many homestead sized hydropower installations around the country that produce just enough energy for personal use. We usually think of hydropower as coming from the larger commercial dams that span and entire rivers width and generate power in the mega watt range, but there are several models of smaller output turbines that can be installed with minimal impact on a streams environment while still providing you with the electricity you need to power your house.

Part 3 deals with raising your own food such as fruit, vegetables and livestock. I particularly like the points on intensive gardening and container gardening, both of which should be in your toolbox of knowledge. As land becomes more and more expensive many preppers will need to settle for smaller properties than would be ideal for long term planning needs. It is essential that we have knowledge of planting and raising our own food crops should the ultimate meltdown occur and we no longer have any traditional outlets to obtain our nourishment.

Part 4 naturally follows raising crops with discussion regarding food storage and preservation, and preparing that food for consumption. An important part of this section covers cooking with wood, an art woefully gone from today’s world of microwave cooking and takeout foods. Read this section before you make any decisions as to what kind(s) of woodstove you need to buy for your preparedness homestead.

Part 5 deals with a range of old time crafts and skills that will help you make it through the coming times. Tin-smithing and rug-making can seem pretty archaic, but if you learn to do some of the things in this section, you just may find yourself the proud owner of a marketable skill should we wake up one morning and find the world as we know it gone.

Part 6 deals with the recreational aspects of simpler living, and you may find some of these activities handy if there is no television to sit your kids in front of. I’ve seen a lot of pictures of FEMA’s disaster camps, and I haven’t seen one single person smiling in any of those pictures. Granted, it’s hard to smile when your life crashes down around you. But it seems to me that if there were some kind of entertainment to keep people occupied and busy, the time would pass with a little less pain. Perhaps some of the games and activities in this section will come in handy during an evacuation period. Additionally there are some good tips on getting out into the world of nature with some tips on living in the wilds, fishing and so forth.

The book concludes with an appendix containing some good contact information on many agencies that may be of help to you in your quest to build your survival homestead.

Edited by Abigail R. Gehring, Back to Basics, 3rd edition, is well worth the money I paid for it as an addition to my own library of survival and preparedness planning. This book covers everything from building a log cabin to tanning hides and making clothes, while at the same time guiding you through your food raising needs and preserving that food which you grew in your own container garden. How can you lose?

$24.95 ($33.95 Canada)
464 pages
Hardcover: 10 ¾ x 8 ½
Rights: World English
B&W Illustrations : 200
Color Illustrations : 2,000
Published: March 2008
ISBN: 9781602392335
Advertisements
We hear a lot in the news about those strange characters known as ‘organic’ farmers around the state. Seems like they tend to crop up just about everywhere you see a farm stand. And that’s a good thing, by the way. We tend to become entrenched in the newest technology marketed in the magazines, newspapers and TV, and farmers are no different. The economy of Maine hurts everybody, and the farm industry is no different. People want new technology. Too bad.

A report in the Portland Press Herald says that Kendall and Jana Shaw of Fort Fairfield are being foreclosed upon by the Feds. According to the article Shaw hasn’t planted any crops for two years due to the economy. (http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/story.php?id=184662&ac=PHbiz )When the big boys start to lose out, the little kids always get to play in the playground. It’s sad to see the old names disappear from the scene, but maybe some good can come from it.

It’s an unfortunate sign of the times, but, if the situation is carefully tended, a lot of good can come from the tragedy of today’s economic condition. Rising fuel and energy prices are contributing to the increase in food costs. But the bigger problem is the increasing demand for bio-fuels and the trend to convert valuable food crops into fuel crops. But like most fads, people will smarten up and that will change. Bio-fuels are not the answer to our energy problems. Reduction of usage is.

And that’s where we can learn some lessons from these organic farmers. The mantra constantly quoted is sustainable production, and that is something we can all afford to heed. Unfortunately, much of this ‘sustainable’ terminology is incorrectly used, being pushed by the UN as a way to save the world from an ecological disaster that will never happen.

During the 60’s and early 70’s the back to nature hippie movement grew and the RRR way of life once again returned to America in a small way. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle was the message. The drawback to the message is that much of the general public looked askance at these long haired, drug taking, dope smoking, free sex miscreants and ignored them. The message was overshadowed by the poor marketing and visual pictures.

But the organic movement grew and evolved, and today has the potential to break new ground and obtain new growth. Commercial food crops are dwindling because of the bio-fuel situation and drought stricken areas of the world. The bigger producers are going after the bigger money. Organic food is better in many ways. Number one on the list is that it helps the local economy. The food is grown locally, sold locally, so the money stays in the community. More consumers purchasing organic food means more opportunity for these farmers, and may well entice more people into the production market.

Organic food is also healthier as no harmful chemicals are used in the production of crops. Which also means there is no harmful runoff into streams and local water supplies, making our drinking water safer. Organic production also relies on sturdy seed stock that has survived for generations and is able to exist under a changing environmental outlook.

Natural fabrics and products are healthier for humans. There is no questioning that. Use glass. Use paper. Use cotton and wool. You’ll be better off in the long run, and remember, what’s grown local, stays local. Who needs wheat from Australia anyways?

Several of Maine’s organic farmers are celebrating a tenth anniversary of collaboration with Horizon Organic® Farms coalition………

Report available on the personal care segment of the organics market………

Is HP Hood LLC a bunch of hoods?……..


Deuteronomy 7:13
He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. He will bless the fruit of your womb, the crops of your land—your grain, new wine and oil—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks in the land that he swore to your forefathers to give you.