So we’ve got a house and some land – big deal?
I have high hopes for the coming years, and though I’m sure things won’t work out exactly the way I’m planning them right now, getting any of them up and running is better than living on a postage stamp lot and relying on corporations and the government to get me what I need to survive.
I didn’t always have this mindset… I grew up on a crop farm and – to be perfectly honest – I avoided work when I could. (My parents will probably call me about that, saying they knew it all along) I suppose that as a kid, I just assumed that the table always had food on it, and water always came out of the faucet regardless of what I did. In recent years, after I got out into the real world/got married/got a job/etc, I started realizing just how different we live now than people did 200 years ago. What’s interesting is that folks 200 years ago didn’t live so different from folks 2000 years ago. Fashion changed, entertainment changed; but what you did to exist was the same.
In normal circumstances, in order for a human to survive, we need:
- Clean water
Everything else is just comfort or entertainment. If you had those things and absolutely nothing else, you might be lonely, but you’re alive.
Whether you were born in 13 AD or 1813 AD, a lot of people were farmers and/or hunters. Why? Food is somewhat important. Now, food is a thing that we put into a cart at Wal-Mart. Until maybe 100 years ago, it was incredibly common to draw your water from a well every day.
While technology have made many things easier to obtain, it is creating problems of its own. Food is riddled with genetic modifications and toxins. Water flows with chemicals and unnatural impurities.
And then there are the systems that deliver those things to us. Disasters halt delivery of goods to people who (during a disaster) need them most. Even small incidents can cause water to stop pumping from the city plant to our houses.
So, basically, after creating technology that will make our lives easier, we’ve become completely reliant on it. We promote industry to the point of poisoning our food in order to mass produce it.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not anti-corporation or against capitalism. In fact, I’m all about capitalism.
I just don’t want to be reliant on a system that will eventually break. I don’t want to keep paying for someone to do something for me that I can do myself – and that I can do better.
So, let’s go back over that list, and figure out the plan.
The house that we bought already has a well. Praise the Lord! One of the requirements for the house we were going to buy was that we could dig a well on the property, and having one here already sure save a ton of headaches (especially because we have pretty rocky ground). There’s even a filtration system already set up!
The only current problem is that after using the well for 27 years, about two years ago the owner connected to city water and disconnected the well pump. Well – not so much disconnected it as much as cut the pipes to pull the pump off and just place it to the side. I don’t know why they did that. So – during our upcoming renovations (more on that later), I’m planning on getting a new pump and reconnecting it. I already talked to a neighbor who is on well water, and they’ve had no problems with their water supply (one of my fears when hearing the previous owners connected to city water).
As time goes on, I’d like to add storage tanks, rain collection, and incorporate some DIY filtration.
Difficulty Level: Somewhat Easy
This is the piece of the puzzle that is going to take the most work and time.
- I’d been planning on raising chickens after watching my brother do the same for a couple of years. I’m hoping that I can learn from his mistakes and victories… The nice thing about chickens is that you get meat once, but eggs (almost) daily.
- I want to keep some honeybee hives, which don’t necessarily bring a large quantity of food – but man-o-man I love honey. And I’d love to eventually convert my consumption of sugar to wonderful backyard honey. I have family that also make maple syrup, so at some point I figure I’ll tap into their knowledge. (And yes, I did mean to use that horrible pun)
- We’ve already planted some fruit trees, and I’m on my way to Tractor Supply right after I post this to get some fertilizer. (My cherry tree leaves aren’t looking too good – most have already fallen off, and the remaining are yellowed, which google tells me that means they need some iron and nitrogen)
- I didn’t think I’d be much of a gardener (again – as a kid I avoided it at all costs). However, I got a handful of plants (from my aunt’s greenhouse) when we first moved in, and to my surprise, I’ve really enjoyed …gardening…them… We don’t have a working kitchen yet, but I’m doing everything I can to keep pulling ripe tomatoes and peppers off the plants. I’m freezing them for now, hoping that they will be useful in the end. I keep moving them around, because we currently don’t have a lot of sunny spots on our property (mostly trees).
- Eventually, I’d like to raise other animals. Holly’s not too keen on the thought of raising pigs, but I’m hoping I’ll wear her down. Man cannot live without bacon, right? The thoughts of goats, sheep, etc are definitely in the mix, but I haven’t thought that far ahead.
- Fortunately, my wife’s mom owns a cattle farm – so we have access to natural, grass-fed beef. The way God intended a steak to be raised.
- I need to figure out how to make my own reese’s cups…
Difficulty Level: Hard
As long as I keep paying my mortgage payment, we should be good there.
Difficulty Level: Done
I very much appreciate our second amendment (and Thank God that America’s founders had the foresight to write it down, because there sure are a bunch of people in the government who oppose it now), but I still need to get my carry permit. If the crap hits the fan, I’ll be focusing on security a lot more, but for now I’m focusing on the other things above.
Difficulty Level: Easy
So – there’s the plan as it stands now. This blog is chronicling my journey of a fully on-the-grid American to a fully off-the-grid survivalist. I’ll try to take pictures!