Someone I respect often asks questions about what I'd do if. What if I can't get to the grocery store... what if the electric grid goes down...for a long time... what if _____ happens... He gently emphasizes being ready, as he says, "in case of...". This works whether you are looking at "normal" level "what if" scenarios (i.e., weather extremes, loss of job) or larger/more extreme "what if" scenarios (i.e., Economic Depression). Be ready, in case of....
Just today, he spoke of a 'sense' that wise elders are whispering about...and what many ordinary folks like myself are also picking up in the breeze of life...that something 'big' is coming. Change. Not just the economic changes we've been experiencing the last few years. Not just the ebb and flow of governments. Something bigger. My friend's word of wisdom was "to defend what is yours but never be afraid to retreat. For often those who retreat wisely, win."
Perhaps you have heard people talking about sensing something. What I find interesting is that regardless of their faith/religion/spiritual beliefs...there is this rumble amongst those in tune to the things of the spiritual realm that something... a huge wind of change bigger than a single government collapse...something this way comes. If it were just one person or one belief system predicting it, I'd not be so concerned. But, when it is spoken of softly...solemnly...from such a diverse group...and it echos what I sense in my own spirit.... well...one would be very unwise not to figure there is something to it... Those of us who are children of the Most High and thus lead by the Spirit, should be especially excited. We are sensing the coming of the End and the Beginning. We are feeling the increasing heartbeat of heaven as it waits the trumpet call.
My question as I ponder this is: how much will we Christians experience before the call of the trumpet? How much of the breakdown of society and nature will we experience before we learn to fly? Our flight lessons could come tomorrow...or not until another generation takes our place. God's time is not our time. Generations that went before us also had to endure difficult challenging times. Thus, knowing that we are in the last days does not tell us whether a minute is left or a hundred years. But, still, there is that whisper of the Spirit that says "prepare...be ready...rough times are coming".
So, today, my friend posed a number of questions to measure my level of preparedness for "in case of". I'll share with you how I'm doing:
Can you live off what your homestead produces? Not yet. I know that with careful planning and using permaculture and biointensive methods, a half acre homestead can produce all or most of my family's food needs. I am just beginning. There is still quite a bit of work to do to get to that level of productivity. The fruit trees need to be planted, the herb garden planted, and the vegetable beds in top form.
Can you grow your own medicines? I can and that is the plan. I have studied herbal medicines to a basic level and am planning an ongoing study.
Can you grow your own salad greens year round? Not yet...working on it.
Can you grow your own culinary herbs as well as herbs for tea, for medicine, for dye, for defense?The herb garden will include culinary, medicinal, and tea herbs. As for dyes, that is possible though not top priority. I'm still not sure what he means by herbs for defense. He didn't clarify that.
If your city water was cut off forever, do you know where your water would come from? NOPE. Our well ran dry several years ago, tried to drill deeper but hit rock. I do plan to add gutters to the house to catch rainwater which with filtering would be potable. Water could be our weakest link.
Could you survive if the power went off and you knew it would never come back on? Yes, though I might lose my sanity listening to my mother complain constantly about the heat. Think I'm kidding?
What would YOU do if the power went off long term? first, eat or can what is in the freezer (using firepit; we are moving away from depending on the freezer--canning rather than freezing); cook on grill and firepit; wash clothes by hand; use candles/kerosene lamps; use solar lights that can be powered up during the day and used in the house at night. Would also like to explore solar and wind power options.
How would your family survive until you re-learned how to be self-sufficient? The above questions covered the basics. Having a network of folks for trading/bartering will be important because it is unlikely I can grow/raise/produce everything we will need. Security is another issue. I have spoken with several gentlemen who are willing to help me pick out a weapon and learn to use it.
Will your land grow for you all of the food you and your family needs for a 3 year pantry? Plus eating fresh from the garden? Not yet, and when you say "everything"...no, not everything. That is where the trade/barter community will come into play. There may be things, like rice, which I won't be able to get at
all. Some grains I hope to grow but it will be small in quantity. Theoretically, I could grow sufficient calories for us though it would be a limited diet. The trade option would allow for a broader range of foods. Off property foraging would also contribute to our needs.
Will your land grow for you all of the fodder and food your farmstead animals will need to survive and produce for you on the homestead? Currently my homestead animals consists of four dogs and a cat. Plans are to add chickens, rabbits, and goats. The cat can hunt for herself. The dogs will eat eggs, chicken, and rabbit along with us. The chickens will forage on bugs and weeds and compost. I can also grow millet and sunflowers for them. The rabbits can eat scrap vegetables and hay...not sure where the hay would come from. The goats can browse on the woodlot, garden biomass, and we can walk them around the neighborhood to eat weed/browse.
Are you striving to become totally self sustaining off grid for...in Case of? It's coming you know. Yes, indeed, it is coming faster than most suspect! I am working on being ready. The biggest hurdle was to get my family on board. They are now and so we are moving faster toward being ready.
You could get laid off, or be out of a job for years with no outside income, could you keep your homestead or would you loose it? As long as I could sale enough eggs, excess produce, and a cash crop (i.e., luffas, goat milk soap, etc.) to cover the property tax bill, we'd be fine in this regard.
Could you feed your family or maintain your standard of living they expect during the no off farm work cycle? We'd not keep the same standard of living...things like cable and internet would have to be sacrificed...fewer trips to town "just 'cause"...but, I think we'd adjust better than many that I know because we don't have a high standard of living now...
In case of might just be around the next corner. Will you be ready for it? We are not there yet, but we are on the way...