The first summer/fall growing season is coming to an end at Liberty Ridge. Time to assess what we did, how things turned out, and what we would do differently.
The short story is that we had a lot of success given that it was our first growing season in a new area, using techniques mostly new to us. And although we had success, we made a couple of missteps, which we will be correcting before spring comes.
Most notable was the tomato bonanza we enjoyed (a small sample visible in the photo) from two 4' by 20' raised beds. We ate a lot of tomato salads, conducted three canning sessions for the pantry, and still had enough left over to trade away plenty more to neighbors and friends.
If you don't have a garden yet, just give it a try. You can do a lot even in a small space. It's fun and delicious!
Liberty and self-reliance--I call it LASR for short. The two go together. It's hard to imagine one without the other.
Liberty is doing as you like, exercising your natural rights, provided you deprive no-one else of his rights.
Self-reliance is providing for yourself the things you need and want, through your direct efforts and through voluntary trade with others.
Most of us do not live LASR lives. We live SAD lives--lives characterized by slavery and dependence. Why is that? And what can we do about it? What can you do to weaken the chains of slavery in your life? What can you do to reduce your dependence, and develop greater self-reliance. And what can you do to help others do the same?
Long time listeners will remember Don, who is himself a long-time listener to the podcast. Way back in July 2010, Don and a business partner, Bob, were in the Dallas area on business. We met for dinner, and we ended up recording a great show (Episode 28, check the archives).
Not long ago, Don and his wife made good on their shrugging out plans when they moved to a 40+ acre homestead in the mountains of Virginia. It has acres and acres of mature hardwood, multiple free-flowing springs, vegetable gardens, a well-built and comfortable home, an amazing multi-story barn packed with tools and supplies, and a creek that flows year round which he has tapped for hydroelectric power.
I was traveling recently in Don’s part of the country and stopped by to see him at his homestead. We spent some time sitting on the porch, enjoying the fellowship, the weather, and the scenery, talking about our favorite subjects—liberty, self-reliance, and shrugging out.
Longest show ever--about 90 minutes. Hope you enjoy.
The dissolving of what's left of the country's southern border looks like a plan to turn Texas from a red state to a blue state.
Even if the border were sealed, the bluing trend already in progress in Texas and the rest of the country would continue. But if you're a collectivist, why wait until 2050 if you can push a few buttons and chop 15, 20, or even 25 years off the process?
This is the root cause of the current border crisis, and it's the reason that descending poll numbers for Obama and deteriorating mid-term election prospects for Democrats won't force any changes. Collectivists are taking the long view on this. Flip Texas to red, and it's all over for individualism in America. Game. Set. Match.
A venerable blogger of the Survivalist/Collapsist persuasion says it all in three recent posts worthy of your time, with my synopsis here:
Where are the pitchforks? The answer is the people who normally wield pitchforks are dependents of the system which it would be illogical for them to attack. The dependency class has been taught to think of itself as an adorable nobility, and to react violently when they are treated with anything less than adoration. Treat them fairly and they explode with rage. If and when their benefits are denied, they will spark the flash point. It is the Free Stuff Army that will start the violence, not the FSA supply chain. Past conflicts suggest that the side that is quickest to become more ruthless will win. Who will it be?
Are We There Yet?
The collapse, which has already begun, will be worse than the Great Depression. Don’t be too afraid of the federal government, though, as it is broke and will lose control quickly. Be more concerned about not having the basics: food, water, electricity, security, etc. We’re already in bad shape and it is a bad time to be entering the collapse. When the worst of it arrives, the big money people will escape in a matter of hours, which is all it will take for conventional financial wealth to disappear. The safety nets will disappear too, as will the restraints that keep the dependency class from blowing everything to bits. Best be in the middle of nowhere when that happens.
Default of a Different Kind
Not default in the paying-back-a-loan sense, but in the utter, basic, lowest common denominator sense of the human condition. We are savages at heart, and we will behave as such when pressed into it by circumstances.
Ol Remus' Woodpile Report has been an opinionated and cogent observer of what's happening for some time now. Aside from the bright commentary and the beautiful prose, is he right?
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Water is so very important that you should have at least two sources of this vital commodity.
One backup source, rainwater, could even be the primary source of water for your vegetable garden, as it is here at Liberty Ridge.
Pictured is our setup, with a corner of a raised bed in the foreground, and the irrigation system, comprising the red "pickle barrel" perched on the bed and several 1,500 gallon storage tanks in the background, connected by a 2-inch flexible water line. To water the bed, just open the spigot on the pickle barrel, and 50 gallons of water drain into the bed through a 50-foot soaker hose.
(Incidentally, the picture was taken in mid-May. The tomatoes in the foreground are now almost four feet high, caged, and starting to produce fruit. Can't wait for the first taste!)
In this episode, I discuss the ins and outs of catching, storing, and using rainwater to irrigate a vegetable garden:
How much water can you catch from a rainstorm?
How much storage capacity is enough?
How do you connect your storage container to your catchment source (your roof)?
How do you prevent algae and mosquitoes from growing in the water?
Large scale or small, rainwater irrigation is a great way to water your garden, and can provide a vital secondary or tertiary source of water for you in an emergency.
Just click on the title of the episode to start your PC's default media player (Windows Media, for most people). Or right-click on the title and download the file to your PC, and use any MP3-compatible player you like.
You can also find The Shrugging Out Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher!