Friday, July 11, 2014

There are a lot of people out there trying to be at least partially self sufficient.

I was in Chattanooga, Tennessee this past couple of days.  When I go to a city, I always go to a bookstore. Living where I do, there's not a bookstore for many hours drive. We just have a magazine rack in the grocery stores.

If you have chickens, you have to be able to protect them.

I went to Barnes and Nobles.  It amazed me how many magazines there are now for growing your own food.

Chickens seem to be wildly popular. There were lots of magazines on how to raise chickens in your back yard, with very little space.

Chickens make sense. They give you manure you can use for your plants. They produce eggs, and in tough times you can eat them.

In my case, I don't have to do anything but feed them. Like the soldiers who sprang from the planted dragons teeth in the story of  Jason and the Argonauts,  chickens just seem to pop up here without my doing anything.

If  you had a little garden and some chickens, you could stretch out your supplies for a while. Providing of course, that someone didn't come as a "walker" and take your food.

I admit there were some articles in some of these magazines I wouldn't have minded reading myself. But I already get Off Grid,  Be Ready, American Survival Guide, Survivalist, Prepper and Survivor, and Living Ready  and Backwoods Home among others. My magazine budget is tapped out.  I am about to subscribe to Mother Earth News, God help me!  I never would have believed that.

I was interested in seeing who was browsing these magazines. Of course, you had the guys in business suits, furtively checking out the "men's magazines."

But there were a good many people reading the magazines who were young, old, hippy looking, country looking, and city people. Quite a spectrum.

Barnes and Nobles has coffee shops and they let you read the magazines while you drink their coffee. I always have to check when I buy a magazine there to be sure I'm getting a clean one and not a "coffee bar lending libary" issue.

Still, the main thing is that these types of magazines seems to be moving well. Even a few years ago, they did not exist for the most part and I couldn't have imagined the beautiful people set buying them. They are now, though.

It's encouraging that more people are arming themselves with at least basic knowledge of how to get their own food.  It also shows that a lot of mainstream Americans now believe it may not be that long before they have to do so.  Reading the news daily, I can't disagree with that analysis.


  1. A sign of the times. Processed food is expensive and may have unhealthy chemicals added / sprayed onto which make it even less desirable. I keep a few chickens too (suburbs) and though the cost for feed breaks pretty much even, the safety and TASTE of fresh eggs is too good to resist.

    Pretty easy to keep, but downside of suburbs - no roosters (too loud) so no offspring. But I'll take what I can get.

    Thanks - have a great weekend.

    1. I am having a bad day with this stupid blogger program. I just wrote a long response to your comment, and it did not publish. Let me see if I can reconstruct it.

      I think it's outstanding that you are raising chickens within the constraints of suburbia. While on a philosophical level I realize that people have to have a set of rules when they live in close proximity, I can't stand it when bureaucrats tell people what they can and can't do with their own land. No killing people unless they deserve it is a good law. No roosters in your own yard is not. It might not be a good thing to have roosters there, because they would wake up your neighbors, but that's your decision, or should be. Not some sinecure occupying busy body at the county office. When I moved here, there were no zoning laws, no building inspections, no permits of any kind except to make sure if you were putting in a septic tank you didn't get the drain field near a stream.

      I wonder if there is a kind of rooster that doesn't crow. Seems like there must be because I know other people in suburbia, presumably working with the same type of restrictions, who raise chicks. Maybe they get their chicks at the feed store. Some people order them from farm supply houses, I think, and at Easter there is still the bizarre custom of pet shops selling chicks.

      You are absolutely right about the fact that you know your eggs are wholesome, while the ones you buy in stores certainly contain antibiotics and other items unless they are otherwise marked.

      Whatever happens, you have your chickens and a supply of eggs. That's a positive thing. Chickens can be a pain in the rear, pooping on your vehicles and fighting. I put up with it though because the benefits outweigh the negative aspects.

  2. Hey Harry,


    Yeah' down here in Texas there are so many prepper types its crazy like I said before.
    Mainstream bookstores don't really appeal to me. I prefer Amazon or other booksellers, really I prefer used booksellers for all the Sci-Fi books I read. I ordered a book by Harry Turtledove about the Yellowstone Supervolcano going "bang" (really big bang) for only "one cent" and four dollars shipping for the hardback.

    On the backyard Chicken thing, I know a few people that have chickens, unfortunetly our city council "Banned" roosters because of the crowing (but you can have a 10.000 watt car stereo???)
    I would rather be woken up by a rooster than a car stereo going "boom, boom, boom"
    Back the self sufficiency thing, I cant live like that here. However with the "huge" network I have with all the people with specialties in many disciplines, that makes up for living out in the country and going at it alone.
    We also have coastal waterways, bays and the gulf of Mexico, filled with fish. We also have nearby ranch land filled with Feral Hogs, Deer and other edible creatures.
    The only thing that's troublesome is all the illegals and illegal border activity, but surprisingly all that stuff's taking place away from were I live.

    If Texas turns Atzlan. I will load my stuff up and roll out of here. I thought about Idaho but its cold up there. Maybe I will head to Georgia where my family left in 1865 as refugee's. It will be ironic that I will be a refugee from Texas returning to Georgia. My Great, Great Grandfather, Great Grandfather and Grandfather would be amazed at how far this country has declined and even more amazed that there is a chance I may be 'forced to flee' Texas.
    I wish I could meet my ancestors and tell them that no one in Washington has the courage to close the borders and we have radicals from the 1960's that are hell bent on destroying the country one way or another and the corruption 'all the way around' is so bad it rivals ancient Rome.

    1. I'm not sure Georgia is going to be any better CC. In Hall county, we have some of the worst gangs in the country, with the Latin Kings and MS13 predominating. There are over 100,000 illegal aliens living in the county according to the Atlanta Journal, and that article was published a couple of years ago. From Hall, the gangs spread out in all directions. I wasn't kidding when I said "hillbilly meth" came to an abrupt end in my part of the Appalachians when the Hispanics took over, because the old time guys that made "biker meth" were simply wiped out. There was a period of time when the newspaper almost always had an article about trailers burnt and the occupants massacred.

      Georgia has a huge population of illegal aliens due to the prevalence of agriculture. If you go into a chicken processing plant, surely one of the most disgusting and horrific work environments on the planet, all you see are Hispanics. The management is white or black, but the workers are universally Hispanic.

      You can't just ignore it, because the problem won't let you. I've had three run in's with Hispanic gangsters and just plain mean teenagers. In one of those, I had to get involved with the police, something I NEVER do except as a last resort.

      It's just the way it is. Clearly the federal government is not going to stem the tide coming out of the South. It's not that they couldn't. They just don't want to.

      Sorry you can't have chickens but as you point out, you have an extensive network of contacts, and that will see you through any major disruptions. I hope so, anyway.

  3. One bad thing about living in a city is that we can't have chickens. :( One good thing is that we have a few Barnes and Noble bookstores. I do still miss Borders; they gave better teacher discounts. Even to college teachers.

    I've been to Chattanooga. It's a pretty place!

    1. Can't you have a little backyard tractor or roost? Even four hens would probably give you enough eggs for your family.

      I liked Borders. I still get to go to Books a Million once in awhile, but it's in the county that has gone Hispanic so I don't go over there unless I am going to the medical center. Barnes and Nobles has good stuff. Yesterday I bought a book on the development of the repeating rifle, one on military equipment of the 20th century, and I got a copy of Prepper and Survivor.

      Chattanooga is clean, and there don't seem to be all the homeless people you see in a lot of places. They have a nice aquarium, the river is great and you can take a steamboat ride and have a nice lunch on the steamboat. We used to go there a lot when the kids were little, and stay at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Holiday Inn. It was close to the aquarium, had great food, and the kids loved the indoor pool. Now it's not worth paying the $200 a night fee without the kids so we usually stay out by Hamilton Place mall, as we like to walk through the stores and visit our favorite ones. I like the bookstores, my wife likes craft and clothing stores. Chattanooga has a nice feel to it. Unlike Atlanta, which is like being in a live version of "Shaft" or "Superfly." Atlanta is a dangerous place these days. Get off the freeway in the wrong place and the game is up.

  4. I think it is entirely appropriate and VERY encouraging that such a wide spectrum of the American population are reading that type of magazine - a definite sign of the times - and testament to their forward thinking...

    South Africa is so far behind the times - no such magazine exists here - obviously there is not a large enough population and therefore not enough demand. So sad...

    1. Dani, I thought most people there had little farm plots. When you see African villages on tv they are all growing food. Of course, that's not the case in the city, but out in the countryside surely they are pretty self sufficient, aren't they?

      Are American magazines imported there? Most magazines today are available in digital versions, so you could read them with an internet connection and the fact that you are in a different country shouldn't matter in that respect, I don't think.

      Television and the news have a lot to do with the growth of the self sufficiency mindset here. The news is all bad, and intelligent people, seeing that , start thinking ahead. Of course, the howling mobs in the inner cities don't worry about it and God help us all if the government benefits stop. Then there is a series called "Doomsday Preppers" that really kicked the whole revival off. It was not a perfect show, and too often they chose morons for their subjects and made self sufficiency people look like idiots. Still though, it got the ball rolling.

    2. Harry - the sad thing is that most of the people here are moving out of the rural area'a and heading for the "streets paved with gold" that they never find. Mainly the elderly remain in the little villages - and they battle to work the land due to their age. The youngsters - they're not at all interested in fending for themselves or planning for their future. Why should they when our current government promised the whole lot "free" houses in exchange for their votes. The houses are few and far between and now they "squat" on the fringes of all the towns - unemployed and living is worse poverty than they were back in the areas they were born in. I worry about all the traditions and knowledge that is being lost - especially as there is no emphasis on their education ("keep 'EM dumb then they won't know any better") - so once the elderly family "teachers" are gone they won't have a clue how to recapture or source that ancient knowledge.

    3. Dani, the same thing is happening here. For years the demographic data has shown a massive transfer of the population from rural areas to the urban areas. My own kids couldn't wait to get out of the mountains and go to a city. They tried Vancouver, B.C. , Jacksonville, Florida and finally wound up in Cincinnati , Ohio though I understand they are moving to Tampa , Florida within the year.

      Lots of the rural living skills of the Depression Generation are long gone now. We do have a series of books called "The Foxfire Books" which preserve some of it, and the burgeoning "preparedness movement" has gotten a lot of younger people interested in the old skills. But our whole society in this country is based on an unsustainable infrastructure that has no depth and no redundancy. The "just in time" food delivery system we copied from Japan saves the companies money but insures there's only a three day food supply in urban and suburban settings.

      We have the "government will take care of me" syndrome here as well. It's inculcated in young people from Kindergarten on . Government likes people to feel dependent because it makes them docile and that attitude produces good drones to service the political and corporate elite.

      Not much can be done about it at this stage , though.

  5. It's good to know that so many urban types are reading those primer type magazines. As the slow decline continues and the world once again switches back to the appropriate levels of city dwellers to rural farm workers many of them will at least have some basic knowledge of their new duties. As you say it also can help them survive further into the transition period too. While I don't agree with Kunstler 100% I think his predictions of the shift to the population tied to the land is pretty much spot on.

    Having the skills for transition to local food security is useful but I believe it's the scale that is going to prove daunting and at this point is something many people cannot wrap their thoughts around.

    1. I agree. It's ironic that the writer I find to be most accurate in predicting the future is also the most vitriolic when it comes to Southern People. I think if I met the guy, I would shake his hand and then punch him in the nose.

      More people are doing what they can. Gun sales are way up as people watch the debacle on the Southern border. More women are being armed and trained to use weapons. More people are looking to food storage, their own food sources, and handling their own needs instead of waiting for the bureaucracy to take care of them. All of these are very positive trends. On the other hand, if the federal system collapses, the great masses of government dependents are going to be very dangerous indeed.

      The trend towards dissolution and chaos seems to be accelerating. I've been scrambling trying to get all my needs addressed here. I've even been working on making contacts with other people, something I've avoided like the black death previously.

  6. Harry its always good to people watch, or as I call it intelligence gathering. You can learn a lot of just watching what folks do and buy, how they dress and what they wear.
    I see folks driving in expensive cars, and I think what I could do with the money they spend on a Porch. Buy a home out here in Rural America with land and supplies I could buy.

    1. Rob, not everybody is trying to read the tea leaves. There are plenty of Sheeple out there who think the sun will rise on the same society and the same rules every day for the rest of their lives. Some of them , the older ones, may be right. But for the vast majority, the time will come when they regret the money spent on cruises and "dig me" cars. I forget which book it was, but in one of the novels I read, a character laments the fact that she could have bought all the tuna she wanted before the collapse, but instead she bought jewelry. Hind sight is 100 percent.

  7. Those are a lot of choices. I've subscribed to a couple of those, off and on. Magazines have gotten so expensive though.

    1. Lisa, more and more are going digital. They are usually very cheap. I have started subscribing to new magazines in digital format if I can. I can keep them all in the "cloud" and that saves me from grubbing through my paper files when I want a particular article.