After the Fall: Beyond Prepper Gardening


Chances are that most people will get through their lives just fine without wearing a seatbelt, but there are a few exceptions.  Same goes with not putting on motorcycle helmets.  The news media are quick to report all bad luck or freakish occurrences, no matter how remote.

      The collapse of society, however, is never brought up as something to worry about, though history is full of examples of fallen societies with populations once very happy with their daily routines.  Who would have thought that a few Colonial Americans would overthrow the security of the British Empire they were comfortably living under?

     Boy Scout founder Lt. General Robert Baden-Powell chose Be Prepared as a lifelong guide: “the meaning of the motto is that a scout must prepare himself by previous thinking out and practicing how to act on any accident or emergency so that he is never taken by surprise.”  More precisely, “A Scout is never taken by surprise; he knows exactly what to do when anything unexpected happens.”

      Preppers today are the best inheritors of the Boy Scout legacy. So are the Mormons, according to Ted Koppell in his bestseller Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A National Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath.  Mormon society is prepared in case the fragile grid goes down or the media-reinforced bubble of well being suddenly bursts. 

     According to Koppell, Mormons are already ready to feed their own people:  “The Storehouse I visited is part of a sprawling network.  Think of 111 mini-marts spread around the United states and Canada,” supplied by “large central warehouses” that won’t be available to the population at large, whose own food-distribution systems will fail immediately in desperate urban areas.

      He is impressed by the magnitude of the Mormon emergency plan if the grid goes down:  “Only a chain of stores on the scale of Costco or Walmart would need a facility of this size: building after building, thirty or forty feet high, pallets stacked floor to ceiling with everything from food supplies to shelves of truck tires,” and everything else needed to sustain life within the Mormon communities.

     For those who aren’t Mormons, I notice that a recent Sam’s Club “Instant Savings” flyer is offering $800 off a $4,699 food survival kit that “Feeds 4 people for a full year.”  Or might a one-week Bahamas vacation be more fun?

       Survivalism is instinctive in human culture and may unwittingly account for the popularity of home food gardening and local farmer’s markets.  But hungry neighbors and rampaging urban gangs will quickly notice where the food is.  “So what happens,” Koppel asks, “if some people show up at your front door, and some of them may even be carrying weapons, and they say ‘give us what you’ve got’? What’s your response?”  And “What if the number grows, and there are thousands of starving people, and the word gets out.”  Rightly so, the Mormons he interviews won’t answer past a certain point.

     Most preppers give little thought to the ugly business of actually defending food and family with guns.  Now entrepreneurial companies are starting to show up in the American Redoubt states of Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho.  Strategic Landscape Design offers practical help with the macro elements of setting up and defending your garden and property, drawing upon self-sustaining practices already known, but now merged with Second Amendment armament.

     Even more impressive is Survival Retreat Consulting, based in the American Redoubt, which even offers “Custom Live Fire Tactical Training at your Retreat Property,” including “Active Retreat Defense Course,” “Small Unit Tactics,” “CQB Rifle and Pistol,” “Basic and Advanced Precision Rifle,” and “Cold Weather Tactical Operations.”   Not for me, but maybe most of us can get by without wearing seatbelts or helmets.

(Forwarded by a Rapid City gardener)

Based in Salt Lake City, Augason Farms sells via Sam's Club online (below)--and individual food packages in the Rapid City Walmart.



Summer Food in Wintry February


16 Popular Foods You Didn’t Know You Could Freeze

1. Garlic – You can freeze whole garlic, garlic cloves or chopped fresh garlic. Frozen garlic does lose some of its texture, but the flavor remains intact.

2. Corn – You can freeze fresh-picked corn on the cob for up to one year. Pack it in freezer bags — husk and silk and all. For store-bought corn, husk and blanch it before freezing.

3. Avocados – The bad news is that frozen avocados lose their consistency. The good news is that they do not lose their taste, so you can use them for guacamole or dressing. Wash and halve them before peeling. Freeze as halves, or puree them with lime or lemon juice and then store for up to eight months.

4. Mushrooms — You can freeze raw button, creminis and portabellas mushrooms for later use. Chop and slice mushrooms and then spread them on a cookie sheet. Freeze. Then transfer the pieces to bags or containers.

5. Onion – You can save chopping time – and tears – by freezing onion for cooking later. Store peeled, chopped onion in plastic freezer bags. The best part is you can just toss them into your recipes without thawing them first.

6. Hummus – Scoop your fresh hummus into plastic containers. Then drizzle a thin layer of olive oil on the top to keep it from drying out. Thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours before mixing and serving.

more such winter gardening from Off the Grid News