TIME TO PREPARE
[published: September 29, 2011 (8:00AM)]
Its cooling off rapidly here in the Adirondacks. Short days and cool nights are now the norm. Storm cleanup continues, w/ a dozen big 22” poplars down-but in hindsight -a windfall of firewood for 2 season's heat is now drying. The recent rains have produced a mega explosion of mushrooms and edibles in the forests. Still cant find any morels but tons of boletes are up everywhere. Once again nature's cycle is not one of destruction but one of recycling all things. Why cant we rejoice in this?
Strange to not see any signs of collapse, the DOT continues to repair roads and NYSEG crews continue to repair power lines. Though slower and less robust than 6 months or 6years ago. I'm thrilled for now but can only wonder how are they paying for all of this? What happens when we have another 20 year ice storm and there aren't any crews around to dig us out?
The gardens are winding down and greenhouse is in full swing. I question if the plastic panels and film that covers it will last the prescribed 5+ years. Do I need to buy spares now at extreme cost or deal with it later? What is later? When petroleum products are markedly more expensive or I have less and less fiat currency to trade for it? Will you take 10lbs of tomatoes for 1000sqft of plastic? Will plastic even be around in 10 years? Up here in the north country those magical few extra months of heat mean much- hot peppers and eggplants in the summer and greens for an extra 5 months a year. (in the back of my mind I see the day we scrounge for windows out of abandoned homes to build a new greenhouse smaller than the cookie cutter model we currently have- more permanent perhaps w/o the need to use plastic... but alas another pipe dream)
The apples & grapes are being picked -a banner year for grapes w/ the short warm summer, though they are a bit low on sugar due to the late rains. Which means wine and cider are percolating in the cellar. I tried my had at grape jelly w/ the leftovers from the vendemmia(the picking)-lesson learned -wine grapes dont make great jelly. We should be able to add an additional 25-50 vines next spring with the cuttings, the free expansion continues. More bird coop re-arrangements are needed when I don't really have time when the seasonal chores stock up faster than the woodpile. We lost our first meat chick this morning- looks like a rooster pecked it to death. Too many baby birds in a confined space with adults looks like its outside to the chicken tractors! I hope they are big enough to weather the temperature changes so late in the season. The family that I split the meat flock with wont be disappointed as there are plenty to go around, for now. The goats and sheep are getting randy, soon it will be natures last orgy before the onset of brutal cold and the slow quiet season. This, my favorite time of year to curl up next to a raging wood stove to read a book or enjoy a good bowl of bean soup w/ homemade sausage.
Oh man sausage! and nary a link of it in the freezer- no piglets-no pig, no sausage this year. Which reminds me, that reading and relaxing too will have to wait as those pesky seasonal chores; cleaning out the chimney, butchering the lambs and kids, putting up the last tomatoes, groveling the potatoes, prepping the snow blower, putting away the summer tools & machines, etc... all the necessary tasks that must be completed before they cannot be completed at all due to inclement weather. But these chores should be and generally are pleasurable. That is pleasurable in a sense that they are easy. Its not differential equations, but physical effort in the cool fall air, in the right mind, right body & right spirit. This is the prepping practice that the inhabitants of New England have been practicing for generations. And if you do not ready yourself? Winter is a bitch up here and she doesn't really care if you are ready or not, much like the coming collapse.
I chatted w/ my fellow Collapse.net member out in SF. He is convinced things will go down hill slowly over several years- nothing cataclysmic. People will separate into 2 groups- the middle class will become poor, the poor destitute and all of them will precipitate to the bottom eke-ing out a living as the numerous poverty stricken peoples around the world do now, meanwhile the rich will become uber wealthy and sublimate right out of 'our society' into one of their own. Like so many banana republics of the world or the monarchies and royalty of old as seen in Europe and Asia. I disagree and think things will unravel rapidly due to some flashpoint. How many starving, cold, unemployed and dis-enfranchised armed persons does it take before they crib their skills together and begin a process of taking what was taken from them by the corporate leaders? I do not advocate violence but under extreme circumstances...extreme measures are usually the only choice when survival is at hand for the disenfranchised, no? And that plays right into the hands of the powers that be to further erode our liberty's and freedom under the aegis of homeland security. I fret and worry about the times to come.
I notice my efforts run in small bursts of both inspiration and action much like Barabasi's book Bursts, We have evolved physically and mentally to operate in small groupings of actions, followed by long low periods of downtime. Its these long stretches of slow action when the doubt creeps in and begins worming its way into the psyche, asking the questions posing the what if's- did you put up enough food? Are the animal shelters ok for another 40” of snow? Can you be doing more? Are you ready? It grows like water behind a dam slowly pressuring us into fits of mania. To handle the mania we perform another burst of preparatory action.
Godspeed with the preparations