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[Opinion] 5 Rules for PO Prep.

If you are through speculating, this is the place to discuss actions you are taking.

Re: [Opinion] 5 Rules for PO Prep.

Unread postby PrairieMule » Sun 19 Aug 2007, 18:33:13

Everyone has a system, mine is PARA.

Preparation
Attitude
Relaxation
Attunement

I stole it from Michael Bane's book Trailsafe.

Get a code or acronym, then live it.
If you give a man a fish you will have kept him from hunger for a day. If you teach a man to fish he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.
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Re: [Opinion] 5 Rules for PO Prep.

Unread postby Revi » Mon 20 Aug 2007, 08:06:03

I call what I am doing peak oil speculation. Since we know something about what's going to happen it makes preparation much easier. Here's what we are doing:

1) Useful land. Maple syrup operation, garden spots.

2) A boat that can row, motor or sail. The ultimate bug-out tool.

3) Pre-65 silver coins. Real Money.

4) An old mill site with hydro potential.

5) Solar and conservation. PV and solar hot water.

6) Small pickup that gets over 28mpg. Other car over 40mpg.

7) Community building. Farmer's market, revitalized downtown.

8) Hope for the best, prepare for the worst...
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Re: [Opinion] 5 Rules for PO Prep.

Unread postby Pops » Mon 20 Aug 2007, 16:06:06

Really glad I stuck this thread, lots of great responses folks, thanks!

Heineken wrote:51, Pops, closing fast on 52. You?
... the more dependent you are on the status quo, not change.

I’m gonna be 50 on Sunday Heni.

I do feel a little different about getting older and change. There is a saying I once heard:
The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth of the hole.

And the always popular:
You don’t wear out, you rust out.

And one more fairly new one:
I ain't as good as I once was, but....

Aside from cliches, and the fact I am now doing pretty well what I envisioned doing when I was 10, laying a groundwork for at least my grandkids if not my kids is a bigger driving force than any of my previous desires for a bass boat or bigger TV or a blond.

Not that I don't think about...
Nevermind.

Anyway, like DrBang mentioned, thinking about how my offspring will get by is a great incentive; I take it into account any time I need to make a big decision.
we don't see things like they are, we see them as we are
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Re: [Opinion] 5 Rules for PO Prep.

Unread postby Ferretlover » Mon 20 Aug 2007, 17:16:34

In addition to the many good ideas already posted here, I have a few additional ideas and am trying to fine tune them.

1) Inventory: Inventory what you have. Compile a list of what you need, and start purchasing the items (Nothing 'brings home' the feeling of peak everything like standing in the checkout line with your prep items).
2) Evaluate: Everything. Your home and surroundings-If you are planning to move to a better location, do it by next spring at the latest. If you are planning, for whatever reason, to stay where you are, evaluate your area. Look at your home from the point of someone who wants to take everything you have. Fences, shatterproof glass for lower windows, smaller windows, brick, rock or whatever for the walls-something that bullets can't get through.
(If you don't want your neighbors to know that you are preparing, put the brick, stone, etc on the inside walls.) Pay attention to the comings & goings of neighbors, etc so that you will be aware of who is in your area. Convert gas and electric fireplaces to wood burning (even if you don't have wood, you can burn other things.) Add a cooking fireplace in the kitchen if you can. Going to need a new roof soon? Do it asap. Those asphalt shingles won't be around forever. Fence everything-tell the nosy neighbors when they ask why you are thinking of putting in a pool next summer.
3) Plant: Get rid of the useless lawn. You won't have gas for the lawn mower & weed eater anyway. Plant fruit & nut trees now. Plant trees to replace those you have cut for firewood. They need time to take root and grow. Plant evergreens on the northside of the house, and deciduous (sp?) on the south side. Kids don't need a huge space to play in (say 8' x 8'?). If you haven't already started your gardens, start prepping your lawn now.
4) Every home should have a panic room-for invaders, bad weather, etc. They used to be called fallout shelters. In addition to obvious in & out doors, you should have a hidden way to leave your home. Build a treehouse/observation post if you have the right tree.
5) Code word(s): Plan where you could go if it became impossible to stay in your current home. Make copies of important papers (birth certificates, passports, etc) so that each adult person can prove who they are (in case they get separated) , and head of the house keeps originals. Arrange a code word or phrase with responsible mature members of the family. Assign what this word will mean. Does it mean you & yours are 'bugging out?' Does it mean where you are going? Does it mean 'no matter what you are doing, leave now! for pre-arranged meetup spot?'
6) Don't tell anyone outside your immediate family (unless you have a like-minded sibling) why and what you are doing. Do not tell your children. (Let them have their childhood while they can, and kids have the biggest mouths!! lol) Lie. You know perfectly well that as things grow worse, there are a great many people who Will try to take all you have. Humans are motivated by two things: fear and greed.
I know that these sound terrible and, possibly even paranoid.. But, no matter how easy your life is now, peak everything IS coming in our lifetimes. By preparing now, you have time to get over/become desensitized to the fear of the unknown.
When my husband traveled a lot in the winter time, I would make him carry a gallon of distilled water, snow boots, a small shovel, a sleeping bag, etc in his trunk. My theory was that if he broke down, he would be able to survive, and as many years as I have insisted that he carry those things, he never once needed them.
But, It Did Not Hurt Anything or Anyone To Be Prepared.

I don't think that TSWHTF today, tomorrow or even next week. But, peak-just-about-everything has occurred, and it is time to get serious about survival if you haven't already.
You still have a choice: prepare or be consumed. The tricky part was knowing when to know what to do--do you wait a bit longer (everything still SEEMS to be all honky-dorey)? I don't think so. There are way too many variables-availability (is it still being made? will you be able to afford it as demand surpasses supply?), wide-spread panic when even the dumbest of people start to figure out they are in trouble (everyone cleaning out the stores), etc.
"Open the gates of hell!" ~Morgan Freeman's character in the movie, Olympus Has Fallen.
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Re: [Opinion] 5 Rules for PO Prep.

Unread postby Heineken » Mon 20 Aug 2007, 21:40:13

Revi wrote:I call what I am doing peak oil speculation. Since we know something about what's going to happen it makes preparation much easier. Here's what we are doing:

1) Useful land. Maple syrup operation, garden spots.

2) A boat that can row, motor or sail. The ultimate bug-out tool.

3) Pre-65 silver coins. Real Money.

4) An old mill site with hydro potential.

5) Solar and conservation. PV and solar hot water.

6) Small pickup that gets over 28mpg. Other car over 40mpg.

7) Community building. Farmer's market, revitalized downtown.

8) Hope for the best, prepare for the worst...


This is a solid little list.

I see land ownership as especially important. There are so many reasons to own land---some practical, some less so. Even cheap, marginal land can often be greatly improved with liberal applications of elbow grease.

If I didn't own land, I'd feel completely emasculated.
"Actually, humans died out long ago."
---Abused, abandoned hunting dog

"Things have entered a stage where the only change that is possible is for things to get worse."
---I & my bro.
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Re: [Opinion] 5 Rules for PO Prep.

Unread postby Kilgore_Trout » Wed 22 Aug 2007, 03:12:04

a lot of these are somewhat similar, so purely for diversifying the responses somewhat, and perhaps for argument's sake, I'll try to make a different 5 steps

I'm the only one I know personally that understands and accepts the looming problems of peak oil (and its convergence with fractional lending, environmental problems, etc etc) OF those people who I think are SOMEWHAT preparedness-minded, (maybe they own a gun or keep a little food stocked just in case) I have asked the question, "For the sake of argument, if the peak oil scenario does happen, what will you do?" It usually boils down to (after discussing the limited options and realities of the situation) "Well, I'll just have to take what I want/need from someone else."

Postulate that there will be a hard crash and a bottleneck you have to get through that will last say a year or two. People will want to "optimize" available resources. The government, community, and individuals will want to redistribute by guilt or by force, anything that will be useful during the crisis until there are no more people, no more crisis, or no more resources left to redistribute.

Starting with a given that there will be a survival bottleneck,the worst portion confined within a 1-2 year time frame with a major die-off, then any preparedness plans must first and foremost deal with how to get through it. I for one also take as a given that I am determined to try to be neither a victim, nor someone who victimizes others.


1. have everything you need to get through a year. two years would be better.

Your gardens may be pillaged or destroyed, not to mention call attention to your location. Animals would be noticeable too. Fruit/Nut trees may not make it through this time, as "optimization" of resources will mean that all trees available to be chopped down for heat in the winter WILL be chopped down (...until winter ends, everyone dies, or you run out of trees) In a hard crash, I imagine growing food will be prohibitively difficult so long as people are alive that are not prepared.


2. have a place to keep yourself and your supplies safe

You will not be able to move the supplies you need to get through the time of troubles. I was hard pressed just to carry 1,000 rounds of ammunition to my car, let alone all my food. I would not want to be caught out in the woods with a 3-day go-bag, two clips of ammo, and nowhere to go. I fear that if you cannot keep your stash, you may be hosed per #1. So have a Good Place for the Stuff.


3. it is best to be hidden or for your location to seem undesirable in some way

The place with your stuff needs to be either hidden, inaccessible, or impregnable, and I'm not a fan of attempting the impregnable route, at least not as a first line of defense. I can see this going one of two ways... purposely choosing an undesirable location, or defending a desirable one. A place in the desert on the one hand, or good farmland on the other, away from a city could be places to consider.

I imagine if you were in a valley with THICK, MULTIPLE well-placed hedgerows, brambles, poison ivy, etc. covering the approaches in depth, you might remain in a very pleasant island of calm for the entire crisis... everyone coming your way might find other routes more desirable and simply turn aside. I've been thinking a city location would be much like a desert location. Given an extremely defensible and innocuous position, it might be a good place to weather the storm, (6 stories high in a large all-concrete apartment building for instance...) precisely due to the location's undesirability. Along the same lines, perhaps a suburban house with a large basement with a WELL-hidden entrance? If the ceiling of the basement was concrete, perhaps there could be a well-planned way of burning down the upper wooden part of the house in the event of permanent unwanted squatters moving in? The ruins would indicate that property was already "tapped out." Anything to make the place hidden and unattractive.

People will not want to lay down and die. If they see you have something they need to survive and they or their loved ones are dying, they will have to at least give taking it a try. Best to hunker down in secrecy so you don't have to shoot at anyone or be shot.


4. You will probably have to go it alone through the bottleneck (along with with loved ones)

I really do like the idea of community, but in a hard crash, some will be less prepared than others. By what margin will they be unprepared and by what margin might you scrape by? In a crisis situation, you'll be compelled to contribute in the same way we contribute food to africa and make matters worse. All that will matter is that people are starving/dying NOW and need help. Human compassion dictates as much. Even if all members of the community are in fact ready to get through the time of troubles, each fully prepared to pull their own weight, they will have varying levels of hard-heartedness. Unprepared people will show up. If just one person in your prepared community "lets them in," the same rules apply as above... they are now part of the community and deserving of compassion/aid. This would also increase the number of people willing to let still more people in. HOW MUCH of a margin will you have in your plans for yourself and your loved ones? Are you prepared to get 5 extra people through a year? 20? Acts of both callousness or mercy could easily fragment a community through disagreement or "optimize" its resources to the point of not making it through the crunch. A community will be hard to hide, and possibly difficult/heartbreaking to defend. Who wants to gun down a nice bunch of suburban families because they're breaking down your hedge to get to your nut-bearing trees to chop them down for firewood? Not me. Worse yet, who wants to get gunned down by them? Given the necessity of a stash, one must go it alone (preferably using concealment)


5. Be prepared for the aftermath.

Be prepared to emerge to plant crops and form a community with the people who were as prepared as you... once the crash is complete, NOW it is time to form community with the prepared people who made it through. No longer faced with an overwhelming demand for your own meagre resources, you can afford to cut people some slack and see if they'll shape up to be a good neighbor (and expend some effort and resources on proving yourself one...), or confidently rebuff attempts to mooch (the moochers/looters ought to die off to relatively more manageable numbers, having exhausted all the resources they could get their hands on.)

Again, if there is a severe bottleneck due to a hard, quick crash, then the most important thing is getting through it. The next most important thing (to me) would be HOW you get through it. The way to get through it with the least amount of savagery (from others or oneself) seems to be isolation/concealment.

(edited out new guinea stuff, as it only distracts from the point of the thread)
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Re: [Opinion] 5 Rules for PO Prep.

Unread postby mos6507 » Thu 23 Aug 2007, 06:31:42

When I first learned about peak oil my immediate plan was to dump my savings into a Trimaran and load it up like an ark and wander around the world with my daughter and maybe a few other family members until the die-off completes itself.

I think that's an all-too-convenient scenario, that in a brief timespan that people will just die off by some means or another. I think more likely will be a slow deterioration of society. Recession to depression to pockets of anarchy and revolt, and so on. It will play out in a much longer timescale and it will be impossible to just hide out.

I think with 6 billion people on the planet, every corner of the globe is going to be covered by refugees. So it will be very hard to pick a spot to have a house and have it not get discovered by some marauders eventually. Your best chances would be in someplace inhospitable, but again, with six billion people, plenty of others will have the same idea. You're kind of counting on the law of averages and hoping you stay separated enough from eachother not to meet and exchange gunfire.

So really, I am not sure the whole hermit approach will work. And even if it did, it's not going to be easy relying only on your own wits to survive.

It would be far better to try to build sustainable communities during the collapse as there will be strength in numbers. So I think a more likely scenario will be the US breaking up into heavily guarded communes. Kind of like gated communities on steroids. People will have to hunker down, claim land, and not allow their numbers to go over the breakingpoint under pain of death. Inbetween these communities it will be a free-for-all as people helplessly seek some kind of sanctuary or form a new ad-hoc community. It's basically a game of musical chairs.

That's what I think the most likely scenario will be.

I think mitigation efforts could have helped avoid violence if we had started a decade earlier with a brave face and full awareness of the problem, but will be too little too late now.

Of course, I hope I'm wrong but it does appear that oil peaked two years ago so the clock is ringing and we're just not ready. It doesn't matter if a handful of people are living sustainably. It's the other 99.999% that will screw their lives up.
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Re: [Opinion] 5 Rules for PO Prep.

Unread postby Revi » Sat 25 Aug 2007, 21:34:06

I don't think we can really prepare as an individual for what's coming. There is no way we can hold off the hordes when things go bad. The only way is in a community.

My five rules are as follows:

1) Get off fossil fuel! Anything that uses less of the stuff, great. More efficient cars, solar hot water, woodstoves, etc. Get it now!

2) Get out of debt. Pay off the mortgage, cars, etc in the next few years. It's only going to get harder soon.

3) Reduce your day to day expenses. Learn to live on less, because we will all be forced to do it soon.

4) Start to form community. Shop at the farmer's market, form a CSA, help with the library, etc.

5) Try to remain cheerful. Sure the situation's dire, but we must keep our spirits up. Always look on the bright side of life! (like in the final scenes of Life of Bryan)
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Re: [Opinion] 5 Rules for PO Prep.

Unread postby one_more_day » Sat 25 Aug 2007, 23:02:46

1. Have multiple plans for any situation.

2. Practice all of those plans, not just the ones you prefer.

3. Evaluate your area for potential friends and enemies.

4. Work out for yourself the ethics of survival.

5. Be grateful that you ever had the chance to enjoy modern conveniences. Your ancestors and descendents never had it so easy.
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Re: [Opinion] 5 Rules for PO Prep.

Unread postby Rogozhin » Sat 25 Aug 2007, 23:41:02

1. Go to bed early.

2. Learn about the threatining insects within a 200 mile radius.

4. Learn at least 3 other languages.

5. Become a pimp.

Rogo ;)

3. I'll let Descartes edit this one.
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Re: [Opinion] 5 Rules for PO Prep.

Unread postby Revi » Sun 26 Aug 2007, 13:04:14

Lately I have begun to formulate a new philosophy. I don't know if it is possible to prepare for what's coming, but I'm doing it anyway. I'm just living each day and waiting. I've decided that it is better if it isn't going to happen too soon. I'd like to live a little longer in this strange postmodern world.

It's like if your boat is sinking. You don't want to step off of your boat until it actually sinks, since it's way more comfortable and seaworthy (until it sinks) than the rubber raft you are climbing into. Stick with this imperfect world until it goes under. Then get into the bug out plan you made for when TSHTF. I wouldn't mind if we never have to use the liferaft at all, but I keep making plans for when the boat sinks just in case.
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Re: [Opinion] 5 Rules for PO Prep.

Unread postby Pops » Sun 26 Aug 2007, 17:22:56

Ferretlover wrote: (Nothing 'brings home' the feeling of peak everything like standing in the checkout line with your prep items).

Kids, if you haven’t felt what Ferret just described you aren’t prepping for a short-term problem – or the longer one either.

one_more_day wrote:1 through 5

Good stuff, OMD.
we don't see things like they are, we see them as we are
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Re: [Opinion] 5 Rules for PO Prep.

Unread postby Bytesmiths » Mon 27 Aug 2007, 02:22:05

Now for something totally different, Pops!

1) Run to the light, not away from the dark! At every decision point, take the choice with the positive outcome, rather than defending against a negative outcome. The Law of Attraction dictates that you reap what you sow -- constantly obsessing over bad things will tend to make them happen.

2) Conquer fear! There is nothing quite so liberating as to be able to act without fear. "Fear is the mind-killer, it is the little-death that leads to total obliteration. I must face my fear and let it pass over me. I must not fear!" (Paul Muad'Dib, from Frank Herbert's Dune) If failure comes -- even death -- embrace it without fear!

3) Be careful! But without fear -- care without fear is the difference between running with sharp objects in your breast pocket and holing up in some cave with guns. Be mindful of the path you tread -- when running toward the light, it is good to avoid the potholes, and a rear-view mirror to see how fast the dark is approaching is prudent.

4) Live in the moment! This is vital to achieving #1 through #3. Your senses are important for surviving the now, and mindfulness is difficult to achieve when you're busy regretting the past or worrying about the future.

5) Be open! Sometimes, you choose your path; sometime, the path chooses you. Sometimes, the light moves, and you must be unattached to your own plans enough to follow it.

The nice thing about these Five Rules is that they work in any scenario, from "Mad Max" through "Then A Miracle Occurs."
:::: Jan Steinman, Communication Steward, EcoReality, a forming sustainable community. Be the change! ::::
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Re: [Opinion] 5 Rules for PO Prep.

Unread postby untothislast » Mon 27 Aug 2007, 04:30:35

Some more for the suggestions archive:

1. Pin the summary of the Hirsch Report to your fridge door. Try to offset the infectious complacency of being surrounded by thousands of fellow citizens who either don't know (or don't care) what's going on - by reminding yourself that this is real - and that the governments and corporations shaping your life have already taken note.

2. Stockpile useful 'how-to' books, reference works and maps - in hardcopy form. Don't believe the internet is going to be there forever. It's only there now because of global commerce and the ease of telecommunications. Satellites eventually cease to function - and why send up expensive replacements if the economic infrastructure itself has collapsed?

3. Buy a couple of mountain bikes & plenty of spare parts.

4. Take classes, while still available, in useful craft activities - pottery, basket-weaving, shoe repair, basic construction skills . . . anything is better than nothing!

5. Buy a Berkefeld ceramic water filter. They're used in the field by humanitarian rescue teams - you can even run river water through it if you need to. And one day, you may have to.
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Re: [Opinion] 5 Rules for PO Prep.

Unread postby Pops » Mon 27 Aug 2007, 12:18:23

Thanks Jan, a good 5.

I am a fairly literal guy so my thoughts always go to specifics and the micro; I have a hard time expanding them into bigger concepts. I was hoping for posts like yours and others that think somewhat more conceptually and in the macro.

Maybe we might all think about nominating the 5 Best 5, I thank Jan’s would be one of mine.
we don't see things like they are, we see them as we are
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Re: [Opinion] 5 Rules for PO Prep.

Unread postby Bytesmiths » Mon 27 Aug 2007, 13:42:39

Thanks for your kind comments, Pops.

I'm not so much a "macro" thinker as I am a contrarian. If I see a bunch of people thinking the same way, I try to think differently. Hey, perhaps that could be worked into a sixth rule... :-)

6) Question convention! "If 50 million people believe a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing." (Anatole France) Or less dire, if everyone around you is attacking a problem the same way, try something different. You may succeed no better, but on the whole, your group now has twice the chance of success than it did with only one solution space. Which leads to:

7) Get over yourself! You have about 95% of the same genetic material as a fruit fly. A living being on the other side of this galaxy -- and there are ~100 billion galaxies -- will never know of your triumphs and failures. Your specific preparations, successful or not, are insignificant in the larger scheme. When you screw up, admit it and move on. If someone has a better idea, give yours up and embrace theirs.
:::: Jan Steinman, Communication Steward, EcoReality, a forming sustainable community. Be the change! ::::
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Re: [Opinion] 5 Rules for PO Prep.

Unread postby Pops » Mon 27 Aug 2007, 14:02:38

Bytesmiths wrote:When you screw up, admit it and move on.


Yea, I like it.

Or put another way:

Success teaches nothing, failure teaches much.


Which should be my sig line!
:-D
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Re: [Opinion] 5 Rules for PO Prep.

Unread postby coyote » Tue 28 Aug 2007, 04:12:41

My list of five steps (the first is by far the most important):

1. Develop a tiered strategy approach to the future, with different aspects of the plan tackling different possible eventualities. For me they are:

(a) Nothing happens (a la Pops's No Regrets policy);
(b) Moderate long emergency;
(c) Severe long emergency;
(d) for doom, gloom, mass tomb and zombie boom.

Make sure your plan covers all these bases, and that you don't take any steps that will wreck your life if peak oil winds up being a non-event. Given this first step, the remainder will be different for each. Here are my priorities:

2. Relocate. For some this will simply mean moving closer to work; for others, pull up by the roots and move halfway across the country to what seems like a more sustainable area. I'm for the second. Prime considerations: community and water supply. This step covers all eventualities.

3. Build a career that will thrive in an increasingly energy-starved world. It must be a job/trade that is local, and designed to shrink as resources dwindle. Doesn't necessarily have to do with food or energy production. For eventualities (b) and (c).

4. Learn gardening/composting/rain-catchment, etc. For eventuality (c).

5. Learn ancient survival/outdoorsing skills. For eventualities (c) (helping communities learn to track, trap/gather food, and to get back to the landbase) and (d) (bugging the hell out of Dodge when the zombie hordes show up and overrun your Sustainableville, USA). And, incidentally, (a): it's just fun.

Those are mine. Personally, I think the (b) eventuality is probably about the best that can be hoped for, and (c) the most likely, but I'm trying to prepare for them all. Thanks Pops for a good thread.
Lord, here comes the flood
We'll say goodbye to flesh and blood
If again the seas are silent in any still alive
It'll be those who gave their island to survive...
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Re: [Opinion] 5 Rules for PO Prep.

Unread postby Ferretlover » Wed 29 Aug 2007, 15:57:13

There is a British program that I found last week that may be of interest to planners.
It is called, "It's Not Easy Being Green," found on the Sundance Channel. (Here it is on Tuesday evenings from 8 to 8:35 pm).

It is about a family that is working to get off the grid. Last week, they built a greenhouse w/heat sink, prepared ground for gardens, and using a water mill that they had erected, connected it to a gear box for electrical power.
Last night, they had two pigs they had raised slaughtered (the slaughter man-our 'butcher?") came to the farm when they were ready. It showed nearly every aspect of slaughter (except the bullet actually killing the pigs, and the cutting the throat part), including having it cut up into the different cuts.

I thought this was a good program because you actually get a real time 'experience' at the things we will all probably have to learn.

This and other 'green' topics can be found at:

http://www.sundancechannel.com/thegreen/#/homePage
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Re: [Opinion] 5 Rules for PO Prep.

Unread postby Ludi » Wed 29 Aug 2007, 16:11:26

I like your list coyote.

I'm not well-prepared for (c) and (d) :(
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