21/02/2016

Prepping - by Jeff Fitchett

I have spent a great deal of time looking at my life and thinking about what makes me happy.  I'm interested in a lot of different things and I enjoy dedicating my time to family, working,  gardening, reading, eating, music and puttering inside & outside of my house.  I have many other interests as well.  When I think about my future I envision a simpler way of life.  I am striving to become more resilient. I've made decent progress over the years learning and applying what I've learned.  Reality is one person's perception.  I see the world for what it is and I think about my future within this context.

Today I have spent time studying cordwood home construction.  I have mentioned in past articles that I intend to build a home for my family and I.  I have an affinity for natural building materials such as wood and rock.  These materials are abundant and relatively cheap to get.  From an artistic perspective, I love how beautiful these homes can be.  They are extremely energy efficient and practical from a cost perspective.  I am not wealthy. I currently have a mortgage on my home.  I intend to sell my house, buy a few acres of land and build a home.  This is a massive undertaking, but I am realistic about what I can do and I'm preparing accordingly.  I have accumulated a lot of tools over the years and I am slowly attaining other tools that are beneficial.  I have started gathering building materials required for the building process.  I completed Geoff Lawton's Permaculture Design Course.  I am preparing to create a self sufficient oasis and a future that I desire.

If you think about the entirety of what my goal is it will likely come across as a massive undertaking. Similarly, if you think about what is going on in our world today, from a broad standpoint,  it can be overwhelming to comprehend.  I focus my energy on the small details that make up the whole.  First and foremost, economic conditions are in rapid decline.  I see and understand the uncertainty that has been thrust upon the global population.  When I prep for the future I think about the future I want.  I acquire items that will be useful now and down the road.  I look out for items that will be a store of value and can help me become more resilient.  A couple years ago I noticed a 'For Sale' ad that listed 40 panes of glass for $40.  I figured that the $40 purchase will provide most of the windows in my cordwood home.  I already have the tools and hardware to make the window frames.  Glass is a valuable resource and I can use it for other projects if the need be.  It also takes up very little room to store.  I keep my eyes peeled and I often happen upon useful materials that someone else no longer requires.  I live for today, but I think about the future.  

One of my favourite sensations is running soil through my fingers. As well, I am fascinated by plants and growing food.   Observation is one of the most important lessons I have learned.  I can tell if a plant is doing well because of how it looks.  There is often a logical explanation as to why a plant is not growing properly; too many weeds, not enough water or too much water, to cold or hot, poor soil and so on.  Like a plant in poor health, the global economy resembles a dying plant.  Too much debt, not enough demand for commodities or manufactured goods and a decline of services are all symptoms of economic decline.  I clearly see that systemic issues are going to become even bigger problems as time passes.   We can only control our own actions and therefore I have chosen to eliminate part of my reliance on the system.  The food I grow and subsequently preserve usually tastes better and fresher than foods purchased at a grocery store.  Saving seeds has been one of the best skills I have learned.  Every year I get more and more seeds. Varieties of crops that produce well also provide the most reliability year over year.   

It is natural for a person to panic or feel anxiety as they realize the gravity of the situation in which society finds itself.  Worse though, are when people do nothing to better their situation after learning that we are in deep trouble.  Preparing for change should not be feared.  For many decades, our society has been focused on short term thinking.  Many people are unable to think about the future.  Life is often hard.  I encourage you to think about where you want to be in the months and years ahead.  We have more control than we realize.  There are always small things we can do that will lead to a larger outcome down the road.  I mentioned, within this missive, a number of things that I have been doing because of my assessment of the world.  I hope you create a future you desire.  I am striving for a life style that brings meaning and happiness to my family.  Awareness is the very first step for preparing for an uncertain future.  




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