Part 1: Survivalism vs Self reliance:
In our community it is not uncommon to hear “there is no political solution”, in fact it probably is a staple in the sound board that is the lemming amongst us who merely parrots back talking points and thinks they are edgy.
But lets dive deeper into what is being said, and why it should cause you to alter your mindset from the current reactionary programming.
If there is no political solution, there is no verbal solution. Conversations are over, irrelevant and counter productive one might say as it clearly identifies your beliefs if you can not interact with basic social camouflage.
If there is no verbal solution, there is no financial solution. We effectively can not buy access to the political class, and even if we did, we could never afford the price to turn them against their current masters.
So as we swallow the concept of financial solutions being out of the question, the revolutionary understands on a deeper level that we can not buy our way out of the situation. Yet, in walks the “prepper” in our midst. You know the one, he probably wears 5.11 pants with a dozen extra pockets, has a key ring that weighs 8 pounds as its got every gizmo known to man on it. He probably tells you with great conviction how he is going to make it as he has years worth of canned food and some vodka to trade in the apocalypse.
What he is actually saying is that he is the consumer in his final form, so convinced with the marketing of impending doom he attempts to purchase his way out of it. But, alas, there is no consumer solution. He is akin to the funko pop collector, the all singing all dancing consumer lemming reactionary who not only in his consumer ways, he will espouse them with conviction to further help the marketing strategy for the merchants of destruction TM. Mark him on your map as the loot crate that he is, for his mind is that of a consumer and is of no worth or use in the days that are to come.
As with all marketing, there must be a cycle of endless upgrades, new options and gimmicks. The pay pig must have his slop after all. What you will never see is a company actively working against its interests and empowering its market base to become able to survive without purchases. Since there is no consumer solution, why stay in the consumer cycle further empowering the system, propping it up with sales tax, store fronts, workforce etc.
Enter self reliance, sometimes known as practicalism and within some circles, known as pragnats (Pragmatic nationalists.) A belief system based around individuals who gain skills, trades and some resources who can provide and prosper on their own merits. Instead of buying a dozen cans of tomatoes, they might buy a dozen jars of tomatoes knowing they can keep the jars, using them to water bath can the tomatoes they are learning to grow, currently growing themselves, or for someone they know is growing and will fill them for a fee or service, or that they can use the jars for jams, jellies and storage. Maybe they even browse fallingfruit.org on their browser and see where they can lawfully obtain free food that is growing on public land, some might even be mapping the area for things that are grown on private land, who knows what they get up to. They may also use aprs.fi in their browser to see who is a ham radio enthusiast around them, or use the arrl lookup on licensed members to see who is around them, maybe even send them a nice letter to those who don’t use a p.o box and are not available for house visits.
The pragnat starts to look into his waste first, he may already have the solution and be throwing it away disguised as trash, what can be done with it?. Keeping his squash seeds he learns to dry them, he experiments with germinating them with different methods. They sprout and can be used as salad greens, or he dries them for pepitas to snack on. He has developed a few skills from this simple task, seed collection, seed storage, sprouting / germinating, roasting and dehydrating. He may even plant a couple if he has room, this includes in areas he may not own after all guerilla gardening knows no bounds and he may one day rely on wild food resources alone.
Then the pragnat continues to grow, he picks the next simple task that he can do and he engages it with the revolutionary mindset that every step that he takes away from the system is another pillar that is taken from its structure. Every dollar he does spend, is a strategic investment to deny future tax dollars to the government. Every interaction is part of a mission, the mission, total system death. The pragnat throws to the wind the right wing talking points of old about association, the pragnat hunts for information and education that can assist him, if it means attending a community garden with leftists so he can learn water bath canning, he goes and he absorbs what he can… probably sows and waters a few seeds of dissent in his actions as he can steer the conversation to anti system sentiment. He may even get close to these people for varying reasons, maybe there are community grants for further classes or car pooling to attend other community gardens and workshops, maybe some of the attendees have large gardens they are willing to show, maybe even lend books and practical experience. The pragnat understands this to be as revolutionary in spirit as picking up his dead enemies rifle on the battlefield and using it to his benefit, maybe even walking in this circle periodically is akin to wearing his enemies uniform. Surely at bare minimum would confuse and cloud the judgement of any investigation into him.
Whilst he continue to grow his fundamental understanding of his political beliefs he balances that with growth into the practical belief. He becomes a product of the product, he believes in a nation of strong, resilient and capable people so be becomes one. He is now moving in another direction to others, or some would say just moving as many stagnate and become talking heads. Stuck in a cycle of information and inaction. But not the pragnat, he has too much to do and so much to learn if he is to secure an existence let alone a future in these troubling times.
But to start this journey, as with anyone. Requires taking a single step, more than many will actually do. Formulating a plan would also be nice, but seldom ever do, so please heed this warning.
The basis of life is food, fire, shelter and water. The pragnat works tirelessly to secure those for himself to not be at the mercy of the system What interests him is hunting, trapping and fishing, that forces him to understand how to butcher, how to preserve and how to store that bounty. Interests like growing soon turn to foraging, stealth harvesting and herbalism to replace modern medical reliance. He starts to now value what little he does own, he keeps it clean, sharp, ready to be used. He learns general maintenance on all he has and develops an understanding on how to be of use to those around him as a handy man. Why not harvest some easy dollars from rabbit tasker assembling flat pack furniture for a price, maybe that can fund his new tools whilst giving him practical skills at the same time. The pragnat sees opportunity at all times, for this world is his.
In essence, consume less / be more is the weapon one can wield and it carries more power than most will give it credit for.
Stay tuned for more as we follow his life into his next step, planning and planting a revolutionary garden.
Part 2: Planning a garden:
“The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack…” Bill Mollison
Failing to plan, is planning to fail. Unknown
Asking a grower what you should plant is like asking how long a piece of string is. The answer will always be different for many reasons. During this article we will go through some of the basic considerations you will have that will allow you to plan a garden in accordance with your needs and maximise its return based on your skills and time investment.
The most basic consideration is what do you actually eat? Do you have fussy eaters in the house? There is no point growing it if you won’t be able to eat or trade it for something you will. So in sneaks the next sub point, can you store it or can you only eat it fresh? All this before we even take a peek outside and ask ourself about sunlight availability and climatic considerations, and what season you are in. Sounds difficult? Not at all, we have developed the ability to garden and even farm pretty much anywhere, its just up to you how you want to go about it and how willing you are to make it work. For most people starting out the best tool for you to plan your garden from that information is https://www.gardenate.com/ which not only allows you to explore each plant, its needs for growing and seasons but also plan your outlay and time required.
Some other considerations before you break soil area
What information / networks are available to me
How do I start without alarming or alerting anyone to my concerns
How much time can I realistically dedicate to this
What, if any, other skills do I have
Once you’ve answered those, or at least considered them lets look at the next step, securing seed or seedlings. Most of the time when people are starting out their growing journey I send them on the path most aligned with who and what they are, unfortunately dear reader I can not give you the same in depth consultation so forgive me if it is not the most direct way to your goals. For basic high yield, low maintenance gardening there are some stand out varieties. Garden salads, spinach, or tomato, bell peppers, chili peppers, beans (especially dwarf varieties) can also sneak onto that list. All these foods became staples for their ability to be used immediately or stored for long periods with the most basic methods. You should pick what you eat and what will interest you or those around you. Tomato from seed is an incredible yet easy path, seed to soil, keep moist, watch it break surface and celebrate, keep it moist and it will soon be a foot tall, once it flowers yet again you celebrate, you can hand pollinate it if growing inside and soon you will have little fruit growing, keeping it moist they will flesh out quickly and within 3 months of seed in the soil and with several happy moments and milestones you will be eating your first tomato. Women and children especially will widen their diet when they have played an active role in assisting. Try broaden their diet and involve them in the process where possible. Select what they will eat now, but by all means look into fast growing food sources you can grow and widening their diets to include those, long term look to growing from seed and seed saving / swapping within your community. It is a long term goal, you may not have the skills or time to develop that today but you can start securing the foundations to that goal.
Other considerations are
What local stockist or retailer can I build a relationship with, nursery etc
Are there any local seed swaps, seed banks, community gardens at my disposal
Does craigslist hold any bargains, often gardeners sell excess through alternate sites
Now the hard part, setting a course and holding yourself accountable. For most people I recommend only introducing 3×3 as a maximum when starting out. 3 plants of 3 separate varieties, for most of you reading it would be 3 X tomato, variety of your choice based on trelace requirement, plant requires full sun, 3 X dwarf beans, variety of your choice, start with greens or for kids try a purple to keep them interested. 3 X lettuce, variety of your choice and as close to what you would normally eat. Always retain the seed packet as the most basic advice contained on the back is actually all you will ever need to be successful with it and as you introduce more varieties and plants into your life that information is easily forgotten, but I digress, back to the garden. This basic garden could realistically be some pots on a balcony. If you choose to go from seed, which is the perfect time of year to sprout inside, you will save money and develop skills but also capture into your daily life the routine of gardening. You eat, the plants get checked and fed or watered, simple. Do not introduce too many plants or too many varieties, to gardening you want to develop an intimate understanding of each plant to master it for crisis gardening where you optimize its yield en masse. The process of incremental growth will not only grow your confidence but it will allow you to gauge your growth and ability to learn new skills / techniques which will become invaluable over time as you allocate time to learning them with realistic expectation of outcomes.
Set an internal goal, maybe prepare a meal from 100% home grown vegetables, maybe its to never buy a tomato again, or perhaps make your own chili sauce, or chili from own beans and peppers. Be ambitious, literally grow towards your goals.
I implore you before breaking ground to rethink what gardening is in your mind. Consider vertical gardening and using wall space, or stand alone hydroponics that are in essence a tower of food growing in limited space that can provide endless bounty with minimal investment or knowledge of growing. Look at modular growing, container growing, symbiotic growing (like the 3 sisters etc) There really are endless ways to allow you to produce a large amount of fresh food in the home with relative ease and minimal or no start up costs. You may never delve into aquaponics and raising fish in tanks from food you grow and using their waste water as fertilized water to feed the plants, but you will certainly learn how simple it is to feed yourself and others should you wish.
Once you are growing, you will soon realize there are ways to support the plants with extra nutrient and p.h changes etc, rest assured there are endless products sold to assist with this, as there always is. But there is no consumer solution, many of the best fertilizers are made locally and on craigslist. Worm juice, compost, endless manure elixirs and uses for waste (try drying a banana skin and grinding it to a powder for a fertilizer, you will be surprised, it also makes a liquid fertilizer when the skin is freshly peeled, sometimes known as worm tea) Some plants will require supports to grow up, you can be as creative as you like. I have always found the answers to these questions in construction site dumpsters myself.
Ultimately you will develop your own style, you will see your own pathway to food security and develop the skills to get yourself there, but only if you actually start.