Old Sturbridge Village

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Hi guys! I just got back from vacation where we visited Old Sturbridge Village in Mass. This is a little village that mimics a village around 1830. It was very informative. They didn't have electricity or cars, of course. They heated their houses with firewood and kept their milk and butter cool by storing it in spring houses. A spring house is a little shed that is built over a cold-water creek. They just put their milk and stuff in the creek and it kept just fine. Meat was normally cured. They were able to make glass, pottery and horseshoes and other metal works all through the use of fire. Obviously it is not the way anyone one would chose to live, however...

Each little village was self-contained, since transportation was done by horse. Each village had a little school house, etc. For anyone considering a Year 2k commune, you should definitely visit Old Sturbridge Village and get all your questions answered. All the people that work there are very informative and it is reassuring to know that you can live without electricity.

One thing I did come away with is the knowledge that you can't live without food. Of course in those days they canned. My personal feeling is that since it is just too overwhelming to try to prepare for all the types of failures that could occur, that it would be best to simply be prepared, both personally and as a community, for food shortages.

-- Amy Leone (aleone@amp.com), August 11, 1998


Hi Amy, I was a historical Interpreter for a living history museum much like Old Sturbridge village, BC (thats Before Children!) Only it was for the 18th century.

You know, I feel very prepared for almost any eventuality, except, I can't produce food out of thin air! Hunting these days near a metro area is risky. Gardening and canning is about the closest to self sufficiency in the food area I can get. So storing food seems to be the way to go.

I have all these people writing me asking, how to do this, how to do that, where, when, how....on and on... And for a while I feel very good about myself, to be able to tell these people what they want to know, but then the realization steps up and says "What good is all this knowledge when you can't make food appear for these people, they have to plan for it themselves!". I'm still thankful to God for allowing me to help these folks, but you're right....

If we don't plan for food in any threatened emergency, we're sunk.


-- sylvia (msbrit@usit.net), August 11, 1998.

Thanks Sylvia! I guess I just really wanted to emphasize that, because so many people are focused on the "iron triangle" of banking, communications, and the power grid. These things are important to business, but for the individual food is the most important. You will find a way to keep warm if you have a house.

-- Amy Leone (aleone@amp.com), August 12, 1998.

I am the child of farm children who went into business, but kept a large garden...we did about 3/4 of acre every year in N. Illinois, and canned and canned and canned, and ate like kings without spending that much on food.

Consequently, along with storing dry foods, I am putting in gardens and gardens in my S. California yard where we can grwo all year round. If I can grow food, if I save non-hybrid seeds from year to year, I think I can almost survive. This plus saving rainwater, and lots of it, both for filtering for consumption and for irrigation,...a bit of off grid power....

No matter where you live, you can grow food....there are several good books on the subjects of container gardening, square-foot gardening...city gardening...seeds are cheap, saving seed from year to year can be done,...storing bought seed...gardens are wondrous. Mine are helping to keep me from panicking. If you can in your preparations learn as much as you can about growing food, and start now to grow....windows, patios, pots, sprouts...

Bon appetit!

-- Donna Barthuley (moment@pacbell.net), August 12, 1998.

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