Self-sufficiency not just Stockpiling : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

This is geared more toward the newbies, yet I hope it serves as a reminder for everyone who considers the potential for long-term Y2K disruptions a serious threat.

About a year ago, it became apparent to me that preparing for Y2K by stocking up on food and supplies is a short-term solution to what may be a long-term problem.

That idea began to take root and cause me to question all of my dependence on others for my basic survival.

At that point, I shifted my preparation for Y2K to preparation for living a more self-reliant lifestyle.

As a city girl and as someone who had never dealt with farming, animals (other than pets,) or rugged living in any way - sorry, my Girl Scout experience just doesn't count as serious "survival training"! - this meant making a huge shift in my context for life.

The good news is that it has been full of benefits that I had not anticipated. For example, I couldn't guess how delightful it is to eat salad picked 15 minutes before dinner, just outside my kitchen door.

The best wisdom that I have gleaned after pouring over thousands of posts here and after a lot of additional research is to think more about being able to sustain a self-reliant lifestyle and less about stocking up on things.

Think about the concept: you're on your own. Then plan accordingly.

Instead of canned goods, think more about seeds and tools.

Best of luck to everyone with whom I'm sharing this journey. This is not a sign-off, but I wanted to express mny gratitude now for everything that has so generously been passed on to me here.

As we say in Hawai'i, "mahalo".


-- Sara Nealy (, November 14, 1999


People in Montana or Minnesota in January are not going to step out their back door and pick a salad.

Got a little problem with It's All About Me eh?

-- Paula (, November 14, 1999.

What IS your problem, "babe"? Can't you take this post for what it is? It is an attempt to share the sense of delight in living a more self-reliant lifestyle.

Geez. This forum can always be counted on for two things: wonderful, informative posts and petty, mean-spirited trash.

You're "contribution" is pretty obvious, paula.

Thanks to those who *really* have made a difference here.

-- Sara Nealy (, November 14, 1999.

we have lived the self sufficient life all of our lives. But.....I disagree. Think first about stocking up and then self sufficiency. I don't care what it is in life, you pay for your education one way or the other. I would hate to see a novice gardener/farmer lose their lives or live stock lives due to their lack of experience. You will always have a crop failure. It most likely will be a different one each year. If its an exotic, it won't matter much to your pantry. If its potatoes and tomatos, it may mean a whole lot!! So for the first year, plan on DelMonte to provide your veggies. Then anything you harvest and preserve this next summer will be a bonus. You can't take the risk. Its not like when I decided to move "beyond the sidewalks" in the late 60s. I had a back was called Safeway and filled with all kinds of food. You may not have that luxury this time. By all means, strive for self sufficiency but know that you are the back up this time.


-- Taz (, November 14, 1999.

One can stockpile all they want but you can only take that so far. Y2K and the coming collapse will force us to LIVe with our MOTHER EARTH again. Yes to be self sufficent and to live with this planet is the key and I totally agree with you. Maybe in our preparations some seeds, tools, etc. can bever be underestimated.

-- Kayla Michael (, November 14, 1999.

I agree that both stocking up and increasing self-reliance should be done, Taz.

Seems that there isn't much discussion of *sustaining* a self- sufficient lifestyle here, though.

And, Paula, in case you haven't thought of it: you can still use the self-reliant thought processes to come up with creative solutions like sprouting in the dead of winter, then gardening in the warmer months.

-- Sara Nealy (, November 14, 1999.

I've recently posted some pretty thoughtless and offensive stuff regarding preppers. Pretty stupid considering that I admire them so much for having the courage to do what I won't. So I'd like to take this opportunity to atone just a little by offering my warmest congratulating and admiration that you have made yourself part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

-- Colin MacDonald (, November 14, 1999.

There will be a big problem for many who want to grow crops but can't because of the lack of water. We have lots of water around us, but we have to go get it and carry it back. People living up in the hills are on wells and no streams near by. Wells in some locations are 700 feet deep with 2-3 holding tanks. Even if they moved to the farming areas, water is pumped in for irrigation. No power, no crops. Water is pumped from here down to the aquaducts then onto Southern California, no water for them either.

Another problem will be where you are located. The colder climates will yield nothing in the winter, and cattle, chickens, pigs, etc., will die if the farmers can't get feed to them, we have seen this happen in many times past.

While it is nice to be able to go out your back door to pick a salad, people don't even buy a head of lettuce at the store to make a salad, they purchase the already bagged stuff or go to the deli and purchase the ready to eat. So I don't expect too many people to become farmers, and definately no one in my neck of the woods.

We are a society of conveniences, fast food, fast cash, and get the hell out of my way. No one will slow down until it's too late, and they will not become instant anything except for instant losers.

-- bardou (, November 14, 1999.


I congratulate you on your efforts to become more self-sufficient in the long-term. I know from personal experience that it is not easy, or cheap. When I first heard of Y2k, I thought "great, this will be a not-so-great reason to do a good thing for myself. I will get some property in the country, go off-grid, grow all my own food, be totally self-sufficient. Well, over the last year and a half, I have learned that it's not so easy. I have moved to the country, but on only an acre, and I have close neighbors, which is not really what I had envisioned. This is because at the time I bought my home, I was in a very heavy sellers market, and the place I wanted just wasn't available in my price range. I looked into going completely (or very close to it) solar, and it would have cost me around $15,000. Again, I could have done it, but it would have nearly tapped me out. What I settled for was a generator, a few small solar panels and a couple of deep cycle batteries. On the upside, I live in a warm climate, and have enough ground to support myself, have a well with 2000 gallon tank, chickens, fruit trees, several years worth of food stored, neighbors that seem fairly self-sufficient (although not to the extent I am). I am nowhere near a large city, and the nearest small town is 8 miles away. I have done the best could with the resources I have, and I guess that's all anyone can do.


You're bummin' me. If you live in cold climes, you can build a small greenhouse. Mine is made out of PVC pipe and clear 6mil plastic. There is always some sort of answer, although it may not be the exact one you want.


Quit apologizing, you sound like Bill Clinton. Get off your butt and go and get 2 weeks preps at least. Then you won't get shot, hopefully.

-- cavscout (, November 14, 1999.

For our family, it's not about just stoking up either - though that comes along for the ride.

For us, it is about making our dependencies more fault-tolerant.

I've been a software developer for nearly 20 years. I enjoy the technologies I work with and, for the most part, the impact it has on our lives. I like both my job and my employer. I love my home and the area I live in. In short, I no desire to through it all away. I have a very good life.

So it seems to me that if we acknowledge technology if far from perfect and we are prepared to accept and deal with the potential consequences when those technologies fails us, we are in a far better position to further grow and develop these technologies.

I don't want to go back in time. Not century or a year or even a day. I just want to see tomorrow. God willing and the creek don't rise, it will happen.

-- Arnie Rimmer (, November 14, 1999.

"it's not about just stoking up either"

Sorry, of course I meant stocking up....

-- Arnie Rimmer (, November 14, 1999.

Put Sara and Paula right in the middle of rich topsoil, turn on the sprinkler system, and let the amazons do battle!! Let their furies burst forth like corn, their passions inflame like ripening tomatoes!!! Their sleek bodies convulsing like hardy weeds in the wind!!!!!!!

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), November 14, 1999.

Both answers are correct. We are all stocking up in the belief that our system of living is going to fall apart. When the dust settles you won't be able to go down to the corner market and pick up supplies again. Unfortunately, as things fall apart there will simply not be enough food to feed people. People will do whatever it takes to survive when faced with the possibility of starvation. Initially one should stock up on as much food as possible. If you can help feed other people... do it. It will be in the reformation of community that one's best chance of survival will come about. If lawlessness truly takes hold, there will be many roving gangs and individuals who will take what they can find. After the first year one will need seeds and the tools necessary for long-term survivability.

-- Damon Devine (, November 14, 1999.

Should the bite be worse than the bark,self-reliance will be the only way one could insure that they would have greens and veggies should the JIT agri-business take a major hit. As for winter growing,Simple window boxes on the south side of heated structures,glassed in can provide emergency greens.I watched friends 6,000 ft up the Sangre de Christo's eating fresh greens from the attached green house with an outside temp of 10 degrees,seeds given an inside start will allow putting a well developed plant into the ground at the first opportunity. Most suburban lots will grow well when the sod is removed and handturned and planted--Chinese family's have grown subsistance on little plots for generations.Alaskans with short growing seasons have enjoyed early starting and planting also.Your own homegrown tastes great and is most enjoyable. Sara is correct in advocating gardening even in non threatining years--for years many New Yorkers have enjoyed roof top gardening. Be imaginative and you'll be amazed what you'll grow.A small bundle of 2by4's and a roll of visquine double walled against a partially cracked south window will produce--temp. structures can be easily removed when not needed--Get green and get ready.

-- merek mura (, November 14, 1999.


It's hard to type as I'm wiping tears from my eyes and convulsing in laughter. Kudos to you for getting so much mileage out of such an infantile joke. Ride it for all its worth baby!

-- cavscout (cr@cking.up), November 14, 1999.

The high rise gardens will be depleted in a matter of minutes by the hungry residents and not everyone's digs faces south. Face it, millions are going to die.

-- no running from it (norunningfromit@norunningfromit.xcom), November 14, 1999.

"Self-sufficiency not just Stockpiling"

Yeah, but it helps. Best do both. If you can't, stock up at least. You have to consider immediate needs. Have a garden here, and various "edibles" roaming our hills. Buy vitamins, cheap, and can help a lot.

I can't make gasoline or motor oil, tires, amoxicillan, tetracycline, batteries, chocolate, coffee, etc. so I'm stocked on many things or have replaced older items with new. Far prefer toilet paper to leaves or strawballs (got the paper, and use a composting sawdust toilet). We could definitly do without but I'd rather not. Want to try beekeeping.

-- Don Kulha (, November 14, 1999.


You are too much, man... ROTFLMAO... It never fails to make me giggle with your mudwrestling... and I have been reading it for almost 2 years... LOL...

Keep up the good work Kingy.


snoozin' on the couch... (BAD DOG!!!)

The Dog

-- Dog (Desert, November 14, 1999.

Hey Dog,

How about "chewin' rawhide", which is what mine are doing?

Here's to stocking kibble (and to the tools for growing more)!

-- silver ion (, November 14, 1999.

Self-reliance has traditionally been considered an authentically American virtue. It is not contradictory to community or recognizing dependence upon technology -- rightly understand, it paves the way for meaningful community.

Self-reliance is always relative, but it is no less valuable for that.

Seeds and tools complement canning (and I note that while our ancestors here made wonderful tools, even that was shared/bartered among farm families with others supplying different goods from their expertise.

I have been thinking much the past year about what I term "intentional technology". Not a flight from technology (even TEOTWAWKI won't yield a technology-free world) but a more flexible, intelligently and personally chosen relationship to specific technologies.

To date and increasingly in this century, we are experiencing our technologies passively like sleep-walkers. Interestingly, the more advanced our technologies, the more they ENABLE us to choose them IF we're interested (think solar where we become our own "power company" as merely one example).

The question is -- is it possible to reverse a century of passivity which AIMS at creating consumers and create, as it were "pro-sumers", people who stretch out towards the goods and services that will make their lives richer and just plain more fun?

I'm a pessimist by trade, right? So I'm not especially optimistic on the global scale. But in my neck of the woods, anything is possible.

-- BigDog (, November 14, 1999.

In addition to the well with the handpump, our contribution to community will be seeds. I have saved seeds all my life and the past two years I have really loaded up on them, plus buying and bartering for more open pollinated seeds. I will parcel them out to the neighbors if the need arises. And you can bet that I will count each seed that I bag up. Waste not, want not. Re been seed. Buy your favorite type at the grocery store in a one lb. package for about $0.68. A lot cheaper than the seed companys and you will get enuff for your whole community. This spring I will go ahead and plant the usual hybrids as they really do seem to have more flavor and bug and disease resistence. But off in the corner will be my "seed" garden. Do you have any idea how many seeds you can harvest from a single plant???? Taz

-- Taz (, November 14, 1999.

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