Mike says he wants to own enough land one day to have a large vegetable garden. I call it his Apocalypse Garden because he got the idea when things started getting really crappy. I've since taken his idea a few steps further- I want to keep bees, a few sheep, some chickens, make a compost pile, set up a grey water system and some solar panels. I three-quarters anticipate some sort of crap hitting a fan and I would like to be fairly self reliant. I don't want to be totally off the grid. I would like to be self sustainable even if the crap stays where it should simply because that's how I roll- but I can live without the sheep should that be the case.
I would prefer to remain optimistic about the state of society and where it's taking us, but I don't know. Everything we thought about our country's stability and ability to lead in the world market is slowly crumbling around us. I think capitalism as we know it is collapsing onto itself and America must find a better, more effective way to exist. If that means more government involvement then what can we do? The big business model is failing horribly and we have a country with a constantly shifting populace- we cannot govern ourselves effectively. A single person possesses intelligence but put that person in a group and that intelligence is just gone. What you have is an unthinking mob. Just look at Congress. And that scares me. And that's why I'm turning to bees for some peace.
So, our Apocalypse Farm. The vegetable garden and compost pile are self explanatory- we grow vegetables and some fruit, reacquaint ourselves with the earth and save a little money along the way all while recycling our vegetable waste back into the earth through compost. Win-win! The chickens would also be a way to reconnect with nature and save some money. The bees, well, I just read an article about bee keeping and how it's very soothing for the keeper- the humming is calming and there's that reconnecting with nature again, you get some honey, and the bees pollinate your gardens. More winning! I chose sheep because you can milk them and sheer them. I can make sweaters out of wool for the sheep so they don't get cold, so don't worry about the naked sheep. Grey water is when you take water in the house and reuse it. For example, in a bathroom I would take the water from the sink drain and hook it up to the toilet. That way the toilet doesn't use fresh water- that fresh water will go somewhere else in the house. Think of the toilet as a way to recycle water. You can also hook up grey water systems with your washing machine, dish washer, kitchen sink and shower. There are kits I can buy for some of that. And solar panels are just a dream of mine.
I know what you're thinking- Katherine is full of crap, that's a lot of shit she has to learn. Yes, that's a lot of shit I have to learn, but even if we buy a house where zoning poses a problem for some things or the land is too small (can't have my sheep eating my tomatoes,) many on my list of self sustainability are possible. We can still grow some vegetables, we can still keep bees (seriously), we can still compost, we can still get a solar panel or two and we can still set up some grey water systems. I'm waiting for a book about urban homesteading. It has tips about how people living in apartments or on city blocks can still green up the way they live. I've been researching worm composting and will hopefully get that together soon. Just with recycling I've noticed how rarely we take out the trash- imagine how much better that will be when we compost our organic waste.
Good economy or bad these are things I would like to accomplish. Wish us luck! And send me some name ideas for the sheep and chickens. I'm thinking Wallace and Gromit for the sheep...