Monday, June 18, 2012

It Is The Age of Doing

I read a lot of blogs, but the ones that I tend to return to  time and again are the ones the authors try and live their truth. They DO.  There is much merit in ideas and theories but after a time, we have to get off our behinds and do something with those ideas. Whether it's to "beat the rush and collapse now" as the ArchDruid suggests or to start preserving, recycling and de-cluttering, we need to stop talking about it and start doing.
We here are following my own advice. We are de-cluttering, even though it's frightening, enlightening and blatantly shocking sometimes. (Note to self: de-clutter more often than once every dozen years)
When I first started planning on growing our own food, I learned all I could about season extension. But as I've been comparing the overall weather and temperature of the new homestead to where we live now, I find that I've neglected a very important factor in food production. Drought.

drought |drout|
a prolonged period of abnormally low rainfall; a shortage of water resulting from this.
• [usu. with adj. ] figurative a prolonged absence of something specified : he ended a five-game hitting drought.
• archaic thirst.

One of the ways we'll be dealing with drought is to store water in rain barrels. Over time, my Dad has been gathering the barrels and spouts, next comes the gutters and downspouts and screens to keep out bugs and other nasties. I'll be developing raised beds in which to grow our vegetables, instead of the traditional rows, because this will allow me to grow more intensively, rotate crops, grow green manure crops, grow sprouts for the chickens and even put a temporary chicken pen over temporarily fallow beds. I'll be able to cover the beds in case of frost, marauding birds or excessive sun, as well as keep out the friendly rabbit.

An important element of any homestead, I'm learning, is drainage,  whether it be in the garden or the septic leach field. I mention this because last week, I had an epiphany. The last time I lived on our mini-homestead, I didn't need to worry about the infrastructure of our place, my parents worried about that. But life has changed us and our circumstances. Now I need to know how well our land drains. I need to learn how the septic system works, where it is and how to manage it. I need to learn not only about this but about so many other things, and then I need to make the management of the homestead a working part of every day, while I learn about all the other things I haven't realized that I don't know yet.
I need to learn, to do. I need to do what it takes to build on what is there, do what it takes to build our success year after year, and teach others by demonstration, on both my You Tube channel and this blog and my freelance writing.

Indeed, it falls to each one of us to learn how to survive the coming decline of our economies as well as society. It is the responsibility of each of us to learn how to lives with less, do more with what we have and pass on our knowledge of these things. In this way lies our best hope.

It is time to do something.
What will you do?


farmgal said...

Loved it, and reposted it to my farm facebook page, I hear you, learning is important, research is important, learning from real life examples that have gone before are very important but sometimes its just a matter of doing it and seeing if it works for you..

Perfect example, while I do a few very limited sqaure foot gardening, for me, I perfer to dry land plant space and have a number of gardening spots on the farm but the first year I made all sqaure foot, and did it again the second and third year.. and then stopped because of the watering..

My farm is a feast and famine farm when it comes to water, we have all the water you could want and live in and by a flood zone but during the hottest parts of the summer July and Aug, we have enough water but not enough to water upwards of a acre of garden, even with metal roofs, rain barrels etc etc..

Plus I don't have the time to haul the water, so I learned how to tend the soil, plant, mulch and let the garden go, hard thing to do but dang, so worth it..

Carolyn said...

Thank you for the mention, FarmGal, I really appreciate it. You are one of my guides in this journey, and I'm sure I'll be coming to you for all kinds of advice in the coming months!

LindaM said...

I told you how we found out that food would not be our main focus after our move. It turned to be infrastructure as you are finding out. You are taking over for your parents and we took the role that we were used to a landlord doing. It takes a good chunk of time to manage a working homestead and to meet goals.

Septic tanks are easy. Find a good company that drains it out. In our area, every three years is required. We have to have proof that we did it.The county sends out reminders.
I am rooting for ya!

Carolyn said...

Thanks, linda! I can use every cheerleader!

Canadian Doomer said...

Yes! Yes! Yes! LOL

I often get emails from readers who complain that I'm not talking enough about WHY we're in the spot we are, and MAYBE this and COULD be that ... but if we already know we're in the hand basket and the journey to that hot and unpleasant place has started, it's time to start dealing with the very real practicalities - how are we going to feed ourselves, clothe ourselves, keep roofs over our heads, heat and cool our homes, travel, etc.

We're still stuck in the city, and this baby is getting increasingly big (which is a good thing!) so sometimes it feels like I can't DO anything - but then I stop and look and realize that there's plenty I can do.

So what am I DOING? Everything I can. :D

Carolyn said...

Thanks, CD! you continue to be an inspiration to me, and others. I figure if you and FarmGal and Linda can do all that you do, then I can too.
Simplicity should add that to your list of credentials.

Chris said...

I've recently realised what I need to do is keep reminding myself to keep at it. Life inevitably turns up challenges, you get sidetracked and then you lose momentum.

But then you remember - keep at it and you try something new. The biggest challenge for us (after the move and the whole cultural change of rural living) doing stuff with very little money.

You have to get inventive, do without, use something else and keep motivated at the same time. The age of doing happens more and more in that particular climate, I'm finding. :)

Jacquelineand.... said...

Checking on your drainage can be a huge burden financially BUT you can check around and find inexpensive ways to do a percolation test yourself.

You're on the right track Tanke, you know this, and you know (I hope) that I'm right here rooting and cheering for you.