How to prepare your family to survive and thrive in todays uncertain world

After The Dust Settles – Some Specific Tips

(Rudy’s Note:  This is a guest post from a reader named Kate Kelley.  Enjoy it!)

In my last part I talked about planning for the rebuilding process after a major SHTF type event.  And I promised a few good ideas to get your creative juices flowing, so here are a few ideas and tips to get you started!

  • If you live in a cold climate, you can keep some plants as houseplants or potentially even put in a greenhouse.  If you have a greenhouse, there are dwarf varieties of many warmer-climate fruits you can grow such as bananas, avocados, mangos, pineapples, and spices such as allspice, ginger, vanilla orchid, black pepper, etc.Many of these will make excellent houseplants, though you should always research the plant to make sure you can provide its optimum growing conditions.  Many unusual plants can grow in cold climates, such as goji berry, olives, and more.  Do your research and plant unusual edibles.
  • If you live in a warmer climate, you may be able to create “micro-climates” on your property that will allow you to grow items that normally would not grow or would only marginally be able to grow.  There are also many varieties of normally cold-weather crops that are specifically bred to be for warmer climates.
  • This may be a disputable item, but try your hand at growing & curing tobacco leaves.  Check regulations in your state, of course, but most states allow growing and curing of tobacco for personal use.  If you are a smoker, this will be a way in the meantime to save money and be “less unhealthy” than buying your smokes from Big Tobacco.  And I think we all realize how popular the person who has tobacco will be post-SHTF.  Naturally, this may also make you a target, so please consider carefully.
  • Also a potentially disputable item, but there will always be a market for mead, wine, and beer.  Most of these can be made from materials produced locally.
  • Distilling essential oils from local or even non-local (see the top bullet on growing out-of-area plants) flowers, fruits, and the like can have several markets.  Medicinal and fragrance will of course be your main markets.  10 years after SHTF, a nice bar of pretty smelling soap would have some significant marketable power vs the semi-solid soap we will be making from leached ashes and saved drippings.
  • To follow the essential oils, to be able to produce fine soaps and scented candles.  I am not just talking about the serviceable items that will do the job, I am talking about a more luxury product.  Keeping in mind, of course, that even if you stockpile commercial lye it will eventually run out.
  • If you are a doctor, nurse, dentist, midwife, or a similar professional you already have most of what you need.  You may need to familiarize yourself with older techniques and do some research but those professions will be in high demand either way.
  • Oil production – Piteba sells a small, hand-cranked oil press for under $200.  The ability to produce and use a vegetable-based liquid cooking oil will be a boon to those in areas whose primary fat source is animal fats.  It stores better and the vegetables that you use will produce more oil for your space than a hog or cow using the same space.Think sunflower oil, flax seed oil, pumpkin seed oil, etc.  The press can be set up to run using a bicycle, and potentially even an old sewing machine treadle.  Journey To Forever also has instructions on their website on how to make an oil press.  The leftover press or seed cake can be used as livestock feed.
  • A continuance of the oil production – making biodiesel.  Gasoline will be a scarce commodity, and so the person who can make vegetable oil and then turn it into biodiesel is going to have a well-fed family.

In summary, we all have many aspects to consider and to prepare for in this journey of being ready for whatever may come down the line.  Having said that, once the basics are covered, it may be wise to prepare oneself to live a life that moves beyond basic sustenance. It is in most of our natures to want to excel and to be able to live a life in comfort.  Just like any other facet of preparedness, it would be wise to recognize this and prepare accordingly.

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One Response to After The Dust Settles – Some Specific Tips

  1. a few more ideas, going more in the direction of tradeable skills

    -distilling alcohol for disinfectant
    -knowing how to save seeds (not always as easy as it would seem. Ever grown your own carrot seeds?)
    -mechanical skills like small engine and generator repair, or converting things to biofuel, especially how to do anything people currently do with a computerized anything
    -lumber- ability to select and fell trees, and mill lumber. People used to do this by hand folks. You could also plant a copse of fast growing trees
    -glass blowing, cause all those Kerr jars will eventually break- “canned” foods were originally preserved in old glass champaign bottles in France
    -knowing a second language well enough to translate, especially if there is currently a large non-native-English speaking population near you now. Will you be the one negotiating with our new overlords? bartering with the trade caravan? translating for the doctor? more or less valuable skill depending on what S you expect to HTF.