Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Learning now for a rainy day

It seems these days, I have been reading a lot about homesteading and survival skills. Keep in mind, that for the last couple of years, I have been trying to move away from rampant consumerism and toward a more self-sufficient lifestyle, but it has become more important to me lately. With the current economic downturn, it only makes sense to be prepared for the worst.

I purchased a CD set a few weeks back that has over 1000 publications over a wide range of topics. Some of them will just not apply to us, like building Bamboo structures in Indonesia or fruit tree growing in Nepal, but the basics can still be useful. I have read a "book" on how an attached greenhouse can not only allow you to grow fresh food all year long, but you can use the excess heat from the greenhouse to help warm your home in the winter. I have learned how to build a fireplace with a chimney that draws correctly and how to build a wood stove. I have learned that 1 acre of sweet potatoes will yield approximately 6000 pounds. I have learned how to build a rabbit hutch, a chicken coop, what kind of fencing to use for cows, and for goats. I have the technical specs for building a micro-hydro turbine, and how to use that turbine to grind grains.

Is any of this stuff useful to me right now, not really. But it is all very useful knowledge and might come in handy at some point. If for no other reason than that learning is fun. Some of the publications are in French and Spanish, so I could even print them off for the kids to study (those are the languages they are learning in school). Or I could use the Spanish ones to brush up on my own study of Spanish from high school all those many years ago.

Now, if I just had some place to use all of the stuff I have learned...

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