In my endeavour to be self-sufficient, I spend a little time each week either reading books, magazine articles or blogs to help me to learn the basics of what is needed to sustain myself if something tragic strikes. I find YouTube videos also a great supply of information. It’s amazing the things people are doing. Such innovation! I love it.
No, I’m not planning for the end of the world. A tragic event could be as simple as a class one hurricane sweeping through and knocking out power for a week, which then closes local banks, grocery stores, gas stations and everything else where one would run for supplies. Power poles might be sliced in half and dangling from the wires or huge trees might have fallen and blocked main roads, making them impassible. (Hurricane Juan, September 2003).
I’ve come a long way from heating baby food over a candle and hauling buckets of water to flush the toilet (we’re on a cistern and well, neither water sources are safe to drink) when the power is out, but I don’t want to be lulled into thinking there’s not more to be done.
So I keep looking, keep reading and keep learning.
Today, I stumbled upon Makaria Farm, a ten-acre spread just south of Duncan, Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Brock McLeod and Heather Walker started their journey in 2007 and have a blog to share their experiences.
Their blog post Good Intentions for the Apocalypse (December 27, 2011), reinforced something I thought about with regard to computer crashes, loss of power for extended periods of time or—as some believe—the end of the world as we know it: build a library of books…you know…the paper kind that doesn’t need electricity or a device to read.
All the researching in the world for ideas and information isn’t worth a whole lot if stored digitally (computer, eBook or other electrical device) and power is inaccessible. The method on how to harvest seeds and store them for next season’s sowing is right here on my computer, but if I can’t access it, then I’m going by memory, which isn’t so good at times.
My love for paper books, however, has saved me to some extent. Yes, I have information stored on the computer, but I also have a small library of books on how to grow various vegetables, fruits, berries and herbs (I’m a gardener, after all), and I have about a dozen books on first aid and medicinal properties of herbs. I’ve also collected various books on how to build and maintain basic farm gadgets. I love this stuff, so when I bought the books, I didn’t think I might need these if the power is out and we’re left to survive on our own. Still, the books are there.
Makaria Farm’s post goes beyond how-to books. They’ve also collected great novels they love to read, so when the lights go out and televisions go black, they have something to occupy their time when they’re not working on the farm.
If the power went out and you no longer had access to television and the Internet, which three books would you love to have in your library to keep you company during a long winter?