An informative email from a MSB reader, Bazza, who is currently living the self-sufficient lifestyle.

Just read the article, Survival Retreat Land Size and Considerations, and if I can just make a couple of points.

If you are wanting to survive any scenario that involves attacks, loss of any form of energy, a breakdown in government or whatever, you should already be living where you believe you have a good chance of survival.

We live such a life and the one honest fact I can pass onto you about our lifestyle is that it is not easy.

You are not able to move to a new location and expect to settle in and plant crops and get good returns in the first year. In many instances soils that have not been used for growing vegetables before can take up to three years to be made suitable either by inputting animal manures or growing green crops and digging them in.

It is a full time job for at least one member of a family, regardless of the family size, to maintain the food supply for that family. Cultivating, planting, watering, weeding, predator control, harvesting, saving seed, storing, fencing, and so on and on and on and……..

Keeping livestock is a must if you are going to be a survivor. Poultry, sheep, goats or even keeping fish takes time and effort but also adds to the diet and will give you a better chance to stay healthy.

We grow at least 90% of our vegetables and a lot of our fruit is preserved so that it can be used out of season.

I often wonder why many of the survival lists put generators at the top when electricity is not a true necessity. A generator can be a large dollar item and the fuel to run it would be better used in powering chain saws, water pumps, saw benches or agricultural equipment.

Our biggest user of the electricity we produce is refrigeration which is used to keep diary products, meat and some vegetables frozen for out of season use. We are in the process of altering our vegetable growing system so that instead of growing large crops of one particular vegetable at one time we are going to plant smaller lots more often so there will not be the need to freeze.

At the present time we are not growing any grain as it is just impractical but we always have quite a bit on hand as we use some to grind our own flour and we also use it to feed to the poultry.

It must be remembered that everything you get from the supermarket may disappear from the shelves if a true emergency were to occur. Sugar, salt, toilet paper (ouch), tea, dairy products and the list is huge. Your store should contain as many of the items that you purchase and it must be remembered that if you have enough of any item to last for a certain period of time, you have only that time to come up with an alternative or go without when it runs out.

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