Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Protecting your food gardens from zombies

There's been a bit of discussion in an online group I belong to over the op-ed in the Washington Post, A climate-change activist prepares for the worst, by Mike Tidwell. The gist of the op-ed is that the author has done much over the years to reduce his carbon footprint but has recently gone further to try to live a more self-sufficient and off-the-grid lifestyle.

He argues that, with the weather and power interruptions they've experienced in the D.C. area, it's prudent to be prepared. But, he goes further than that and has been dead-bolting the doors, buying supplies for indoor raised bed gardening and visiting a shooting range to learn how to use a shotgun. Just in case the impending zombies decide to steal his lettuce. Or something like that.

Now, I didn't blink an eye at this because it's not too uncommon for people who are foreward thinking on the issues of food security, climate change, peak oil or, really, just emergency preparedness to go to these extremes. And, I know many of the readers of this blog and others related to climate change and peak oil have taken these steps and, in some cases, have gone much further complete with months worth of stockpiled supplies, food, MREs and a personal artillery to protect it all.

However, the reaction among my online group was mostly one of disbelief ranging from "this is sick beyond words" to "the guy's a whack" to the admission that neighbors were afraid to let their kids over the author's house after this. I think I may have been the only one non-plussed by the article.

My experience has been that people respond differently to perceived disasters and some may hunker down and prepare as a method of controlling fear as well as give themselves a sense of stability and safety. While I won't argue that the dual issues of climate change and peak oil won't hit us hard, I don't think we're going to wake up overnight and it's going to be Armageddon. I believe it's going to be a slower decline than that, one that we can adjust to over time.

The end result won't be something out of Cormac McCarthy's The Road or Jim Kunstler's male-oriented fantasy vision of the ├╝ber-prepared man shooting big guns and licking miles of pussy.

In either case, it is ridiculous to think that something like Mr. Tidwell's locks and novice gun skills will provide much in the way of protection against the truly hungry. However, I can't agree with the reaction of the others in my group. I think Tidwell's actions are common and understandable. He isn't some nutjob holing up in some bunker in the woods, but a man concerned for the long-term safety and welfare of his family.

What about you? Are you preparing for the zombie hoards, just stocking up for emergencies and/or doing nothing to protect your homestead? Do you think Mr. Tidwell's preparations are wise or unwarranted?

Related posts:
Ladies totin' guns
Survival Series

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think his preparations are totally sane and non-threatening. We aren't exactly packing heat, but it is something I worry about from time to time.

Lee Borden said...

We humans are often hostile to people who challenge our optimism and force us to take off our rose-colored glasses. I was struck by the generally negative reaction to No Impact Man, who did nothing offensive other than to try to do as little damage to the planet as possible. So I guess I'm not surprised at the reaction of your friends. In my best moments, I hope I can be compassionate toward such folk and understand that they speak more from ignorance than from evil.

Fonda LaShay said...

I think it is totally normal - however I think that Mr. Tidwell might be my dad's brother. My dad is the same - solar, guns, chickens, small garden ect. and he has plans to get more things stocked up.

I myself think of it often. I am planning to build a house in a few years (hopefully sooner then later) and I want to have a 'secret cellar' in it. To store up good and have for saftey. However, no guns for me - unlike my add- as they are not very accessible in Norway-

I think that he is just looking out for the wellbeing of his family - what every man should do .. :)

louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife said...

We humans are often hostile to people who challenge our optimism and force us to take off our rose-colored glasses.

I'd agree with that, Lee.

I'd also assume that many of the people lashing out in the Wash.Post comments would find it very difficult to change their current lifestyles even if they wanted to. If they admit to themselves that there is even a possibility that Tidwell is doing the right thing, it would cause them to realise how ill prepared they are and the fragility of their lifestyles - how all their skills & money will be almost worthless when there is no power, no food and starving hoards.

Whenever I've spoken to friends and family about peak oil or climate change, there is always a suggestion that "they" will save us: "they" will invent oil-free ways to travel, "they" will build a giant sea-wall. I'm all for hope and understand that often necessity forces invention, but I don't think we'll be able to rely on "them" when the going gets tough.

Rivenfae said...

I think it's sane, he lives in a "urban" area (even suburban) you'd need to think about growing some in the house if you'd want to grow year round anyway. I'm planning to grow tomatoes in my house over the next winter and I'm in the country. I'm even considering keeping some lettuce growing all winter for fresh salads.

So I don't think there is a problem with what he's doing at all.

Ottawa Gardener said...

I like to be cautiously optimistic as usually it is the unseen, slow moving villian that gets ya.: like disease (of the non zombie producing variety) or poverty grinding you down into a deficient stupor. How is this optimistic you may be wondering? Well, I'm approaching middle age and so far there has not been a nuclear bomb strike, eboli(otherwise known as sars) or other predicted calamity descend on me the way it was suggested. However, I am a climate change beliver and I do take food security and preparedness somewhat seriously. Afterall, I taught my eldest how to use a bow and arrow and it has a scary warning on that pint size weapon... I think people just like being freaked out/outraged. I'm referring to the commentators here. As for the bunker guy, as long as he stays on the good side of paranoid, we'll just chalk it up to eccentric.

Annie said...

I don't think stockpiling is going to get us very far. We have to know how to grow it.

I've been reading Sharon Astyk's blog and I think she's right: guns won't protect us but knowing and working with our neighbors and community will.

Rachel said...

I know I posted on the FB link, but I guess I want to add more to it here. 3 years ago I was staunchly anti-gun and would have reacted the same as many of the commenters you mentioned. Then I moved to a city that is in bankruptcy and impotent emergency services. When you feel safe it's so much easier to be anti-gun. When you live in a place where you quickly realize you aren't safe by default, your views change overnight. I now own, well, let's just say, more than one gun.

Our police department no longer responds to burglaries and last week I got a rude awakening to how true that was when I saw two people burglarizing a neighbor's house and told a cop that was RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET from my house about it and he nonchalantly tells me to "call 911." WTF? So at this point having a gun isn't being "prepared for the zombie apocalypse." It's for survival today and tomorrow in my neck of the woods.

Annette said...

My dad was special forces so I grew up in a household where this is normal. Still think it is normal though it is not something that, until recently, I've taught my teen daughters. Money is tight so stock piling has been slow. We have, though, recycled items for rain collection (not illegal here), we garden, have chickens and will soon have meat rabbits.

Firearms are great until you run out of ammo and with out the resources or knowledge to reload, your just kinda out. We live on one of the original byways, before the interstates were built, so if/when the hungry masses leave the cities, vigilance will be key.

I agree that a strong community is important and, so far, our neighbor is the only one paying attention. *shrugs* One day at a time.

Liberty's Yarn said...

I grew up on a small island in Alaska where guns were a part of life and now I live in an earthquake/volcano region where preparedness is (supposed to be) a part of life. In any group there will be people who go to extremes but I don't think this guy is there yet. In case of the 'zombie apocalypse' skills will be more important than stuff - so why not be comfortable with a tool that may help feed your family in a survival situation.

realfoodmama said...

I feel that it is perfectly valid to be concerned about learning how to protect what you have worked for. I already worry incessantly about my goats. I worry people are going to steal them or shoot them and eat them - especially after a fellow urban goat owner suffered a drive by shooting on her property and lost one of her animals.

While it is nice to think that there will be enough to go around and we can share our wealth with the less fortunate (or less prepared as the case may be) I think that is an unrealistic expectation. People will try to steal, especially if they are hungry, and if it is a matter of life and death everyone should be entitled to protect their own.

Sue said...

His preps don't make me blink. We don't have any guns, but if this descent suddenly steepened, that could change. I think this is going to be a long, slow grind down economically, and my preps have been oriented toward that. We have a deep pantry, moreso because I capitalize on loss leader sales and other deep discounts when I find them. We have chickens and the backyard garden squarefootage is at 1200 and growing. We put in a wood stove and heat with free wood from various sourses (except when we have houseguests used to warmer climes.) The craziest purchase I've made and hope to never need so far is a Berkey water filter.

Greenpa said...

I saw that bit in WAPO immediately, and was shaking my head about it, poor silly boy. Not because his actions are silly - but because the audience he was writing for is completely unready to hear anything like what he was saying. Totally, utterly, predictable. A waste of his reputation, I thought.

This is a conversation that has been going on in many places on the web for several years now. Few minds have been changed over that time period.

A glimpse of the other end of the spectrum. On one forum (can't remember) - a pacifist prepper was, essentially, bragging that they were too morally superior to own firearms. And one of the ruder comments was, very simply; "Great. You grow the food. I'll just shoot you for it."

Conveyed in a very non-humorous, dead serious, fashion.

Basically; if you are among those who want to believe the world is made up of nice people- you may need to wake up, look around, and think harder. And ask yourself what nice people with hungry children may do, too.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Sharon's got a great post up today about denial:

http://scienceblogs.com/casaubonsbook/2011/03/im_going_to_be_just_like_every.php

Greenpa - Yep, you're right. And, I'm one of the nice people, but I know if my kids were hungry I would become, how shall we say, not so nice?

Crunchy Chicken said...

Sue - I covet your Berkey.

Where do you live again? I'm compiling addresses of the prepared :)

Adrienne said...

My friends and I have had many a discussion over this very thing. I want a farm. Some of them want a bunker. I think we have come to an agreement that we should have a bunker *on* the farm, just in case, but we all realize that the bunker is not a long term solution.

I say this kind of tongue-in-cheek, but realistically, I do think you have to keep your physical security in mind as you think about other factors.

adventuresindinner said...

Honestly, I try to do my bit and help as many people on a daily basis as I can. I don't think that I would be able to get up in the morning and function if I thought (REALLY thought) about how bad things could/might get.

I like Novella Carpenter's take on sharing her urban homestead with people in "Farm City"-it makes me think that the world is still a good place.

Rosa said...

We're on the "build community" side of the equation - no use being the rich folks in the neighborhood, it just makes you a target (that's also one of the reasons we don't have a nicer car stereo.)

And even in "The Road" one of the stockpiles they found was a survivalist's bunker. Unused by the original bunker-builder.

But also I think we know of enough places that have either undergone slow decline or even serious famine - and none of them get zombie hordes. The worst violence isn't over survival, it's over cash & military power, even in places where there are many people struggling to survive.

hoboknitter said...

On our family "farm", we include a reloading room in one brothers house as important as the extra food, seed stock, water collection and purification methods, etc. As hunters in a rural area, this is not considered abnormal, and is as essential to food procurement as it is self-protection if it came to that. we are refurbishing our apple cellar and taking other steps that will not only let us live more lightly on the planet, but will make our lives easier no matter what comes down the pike. despite it being a rural area, we are surrounded by people who who will not have the skills to take up the slack, come armaggedon or simply sustained hard times. one of our recent conversations during a planning meeting for the spring planting and apple cellar revision was...."in a crisis, how far will we go to help out the unprepared?" we have many friends and extended family who know us for our generous ways. it's easy to be giving and charitable when you know where your next meal and paycheck are coming from. but how will that be different in an extended crisis, when sharing today could mean starvation tomorrow? it haunts me, because our circle of loved ones is the core of my heart, but they scoff at preparation of any sort. but guess who's doorstep they'll be on if they are desperate? how could we not feed them? it is an unpleasant discussion with no real answer. i can tell you that mike tidwell would be welcome in our community with open arms!

Greenpa said...

Rosa: "none of them get zombie hordes"

um. If you're not familiar, check out the stories of survival in Argentina, following their economic collapse- just around 2001. "ferFAL" is generally believed to be a real person; telling his real stories.

http://tinyurl.com/48c9mvu

CallieK said...

We had a similar conversation on the Canadian Doomer site (http://doomerincanada.blogspot.com/) a while back. Most of us in the Great White North (at least the citified folks) grew up without any exposure to guns whatsoever so the idea is kinda foreign. I jokingly suggested that if it comes to that we'll just blow the bridges that separate us from you gun toting Yanks ;)

In all honesty I don't believe that that view point is so much wrong as just selfish. Call me a Pollyanna if you will but I think the only way we'd survive if it came to that would be to work together- none of us is ever going to be able to master every skill necessary for long term survival and without cooperation I fear we will all end badly. That's why I believe the most important thing we do is share knowledge now.

Sam said...

I'm always prepared to move at the drop of a hat, and well if zombies want my lettuce, I'll welcome them with open arms.

hoboknitter said...

then i should clarify that i have no problem sharing knowledge, skills, tools, and even food. i'd like to do it now, but no one wants to bother, they just laugh. so i will do it later. but there will be a line somewhere....if it is approaching winter, and i have food supplies to last til spring when planting can be done, and suddenly a large community of family and neighbors come and say "help us" but to do so will endanger the lives of my children or family who did prepare.....i find it a little harsh to call it selfish to say "i cannot use up a winter's stockpile to feed a whole community for a couple weeks". sure, i'll share skills and fishing poles and even some rations, but there would have to be a line drawn....my work and preparations can't save everybody. we can go hunting (with those awful yankee guns :-) ) or fishing together and share the fruits of those labors, sure. i'm not gonna turn my back on anyone completely after a life of service, but i am going to be realistic about the need to draw a line somewhere. like, i will teach people about forageable foods. will i reveal the locations of the best mushroom sources on my property and risk them being stripped bare? would you?

Greenpa said...

Crunch - you pushed me over the edge here, with this post, and I've made a (possibly) relevant post of my own, over chez moi.

http://littlebloginthebigwoods.blogspot.com/2011/03/what-would-greenpa-do.html

CallieK said...

hoboknitter maybe selfish is a little harsh but I want to believe that everyone has skills that could be useful- maybe the guy who isn't all that good at growing his own food turns out to be someone who tinkers with motors and can fix or adapt things you don't have the know how for. Or the woman who's been too busy raising her kids by herself and doesn't have the money to put anything away right now turns out to be a stellar knitter/seamstress. I live in a major urban centre, don't have a clue how to milk a cow or fire a weapon but I know how to can and preserve damn near anything- would you excluded me from your future world if I showed up on your doorstep empty handed?

I guess I just don't believe it has to be an either/or situation but a collaborative effort. Anyone remember the kids book Stone Soup?

hoboknitter said...

i don't know what to say. i am so far from being a cold or hard person. you can't know me, based on one or two posts on a blog. most people who know me would never believe i would turn someone away. and i wouldn't. if you showed up at my door? sanctuary without question. but 25 highly skilled people? 100? with only enough food to feed 10 until spring?


remember what i said: " but guess who's doorstep they'll be on if they are desperate? how could we not feed them? it is an unpleasant discussion with no real answer."

and this: "we can go hunting (with those awful yankee guns :-) ) or fishing together and share the fruits of those labors, sure. i'm not gonna turn my back on anyone completely after a life of service, but i am going to be realistic about the need to draw a line somewhere."

i am suggesting the possibility that each of us would draw a line, somewhere, at some time. i personally would have a hard time knowing where, and when, but would do it if my kid was going to die.

another thought i have....i'm not so sure my choices would be automatically for the skilled only....measuring human value in usefullness. i would be hard pressed to turn away someone helpless also.....the elderly, the babies....those with absolutely no other resource or chance. the kind of people i have spent my life championing for.

if i showed up at your door, and said "callie! all those canned goods! please help! i knit socks really well, and have yarn to make socks and warm hats for everyone!" you sound very good hearted, and i know you'd feed me. but if i showed up at your door with 50 or 60 of my family and friends who weren't prepared, including the elderly and newborn, would you be able to do it? would you have to draw a line?

not looking for an answer, really. i don't think the purpose of the post was to debate the ethics and morals of the wide-ranging possibilities/scenarios and actions, so i apologize for taking it in that direction. i still don't know what i would do in the end, as i said this has been an ongoing concern.

i really respect your good heart and attitude. i agree with you wholeheartedly about collaboration. we actually agree about a lot. i guess, though, i would be selfish enough to make choices for the survival of the ones who scrimped and sacrificed for years, (to increase the odds of survival in a crisis), and be willing to limit the support of those who scoffed and criticized me for years.

it is possible that we are envisioning very different scenarios here. and highly possible i am a cold hearted jerk.

hoboknitter said...

a friend just reminded me that all my babbling is rather pointless, because in the event circumstances become as dire as i am referring to, i won't really be making any decisions anyway :-) i would be lucky to live 2 months, three maybe, a great deal of that time semi-conscious. which is maybe my karma, considering my comments, eh?

Rachel said...

I have to agree here with hoboknitter. What good does it do to feed a bunch of people for a couple of weeks and then you all die of starvation because there wasn't enough food? What good will that engine be if you're dead from starvation? There's a line you do have to draw for you and your family's survival. I'll willingly share skills with people, but sharing skills and sharing food that insures your survival are two completely different things, IMO.

But one thing that isn't being brought up is that a lot of people showing up at our doorstep most likely won't be friendly. Hungry people become desperate, and desperation can mean they try to kill you for your resources if they know you have them, because lets face it, they don't want to share with you either. Maybe I'm just cynical because of where I live, but I know that the people here will only become more aggressive if put in a survival type of situation.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Rachel makes the most obvious point as to what's driving people like the author of the WA Post article to do what he's doing. If it's just a bunch of kind-hearted old ladies that are the ones knocking on your door, it's one thing. Most likely it's going to be a different story.

And, yes, teaching others and building community is the first step in long term preparations and that's why groups like Sustainable Seattle and Transition Towns are so important.

Anonymous said...

Once I get myself better organized, I'm going to make separate food stashes, most likely in 5 gallon buckets and capped PVC pipes, and bury those in a few different places. Our back and side yards have enough tall plants to hide my activities from prying eyes.

Then if things ever got super bad, I'd let my pantry dwindle down naturally. I'm pretty sure DH would give away food, as he's a softie. If anyone else came into my kitchen, I'd nonchalantly open pantry doors right in front of them as I prepared whatever. Very soon only the less desirable foods would remain on the pantry shelves, like maybe #10 cans of whole wheat.

But I'm not sure how DH would react once he figured out I had buried stash, so that's my reason for having at least a few, the first one just a week's worth of food to see his reaction about keeping mum.

Another plan if things get really bad and I find myself being expected to provide is to serve bug stew ^_^

~S

CallieK said...

I just hope I'm never hungry enough that I would consider killing someone for food. To tell the truth I don't even buy into the whole 'doomer' philosophy but as I mentioned, I'm an optimist. I just like knowing how to make/do everything I can on my own and if I'm wrong, then at least I'll have some practical skills to make myself useful.

Chile said...

We kind of figure that people are not likely to come after our lettuce. They're far more likely to go loot the grocery stores first, then the restaurants, and then possibly start going after people's chickens. Most people, however, are not going to see vegetables in a garden as the solution to their hunger. So, we're not too worried.

However, if we plant grapes, I might have to worry about the alcoholics in the neighborhood picking them to brew their own wine when the convenience store runs out of booze.

hoboknitter said...

rachel, my brothers and i see what you brought up as one of two equally distressing situations. we know there would be countless people who would turn to us in a desperate situation, people we love and care about, who in turn have families and friends they care about....we know it would not be easy. but tonight, holding the two-year-old twins on my lap, all sweet and snugly in their jammies after their bath, they patting my cheeks and telling me "i lub you auntie Kake".....it was easy to see how i could be as selfish as all get out to protect the ones in my immediate circle, first and foremost. it's my job to support my "tribe" and the tribe would have to be sustainable numbers to work, to make sense.....

the other side of the coin would be, like you said, the comers with ill-will. that would be a much much easier decision. those tools that we have for procurement of food would also be used to protect that food, and the lives of my loved ones. i have no doubt they would show up, but i know that i would be prepared.

Melissa said...

I live in a major city, and through a stroke of amazing good luck was able to pay off my mortgage last year. I have no other debt. So I have a huge buffer against economic hardship and dislocation right there. As I watch what's going on in the world right now, and try to anticipate what's to come, I can't tell you how grateful I am for that. Things are going to get hard, but at least I know I'll be able to keep this roof over my head.

In January, I awoke one morning suddenly knowing that things were going to get tough this year, and it was time to prepare. It's something I'd thought about for a long time, but suddenly the light snapped on in my brain and I knew the time was now--build up a food and supply cache and start turning my (admittedly rather ratty) yard into a garden.

While I feel a tremendous sense of urgency about it, I haven't (yet) felt a sense of danger. I know I need to beef up security around here anyway, but buying a gun or a generator hasn't (yet) entered the equation. And in the last couple of months, as I've begun building a cache of food and other necessities in my basement, I've reached a similar conclusion to yours: we're looking at a long, hard slide downhill, not a sudden collapse. Adjustments can and will be made.

That said, I also don't think Mike Tidwell is crazy or overreacting. I live far away from DC, but I can think of other cities where I would either be making similar preparations--or, better yet, getting the hell out now--if I still lived there.

As I work on my garden this year, I hope to talk to neighbors about it. Not doomer-talk; I don't want them to either peg me as the one with a basement full of food, or else back away slowly because they think I'm nuts.

But discussing the food system, and how the price of oil and food are linked, and how it's a good idea to free oneself from that kind of dependency might be the way to do it. If the cost of produce goes up as much as I think it will, that shouldn't be too hard.

I don't expect to get much produce out of the garden this year, but if I can motivate any of my neighbors to try growing some of their own food I'll be satisfied. Because while I don't think Tidwell is a nut, I do share Sharon Astyk's view that developing close community networks to share information, skills, tools, and, okay, maybe even some carefully-hoarded supplies is going to be vitally important (and not just for physical survival, but for psychological well-being, too).

And maybe that's why I don't (yet) want to buy a gun--if it really does get to the point where one is absolutely necessary, I'll be so screwed it won't really matter whether I have one or not, will it?

Greenpa said...

For those feeling a need for more security, but shy of or unhappy about guns for whatever reason - please think very hard about acquiring dogs.

Plural. 1 dog is a moderately good deterrent for casual intruders, and may be awake at 3 AM when you are not. 2 dogs are not twice as effective, they are like 5 times more effective. And 3 dogs are 20 times as effective.

Then, alas, you have to feed them. But in fact they are total omnivores, particularly if hungry, so scraps and spoiled food works fine.

Like ALL security measures- they aren't fool proof, but they can cut down on casual threats, and make you much less of a target for local criminal types who know you've got them.

Just a little bit of peace of mind can be hugely important.

brad said...

I for one will welcome my new Zombie Overlords.

But on a practical level I agree with CC that we won't be in a Mad Max spinoff overnight. Self sufficiency will help if we have a sustained food crisis of any kind including a dramatic price increase. It was only a couple of years ago during one temporary food shortage that my local Costco started to ration rice and beans to one bag per customer. Last summer I think organic heirloom tomatoes got up to $5 a pound at Whole Foods. Some regions in Mexico reported that the last temp drop killed off 80-100% of their crops, the kind of thing that will raise prices. A natural or GMO induced global crop failure anywhere could impact us here and most people can't afford a 25-75% increase in food costs.

I don't see us eating like Kings during such a potential emergency, but if we can supplement our daily ration of gov't cheese and white bread with some sprouts, or kombucha, or just ferment a turnip with some salt - at least we've got some actual nutrition.

The more likely scenario is that an extremely crappy world economy and a couple of bad winters will make good food out of reach of some of our already struggling neighbors. That's a great reason to get everyone gardening and building community together in our neighborhoods.

A gun would probably more useful for temporary emergencies like the LA riots, Katrina, or some massive, once-in-a-lifetime earthquake like they've been predicting for SF since I've lived here. Not that I'm worried, I'm counting the gang population of San Jose and Oakland to do the right thing.

Also remember that shotguns alone are not sufficient for zombie hoards, and after watching Twilight on the plane last week I'm adding some garlic necklaces and silver tipped arrows. That, or I'll feed them GMO alfalfa and corn syrup and wait 20 years...

E said...

The thing that people overlook with guns is that you have to be prepared to look USE THEM!

Are people willing shoot a human target to death and then deal with the body (or the legal consequences) depending on how far down TEOTWAWKI we are.

Assuming its not just a stray robber and you're thinking "hoards of zombies" you are looking at piles of bodies. Disease, stink, etc the logistics of death/murder are neither pretty or easy to deal with.

Diane MacEachern said...

For the record... no one in our neighborhood quibbles with the guy's decision to grow his own food or put a lock on his door. Many of us do the same thing. What is unnerving is his apparent willingness to embrace murder as an acceptable strategy in the event someone wants to steal his tomatoes.

From the beginning of civilization to the present day, we have seen what happens when people use "self defense" to justify inhumane and irrational behavior. Look at the genocides that have happened around the world, the water wars in Somalia, the eradication of Native Americans in the U.S. All of those perpetrators argued..."self defense."

You have to be willing to draw the line somewhere. I wish my neighbor would have noted how easy it is to embrace violence as a solution... and then rejected it in favor of working now to create the kind of community spirit that will be necessary to survive with our humanity intact if the "eco-apocalypse" ever comes to pass.

Seonaid said...

I wrote a fairly long essay about this last October, which I titled Peak Oil and the Zombie Apocalypse. Most of it is about preparing children for an uncertain future without terrifying them, but I think the main point that applies here is this one: "It’s not that I don’t *want* to share with my neighbours; it’s that if I fed all my neighbours, we’d get one meal, and then we’d be out of food."

It's here if you are interested: http://thepracticaldilettante.com/2010/10/22/peak-oil-and-the-zombie-apocalypse/

hoboknitter said...

seonaid, that was an excellent blogpost. i linked it on my FB page, hope you don't mind.

Wendy said...

I'm thinking that our future is going to play out much like what we saw during the Great Depression - that it will be just slow enough that we'll need protection as much as we always need protection, but not so much that we'll see roaming bands of ne'er do wells.

That said, I'm ready to be wrong ;), and I concur with Sharon that the best defense is a good offense - strategic plantings and fences to make my house less accessible, a good relationship with my neighbors, and a big dog ... or two.

As for them stealing my food - that's why we've learned foraging. If "they" take the garden veggies, we can always head off into the woods to find supper :).

squashpractice said...

I'm practicing growing parsnips. They are the best stealth vegetable crop. Zombies don't know what they are, and have no idea that they can keep through the winter in the ground. This human finds them tasty when slow roasted.

Kory said...

what happens when he runs out of bullets?

And while the word zombie makes a nice metaphor, these hypothetical hungry mouths at our doorsteps are people. Starving and scared people.

In any event, I agree that this is not the sort of thing that happens overnight. I believe we will adjust, but only if we adjust our thinking. Me me me got us into this, us us us will get us out.

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