Thursday, June 16, 2005

Merlin Farms

(from the movie Excalibur)

Well, it is done. I placed my order with Walton Feed today for the basic one person- one year supply of emergency food and two empty 55-gallon water drums. So am I turning into some loony Ted Kaczynski type? Maybe. Somehow, though, I feel a bit liberated. I feel like I took a stand and put my money where my mouth is (literally). I feel like I would have made my grandparents proud. I feel like, in my own small way, I am beginning to return to what was a way of life only just a few generations back. Sadly, at this point two full generations of us have only heard of the Great Depression, so stable have our lives been. A line from the movie Excalibur, spoken by Merlin the Magician, always comes back to me - “…it is the doom of man that they forget.”

The entire premise of the 20,000-year Agricultural age was to grow things during the season and put them in storage for the off-season or for hard times. We have lost that way of thinking. We have allowed the perpetual abundance of the grocery shelves to lull us into complacency. Grocery stores only have about three days to one week of food inventory on their shelves if they are run well. In fact, all the way up the line, through distributors, warehouses and manufacturers it makes sound fiscal sense to let the next person up the line hold most of the inventory while you carry as little as possible.

Today I have broken that rule, and honored those that lived through the Great Depression by ‘putting up’ one years worth of food for one person, or three months for three or four people. (Sorry, San Franciscans, I already have these folks picked out and they have never heard of an ‘internet’). What did I get for my money? Just the basics; 600 pounds of wheat berries, beans, rice, powdered milk, corn, sugar, yeast and salt, all packed in 13-six gallon buckets with oxygen absorbers inside; oh yes, and a manual grain grinder. The life expectancy on this food is between ten and fifteen years and I hope I never have to crack a lid. I hope I wasted my money. We will see.

I have nothing on many of those out there already living the alternative back to the land life. Near to where my folks live, near the ocean in Southern New Jersey, there is a little organic farm. On this farm is a large electricity generating wind mill, big water storage containers out back, and solar heating panels on the south side of an old house. The sign out front says, “Organic Produce for sale.” That is the goal; my goal at least.

For now, I live in a studio apartment in San Francisco only a few miles from downtown, and for the next few years, it will be here that I make my stand. I will buy my emergency rations from wherever I can, rather than grow, can/dehydrate and store them. That will suffice. Being the building manager here, I have access to a few storage areas, but even if I were not, it would all fit in this studio, including the water drums. They would make for great conversation pieces don’t you think?


Blogger monkeygrinder said...

How much did the year supply cost (roughly)

Thanks for the link too.

6/17/2005 4:29 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

$350.00 and change for the food. The drums were $40 apiece.

6/17/2005 7:10 PM  
Blogger haeresis said...

Drop a chunk of plywood over, and the water drums make a nice table. :-)

6/18/2005 4:38 PM  

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