Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Colony

At one time I thought "preparedness" meant you stored a whole bunch of food but my thought was that if your emergency lasted any amount of time, you would be better off learning how to produce that food instead of storing food because when you ran out of your stores, you would need to know how to do without them or produce your own. I still believe that this is true but a recent post on the forum ,"The Colony" post, has taught me a lot.
Our scenerio in our Colony post was really basic, all the food was poisoned and you couldn't buy anymore. We are going day by day on what we think would happen to our family. Immediately we all realized that we didn't have enough of anything stored.
I think sometimes people fool themselves about how prepared they are for any disaster. I don't know how many times I have heard people say, "Well, we have the garden and the chickens so we would be alright." Are you kidding me? Unless that garden is an acre and those chickens are large enough to be meat birds and can brood and hatch their own (and you can live without meat until they do), you don't have a decent source of food. You might be slightly better than a person without chickens but not by much.
What our Colony post did was made us realize that we could survive but we would survive a lot better if we had certain things stored. For weeks now this has changed my whole way of shopping. Stocking up on necessities has become so much more important.
Not everyone will have the same list of necessities. It all depends on your situation. I have always had kerosene lamps and candles stored because we have lost power during the winter several times for a couple days each time and I know I will need these. I did not have to add these to the things I needed to store, however I didn't have a good supply of matches or lighters. None of us smoke so we just hadn't had a lot of need for these.

Food is, of course, on everyones list and we had quite a bit but there were some things that our house would be lacking if we couldn't get to the store each week. I had to stock up on more flour, sugar and salt to name a few. I got a really good deal on coffee so there are 5 of those large cans stuffed up in that cupboard.
Canning jar lids was one of the first things that came up in our "Colony" posts on the forum. I kept very few extra in the house so for several weeks now I have been buying extra each week.
Yeast and having a working sourdough starter became extremely important again, along with baking powder and baking soda. How could you bake anything without these?

The Colony post has shown m a lot of other things that our house was lacking in: soap, shampoo, vinegar, vitatmins, toilet paper.. all sorts of things that we might need that we hardly had a weeks worth of stored.
As our Colony game goes along we are still finding things to store and learn how to do or make, so if you want to see where you are lacking as far as preparedness goes, come play Colony with us or just play it by yourself. Write your own Colony post for each day and see how well you do.

You can see our Colony post here:


  1. I am currently trying out a "homemade method" of washing my hair. I'm a guy with medium length hair, so it's easy for me I think. I got the method from a great blog that I visit.

    The Prarie Cat did a good job! You use one tablespoon of baking soda and one cup of warm water as the first part. Rub that into your hair for one minute if you have short hair. Then you use 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and one cup of warm water for the "rinse". Rub that in too. Then rinse well with water. I've used it twice now, and it does actually work pretty good! I was surprised.
    So, when you are planning on "shampoo", buy apple cider vinegar and baking soda instead. You can even use them for other things that you can eat. You sure can't eat "store bought" shampoo.

    One more idea that I use, is to keep my matches in at least two places inside glass jars. If case of water infiltration into your structure somehow, they stay dry. No dry matches makes surviving an event much more difficult, and tempers will tend to flare.
    Keep up the good work!
    Veggie PAK

  2. I somehow missed this message. I will definitely try your shampooing method. I once tried the mayonnaise as a conditioner because I had heard it worked but it really didn't do anything for my hair. I have lots of baking soda and a gallon of apple cider vinegar stored (I really need more, I know) so I will test it out.
    The matches in glass jars is a good idea however, it seems good in one way and not so good in another. Yes it would protect against water but then again the glass could quite easily break. But then maybe in a ziplock bag inside the jar might be a better option. I think that is waht I will do.
    Be watching for a blog post on how well I like your "shampoo". I'll be sure to have one.
    Please do feel free to join in at our group. We love to learn new things and the Colony is such a wonderful way for us to learn that we are just itching to share it with others.

  3. I use Smucker's Jelly jars for mine. They are about 8 ounces I think. They have the good seal on the lid, and I have knocked one off the kitchen counter onto the resilient tile floor and it bounced somewhat, but didn't break. Probably just lucky. I thought of using plastic jars, but decided against it since a variety of things could affect their moisture integrity. Also, if one broke, there would still be the other stash of matches. I really do like your suggestion about the ziplock bags inside the jar, though. So well that I'm going to make that change today. Thanks for the idea!

  4. Hi Becky. I was reading through some of your old blog posts, and from there went to check out the colony on the forum. I loved the whole idea of it, and decided to try it myself. I started a separate blog for my colony posts. If you're interested, you can find it here