Comments on the Uncertain Times and the Looming Crash
…and Changes in the Focus of CRS
As noted by many folks I’ve not submitted many articles this year to date. The reasons are varied and run the gamut from focus on personal health, to extra curricula and unanticipated chapel activities, to just plain lack of time due to the late start in my backyard homestead activities this year because of the earlier surgery.
To avoid any misunderstanding and quell any rumors, I seem to be clear of any further signs of this particular episode of melanoma that laid me low earlier this year. Since the adventures in both the conventional allopathic and alternative approaches were quite complicated and in many respects quite disappointing and would further require its own article or even two, suffice it to say that all seems well in regards to my health. Deo gratius!
SO to get on with the subject at hand… many, if not most of you, unless you’ve been living under a rock know of the calamitous situation the world currently finds itself. On all fronts: social, economic, political, religious, moral, even militarily the world teeters on the brink of chaotic disaster. This is the moment for which this Catholic Rural Solutions Blog was formed way back in 2005, that is, to warn, entreat, cajole, bully, and otherwise inform people of the inevitable end – game of socio-economic musical chairs that our Western Society has become.
It is likely that some grand event will take place even as soon as September, 23, 2015 as many pundits, even of the mainstream, have said. Clearly, the global events have ratcheted up to a crescendo that cannot be ignored or avoided any longer.
While it is virtually impossible to prepare adequately at this point for what promises to be a roller-coaster of a ride, it is not the time to sit back on our haunches and shift responsibility for our well-being entirely to God. The situation is obviously man-made due to our soft bread and circuses pursuits of decades of chasing leisure and entertainment, (most especially for those who call themselves Catholics). To foist this obligation of our well-being onto God is the height of injustice. Remember the old adage; God helps those who help themselves. So instead of freezing like a deer in the headlights we are now forced to do what we can with any time and resources remaining to get ready for the inescapable consequences of our actions or lack thereof.
Toward this end I will make all attempts to present a weekly article dedicated to some form of self-sufficiency, be it, animal husbandry, agriculture, fishing and hunting, preserving, etc. I will only publish articles of the dire straits we are in if there is a less-than-obvious situation that the readership should be aware of.
In other words, I will focus on the positive proactive efforts that will make the difference in the near and long-term future of CRS readers and others.
Meantime, we must take heart and remember that only two or three generations ago our grandparents went through the Great Depression, in fact we might rely on some of their experiences to help us get through this and git’er done. Also bear in mind that adversity builds character and strength; and suffering is redemptive.
Now, on with the show…
Just yesterday I received my 2016 edition of Blum’s Farmer’s and Planter’s Almanac, (the Red Almanac). It is the mother-lode of information needed by any backyard homesteader and I urge the readership to subscribe to this fine and useful publication. With the receipt of it, the season of planning for next year begins, even as the season of 2015 winds down. Here at Hunny-Bunny Farm the annual harvest is about to begin and I hope to report on it in next week’s issue.
For this week I will propose an unusual but overlooked resource for the backyard homesteader and anyone else on a budget; that is the second-hand market. This market includes everything from the local thrift store and garage / yard sales, to Craigslist, Amazon, and E-Bay. These methods of shopping have several benefits:
First, it impedes an elitist attitude and mental state of mind many of us have had to be the first to own a brand-spanking new item; and that anything used is beneath us. Many will find in future, that it may be the only way we can obtain our material needs.
Second, as fashions have become increasingly immoral, the thrift stores and gently used e-markets may be our only source of items of modesty that we as Catholics should be wearing, that is, other than sowing ourselves.
Third, it teaches us the skills of barter that will be necessary for the future when the so-called brick and mortar stores have failed and closed.
Fourth, there are many, many items of value that have been tossed by the wayside that still work or look as good as new. In fact, many people buy all kinds of working and wearable items from thrift stores and garage sales to resell online at higher prices, thus making a living from such forms of barter.
Fifth, buying for the homestead helps to separate real needs from the fickle wants and desires of a consumerist society.
Sixth, Craigslist, et al, is a great resource for livestock, assuming our own prudence and knowledge is adequate to make clear decisions.
Seventh, it brings new life to an item that otherwise might be rotting in a landfill somewhere.
Considering all the above the second-hand markets are a treasure trove of useful implements and items, most especially for those on a budget or fixed income. Remember, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. The key is knowledge of the items we are seeking. We must know how to spot quality and a bargain. We must have need and not just purchase on a whim. Regarding livestock we must, as a prerequisite know how to care for the critters we seek and also we must be ready to accommodate them on the homestead by have their quarters already setup.
In the second-hand market the sky’s the limit and only our imaginations are the restrictions. Check out local newspapers and Buy-Line type periodicals, admittedly old school, but leave no stone un-turned. You will find a new-found pride in being able to haggle for price and delivery and also contribute to the family budget. Soon barter and negotiation, now a lost art, will become second nature.
Finally, now more than ever as the future looms uncertainly before us keep up the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the consecration of the RUSSIA (I previous statement inadvertently said the “world”, Mea culpa!) to her Immaculate Heart. It is the best resource we have materially, temporally, and spiritually.
Richard of Danbury, D.S.G.