Monthly Archives: June 2013
By: Tom Chatham
On a homestead there are certain things that you may want to grow that will give you the most for your time and space. Next to a vegetable garden a fruit orchard is a very wise investment in your future. Once planted and established a fruit tree requires very little time and resources compared to a garden.
Once it begins to produce fruit it will do so for many years and will increase its yield year after year until it matures. A fruit tree is one of the many ways to leverage your time and money and provide not only food for your family but possibly extra to sell for income.
One of the best fruit trees to have is an apple tree. Apples are very healthy and store relatively well. They are not as susceptible to loss from insects as most other fruits and can be grown in most places.
Apples are a food that can be stored and prepared in many ways. There is probably no other product that you can produce that is as versatile with the possible exception of a potato.
Fresh raw apples
Apple cider vinegar
Starting off with apples it is best to plant some semi-dwarf trees to start producing apples within 3 to 6 years. For longer term it is a good idea to plant a few standard size trees if you have the room. A standard size tree will not begin producing for 7 or 8 years but once it matures will provide many bushels of fruit. Standard trees allow you the opportunity to produce excess in enough volume to sell and produce a reasonable income from the effort.
The volume you get from full size trees will also allow you to produce value added products that will store longer and sell better than plain apples. This will allow you the opportunity to sell apple products most of the winter to even out your stream of income.
The benefit of having a good supply of apples is that you can make other products that are necessary on a homestead. Many products that you process for storage require vinegar. Pickles, salsa and pickled eggs are just a few that come to mind. The medicinal properties of vinegar should also not be overlooked.
Building a homestead means you are building a small factory to produce all of the things you will need. To do that, raw materials that can be used in many ways become essential. Items that you produce that leverage your capabilities and time determine how efficient your homestead will be. Fruit trees are just one way to do that.
Average years to bearing – Standard 8 years
Dwarf 3 to 6 years
Average yield per tree – Standard 10 to 20 bushels
Dwarf 1 to 6 bushels
Space needed per tree – Standard 25 to 30 foot circle
Dwarf 6 to 15 foot circle
Average mature height – Standard 25+ feet
Dwarf 6 to 20 feet
Useful life – Standard 50+ years
Dwarf 20+ years
Ten reasons to eat apples
Bone protection – French researchers have found that a flavonoid found only in apples called phloridzen may protect post menopausal women against osteoporosis and may increase bone density along with Boron also found in apples.
Asthma – One study shows that children with asthma who drank apple juice on a daily basis suffered less wheezing than children who drank it once a month. Studies also show that children born to women who eat lots of apples have lower rates of asthma.
Alzheimers prevention – A study on mice at Cornell University found that the quercetin in apples may protect brain cells from free radical damage that may lead to Alzheimers disease.
Lower cholesterol – The pectin in apples lowers LDL “bad” cholesterol. Two apples a day may lower cholesterol by as much as 16%. This also promotes a healthy heart.
Colon cancer prevention – One study found that rats fed an extract from apple skins had a 43% lower risk of colon cancer. Other research shows the pectin in apples reduces the risk of colon cancer and helps maintain a healthy digestive tract.
Breast cancer prevention – A Cornell University study found rats that ate one apple per day reduced the risk of breast cancer by 17%. Three apples a day reduced risk by 39% and six apples a day reduced risk by 44%.
Liver cancer prevention – One study shows that rats fed an extract from apple skins had a 57% lower risk of liver cancer.
Lung cancer prevention – A study of 10,000 people showed those who ate the most apples had a 50% lower risk of developing lung cancer. Researchers believe this is due to the high levels of the flavonoids quercetin and naringin in apples.
Diabetes management – The pectin in apples supplies galacturonic acid to the body which lowers the bodies need for insulin and may help the management of diabetes.
Weight loss – A Brazilian study found women who ate three apples or pears per day lost more weight while dieting than women who did not eat fruit while dieting.
By: Tom Chatham
When preparing for a possible barter situation that may develop in the future you must decide what products to stock. There are so many different things that can be considered useful or necessary it is difficult to develop a list that works well for everyone. Because of this it is necessary for individuals to assess their potential situation and surroundings to develop a list of items that will be in demand during or after a crisis that will be in short supply. With so many products to choose from it may be easier for many to limit their stock to just a few items and stock in depth.
This will help those that have limited funds to focus on those items they feel are cost effective and useful for them. By focusing on a limited number of items you will be able to tailor your supplies to your community and insure you have what others may need insuring you have the ability to trade for items when you need to. This will allow you to stock some very cheap items and a few more costly items without busting your budget. If done carefully you can probably fit all of your barter items into a few foot lockers for easy storage and relocation if necessary.
Here are some headings and a few items for each that you might want to consider. You should use these headings and write your own list for each then select one or two items under each heading that is right for you to stock. The items you choose should be items that you can use yourself in the event you never need to barter with them insuring they will not go to waste no matter what happens.
Organic honey, Garlic, Apple cider vinegar – for food or medicinal properties
Household products –
Matches or lighters
Medical products –
Hats – cold weather
Tubes of caulking
Tubes of roofing tar
Misc items –
Once you make your list of five or six items to stock you can seek out the cheapest place to buy them. With a small list you can purchase a few items every week until you have the desired amount.
Your stock may look something like this.
100 lbs. of rice divided into 1 lb. bags
5 gal. of bleach powder
10 bottles of aspirin 100 tablets ea.
20 pr. Cotton gloves
10 rolls of plastic sheathing
10 pints of bourbon
The more you can store the longer you will be able to barter. The depth of your stock will be determined by your finances and how much you think you will need. The more funds you have available the more items you will be able to add to your primary list. While not considered necessary the items on the misc. list may be the most desired during a long crisis and will be relatively easy to trade just about anywhere. Some may decide that stocking just these items will be sufficient. Whatever you decide to stock, give it sufficient thought before you buy to insure you are making a good choice.
The purchase of used items should not be overlooked as well. Visiting a second hand store or a garage sale may present items that will become more valuable in the future. Items such as good used clothing or hand tools will be needed just about everywhere and used items may be very valuable due to disrupted supplies of new items. Children outgrow clothing very fast and as a result there is usually a lot of childrens clothing available for sale in almost new condition. This is an item that may be very difficult to find if supplies are disrupted for any length of time. And do not overlook old clothing you have that you may be debating on throwing out or selling now. The four main items needed by people are water, food, shelter and clothing. These are the first things people seek out to live day to day and offer the most opportunity for trade.
In an urban area, water supplies may become contaminated due to lack of functioning equipment to treat it so the ability to produce clean water may offer you the asset you need for trading. The storage of antibiotics goes well with this item. If people are getting sick from contaminated supplies they will need to find clean water and medicine to stay healthy.
There are many potential situations where necessary goods could be cut off and will be in high demand by the population. It is difficult to plan for every situation and have every possible item you may need so the storage of a few high demand items will insure you have the means to trade for those items you lack should things become desperate in the future.
By: Tom Chatham
When we talk of our standard of living most people equate that to all of the stuff and the money that they have. They feel that the more of each they have the better they are doing. Unfortunately for most, the last few decades have seen an artificial prosperity in the U.S. with an artificial standard of living. The standard they think they have is propped up by massive amounts of fiat money that can and will evaporate soon.
We have been brought to this point by irresponsible policies created by irresponsible people that seek only to enrich themselves at the expense of the masses. Many Americans have massive amounts of mortgage debt, automobile debt, credit card debt, student loan debt, business debt, medical debt and/or recreational equipment debt.
When the money ends and the people can no longer pay for the things that make up their standard of living, they will lose most of those things and be left with a lot of cheap trinkets made in China, many of which are probably broken already, to signify their standard of living.
When the artificial standard of living collapses into the real standard of living that most will end up with, there will be a lot of denial then a lot of anger. This will be a dangerous time for everyone, especially those that made prudent decisions most of their lives and lived within their means and will still have most of their wealth in tact when it’s over.
The envy that the political left has sown will reap a deadly harvest when this false paradigm ends. Politicians on the left and right are responsible for this mess but it is the social tension from the left that will cause much violence. People that have grown up in a system that taught them they are entitled to a certain standard of living will become violent when the things they were promised are taken away without warning.
Those that have spent wisely over the years and lived within or below their means will remain solvent while others sink in the ocean of debt they have set sail on. Many will not go gently into that good night and will strike out at anyone that they feel has more than their fair share of stuff when everything falls apart. This is the reason many have a plan to leave for more tranquil waters when the going starts to get bad. For those that have made the hard decisions and remain solvent, the coming chaos is a foregone conclusion and they are prepared for that. But what of those that only now realize the danger and seek to prepare for it?
If you now realize that your standard of living is about to take a drastic plunge it may still be possible to cushion the fall for your family but some drastic decisions will need to be made. When you see an accident about to happen, the actions you take determine whether you get a bruise, a broken arm or are killed outright. Your actions need to represent who you are and the situation you are currently living in.
In a serious crisis the things that are important are water, food, shelter, clothing, security, medical, transportation and communication. Sanitation is also critical for well being but for brevity we will assume that your shelter will cover that aspect. In day to day living the four things needed are food, water, shelter and clothing. These are the things most people will struggle to provide for their families so these are the things you will need to place emphasis on if you are behind the preparation curve at this point. The other items are not less important but will depend on your location and situation as to their need. Once you can provide the basics to your family then the other items will become necessary.
For someone living in the suburbs or urban area with a job and few survival type skills, it would likely be necessary to store some of your wealth in a form you can use later to care for your family. This may take the form of food, gold, silver, diamonds or some other durable wealth preserving tool. The idea for this type of individual is to have the means to provide food, shelter and clothing during hard times. Since this type of individual may have very few skills to fall back on to produce these items themselves they would need a medium of exchange to trade for those things for the duration of the crisis. That does not mean this type of person should not seek education to provide these items themselves but given certain time constraints it may not be possible short term. An individual in this situation needs to have a plan to deal with these conditions utilizing the resources available to them at this time. A portable form of wealth may be the only option if relocation is required due to a deteriorating situation in the cities and/or your primary shelter is lost.
An individual living in the country may have more opportunity to provide the basics for their family depending on their location and the resources available in the local community. The basics still hold true though for the rural individual. For this person the skills available may make up for lack of financial means to store wealth for future use. This person will still need food, water, shelter and clothing as a minimum for their family but they may be able to provide those things by different means than their city cousins. The availability of open ground to grow food and the availability of water on site in most places may decrease the need to seek out these resources for day to day living allowing more time to be spent on acquisition of shelter and clothing.
In The American Dream Lost I cover one strategy that can work for most average families and can be summed up as follows.
Purchase a good used RV or camper trailer for shelter.
Purchase two sets of new clothing for each person to be stored in shelter.
Purchase food to provide a minimum of two meals a day for a year.
Buy a shotgun and ammo.
Buy $30 face value in junk silver coins for emergency use.
These things can be bought today for under $6,000 and much less with some shopping around. They can mean the difference between becoming destitute and helpless or being able to live with a good quality of life. Measures should be taken to prevent the loss of this backup system in the event you must declare bankruptcy and lose everything when the system collapses. Unless a mad max scenario happens very fast, anything you do not own free and clear may be lost in due time by foreclosure. Above all if you decide to implement a plan like this or some other the most important thing to remember is not to wait until you have no resources left before you try to enact the plan. Most people try to run things out until the last minute and all resources are used up hoping things will change and the life they are accustomed to will be saved somehow. That is a plan for disaster in the current environment and is very dangerous for you and your family to depend on. You must set aside resources for the plan you devise and be prepared to activate it when nothing else can be done. That is a mental leap you must be prepared to take when the time comes.
A good quality of life should not be confused with all of the consumer things you now have and feel necessary to function every day. Some of the best things in life are free and this is the thing you must mentally prepare your family for the most. A collapse of our living standard will require everyone to adjust to the new reality and those that do not make the transition will cause a great many problems for the rest. One of the biggest problems we face are those that cannot or will not adjust and this is where the greatest danger lies in society when the system breaks down.
By: Tom Chatham
There were seven crusades fought between 1095 and 1291 between the Christian west and the Muslim east. In 1071 the defeat at the Battle of Manzikert opened Asia Minor to the control of the Turks. The Byzantine Empire was on the verge of collapse with it’s treasury bankrupt, it’s army poorly deployed and it’s Emperor ineffective.
There has always been a rivalry between these two religions and it is not over yet. Both seek to dominate the world and it appears the next major war may be the next crusade in practice if not in name. But this time instead of trying to recapture the holy land it will be for the very survival of Christians everywhere.
It has been noted that every American war since the 1990’s have apparently been in the attempt to reestablish the former Ottoman Empire and reestablish Islamic rule over these areas under one government or Caliphate. When one looks at a map of all of the recent uprisings and wars it does lend credence to this theory. The question remains, why would America want to rebuild this empire with approving undertones from Germany?
At the same time we have a government that is riddled with Muslim Brotherhood operatives at high levels. These operatives are currently guiding government policy and have access to our nations most classified information. In an April interview, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) suggested that members of the Muslim Brotherhood have infiltrated the Obama administration and are influencing the U.S. to ignore “Radical Islam’s” war against us. He also suggested that the Muslim Brotherhood may be directly influencing decisions by President Obama.
It is evident to anyone who is observant that there seems to be a war against Christians taking place in this country. For a nation that was founded on Christian beliefs, this is a bit unnerving and makes one wonder why Americans would want to destroy our Christian heritage.
According to one source, a senior UN official has stated that America would be a Muslim nation before the end of President Obamas’ term. This ties in with the Presidents assertion in his first term that America is no longer a Christian nation even though most Americans affiliate themselves with the Christian faith. It has also been suggested that the current immigration bill is the first step to pave the way for a future bill giving amnesty to millions of Muslims that may immigrate here in the next few years.
In school districts nationwide the practice of Islam in public schools is being promoted while the practice of Christianity is being suppressed and villanized by organizations such as CAIR. Muslim populations across the nation are seeking to Islamize entire cities and institute Shariah law while the government seeks to remove Christian beliefs from every sector that the government has under its control.
In a former post I suggested that the Muslim Brotherhood was attempting to convert the U.S. into a Muslim nation and was using the liberals in this country as an avenue to achieve that end. I also said I believe the Muslims will rid themselves of the liberals when they are done with them.
With all of the recent scandals emerging from the current administration the liberal press seems to be turning on them. Are the liberals in this country waking up to the potential threat or is this just two factions of the elite at war with one another? It is a foregone conclusion that the liberal press would not dare turn on this administration unless they had been given marching orders from some entity higher than the President.
The Muslim influence in our government is setting the stage for a mass campaign against loyal and patriotic Americans and is currently engaged in a massive surveillance campaign to identify all of the Americans that could possibly stop this domestic threat to our nation by subversive forces. When war comes to this nation it may very well be an Islamic plot to seize control here. If you think a Muslim nation with one or two nuclear bombs is dangerous, what would happen if they had control of the thousands that we have?
The hostilities that are being created between the government and the American people may manifest themselves as the next crusade against Islam. This time though, the Christians will not have a home to go to if they lose. It is likely they will be killed outright before the war is over. Muslims have not hidden their desires to eliminate Christians from the Earth. The recent Christian mass slayings in the Mid-East give a clear picture of what awaits here if this is the future we find ourselves in. If this is our future it will be bloody and without mercy and Americans had better prepare themselves for that.
By: Tom Chatham
For those that are preparing for the worst in economic terms there are always the decisions of what to get now and what to get later. Your current economic situation may only allow you the option of buying necessary equipment and supplies at a slow pace. Primary items that you should buy first are food, water, fuel, clothing, household and sanitation supplies and if possible some type of shelter, either a primary structure or an alternative shelter you fully own. Only after taking care of these necessities should you put some of your money into silver or gold for wealth preservation. After these items you will want to acquire any large items you think you will need. If you cannot afford all of the items now that you feel you will ultimately need what are your options?
There is one option that while not perfect or guaranteed may work to your advantage in the near future.
When an economic collapse begins it will likely happen slowly over a matter of weeks or months. As paper assets are destroyed deflation will occur in some areas while inflation will occur in others. The things that are likely to see inflation immediately are those things that people cannot live without like food, water, fuel and clothing. Those things that can preserve wealth such as precious metals are items you should already have in your possession before the bottom drops out of the economy.
Those holding hard assets not considered wealth preserving but more like consumer goods will be liquidating those items to acquire inflating assets they must have like food. For those that have a store of wealth that can be liquidated and used to purchase other hard assets it could be a good time to leverage your limited wealth to acquire those items you could not afford before.
When paper assets begin to fail those that are holding mainly paper will rush to get into hard assets like gold and silver to preserve their wealth. This will rapidly bid up the price of these assets due to their very limited availability. The price of precious metals should appreciate much faster than inflation. Eventually gold and silver will go into a bubble before they drop a significant amount. This grey area between the metals inflated price and the actual inflation rate will give you extra buying power for a short period of time. This is the economic sweet spot. You may elect to liquidate some of your metals at this time to purchase other hard assets you are in need of but were unable to afford earlier.
Any prolonged economic collapse will make many goods hard or impossible to find as time goes on so buying in this grey area will assure you have what you need and at a price you can now afford. As the collapse gathers speed, those that cannot buy metals will shift into other types of hard assets just to be out of paper so you must act before this happens.
What type of hard assets will you likely be looking for? Things like tools, machinery, livestock, land and equipment you will need to care for your family longterm. These are the expensive items you may not be able to afford now but want for longterm viability. While it is best to get them now you may not be able to so a plan such as this may be your only hope. If this situation does not appear for you to take advantage of you will still have some precious metals to barter with at a later date and possibly acquire some of the things you need.
So for those needing to make large capitol purchases but lacking sufficient funds at this time, holding your funds in precious metals may be the best plan. Gold is good but silver may see the most increase over this period and is much easier for individuals with limited funds to accumulate. When trying to gage the market to get the most from your assets, don’t try to liquidate at the top of the market because you are likely to miss it. If you can get within ten percent of the top you have done well so don’t push your luck and try to squeeze out the last little bit. This will allow you to sell some of your PMs and get what you need before the prices begin to decline and panic sets in.
While not perfect this opportunity will allow you the possibility to get things that will be more important to you than precious metals as the crisis unfolds. There are no guarantees for the future so each person must decide for themselves how best to use their limited assets.
By: Tom Chatham
This past week two things happened that Americans need to be aware of and consider the ramifications of over the foreseeable future.
Smithfield foods, the largest pork producer in the U.S. is on the verge of being bought by the Chinese Shuanghui International Holdings LLC for $4.72 billion dollars. China is the largest pork market in the world and Smithfield is the largest pork producer. If this purchase is allowed to go through it could eventually give China the ability to sell it’s pork in the U.S. under the Smithfield brand. The lack of regulations in China makes the prospect of tainted pork even more likely than it is now with U.S. supplies.
I can see three possible outcomes with this sale.
The first would allow China to export much of the U.S. produced pork to China while replacing it with Chinese pork filled with who knows what.
The second could have China do to our food producers what it did to our manufacturing. It could sell Chinese pork on the U.S. market and obliterate the pork production in the U.S. This would leave us totally reliant on imported pork products which could be cut off if we ever do anything China does not like. Production can not be restarted with the flick of a switch. Livestock takes time and feed stocks to produce so it would take a while to restart U.S. production.
The destruction of the U.S. dollar could see the export of all of our pork production as Americans are forced to bid against other markets around the world leaving pork products in the U.S. too expensive to buy.
Any of these outcomes is not acceptable. Food production is a vital asset and strategic concern. The off shoring of food supplies would guarantee third world status at some future time. The U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment is not likely to block the sale. If you wondered how China would get rid of those U.S. dollars they are holding, wonder no more.
The second thing that became known this past week was the fact that a significant amount of GM wheat has been found in Oregon fields. The genetically engineered glyphosate-resistant wheat plants have never been approved for commercialization or sale. Field experiments across 16 states by Monsanto from 1998-2005 have allowed this GM crop to cause widespread GM pollution of conventional crops. Because of this revelation Japan has already halted all imports of U.S. wheat and they are likely to be followed by others. Scientists have warned that eating GMO wheat may destroy your liver. The USDA claims the GM wheat is safe and they know because Monsanto told them so.
One of the few exports that the U.S. has that the world needs is now being destroyed in a way that may even prevent Americans from using it. The machinations of corporations like Monsanto are destroying our ability to even feed ourselves and it is likely to get worse.
It is for reasons such as these that small diversified family farms are the only way to guarantee a safe, secure food supply. Large corporations are beholden to their investors but small farms are beholden to their customers as it should be. If the current trend is not reversed soon, this country may find itself in want of a most basic element, food.