Monday, 3 February 2020

The Need for Change

I don't think it to be an overstatement to say that almost all of the problems we face today can be linked back to the produce-and-consume society that has been forced upon us. I am going to list some of the problems here, but there are many more -

  • The very basic problem is over-population, at least in certain areas of the world; as this is happening the population of the White Race has dropped drastically over the last 100 years or so. If this were happening to an animal species or plant species there would be an uproar, and drastic measures taken to halt the decline. The problem is not, per se, overpopulation, but is the imbalance of the human species on Earth. 
  • There is evidence to suggest that in very ancient times a White Race of 'Giants' (tall and fair) made up the ruling caste of many peoples around the world. This mighty Race of Men declined and the White Race today is a mere shadow of the past; whereas this ruling caste ruled wisely, helping other peoples of the world, giving them their knowledge and insight, the White Man of the last few hundred years has become totally different, especially since the Judaeo-Christian Religion was opposed upon us. Rather than giving aid and knowledge these people subjugated and exploited in many cases. This was mainly because of a change from a Religious Folk to a materialistic people who had fallen into the lust for gold and power.
  • The ruling elite of today are made up of power-hungry and greedy individuals whose only aim is the lust for power at any cost, and who have created this produce-and-consume society in order to control peoples lives completely - world-wide. This power-elite has caused revolutions, wars, and widespread terror, and such people, who have no regard for lives, nor for the planet, will certainly never change.
  • Animal Cruelty - This is really a symptom of the problem caused by the produce-and-consume society. Take, for instance, the case of the cruelty on chickens reared to produce eggs and their meat, kept in small cages, or when 'free-range' stuffed into sheds, crammed together like sardines in a tin. This also goes for other animals who are brought up through mass-production techniques. An offshoot of this is that many who do stand for 'animal welfare' are firmly set into this produce-and-consume mentality, and are thus as much part of the problem as anyone else. 
  • On the same subject, most of the mass-produced goods of today come from China which has an atrocious record of animal cruelty; it is enough to show how some in China treat dogs, using torture and seemingly enjoying doing so. The world sits by and ignores this, and here in England the light is shone upon other areas which are far less cruel. This is Globalism for you, and many of these people are Globalists.
  • Over-Population here in England. Those 'lefties' who preach about 'animal welfare' and 'cruelty to animals' are the worst sort of hypocrites. Whilst doing so they encourage more and more 'migrants' to come into this land, and thus push us further into the produce-and-consume society because more food and resources are needed. Food, clothing, housing, water, fuel, waste, schools, doctors, National Health Care, etc. - all of these needs go up more and more. And more and more green land is being built upon due to people moving out of the 'Great Wen' (London).
  • The produce-and-consume society has created a vast problem with waste; recycling merely prolongs this society and does not solve the problem. This problem is due to over-packaging with plastics; a lot of fuss is made about this, but there is little that can be done since the problem lies in a shift from local suppliers who did not over-package, to the Global Corporations (Supermarkets and Chain Stores) who supply vast amounts and have to package like this. Many younger people have not seen this change but there has been a vast change in the way people shop. 
  • Food used to be supplied in paper-bags which are not a problem since they can be burned or composted. Milk used to be supplied in glass bottles which had a returnable deposit and were thus used over and over again. (The glass today can be recycled if they were unusable after a time.) Sparkling drinks were supplied in glass bottles, again with a returnable deposit. Alcohol is supplied in cans or bottles today, but the vast amounts that are consumed are ridiculous, and encouraged by the Global Corporations (such as for Football Matches or Rugby Matches, Christmas etc.). Meat was never packaged but wrapped up fresh. Tinned food and packaged food was there, but never in such high demand as today. And today we have the 'Global Food Business' were the masses are given a wider and wider choice of 'world-foods', even though these are mainly the very same packaged processed foods as before. Basically, packaging has caused a great problem that is unnecessary. 
  • The 'end rather than mend' mentality means that rather than mending and fixing everything is thrown away and replaced by new goods - goods that need to be produced. In fact, the core of this society, especially amongst younger people, is that of buy-buy-buy, everything having to be thrown aside after a while and replaced by the latest version. This mentality keeps the wheels of industry turning over and over.....

These are just some of the points that I could raise, but I want to dwell upon what we can do as individuals and small groups to change this state of affairs, particularly for the Folk-Community. There are some very simple answers to this, though putting them into practice is another thing. I am not here advocating that we can create a 'utopia' or even an 'ideal' here, since the problems we face being in this society are sometimes insurmountable. Perhaps the best advice we can give to others is to create a plan of what to do, and step-by-step put this into practice, each stage being a 'small victory'. 

  • The best food is fresh food; and there is no reason why anyone cannot grow their own food and vegetables in even the smallest garden, maybe adding a local allotment. We are always hearing about 'Global Warming', and certainly around here the daffodils are already out in flower, far too early for these. But, whatever the cause, and this has been rather a mild winter, this can be taken advantage of since the warmer weather can be used for early sowings and growing. Rather than moaning in despair over the warmer weather this can be advantageous. 
  • I have added six raised-beds to my garden for this year in an attempt to grow as much as possible to eat. Added to this I bought a small mini-greenhouse and a cold-frame which will be used to start things off earlier. I had dropped the two allotment plots I had because they were too much to do beside what I had to do in the garden; however the chap next door has taken over hiring these out for the local council, and there is one already dug going for grabs, so I am going to try to get this and use it again. This year I have dug over all the ground which is already prepared for the spring planting. 
  • There are many ways that we can grow more food, and especially food grown outside the normal growing period. I am trying to expand my growing season to most of the year where this can be done, so as to make a much greater switch from processed/tinned food to fresh vegetables and fruit. I have already gone much of the way, sometimes going back on this, and then taking it up again. But it seems now the time to go much further towards self-reliance. 
  • The growing trend towards vegan and vegetarian is clear in the supermarkets today; but when I think of 'vegan' and 'vegetarian' I think of fresh vegetables, but the Global Corporations think in terms of processed foods like 'Quorn' or 'Linda McCartney' etc. using 'false' products. I am a meat-eater and will remain so, simply because I see nothing wrong in eating meat from animals that are treated properly. I buy most meat from the local farm-shop or butchers (though our village butcher has just closed down, which is a sign of the times), but there are certain things that I have to buy from the supermarkets due to price. However, even this can be overcome since there is not a necessity to eat meat with every meal, and I have cut out some meals with meat, thus being able to pay more for what I do eat. (*)
  • We can go a long way towards self-reliance by growing fruit as well as vegetables; and fruit can also be gathered from the wild - wild plums, wild apples (some grow in certain areas at the side of the roads), wild strawberries, gooseberries that grow wild, and blackberries. There is also another thing here because there is no reason why any individual cannot plant fruit in the countryside, away from the 'madding crowd' of course. This is free land to grow upon. In the garden fruit does need some kind of protection because birds will ravish your supplies without any conscience whatever. 
  • On this same subject, these fruits, self-grown or wild, can easily be made into jams which will store for months without any form of preservative. I have done this in the past and will start this up again this coming season. Vegetables can be stored by making them into chutneys, by freezing, or by storing certain vegetables (winter squash, potatoes, carrots etc.) in cool conditions. This is yet another point, today we can freeze stuff, and I have a separate freezer bought for doing this. My carrots last year were abundant, and we are still using them from the freezer now. 
  • It should be pointed out that although such families as the Rothschilds own and thus control the Global Corporations and hence the Supermarkets and Chain-stores, the outlets for the mass-produced junk-food and processed food, they do not live in the same way. Living in a vast mansion in Berkshire they have acres and acres of land on the estate, much of it set aside for the growing of healthy natural food. So why should we be forced to eat the rubbish they produce for us when we can grow our own food.
  • There is an important point here too, since we owe it to ourselves to start to move towards self-reliance and growing fruit and vegetables for our own use. This is because the more people that do so now, the harder it will be for the authorities to enforce their will upon us by discouraging people from growing their own food. At this time there is some kind of 'fashion' (especially on the liberal-left) in doing so, and we should take advantage of this. There will come a point where they will try to ensure our total reliance upon the system in all ways. This also applies to allotments since these were once nearly gone, but a revival ensured their continuance into the future and it is hard to get one nowadays in some places.
  • Those who hunt and fish will have no problems with meat and fish, and this is also to be encouraged. It would be very had to stop these activities since 'poaching' has always gone on. As I have said, buying less meat and fish from the farm-shop and replacing part with vegetables is a way of getting away from the supermarkets. 
  • A word of caution, though. One of the farm-shops I used when my daughter attended college some years ago used to sell local rabbits. I bought some of these but on one occasion they had only frozen rabbits, and when I asked if they were shot locally the answer was that they came from Italy! This is a local farm-shop, and why on earth would you import rabbits which run around in their millions here. Best to ask if the stuff is locally caught. 
  • I make all my own bread now, because I have somewhat 'cheated' since my daughter Freya bought me a bread-maker. I used to do so by hand, but this was inconvenient sometimes, whereas with a bread-maker the job is made so much easier, and whilst it is doing you can get on with something else. 
  • Eggs I buy from the farm-shop since they have their own chickens; getting egg-laying hens is ideal, but not everyone can do so. My grandfather kept his own chickens and had daily eggs, and chicken-meat when they grew older. 
I think what I have said here is a start towards understanding how far it is possible to go towards moving away from the produce-and-consume society that we are trapped in today. As I said, perhaps the best way is to start a plan of what you are going to do, and to put this into practice stage by stage. Each step is a small 'victory' and thus encouraging. 

What is important is that small steps need to be made at a time, and the need to keep things going into the future is important too. Large seed suppliers go for F1 Hybrids because they can sell these again and again, and rely upon us not to other collecting seeds for the following year. It is important to collect seeds from selected plants for the following year, dry them, and store them carefully. 

(*) In regard to animal welfare and cruelty to animals I think we should also consider the fact that plants do have a form of consciousness and 'feelings', even though these may not be as pronounced. This is usually laughed off as 'rubbish' but when we consider the subject in respect of such figures as Edward Bach who got his remedies from 'communication' with the plants, and the original people of the Findhorn Community (not those running it today) who were said to have contacted the 'plant spirits' which was how they grew in areas which were not at all ideal, then the idea of Plant Consciousness should not be pushed aside. What we can say for sure is that the mass-produced vegetables of today can hardly be said to have been grown with any kind of respect at all. And without such respect such produce can hardly be said to be anything better than the abuse of animals in rearing for food. The other side to this is the complete disrespect for the land too. Since a good deal of Organic Food is produced by those 'left-leaning' (I have worked on an Organic Farm) people who have no regard for the natural concept of Blood and Soil, no regard for their own nation (in fact usually a hatred for it); these people are certainly not in any position to feel self-righteous about their role in all this. Plants have consciousness, and have as much right to respect as do animals. It is natural to eat meat and we have done so for thousands of years, but it is the means by which these animals are treated and killed that matters. But this also applies to plants and trees since these also need to be grown and harvested with the same type of respect. What is admirable in Folkish Wodenism is that we have meat-eaters, hunters, vegetarians and vegans, none of whom try to push their own preferences on others. 


Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Hugelkultur

I have only just heard of this German name but have been using this idea for some years now. The term means something like 'Mound Culture' which is what this is, though myself I use raised beds rather than just a mound, easier to keep the soil neat and tidy. 

The idea is to make a raised bed (or just a mound if you prefer) and fill it part of the way up with the following -

  • Logs.
  • Branches.
  • Twigs.
  • Wood shavings, wood chips.
  • Straw or Hay.
  • Grass cuttings. 
  • Vegetable peelings (avoid potatoes since these peelings will grow from the 'eyes'). 
Place the large logs in first, then smaller logs, branches and twigs, and then fill the gaps with wood chip etc. and then place the straw, hay or grass-cuttings on the top. Add at least 12 inches of top-soil which can either be from the compost-heap or using soil from the garden, mixed with sharp sand if it is clay soil. The whole thing will bed down during the next few weeks and may need some more soil added later. 

These are just a guide and anything organic can be used to fill part of the growing area. I would recommend grass-cuttings, straw or hay since these give off immediate heat when they start to break down, this helps to heat up the soil quickly, especially when planting in the colder times of the year. Place these on top of the wood etc. There are certain advantages to using this system -

  • This adds fill to the raised bed, saving using a lot of soil.
  • The organic material holds water.
  • The material breaks down and produces fertiliser which feeds the vegetables or fruit.
  • The breaking down of the grass-cuttings, straw or hay produces immediate heat, whilst the breaking down of the wood produces long-term heat.
  • The bed will be full of worms and microbes through the breakdown of the organic material. This is where vegetable peelings helps too, they will compost in the bed itself. 
As you can see there is a distinct advantage when using this system, since it is almost self-reliant, self-watering and self-feeding, though some form of organic manure should be put in when this is started since the organic material needs time to break down and provide nutrients.

As I said, I have used this for many years now and had no problems at all; it is also a 'lazy man's' solution to life today since everyday waste can be used up and waste wood got rid of in the process. Of course, if you have not used it before you can still do so by moving the top-soil to one side in the bed and putting the organic material at the bottom, refilling with the soil, then doing the same for the other half of the bed. 

There is another side to this since many local councils in England either charge or are putting into practice charging for the 'brown bins' used for garden waste. Make up a compost heap (using pallets is the easiest way) in which most garden waste can be put, burning what would not be suited for composting. Vegetable peelings from the kitchen can be put onto the heap too, although I try to use a plastic bin for these which stops the rats having a feast. Using your own garden waste and kitchen waste will save you about a pound a week and also provide you with your own compost, which would otherwise go to the local council who recycle to make money, money then wasted on crackpot schemes (very often destructive to our Folk) or lush lunch outings. This is also yet another way of becoming self-reliant. 


Sunday, 25 February 2018

The Edel-Project - Update

For my own part this project is being stepped up for 2018. I have already begun to do this by preparing the two allotment 'Raised Beds' for planting potatoes and onions - the two easiest things to grow on an allotment not needing quite so much attention as some things. 

At home I have now built three new raised beds in the back garden, and have one more to do in the front garden (which is south facing and thus gets more sun). There will be four raised beds and a planter in the rear garden and two raised beds in the front garden. I have also room at the bottom of the back garden (which does get the Sun) for another raised bed. 

A strawberry bed has been prepared, next to which is a raspberry bed; these are planted and ready for the growing season. The planter has to be prepared since I have taken out the old soil and will replace it with new. This year I am going to avoid using the bagged 'compost' which has the square root of nothing in it nowadays. Growing with this over the past few years has shown this to be true and these are a waste of money unless you pay for very expensive bags - which I have no intention of doing. Also, the 'topsoil' bought cheaply in these bags is often little less than powdered brick-dust  and building waste, and again this will be avoided. 

The 'compost' and 'top-soil' can be got from any woodland; this woodland soil has far more nutrients because it contains so much recycled leaves and wood. May be a bit acidic due to this but lime can be added if necessary. This is another experiment, but one which should make growing conditions much better. Putting sharp sand into the ground is the best way to treat clay soil, which mine is and which is very heavy unless treated in some way. 

I have made the new raised-beds with 2 1/2 " round stakes, using patio-decking for one and half-round fence pieces for the other two. The stakes go a couple of feet higher so that I can put netting over where necessary. This should make things a lot easier. With just one more to do I should be ready to go in the spring and, hopefully, grow a lot more this year than ever before. 

I used to plant seeds indoors very early before, some times in January-February; but I have found that no matter how early these are planted out in regard to salad crops, there is really only one good crop each year. Last year, to extend this I put seeds into a small container together, rather than in separate 'pugs'. This way They do not grow quite so quick and they can be thinned out and replace those that are used. Also, planting out potatoes and onions early is not always productive since the ground needs to warm up before they grow anyway. I usually do this in early April now which was fine last year. This is in Southern England and northerly areas would have to be later. 

I shall start sowing seeds in early March this year and chitting potatoes at the same time. Last year I sowed onions from seed and with the early good and hot weather these were actually fine by around late August, not so long after the seed-onions in fact. A bit smaller, of course, but they were still fine. 

I will keep you up to date on the progress this year and supply photos of the garden and allotments. 


Thursday, 4 January 2018

Prepping

'Prepping' is the term used in the USA to explain the need to be prepared for any future catastrophic change or indeed any form of change that becomes a problem that needs to be dealt with. Unfortunately this, allied with many forms of 'conspiracy theory', gives vent to fear-mongering which serves the cause of the Dark Forces that control the world today. It also, in some cases, seems to serve the cause of the money-powers that will sell us anything for a quick 'buck'. I have seen so many videos trying to promote this or that which obviously makes for a profit for someone, somewhere. This is the real problem faced at every level; when anyone starts to promote something useful for mankind they are inevitably followed by someone, somewhere, who will distort this, and invariably make a quick profit from doing so. 

There is nothing wrong in 'Prepping', none-the-less; indeed, anyone who does not do so should be considered rather foolish considering the state of the world today. The idea of 'Prepping' is to be ready for anything, for it is better to be prepared (both physically and mentally) than to be 'thrown in at the deep end'. If we are ready, and have the right equipment, then we will always be in a better position to survive whatever comes. This is the reason for preparing oneself, and putting together the right gear for the job.

The first point that I should make is that there is no point in reading this, saying that you will do something, and then doing nothing about it. It is important that we are all ready and so it is important to take some form of action; 'New Year's Resolutions' might be a good thing to mention at this point. Make a note of what you wish to do and get on and do it

I do agree with the need for what our friends 'over the pond' call a 'Bug-out Bag'; this is some form of bag containing essential survival equipment. This can serve many purposes too, since it can be carried in the car with you at all times when driving so that it is there to hand if the equipment is needed. There are times when such equipment would be very useful, even here in England where things are not always as tough as many areas of the world. I remember back in 1981 when I was a truck driver and got caught in a heavy bout of snow in the Hereford area. I was forced to turn back into Hereford after taking the Worcester road and not being able to climb a hill because of the conditions (we are not used to such conditions and very few carry snow-chains, and in any case this was due to drivers not having the experience to move on snow). The police turned me back from another road closed due to a jack-knifed truck and I had to give up and go back into Hereford, where I was stuck for two nights as the weather worsened. I had overnight gear but if I had carried a good deal more stuff it would have been easier; it was perhaps by luck that I could get back to the nearest town, for had I been stuck out in the sticks things would certainly have been far different - and this is the time when we must think of what could have happened in a worse scenario.

I remember another time when my late brother, who was far better off than I have ever been, hit upon a hard time where he was forced into eating soup for his meals because he couldn't afford anything more. I did not know about this, since most of us are far too proud to tell others; had I known I would have obviously helped him out. Had he been prepared and stockpiled some food he would not have been in this situation. In fact, I myself have had times when my food-stocks have been completely run-down due to having to use them in the harder times. No doubt we all get these times, and if not there is always the possibility that something will happen to make preparing necessary. Even if it does not, nothing can ever be lost so long as we show moderation in everything, and do not go overboard.

So the need for a 'Bug-Out Bag' should be seen as essential, as should be the need to stockpile some food for an emergency. But a careful balance should be kept in all this since going too far is not only expensive but also unnecessary. This goes for equipment and food-stocks. In my own opinion the best thing to do is to grow food yourself as much as possible; this, of course, is seasonal, and food production is usually limited to the warmer months, so the worst part of the year (autumn-winter) is the problem here. This is a problem that can be overcome by careful preserving and storing for these times, especially since the cold can be an aid to storage. Knowing how to grow food is a start, and being able to do so, even in an emergency, will certainly help. Tinned food lasts a long time but this is not a healthy alternative, just an emergency. I will now look at these two things - the 'Bug-Out Bag' and the 'Food-stocks' now.

A wise saying is that he who carries least knows most; this is certainly true of survivalism. A good knowledge means that less equipment is carried; this was very true of the old 'pioneers' and 'explorers'. It does ring true, but only up to a point. In any survival situation the first thing needed is shelter, especially in very hot areas, very cold areas, and very wet areas, as well as the added problem of wind-chill in cold and wet areas. The knowledge of how to build a shelter from materials to hand is invaluable, but even more invaluable is to recognise that there are places where minimal shelter is needed since some form of shelter is already there if recognised. Even better if some form of shelter were carried with you to be put up in minutes rather than hours. This can be part of the kit put in a bug-out bag.

I am not going into the full kit needed to carry, which certainly depends upon the individual and the funds needed to put one together. Shelter, fire-lighting equipment, a knife, saw and axe, water-treatment and water-carrier, and some type of emergency blanket are a start. It also helps to carry some form of tea-making equipment and cooking equipment. Don't forget to carry a good first aid kit, which is often overlooked. You can start with the minimum amount and work up, but it is better to consider - from the start - that weight matters a great deal, and also quality. The obvious order to follow is - shelter, fire, water, and then food. This should be considered in what is packed in the bag.

I have packed out a bug-out bag for emergency use, but I also use it for my own personal use in training and practice, as well as for camping and our Folk-Moots. No point in having a bag full of brand new stuff that has never been used, and thus never tried and tested for use. The equipment is then ready for use immediately, and it becomes familiar to use when needed.

As I said, growing for food is the best way to go; it is a start to living 'off-the-grid' which should be our aim in the long term. Food grown can also be stored and preserved, which is a far more healthy way to go about this. I have stockpiled tinned food and packed food, and will still do so, but my own aim is to gradually move to preserving and storing my own home-grown food. Having acquired two small allotment plots this should increase the yearly yield of food in 2018. So now is the time to change direction and start to store and preserve home-grown foodstuffs. When storing food take careful note of 'use by' dates and rotate stocks. It is thus essential to use packaged and tinned food that is for everyday use, this being used and replaced. 

I have started to set up an area where I could feasibly live if anything happened to change things drastically. This can be done by anyone since all that is needed is an out of the way spot with a good deal of privacy - not so hard to find. I have done this before but this time it is on a larger scale, and far more practical.  Such a move would mean leaving 'civilised' life behind to some extent, but the aim is to prepare in advance by doing as much as possible to make things easier if something did happen, thus lessening the initial shock and impact on one's life. Some years ago we set up an area of a local woodland with a tepee-shelter and camping area; this was there for about six years before they bulldozed that particular piece of woodland as part of their 'woodland management'. There is a lessen there too, since had we used an area with younger trees, say a new area of birch-trees, this would not have happened. Pick the spot right and things would be easier.

It is also a good idea to keep some form of survival gear in the car, since this would be the usual means to get away into a more rural area if needed (for those in urban areas). Even if you live in a rural area there may still be a need to get away for some reason, so best be prepared. All that is needed in a car is the bug-out bag, a shovel, and the equipment needed to get the car going in an emergency. Blankets are also a useful carry, and these can be put on the seats to save space. helping keep the seats in better condition too. In an extreme emergency there may be a need to travel along the old 'dirt-tracks' in which case a 4 x 4 off-roader would be essential. 

'Prepping' is merely short for 'preparing' and the old scout motto of 'Be Prepared' is something to take note of and to take up seriously. Someone who is prepared is far better off than someone who is not. But when doing so I find that it is necessary to use the equipment that you have when practicing or when camping, since there are far too many YouTube sites where we see brand new and unused equipment being flaunted - sometimes to promote this for sellers, and not for their usefulness. 

An important point here; there are far too many sites promoting the use of new and expensive gear which may be far beyond the means of most people today. There is no need for expensive equipment since all that is needed at first is -

1. A good knife, preferably with a fire-starter on the sheath.

2. A good axe; here a forest axe or mini-axe can be carried.

3. A good saw.

4. A small camping cooking set.

5. Fire-lighting equipment, i.e. fire-starter, tinder.

6. A small stove - Kelly-Kettle/eKettle/ or a home-made wood-burning stove.

7. Water Bottle.

8. A First Aid Kit.

9. Shelter-building equipment - poncho/basha/tarp and paracord. 

Build up from these things into a Bug-Out Bag; again, it is not necessary to spend hundreds of pounds on equipment which can be bought cheaply second-hand or made as in the case of wood-burners. Spend the most on a good knife, good axe, and good saw - these are worth investing the most in. The above will get you out wild-camping; add a tent if you wish. 

There will be a need to set up some form of semi-permanent shelter which can be used in emergencies. This will not concern us here but I shall be featuring this in a future post. 


Monday, 5 September 2016

Survival Food

Here are some ideas that will certainly help our people who go out and camp, practice bushcraft or survival. These are simple things but putting them down here may help others to save a good deal of time researching -
 
BASIC CAMP-BREAD.
 
The following is a recipe for 'Damper Bread' or 'Bannock Bread' which is nothing more than a very simple bread made with ingredients that can be carried with you and only water need be added when you camp or train. Originally this bread was made as 'unleavened bread' (i.e. plain flour with no rising agent), but today it is usually made with self-raising flour or plain flour with baking powder added. The advantage is that the dried material can be carried in a bag/container and all you need is water and a good cooking-fire. Unlike normal bread this does not use 'Bread Flour' but normal plain or self-raising flour. It rises due to it being self-raising.
 
Ingredients -
 
450 grams (3 cups) self-raising flour/plain flour with baking powder).
 
180 ml (1 small cup) water.
 
1 tsp sugar (caster sugar preferably).
 
1/2 teaspoon salt.
 
(Tip - some of the recipes given for this bread do not state that it needs to be kneaded, but kneading the bread for about 100 turns helps the process greatly. You can, of course, leave out the kneading if this bread is prepared on site.)
 
Cooking - Cooking over an open fire should take around 2/3 to 3/4 the time of that done in a home oven - i.e. around 25 minutes or so.
 
 
 
This is the very basic bread-making mix which can be carried with you in a dry state ready to add water on site. When making this bread at home (and it is delicious!) I have used milk; a tip here is to add 2 tbsp. of powdered milk to the dry mix.
 
STICK-BREAD MAKING -
 
This is a very good way of making bread on an open campfire; the ingredients are the same as above but here I have given a slightly different recipe and method of cooking. Here the dough is placed on sticks which are cooked over the fire.
 
Ingredients -
 
I cup self-raising flour (or plain flour/ 1 tbsp. baking powder).
 
2 tbsp. powdered milk.
 
1 tsp salt.
 
1 tsp sugar.
 
Again, these dry ingredients are mixed before setting out. Either water or vegetable oil can be added to make the dough, water being perhaps the easiest since you will be carrying it anyway.
 
Cooking -
 
  • Gather some sticks suitable for twisting the bread onto.
  • Heat the sticks over the fire but do not scorch them; this heats and sterilises the sticks.
  • Twist the bread around the sticks.
  • Cook the bread-on-sticks over the fire.
 
 
DUTCH OVEN BREAD -
 
This is an alternative if you are camping and have a Dutch Oven. You can cook any types of bread in this.
 
 
BREAD-MAKING FOR CAMPING -
 
The above recipes are the very basic and you can add other ingredients as you wish. The following can be added, useful especially for making this bread at home -
 
  • Egg
  • Butter/lard/margarine
  • Ground pepper
  • Cornmeal
  • Herbs chopped finely
A tip here - as you can see I have used the measurements of certain ingredients as 'cups', 'tsp' (teaspoon) or 'tbsp. (tablespoon) in some of these. What would be a good idea is to measure all of the large ingredients you need in 'cups' using a standard plastic cup (camping-type cup). Doing this we move away from the need for modern scales, which would not be available on site. It would also standardise our measures since we here in England use different measures than the US, Canada, Australia etc.
 
Bread made with plain or self-raising flour tastes a lot different than that made from bread flour. It is both wholesome and filling, and, of course, you can use wholemeal flour if you wish, or make 'unleavened bread' which was the original way to do this. Whatever the case this is a good way to start to make your own bread on site from ingredients easy to carry in your backpack.
 
DRIED FOOD -
 
You can, of course, pay out four to five pounds on specially-prepared dried food for backpacking, but really this is not necessary. Here I am going to put forward some alternatives. Why do we need to carry food anyway? Well, in any emergency survival situation the first steps would be shelter-building, fire-lighting and finding water; food would be less of a priority and would take much more time. But a good meal inside us certainly lifts the spirits a bit, and gives us the energy to get active in what needs doing urgently.
 
When we talk of an 'emergency' for most of us that would be one which would happen to us when we are pretty well prepared, i.e. when we go out on a hike and get problems due to the weather, or break down in the car in a wilderness (not much of that here in England anyway). This means that we would (or rather should) have the necessary stuff with us in our backpack/car. The same situation would occur if we were made homeless or had to leave our home quickly. Again, we would have time to prepare; in saying this it is thus essential to have a 'bug-out bag' ready for such occasions and anyone who has not prepared a rucksack after being told so many times by various people at our Folk-Moots should do so as soon as possible.
 
Anyway, these are some ideas on what to pack into a rucksack in regard to ready-food -
 
  • Pot noodles - if you are leaving these in a bug-out bag leave them in their container, if using them straight away take out and put in a small polythene bag (lessens the weight).
  • 'Mug Shot' (Symingtons) - These come in various types, pasta being a good one to use. They are made in a mug (as the name suggests) adding boiling water and leaving for 5 minutes. Other makes are available.
  • Cup Soup/Cup-a-Soup - These are very easy to make, very light and the new Heinz variety is very good. Again, they are light to carry and here you can take the sealed sachets with you. Shelf-life is anything from 8 - 12 months.
  • Rice - the packets of flavoured rice are handy to pack into a rucksack, taking up very little room too. Some of these now take only 10 minutes rather than the original 20 minutes cooking time, so take half the time to prepare.
 
These make really good snacks and are quick and easy to make; taking a bread-mix with you as well will make this into a small meal for one. This is an ideal way to ensure you have something to eat when out. There are also other things you can take - pasta, rice, noodles etc. What would be a good idea is to stock up with these as an alternative to tinned food, or better still as well as tinned food. Remember, as with tinned food, to rotate stocks on a regular basis, marking when teir dating runs out. 
 
I am not going into the full use of dried food here since that is for another post; these are just a few ideas that can be got cheaply and easily. It should also be remembered that fruit-cake (the type of 'Christmas Cake mix') will last a good 12 months after making. This is another thing you can take along. Also perhaps pack in some home-made biscuits or scones (the Northern Lads might need cream to go with the scones, Veorsson and Vicaxe will put you right on this aspect!).
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Survivalism & The Future

I see no point whatever in us learning the very basics of survival through regular self-learning and self-training if this is as far as it goes. Some of us have done this whilst taking our children out, and thus they too learn the basics, but even this does not really go far enough. The family unit is just the smallest part of our Folk, and we have a duty and a responsibility to help our Folk through these troubled times. If we have built up a knowledge then we should pass this knowledge to others who form part of this struggle.
 
Young people of today are, in the main, ignorant of what to do in any type of emergency that may arise, and this cannot be a good thing. But there are today a growing number of young folk who are more willing, and no doubt able, to learn the arts of camping, outdoor-craft and survivalism. It is to these people we must look to impart our knowledge and to help this knowledge to pass on to future generations.
 
What I would suggest is that anyone who has taken up the task of self-learning and self-training in the basic forms of survival should offer their help and knowledge to young people who are today taking up this struggle for the freedom of our Folk.
 
When we consider the Martial Arts we should be able to note a pattern which emerges -
 
1. When we are younger we use physical strength and power rather than using the mind. This is because we have much more energy and vitality at a younger age.
 
2. As we grow older we have less physical strength and thus turn to the more esoteric side of the Martial Arts - the use of the mind and the progression of the spirit.
 
3. But when we are young we lack knowledge which is only gained through the wisdom of age, through the experience of the passing years. So in later life we have (or should have) knowledge and wisdom and it is this that we then must pass on to the next generation. We thus begin to teach.
 
There is very little point in taking years of our time to learn and amass such knowledge without it being put to good use. To put this to good use we must teach others what we have learned. Now, this is already being done on YouTube where there are numerous sites of interest to survivalists. But there can be nothing better than hands-on experience, and in teaching through this method the young people have an incentive to get out and get involved - rather than just looking at a video at home. It is very often the case that we need a push to get us started on something, and actually getting out on a camping trip could well fit the bill.
 
The idea of using a weekend of camping is ideal to start with, since it means being able to 'chill-out' a little in the first stage. This then would progress to the more serious side of learning through making things harder and 'rougher', progressing from a tent to a bivvy bag and tarp etc., and also learning the basics of how to build shelters from just the material available in the area. Star off slowly and progress to harder tasks. We can all now start to think about doing this and offering our services to other individuals and groups.
 


Shelter & Fire

The two main tasks undertaken in a survival situation, or indeed in any camping situation, are the building of a shelter and then a fire. This is especially true here in England where the weather can be wet at any time of the year, and in winter getting wet means the body gets colder and hyperthermia can easily set in. Not only are these physical points important, for a shelter and a good fire lift the spirits and give a boost in confidence at the start - and also take the mind away from one's predicament.
 

A simple shelter -

 


The simplest and quickest shelter is the lean-to; here I used a small tarp draped over a length of paracord tied between two trees. Notice how tarp clips are used to secure the tarp to the cordage. I have seen videos on YouTube where loops are made through the eyelets and pieces of wood pushed through the loops, an excellent way to do this when tarp-clips are not available. But I carry them in the kit so that I am ready to put it up without making pieces of wood up - and also sometimes carry tent-pegs to peg the back down, but again pieces of wood can be made up. (Of course, before going out on a training trip you could make pieces of wood up for the eyelets and pegging-down, and these could be carried at every trip. In doing so it would be advantageous to use linseed oil on them all to make them waterproof so that they last a longer time.)
 
The advantage of a lean-to type is that it can be put up very quickly when it first starts to rain, thus keeping you and your kit dry. Overnight sleeping is alright, but the front may need to be lowered a little to keep the rain out. But it is not an ideal way to sleep in cold weather, though a long fire would keep you warm. I have done this many times in the cold of winter and got through, but things do get cold, and in windy conditions the winds change directions.
 
 


This A-Frame shelter is much better since it gives protection on three sides, and stacking the bags against the front would make it even more weather-proof. Of course, and easier way to make it would be to use a single stick at the front, or better still a walking-pole if carried with you (which itself is a good idea since these are adjustable and very handy for many uses). For a one-man shelter this is ideal and very quick to put up when using a walking pole or single pole. Remember that when using a single pole wrap something around the top end so that it does not rip the basha/tarp.
 
The above shelter was made using a basha but a larger tarp could be used to make it a bit bigger. As you can see two small children fitted into this one, and one small adult would fit in easily. There are many other ways of setting up a tarp and we shall feature more ways in this blog.
 

Fire-Lighting -

I have featured fire-lighting in early blogs so I will not go into full details here. The important thing to remember is to ensure that you have the following, which should be stored ready for use or collected when the weather is dry -
 
  • A supply of tinder. What I carry with me is cotton-wool or a Tampax which easily lights. The cotton-wool can be soaked in Vaseline or candle-wax; this makes it light even easier, and keeps the moist out. Collect small slithers of birch-bark when it is dry and keep them with you in your kit.
  • A few pieces of dry small kindling can be carried in your kit, or you can collect these when the weather is dry for use in the wet.
  • Collect pine-resin and larger pieces of birch-bark which light even when wet.
  • It is a good idea to ensure that the tin containing your tinder is held tight using a few pieces of rubber cut from an old bicycle tyre; these would light with a lighter/matches even when wet, and burn in the wet. (Small points like this are important, since you carry little more weight and have more chance of lighting a fire in the wet.)
Last weekend I took the dog for a walk into our local woodlands; when we set out it was warm, fine and sunny. I took the car because we were going over to the far side of the woods for a change, which was a lot greater distance than using our normal route. When we got there it started to rain; luckily I had a rain-coat but I still got very wet around the legs and feet.
 
For once I did not take any shelter-building kit, only the mKettle and some dried food and coffee. The rain stopped after about 30 minutes but not before I was quite wet, so I decided to light a fire and dry out. This time of year is not cold but it does help to be dry. With the fire-lighting kit that I carried it was quite easy to get a fire going and dry out pretty quickly. In such a situation it is good to make a quick cup of coffee to warm up with. But I will think next time about taking the shelter-building kit too - it would have come in handy even when taking the dog for a long walk.
 
Putting up a quick lean-to shelter takes less than five minutes and can be the difference between getting wet and keeping totally dry - and keeping your kit dry too. I now use a small green tarp which is strapped to the Snugpack Response Pack for instant use. Also carried is an old ground-sheet which fitted the front section of an old tent I had to throw away years ago - keeping it came in handy.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 



Survival Bags

 
 
This Snugpack Response Pack contains the following items -
 
  • A small Gransford-Bruks Axe.
  • A Bahco folding saw.
  • A survival knife with steel-striker.
  • A small ground-sheet.
  • Paracord and tarp fasteners.
  • A basic fire-lighting kit.
  • A basha (strapped to the outside).
  • A small torch (fastened to outside).
  • A survival blanket.
This kit all fits into the pack easily, with the basha strapped to the outside. To complement this I sometimes use another 'bum-bag' which contains the following -
 
  • An mKettle.
  • A small water-bottle.
  • some 3-in-1 coffee sachets.
  • Dried meals.
  • A fork-spoon.
  • 2 plastic cups.
The two bags can be carried over the shoulders, crossing over each other, which is quite comfortable and not heavy.
 
 
 
 
The survival knife has a steel-striker and a sharpener attached to the sheaf, which makes it a very useful and handy tool to carry. This has seen many years of wear without any problems and keeps very sharp. It is Swedish made.
 
 


The above is a Japanese made mini-saw, but I usually carry a Barco folding saw which is larger and cuts larger logs. The Bahco has given years of use and as yet has not even had to have the blade renewed. I have also used these Bahco folding saws for many years on gardening tasks.

To be quite honest this small kit is quite sufficient for training purposes; the twin-bags are easy to carry and with each one containing different things - one contains shelter/fire, the other contains food/drink/cooking - it is easy to get to what you need.
 


 
This is the mKettle which heats up quickly when used with wood fuel, and slightly less quick when using a methylated-spirit burner (and slower with the latter in the cold of winter). It was new when this photo was taken some years ago, and today it is still going strong, though it does suffer from a typical fault (like the Kelly Kettle) of the aluminium base distorting slightly after a few years of heat using wood fuel. This, however, does not distract from its purpose and it still works fine.
 
 
 
 
This is the Storm-Kettle or Kelly-Kettle which is slightly larger and does not have the cover which makes it easy to lift up. Again, this one was new when the photo was taken, but after many years of use it is still going strong. I have a larger one for our Folk-Camps.
 
 
 
 
 
This is the mini-axe from Gransford-Bruks which fits perfectly into the small pack. It is now some years old and has kept its edge well through sharpening and keeping clean. Although very small it is heavy enough to tackle many of the jobs needed in survivalism. I have the larger hatchet too which is used at Folk-Camps.
 
This is not a 'survival kit' in the sense of a small kit carried at all times; it is a kit suited to weekly training in a local woodland area. The idea is to do the basic survival training as a weekly practice - 'practice makes perfect'. This then becomes automatic and the work can be done without thinking about it. The advantage is that once the basic shelter-building and fire-lighting can be done automatically the basics are done with and other important tasks can then be undertaken.

 
 



Sunday, 1 May 2016

Life Reform - Part Seven

My good friend and Folk-Comrade WyrdWalker asked about a bread recipe so I thought that doing another post would be a chance to put this in. What I do is to use the most simple method to make bread from the following ingredients -

500g/1lb Flour.

1 1/2 teaspoons salt.

1 teaspoon sugar.

1 teaspoon dried yeast.

Measure the flour into a mixing bowl and add the other dry ingredients, mix together thoroughly.

Add 15 ml (2 tablespoons) vegetable oil or olive oil, and mix together as before.

Add 300ml/1/2 pint warm water (2 parts cold to one part warm), and mix together in the bowl into a soft dough. 

Knead the dough by hand for 10 minutes.

Put the dough into a small bread-tin. Cover with greaseproof paper and leave for 30-45 minutes in a warm place to rise.

Preheat oven to 230 degrees C. Bake loaf for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 200 degrees C and bake for another 15-20 minutes. It is ready when removed from the tin and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. 

This recipe is ideal since it is so simple and can be used to make all kinds of bread. I have used it to make wholemeal bread, Wessex Cobber (which is made with various seeds) and Malt Loaf. The Wessex Cobber and Malt Loaf are made from flour already mixed - the bread is from farms in Wessex. White flour can, of course, be used. 

You can also make bread using herbs, seeds or garlic, and the only limit is your own imagination. The above recipe would do for any type of bread and the ingredients can be changed to suit your own use. One tip, however, the Malt Bread dough is very, very sticky and this need only be mixed together not having to knead for so long - a couple of tablespoons of golden syrup adds taste to this too. 

In the summer I am going to try to get hold of some local flour since Sussex has a number of windmills, some of which are still used to produce bread for 'tourism' (would it not be good to see them used for locals). We have two windmills and one watermill within a radius of five miles, one windmill and the watermill still producing flour on days of the year. 

I do the bread-making by hand but a machine would no doubt be easier; kneading the bread for 10 minutes is in fact good arm-exercise! Whatever the case using this recipe makes it easy to do and to remember. The exact measurements are less important than the 'feel' of the dough. Being new to this I have baked all our bread and only once did it go wrong (when I forgot it was in the oven and it came out black - at least I'm not 'prejudiced'). 


The project is going well still and the only problem that I have faced is getting supplies of Raw Milk because the local farm-shop does not always have a stock. So far I have avoided getting it delivered because it is dearer, but I do feel that in the end I will have to go this way. I have to pass the farm-shop three days a week to take my daughter to college, but when she finishes in June this will not be so. 

I have changed my garden to try to get earlier crops of salad-veg; our front garden is south-facing so I have put in two raised beds, one with salad-veg and the other with strawberries. The salad-veg is coming along much earlier even with the colder weather we have been having. The raised bed for this was made up as follows -

  • It is around 4ft x 4ft which is small but easily manageable, and the problem with salad-veg is that it all comes through at once so a lot is not needed at one time. It is around 18 inches tall.
  • The bottom was filled with rotting logs, small branches and evergreen cuttings. These will break down slowly and give nutrients.
  • A layer of grass-cuttings was added to this - this warms the whole thing up.
  • Compost, soil and manure was then added to make the top layer which is grown on. 
The raised bed was indeed warmer due to the south-facing aspect and no doubt also to the grass-cuttings which warm up. This has forced the growing ahead of its time. Also, I cut two pieces of plastic roofing sheets to go over the top at night, which keeps the warmth in. 

The rest of the garden is made easier since I grow potatoes and onions in a good part of it - these never are a problem. We also grow tomatoes, spring onions, chives, squash, courgettes, cucumbers, radish, peas, runner beans, beetroot, turnip etc. We have four apple trees, a plum tree, two pear trees, a cherry tree and fruit bushes (raspberry, redcurrant, blackcurrant, gooseberry) . Also a grape vine and thorn-less blackberry bushes scattered around. 

Apart from last year with the back-leg problem I have made our own jam from collecting local blackberries and wild plums, and I hope to do the same this year. Without using any preservatives these lasted for 6 - 8 months. If we have a good crop of currants I shall use this to make jam a bit earlier than blackberries.

When doing hikes across the South Downs we came to find where wild strawberries and gooseberries grow, as well as wild plums (damsons). One of the things that would be of advantage is to keep an eye open around us as to where we can find food growing wild. There is an area further north in East Sussex where at least twelve apple trees grown beside the main road. We don't usually have problems with apples as some I grow, and also have a friend who has a large apple tree and does not use them so we get a stock each year and freeze them. 

The mentality of the broad masses is rather strange in this respect, since most would rather use supermarket fruit to stuff grown themselves - even when it is there free-of-charge and fresher by far. When we grow the stuff ourselves we are used to the blemishes and see the 'inner' side of things - the goodness and freshness. I think this is the real problem, since most people only look to the outside appearance of everything, and overlook the 'inner' side. This has caused great problems really, in many ways. Take for instance the washing of foodstuffs such as root vegetables; when they are washed they decay quickly. 'Consumers' would rather have the appearance of clean unblemished food than have good quality, fresh, nutritional food that lasts longer. Of course, the supermarkets will not argue with this since the stuff goes off quickly and they can sell more! 

This brings up another point - preserving and storing. Vegetables can be stored easily over the winter months, and this is something that needs learning. Fruit and vegetables can be preserved into jams, chutney etc. Fruit and vegetables can also be frozen, and some (like peas) do not lose any of their goodness in doing so. Some can also be dried and this is another way to store food. 

One of the aims of this project is also to grow and forage for food which can be stored up for later use. I have in the past encouraged the stockpiling of food for emergency use, and doing so would certainly be an advantage over others. But I have noticed over the past 10 years or so that the 'use by' dating on tinned food has gone drastically down. It used to be a fact that tinned food lasted decades, but I am not so sure nowadays. Rather than a 'use by' date of some 6 years, we are now down to around 3 on many items, and I am not sure as to why this is. Also, the long-life does not apply to tins that are milk-based which go off very quickly. My aim is to shift the emphasis from too much stockpiling of tins to the storage of home-grown food or food foraged from the wild - which means replenishing the stocks each year. I still stock about 3 weeks supply of food for an emergency but will try to add my own to this. 

I believe that the main point in stockpiling is to have a small stock that would help in an emergency; this could be used whilst food is then found, much harder in the winter months, of course. A problem that I did find with stockpiling was that the foodstuffs had to be restocked as the sell-by date went well past, and thus tinned food had to be eaten for some time. I wanted to avoid this since fresh food is far better, so I have now turned to the alternative of growing and foraging for food and preserving, drying or freezing it. 

There is also an old saying - 'Don't put all your eggs in one basket'. I have mentioned tins (which keep well), preserving (which lasts for maybe months), drying (which lasts longer) or freezing (which lasts months but needs a supply of electricity or gas). Using a mixture of methods would seem to be the best approach. Whatever the case preserving and storing is a must for the future. 

By growing and foraging, hunting and fishing, we get back into the rhythm of the seasons; foodstuffs found in the supermarkets today are shipped all over the world, disregarding seasonal growing in one area. Getting back to basics we would eat food that is in season, and food stored for the colder and wetter months. Ours is a Nature-Religion too.


Friday, 1 April 2016

Life Reform - Part Six

The task that I set myself was to change the way that we shop by trying to cut down on using the supermarkets by using local suppliers. This I have done to a great extent, using local suppliers for -
 
  • Meat - we have used farm-shops in this area, and local butchers too; these have proved to supply far better produce than the supermarkets. The difference in taste can be noticed straight away, and also when cooking the pans are not filled with water which has been used to make the meat pieces look bigger - a typical supermarket trick.
  • Bread - I have stuck to making my own bread since starting this; I make it by hand which may seem strange nowadays since most would use a bread-maker. But I feel that ten minutes of exercise cannot be bad for us, and I have no intention of taking the easy way out which is the modern option. Bread has been no problem at all.
  • Fish - We have used fish-suppliers from Hastings and this has been excellent stuff. The use of a freezer is necessary, of course, as it is with meat supplies.
  • Vegetables - I have used both local fruit and veg shops, farm shops, and some supermarket stuff. Since this is a seasonal product it is difficult to see which is the best value and better produce in keeping. The coming months will give more idea of what to do here.
  • Milk - This has been the one downfall, though I have managed to keep away from the £1.00 for four pint supermarket stuff which is obviously more water-based than milk-based. But raw milk is very hard to get and supplies are not regular; I have, as yet, not tried having it delivered due to the much higher costs, but in the end this may be the only option. There are local suppliers of pasteurised milk and this is certainly better than the normal stuff, but the taste comes nowhere near to the Raw Jersey Milk. This one has proven the only problem and I have to get over it somehow.
We have been able to afford using local suppliers by cutting down in certain areas; we get less snacks to use, and I have cut out alcohol (apart from my birthday recently when my eldest son bought me a bottle of whisky - no point in wasting it!). But seriously I have had sparkling water instead and this has worked out well. I think the lesson here is to use will-power to change what we eat/drink and to make a move towards healthier and more wholesome food. It was a personal choice to cut out alcohol, restricting it to moots and special occasions, for I see nothing wrong with having a drink. It always makes me a bit angry when people try to stop others from smoking or drinking since I feel that is up to the individual. The National Health Service have an obsession with it.
 
In regard to the other side of this work, the Edel-Project, I am well ahead of time at the moment, have put lots of seeds in and got very good results. Using organic seeds from Tamar Organics the germination seems to be fantastic, especially compared with some other stuff I have used in the past. Also, Hamasson was good enough to give me some seeds he collected himself; these were from another supplier so it will be interesting to see how they go (though I cannot compare them as I put his outside in the open and mine indoors to start). We shall see how these fare.
 
I also got hold of a copper-trowel (bronze actually) which was rather expensive; these are said to deter slugs since they do not like copper because it conducts electricity. Just to be certain I have used egg-shells around the seedlings, since every year we have had slug-problems with young seedlings. The copper trowel was first thought of by Victor Schauberger, a German forester and inventor, and we shall see if it is true that copper deters slugs. (Failing that I suppose it could be used to hit them with!).
 
So far the Life Reform program has gone fine and to plan, and there seems no reason to dwell upon this too much now. I will leave this for a while until such time as something new develops. Thank you for taking notice of what I have said and I hope this helps others to make changes to their lives. Doing this helps to break free of the Global Monopoly of the supermarkets.