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 -
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.
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.
This is an alternative if you are camping and have a Dutch Oven. You can cook any types of bread in this.
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.
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.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Life Reform - Part Five

I was not going to publish another section to this for another couple of weeks or so but in consideration of the progress being made I will comment on certain aspects of this work. This is in the hope that it will help others to make the decision to alter their own life-style and more importantly to become free of The System in some small but significant way.

After five weeks now it has become clear that this change is not going to be as expensive as it first looks. Since the change is to food that is sometimes double the price it may seem that this could not be achieved easily, especially as I am on a pension. But so far, through cutting out a lot of the stuff that we 'snack on' this does not seem to be the case. (We only 'snack' because the food that we eat does not fill us up, because the supermarket stuff does not have the goodness to do so.) This seems the best way to go about it, get what you need and leave out what you don't need. 

It also became noticeable when using the supermarket that it was so hard, and needed a lot of will-power, not to pick out things that were not really needed. This is because supermarkets are designed to have a varied choice and stacks of food on the shelves; this is to attract consumers into buying more and more goods. I must admit that it did surprise me as to how easy it used to be to pick up a lot of stuff that was not wanted. Consumerism is backed by all sorts of psychologists, psychoanalysts and other 'psycho's' that are paid to sell the goods to the consumer. Decades ago these sales were done mainly as a service to the public, but the large stores and supermarkets changed this from buying what you actually want to selling you what they want you to buy. On one level this is also yet another means to control people's minds!

Buying from the smaller stores is not always straightforward since some of them are out of the way, so you need to get the stuff while you are there, and ensure that you have got everything you need. But during the last five weeks it has been the case that I have only once had to go out of the way especially to get something, and that was because I refused to use the local Tesco Express to get eggs. But at the same time I got some other stuff we need for the coming week so I do not have to go there again; there is another farm shop which is on the way when I take my daughter to college, which I use during the week. 

Another hurdle to overcome is the attitude that everything has to be done here and now, and that something cannot wait. This, unfortunately, is the core of today's society, where people cannot wait and have to do something on the spur of the moment, even if it means in some way making things awkward or creating a problem. The way to overcome this is through forward-thinking and stocking up well in advance; this will not overcome everything but it will help to lessen the problems. 

Taking this up also means budgeting which is something that today a lot of people do not do. There is a need to put a lot of time into this, through carefully checking what is bought, how much, and how much one has to spend on food in the first place. Not only is this needed in order to ensure that there is enough money to buy the food in the first place, but also using a form of 'book-keeping' it is easy to find areas where you can save even more. What we are looking for is to buy only that which is needed. There was an old saying (*) that went - 'Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.' This is indeed, like most old sayings, true wisdom, since it is the way to save money which can be released for other things. 

Perhaps the greatest problem today is the 'Welfare State' which was started in order to help those in real need, but which has not only been abused since it first came in, but today is the reason why millions of 'refugees' can flood into our lands and get free handouts to live on. But aside from this there is another, maybe more sinister, side to the 'Welfare State'. In my father's time and my grandfather's time the man went out to work whilst his wife had the role of bringing up the children. The wife usually went to work part time when the kids were at school, thus bringing in a little more cash into the home. But today many homes have both parents out to work, using the State System to put their kids into school at an earlier and earlier age - thus allowing the state to own the children from the very early years. This may allow a little more luxuries into the home, but more often than not these are bought through credit. Thus making many households in debt to the money-lenders. 

It was also the case that up until recently benefits were paid for people out of work, but not needed for people who were working. This changed over the past few decades (**) with low wages being paid by employers, and workers having to claim 'Tax Credits' to top up their low wages. This, of course, made these people (which are more likely a majority number) reliant upon the State System again. Then there is 'Housing Benefit' and 'Council Tax Benefit' which are local-government handouts needed by those on low wages. Now we can see why the British State is not bothered about unemployment, nor about the low wages paid out by employers, because whilst the majority of people have to claim State Benefits the State controls their money! The State also, to an extent, controls your pension when you retire, even though the pension you get is dependent upon what you have paid in throughout your life - i.e. this pension is really your own money you are getting back. This is how far these powerful interests are controlling our lives!

What we need to do is to take the chance now to become more and more self-reliant and as self-sufficient as possible. This can be done by growing our own foodstuffs and by getting our own food from hunting, fishing and 'road-kill' etc. This must be the long-term aim. But it cannot be achieved overnight and we need to work slowly towards that end. I have grown my own foodstuffs for years, but not to such an extent as to be able to say that I am really that much more self-sufficient. The aim now is to change all that. This year I have already started to get ready for the growing season and have sown some seeds around the middle of February. Using Heritage Seeds means that these will be used to produce seeds for next year, and this should continue into the future. This should be our aim at this point.

The point about seeds is that most seeds today are F1 Hybrid and thus will not readily produce seeds for the next sowing, meaning you have to buy in seeds again for the next year - from the seed-merchants. All of the large seed-merchants produce such F1 Hybrids deliberately so as to gain a monopoly of seed-selling and to sell the public seeds year after year. By using Heritage Seeds this cycle can be broken, these seeds can then be assured a future, and in the end no cost will be used in growing our own food - food for free! This is the next stage of this project. 

The next stage will be to extend the growing season to as long as possible whilst not going against Nature which is something we need to avoid. This does mean growing under glass or polythene, and this is the next step that I shall take. I already do some of this but will later this year start to expand this greatly. There are also other ways to grow outside of the usual seasons and we shall also look at this in a future post. 

(*) These Old Sayings and Old Proverbs were once held to be the fount of wisdom but sadly today the 'know-alls' that come to the fore have discarded them in favour of new 'wisdom' which, of course, is rather questionable since wisdom is built up over centuries or thousands of years and does not spring up instantly. 

(**) In fact this change has happened in my own lifetime. When I was first married and had children in Leicester I had to go out to work whilst my wife looked after the children. At that time I was not in a well-paid job, indeed we had to work many hours to get a living wage. Nevertheless, this wage paid all of the bills even though it meant being without 'luxuries', and we could easily live this way without any form of state-handout at all. Today people want more 'luxuries' but what we should look at is not the 'luxuries' but our needs. Then we can get back to a simpler way of life which will be naturally freer, since it means less reliance upon the State. 

I would recommend that you check out Thule Perspective (YouTube) which is the work of Vargs Vikernes. On this site he has a lot to say about individual freedom and about a simpler living. I have only just recently looked at this (over the past couple of days) and it has been an incentive for new ideas on the 'Life Reform' project. This YouTube Channel and one by Varg's wife are really excellent for studying our Folkish Religion too, since they both have a wealth of new ideas on Norse Mythology. 

Monday, 15 February 2016

Life Reform - Part Four

This is the fourth week of this experiment which has been kept up as planned; all that we have bought from the supermarkets is non-food stuff, some fruit, some vegetables and sparkling water. This adds to around 10% of the shopping bill so far which is well within our target. We have bought the following foodstuffs from Farm Shops within the local area or at Farm Shops we would pass normally -

Meat - all of the meat has been bought from local Farm Shops or Butchers selling local meat; the quality we have found to be far superior, far less water than the supermarket meat and we know that it is neither kosher or halal meat (slaughtered in an inhumane way). Such things as sausages are far better and all that we do is cut the number we eat down; since the sausages are much bigger this cut-down is not quite as much as it first seems. 

Bread - I now make my own bread which has been from either wholemeal flour or 'Wessex Cobber Bread Flour' (with wheat grains); this makes three small loaves for £3.20, around £1.07 per loaf. They are a lot smaller than the supermarket bread but since they are not all air they are much more filling and thus less is needed. 

Milk - We have had to use different types of milk for the last couple of weeks due to the Farm Shop supplier closing its normal shop and having only a temporary shelter for this time. Supplies of Raw Milk were not on the shelf for this time, but have been renewed now. They supply Raw Jersey Milk which is really creamy and no doubt better for not having the good bacteria killed off by pasteurising. However, we had to go for Pasteurised Whole Milk from a Sussex Dairy which was better than the supermarket stuff, and also 'Delamere Dairy' sterilised semi-skimmed milk bought from the local One Stop (owned by Tesco's). This was creamy and comes in a glass bottle, does not have to be refrigerated until opened, and has a shelf-life of around 4 months.

There was one thing that struck me straight away with these different types of milk. The Raw Milk comes with a 'health warning' because it is not treated and thus may contain harmful bacteria; yes, maybe decades ago this was the case but today's farms have much more stringent checks. And the good bacteria are not killed off as well as the bad. The Delamere Dairy Milk calls it 'Cow's Milk' and the Sussex Dairy's Milk states - 'Proper milk please shake'. 'Proper Milk'! - So what exactly are we getting from the supermarkets? Well it certainly does not need shaking since it has no cream, so we can assume it is mostly watered down. 

I have also cut alcohol out as much as possible, maybe just having the Mead at our Folk-Moots. I have not had any since starting this Life Reform Program and have kept to this and will continue to do so. We still use some processed foods and we shall still stockpile some tinned food, though this will be lessened as we get further into the program. As I said, we cannot cut out the supermarket altogether, but we can find as many outlets as possible for our foodstuffs, and maybe later other goods. 

There is another side to this, and that is the use of will-power to achieve these goals; this takes a good deal of will-power to take the harder way since sometimes it means going out of the way to get stuff. I have also started some fitness training again, taking it steady from the start after my back injury; also now getting back to Martial Arts Training too. The Survival Training will then start again soon and I shall be upping this part of it again over the next few months. I hope to get back into the Ar-Kan Rune-Lag program again during the spring-summer and using videos and slide-shows to show what this is all about. This all takes time.

I have always kept a level of fitness but never gone over the top with this; being retired I feel the need to keep fit and active so that I can face future problems much easier. This is something that everyone, young and old, should consider - especially when being part of this great struggle. If more and more people take up this type of program the small English Farm Shops and Butchers will survive into the future, and then England will have a future.

I have started preparing for the growing season now, even though there is so much to do that I doubt if this year will be as good as I had planned. The need for so many changes will make this difficult, and it has to be taken alongside the other things that I need to do. But we shall get there in the end, and I already feel far better for the changes, so this cannot be a bad thing.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Life-Reform - Part Three

'In the modern world, during the last hundred years or so, there has been an enormous and historically unique shift away from self-reliance and towards organisation. As a result people are becoming less self-reliant and more dependent than has ever been seen in history. They may claim to be more highly educated than any generation before them; but the fact remains that they cannot really do anything for themselves.'

Dr. E.F. Schumacher CBE.

The reason why people today feel that they are more 'highly educated' is because they believe they are getting a better education; the reality of this is that when education teaches the child and the youth how to think and not what to think they really will have a better education - and they will again be able to do things for themselves. But the State System in place today wants the people not to think but to be reliant upon the state in everything they do. For this post we need only to look at the idea of becoming more self-reliant and less reliant on big-business (Global Businesses) or the State System. 

The heading 'Life-Reform' seems to suit what this post is about since it would take a very long time, and a good deal more active people involved to 'Beat the System'. In truth we need to look at the small things that we can all do to change ourselves and reform our lives and the lives of our families as well. Far too many people 'preach' to others whilst not doing it themselves, which is self-defeating. It is time for all of us to look to ourselves and what we are really doing to stop the slide into thralldom - and how we ourselves are to some extent slipping into that state even if we do not know it, or rather we are unwilling to accept that we are. 

This is the second week of my 'Life-Reform' undertaking, and I will now share with you what has been done to change from the buying of food from the supermarkets (Global Business) to buying from local output -

Farm-Shops - I have found two local Farm-Shops now and bought meat, vegetables, milk and other food-stuffs from them -

  • Milk - We have switched to Raw Milk which has not been pasteurised, despite the 'food warnings' they put on this milk, no doubt to keep the supermarket monopoly on dairy produce. The milk is far superior and has cream in it, which makes it taste far better, and also hints that it is not just made of watered down milk. Maybe around 40 years ago milk produced this way could have had problems due to the methods used (though we have had it this way for thousands of years) but with today's means this is not so, and thorough tests are always carried out. This milk, if going sour, can still be used for cooking, unlike the supermarket one which goes off and cannot be used again. This costs more but through the local Farm Shop is cheaper than the stuff delivered - though this may still be an option. (The farm produces Raw Milk from Jersey Cows which seems to be the best milk-producing cow.)
  • Meat - The Farm-Shop meat is again far superior and one thing that can be seen straight away is that when frying the pan is not full of water. The stuff produced by Big-Business is blow up with water! The taste is also better and the meat does not get smaller in size as the water is boiled out. Again, dearer but much better taste and fresher - and you know what meat is in it, and that it is not Halal or Kosher killed. 
  • Bread - Again we have stopped getting the supermarket stuff but switched to nearby stockists. I have even bought bread-flour and made a couple of loaves myself again - something not done for some years now. 
  • Vegetables - some stuff has been bought from the nearby Farm-Shops and some from the supermarket. It would seem obvious at this time of the year that nearby-grown stocks would not be available.
  • Growing for Eating - The seeds, sent to the wrong address, have got here and the people that supplied it apologised and tried to make things right so I will no doubt use them again. These are 'heritage' type seeds that can be used to gather the seeds again for the next year, rather than the 'F1 Hybrid' type that will not produce plants of the same type. On the same lines I have bought a 'Copper Trowel' as put forward by Viktor Schauberger, the idea being that copper (Bronze in this case) conducts electricity and thus may deter slugs - something that we shall no doubt find out when trying this out. I will let you know at the end of the growing season if this has done the trick (they are very expensive so trying them out and telling others would be the best way to go about this). 
We have not stopped buying from the supermarket, which we now use for some fruit and vegetables, and household goods which are cheaper, but the outlay to the supermarket is well under half of that spent at nearby outlets. And this week was one in which the main household goods were stocked up again. Another move was to use a nearby 'Garden Centre' which was a free-born nursery which has survived the onslaught of the 'Garden Centre' chains that put most of these out of work. Again, supporting nearby stockists - saving fuel too. 

It is only though habit that we tend to use the bigger stockists, and nearby ones can save sometimes due to being nearer and able to get to them without a car. For those in villages that do not have shops this is not so, but what is needed is to get as much as you can at the same time. 

Looking ahead to the future I am looking at means to produce power 'off-grid' so that this can also be a means towards self-reliance. Wind-Power and Solar-Power are two of the main means to do so. Here the idea is to move towards another way of making power outside the 'Grid-System' the the State, a way to have a back-up system if needed. This could surely become cheaper in some way but this is not the only reason. 

The next stage is to grow fruit and vegetables as usual, but to change the way this is done to make it better and get better harvests. The lengthening of the growing-time is another thing that needs to be looked at, so that longer growing times lengthen the yearly harvest. For some years now I have used raised beds and their use will be widened this year. 

The greatest steps forward in self-reliance is today done by the 'left-wing' who seem to be able to work towards this aim better. The drawback is that these people are stuck in the 'World Order' and most often ridden with self-hate and thus tend to help outsiders rather than their own kind - even when they say they are based on regionalism. This has got to change and the 'right-wing' need to get into the real task of working towards this end themselves. In fact it was the Volkish Movement in Germany and around Europe that first brought into being these ideas and acted upon them through their work - some parts were 'left-wing' and others 'right-wing' - we need to fuse the two under a new Race-Consciousness. 

'Ideas' kindle new deeds, but they only 'kindle' these deeds, and unless ideas are turned into deeds they will come to nothing. And I see this as the great hurdle today, for far too many of our people bring forth 'ideas' but never act upon them and bring them into being - as they need to be. Without the actual work we shall never get any further than the 'idea' or the written word. The written word is only as mighty as the deed that comes from it! Thought comes before the deed - but both are needed to cause change. 

It is very hard to change oneself, simply because people tend to take the easy way out in all things. But we are not 'people', and as Wolves Amongst The Sheep' we have to break free of the sheep-mind, and that means becoming less fixed to the State-System and live a life of more freedom. And this can only be done through a new strength of will that will overcome the life we lead now. This will mean working towards a new way of life, and leading others towards the same ends.

In doing this I am helping my own family, but I have always been urged on by the rekindling of our Folk, and thus the main aim is to lead our Folk by our own work-output, our own ideas brought into being by our work. This is not just a 'family' thing, though the family is the basis of our work, for it goes beyond family to the Folk-Nation and the Folk. If we keep this to ourselves we cannot ask others to do what we do - our work needs to be put out to others so that they may follow what we do. At a family level we can do the work but it has to be a trial and error task that helps our Folk as a whole. 

The so-called 'left-wing' seem to be able to work as a community, even though in reality this is not a 'community' which, by the way it is marked out, has to be based on Blood Kinship. Where it is based on Blood Kinship this is not done in real terms but by error on the part of those who act together as one. To be a true Folk-Community it has to be those bound by Blood and Earth. We ourselves can build a true Folk-Community.

Added February 1st 2016 -

After making a loaf of bread again this is surely the way to make it possible to keep a supply in hand. It is many years since I have done this and doing so takes very little time and is well worth while. The taste is far better than the bread bought from the supermarket - it is far more than fresh air! It cuts better, keeps better and has a far better taste. All that is needed is a supply of wholemeal flour and dried yeast - which can be kept in supply for times when we go short. 

On the subject of taste, in our 'progressive society' we are in danger of losing all sense of taste; this is because we have been programmed to use the mass-produced stuff sold by the supermarkets, goods which are tasteless in many cases. An example was given on the Channel 4 TV Series - 'River Cottage Forever' by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. On one program he tested local people on their taste of factory-farmed chicken and free-range chicken, both cooked in the same way. The free-range chicken won on taste, but only by two votes. This was because the people involved had been so used to factory-farmed, mass-produced stuff, that they could not taste the difference - which there clearly is. This is a saddening thing since it means that the mass of people have lost any sense of taste and will accept poor-quality goods rather than get the best they can eat. 

We bought a supply of fish in Hastings which still has fishermen working, though on a very small scale now as compared to past decades. Fish is dear in any case but this move is worthwhile. In future we shall look at another way to get fish, but for now we have to buy in. 

This part will most likely fulfil the needs of these posts for a while so I will renew them when further work has been done, and real progress has been made.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Life-reform - Part Two

The 'Beat the System' series has now changed its name to 'Life-Reform' which seems more suited to our needs and our work. It seems more in keeping with what we hope to achieve which is to be more self-reliant and self-sufficient. 

Week One - 

  • We have sourced some local Farm Shops and started to buy from these rather than the supermarkets - meat, vegetables, pies and bread at the moment.
  • Milk - We have switched to Raw Milk rather than pasteurised milk, the latter having most of the goodness taken out of it. It is important in this respect to go to a good supplier with healthy livestock. The difference between this and the supermarket milk is vast - this actually has cream on it. And remember, even if Raw Milk goes sour you can still use it in cooking, something that cannot be done with pasteurised milk. Raw Milk can also be frozen (in plastic bottles). Note: the warnings on the bottles have to be put there by law, and they have to do so because the supermarkets do not like competition to their monopoly.
  • Bread - The bread was a good deal more expensive, but to offset this I bought some that had been frozen and was sold at half the price. I have now bought some Bread Flour to make our own bread and see how we can save doing this. There is one point to make concerning bread and that is the supermarket bread ('Hovis', 'Kingsmill' etc.) is made up of a lot of air pockets, whereas bread made by local suppliers is thicker and has less air pockets. This means that whereas we may use 2-3 slices of supermarket bread, one slice of local bread may be enough since it is wholesome and filling. So the cost may not be too much dearer in real terms.
  • Vegetables - I bought most of these from two farm shops with some from Tesco's; the latter was onions which seem a safe bet from any outlet. I have always found that home-grown vegetables last much longer than those from a supermarket, and the Farm Shop ones do not go off so quick either. This is a subject for experiment since many local Fruit and Veg shops get the stuff the supermarkets do not want, which is another by-product of the monopoly of these vast chains. Farm Shops have to bring in this time of year since many vegetables are not in season. One of the problems with vegetables is that suppliers - especially supermarkets - wash the root vegetables and pack them in polythene bags which make these go off very quickly (unwashed root vegetables keep far longer). 
  • Fruit - Apples are an easy one since they can be grown in England, but many fruits are imported and the supermarkets get the best pick of them. This is something to remember when buying fruit such as bananas, oranges, lemons, grapefruit etc. When working on an Organic Farm many years ago they bought fruit from a Kent supplier, getting what was left over after Sainsbury's had their stuff - Sainsbury's getting the best, of course. So the local Farm Shop may not always get better quality in this case. I bought a pack of apples from Tesco costing £1.00 which had 6 apples for this price. The local Fruit and Veg shop sold a similar bag for the same price - £1.00 - with 9 apples of the same size - and they lasted longer too. This shows that the supermarket is not always the cheapest. 
  • Meat - This is better quality than many of the supermarkets, though Waitrose sell high quality meats that taste better. Buying in bulk with a box of different cuts would save on supermarket prices, but even when buying odd bits the price will be more but the quality far better. Cut down on how much you eat to balance the books. 
  • Pies - We bought some which were made by a local supplier and these were superior in taste and the amount of meat to 'Walls' and 'Ginsters' etc. The pastry was more flaky and they were filled with meat. The cost was about a pound dearer on the normal price but offset by the quality.
  • Eggs - Sourced from a local farm-shop that keeps free-range hens and sells hens at the same time. The eggs were really much better with a wonderful tasty golden yoke. Dearer, but then the hens are treated much better.
This is just a start and I have now discovered a local supplier of Raw Milk, butter and cream, and they deliver locally in the old-fashioned One Pint bottles too. They can also supply locally-sourced eggs and yoghurt, delivering these too. The cost of the milk is reasonable but we need to find the cost of butter, cream, eggs and yoghurt - if these seem fair then a weekly delivery would be on the cards. 

We live near to the sea so fresh fish is the next step we shall take; local fishermen sell fresh fish so this is not a problem. We need a regular supply until we can make alternative arrangements.

At this stage the whole thing is an experiment, but it has to be said that shopping in the small outlets is far better than running around the supermarket dodging the shopping trollies parked right across the isles, waiting at a checkout in long queues, and with a smaller selection it is easier to get what you want. 

I am keeping tabs of the cost of each shopping, either at the local outlets or the supermarkets (which we shall still use for certain things), but at this time the main shopping has been done at the Farm Shops with small bits at the supermarket. I have had to start to stock up the freezer which we ran down to nothing to defrost it and clean it out, so the initial outlay will be more than usual. The shopping bill was £106.00 approx, out of which we spent just over £10.00 in Tesco's - as opposed to the whole bill going to Tesco's or Asda (or sometimes Lidl for tinned food (used to keep stocks mainly). 

The main switch will be that of foodstuffs which I am going to source from local suppliers; the supermarkets will still be used for fruit and vegetables sometimes, and for the other household stuff we need - until such time as we can find an alternative that is cheaper. 

The cost of transport was no more than usual, in fact it saved since I have to travel to another village to Tesco's or Asda; the Farm Shops we used were on routes which I have to travel each week, so the transport cost was nil in regard to the usual shopping. 

The only problem faced in this first week was that I decided to source the seeds for this year from a smaller supplier - online. They sent the package to the wrong person, someone with the same surname, who rang me to tell me she was redirecting it to me. As yet I still have not received the seeds so will be looking at an alternative to this way of ordering.