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Home Forums SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES Peak Oil – where are we headed? Living now like the past for the future.

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    In another thread it was mentioned about making newbies aware of issues even though the regulars had been over the same ground many times over.

    I have to agree that reading the current threads has been an eye-opener and a bit of a prod towards what has been falling by the wayside lately.

    Lately I have been making 99% of the bread for our family. We have stored wheat in the past but didnt’ have a decent grinder until recently. I am waiting for the latest harvest of wheat to get new stores in. My point is though, that I hadn’t realised just how much flour our family goes through until I made bread every day. Even though I had estimated, I was way off. I also made 90% of my young children’s clothing last year, some of it on the treadle and have a good selection of patterns and fabric stored.

    I have read lots of gardening comments about people thinking they can pop some seeds in anywhere after TSHTF and expecting things to flourish. I am working on the garden and have chickens now.

    DH and I am thinking about getting a wood fired oven/stove. I would love to bake my bread in it. I am torn between a mud oven in the backyard and I would like to build a solar oven too. I have my eye on a big range with hot water plumbing inside.I joked with DH about putting it where my current gas/electric stove is now. I wondered if I would rue the idea or whether it was actually practical to do something like that. I am sort of thinking that if I can’t be bothered doing it now, what makes me think I will be able to do it later when it is needed?

    Sometimes it is tempting to just go buy the bread, but mostly I am getting into a routine.

    My question, what routines are you getting into now, even if it is more effort, to prepare yourself and your family, and does anyone use alternatives to gas and electricity for cooking?

    Or, am I making work for myself now when I could keep with the easy lifestyle of mod cons and put energy in elsewhere?


    Oh what a question…

    We are preparing. We just bought a 35 acre property and are busy getting the food growing areas organised. We bought some chooks so have eggs now. We are living off the grid with solar for power, gas for cooking and wood for heating. It is great and we are loving it so far. We want to increase the energy by putting in a wind turbine, more solar panels and more batteries. I wanted to put in a wood stove for cooking but have now decided that this will go in my outside kitchen and we will keep the gas for cooking.

    I think the answer is do as much as you can youself to make yourself as self sufficient as possible. Then if the shtf then you will be more prepared than you are now.

    There is so much to do in order to get to a point of being as self sufficient as possible, so start as soon as possible, is my advice.


    Our hot water service is instantaneous gas but has electronic ignition. The stove likewise has a gas top and electric oven. Both gas appliances won’t work if the electricity is off. I think we need to change things there somehow for a start.

    You are right there is just so much to do. Priorities need to be worked on, but then this beautiful stove has turned up that is rather aesthetically pleasing to me 😉 and rather justifiable.

    You just prompted me to think that being self-sufficient is more than the acquisition of things or even skills, but the practical everyday application of those things and the physical, mental and emotional ability to do so.


    Harooney, as a matter of interest how much wheat do you think you would need to supply your family for a year?

    I did try to grow a quarter of an acre under irrigation, which could/ should have yielded between 350 and 400kg had the wood ducks left it alone, I figured it would feed the chooks as well but I have never worked just how much I would need.


    Well I am not living on a small holding but in the suburbs on 900sqm so growing our own wheat is just not going to happen. We are storing for 6 adults and 6 children. We are usually offered wheat by someone we know that organises it once a year. We go through about 15kg of flour a week. That is bread flour and SR/plain flour. That is probably less than when I would buy bread loaves. We do eat less bread now that I make it.

    I have 10 20kg tins for wheat, but at that rate I figure I will need about 780kg for a year. Or around 40 tins of wheat. That’s a lot of wheat to store! That’s not counting other grains like oats that we use a few kgs of a week, or if we had to rely on it for more meals, though maybe we could cut back if needed also.

    Of course we won’t always have a house so full either. Lets hope there are years ahead.

    Encino man

    Good evening ladies and gentlemans….

    I thought I would weigh in the peak oil debate, well I don’t really think its much of a debate anymore, I can clearly see though, that hooking your home to the state grid via the federal govt solar rebate sounds like a great idea at first, but it has some major ramifications , such as what happens if the grid goes down for a long period of time ? or for good ? other than people seeing you nice and warm and cosy ( if that’s possible ) won’t your system be dragged down with it ?.

    also I have a question to any wise one on here, my wife was recently been given a nice fat handout called redundancy from the public service, its well over 100 grand, we don’t have a house ( only renting ) but we don’t want to lose the money in the back.

    the way super has been going and the so not over GFC makes me think what the heck to do.

    ( my ideal is 30 acres in the country up north with a nice stand alone home with ground water and a national park at the rear) but I don’t know what is the best way to turn.


    lavman wrote:

    Harooney, as a matter of interest how much wheat do you think you would need to supply your family for a year?

    I did try to grow a quarter of an acre under irrigation, which could/ should have yielded between 350 and 400kg had the wood ducks left it alone, I figured it would feed the chooks as well but I have never worked just how much I would need.

    I think I read in Busylizzies growing wheat thead that you need 1 acre to feed a family of four for a year. give or take.


    Harooney, I think it is fantastic what you are doing!

    I’m working on my self-sufficiency slowly, but you are way ahead of me.

    Keen to keep an eye on this thread to see how it goes. :tup:

    Hello and welcome to ALS, Encino Man.

    Assuming your wife is happy to part with it, go for your plan… a small home on acerage that will support you when tshtf.

    MAybe not this minute.. or even next year, but long-term, try to keep the money out of the banking institution … my (pessimistic) outlook is that when PO hits and things really start getting ugly, the banks/govt will hold money so they don’t go bankrupt.

    Encino man

    Andre thx for he reply, I am new to this site, so was not sure if this was the right thread for the question, other than that, I have been researching PO for about 2 years, I am currently involved in a transition town group around here , that’s OK, but I think personally they don’t go far enough , admittedly its still in the embryonic stage, but after reading all the stuff on Matt Savinars site, pple still bury their heads.

    Encino man

    Also I have read alot of James Wesley Rawles “Survival blog ” which I think is one of the best sites around. My wife and I would love to find like minded people, I guess they are around, but you must be so careful with who you talk to, most people I meet are great “sheeple”, they don’t really think beyond the square, my best success to date has been getting my sister in law to build a BOB and a 12 week food supply as recommended by

    Encino man

    by the way Dianne, from my experience, growing wheat requires more than a acre to feed a family, you actually need triple that, because you need to rotate the yield each other year to a ‘ new ‘ field, just thought I would throw that in.:tup:


    Yes Encino Man

    I think many, if not most, of the lovely ALSers are of the opinion that things are going to get worse before they get better.. even if they are more positive :tup:, you won’t find sheeple in here – doing what they can with what they have to improve their lot.

    I can’t talk though – whilst I have great plans, I lack the time to get anything decent going due to work. :awch: still.. thinking out of the square I do well …

    Encino man

    I must have joined the right forum…..:mad:


    If you plan on feeding some of that wheat to any stock your going to need even more space set aside. I wonder just how much work is involved in ploughing, seeding, harvesting and then seeing to the wheat heads. Alot of Hard work by the time you sit down to bread or pasta or a well earnd slaice of cake.


    Encino, I think I would be buying a block as a hobby farm, set up shedding with solar as weekender house for now, and work towards building a house eventually.

    This is basically what people have been doing along our road. At our house they were living in the shed, put a basic transportable house on, then had domestic problems and split up, leaving the remaining owner rather desperate to sell. So we got brand new home, some sheds, but no improvements like clothesline or garden or organised paths. Next door they lived in a tiny cottage, house up from that they lived in a shed, now being transformed into a house with enormous effort. Across the road they are living in a shed plus caravans while they build..

    All of us are on solar, so on a cloudy day you can hear the generators near and far, hahaha.

    Theres a vacant 85 acre block in the series for sale, but it doesnt even have a livable shed, and they are asking about $400,000 for it, which is a bit steep for not very productive land.

    Now thinking that I might look for wood oven/heater for my new shed rather than just heater. I dont think energy will be totally unavailable, just going to get humungously expensive, and the first thing I would drop from gas cooking would be the Sunday roast. Once a week or for oven jobs I could cope with wood fire, in winter of course, the sparks from the chimney would be scary in summer for fire danger.

    I will leave wheat growing to those who have better land, and the expertise, and hope I will have something of value to barter for it if TSHTF. In Medieval times, peasant bread was made of just about any grass seed which came along, soft white wheat bread is a modern luxury.

    Might be brownish and harsh on the teeth with home grinding, but edible and filling.

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