Preparing for catastrophe, or prepping as it is often known has a bad rep. Many people, when they hear the term, think of survivalists stockpiling canned goods in their well-armed bunkers. But preparing for catastrophe, as I explain in this recent article about preparing for catastrophe in a permaculture garden, is not about fear-mongering or lingering in doom and gloom.
In a permaculture garden, we can be prepared for the worst, while still expecting the best. Most preppers are simply sensible people who understand that analysing risks and preparing for them is the best way to mitigate disasters when they do arise. It’s the few extremists around the fringes who give prepping a bad name.
I would not necessarily self-identify as a ‘prepper’. But I certainly do analyse future risk and think about how I can mitigate it. I consider changes as they approach, and in my garden, and in other areas of my life, I try to make sure that all systems are as ‘future-proof’ as possible. We can’t forsee everything, of course. But we can look forwards and make ourselves, our gardens, and all systems around us as resilient as we can.
Does that mean stockpiling canned goods that will last for years? No. Does it mean maintaining a rolling pantry stocked with goods for 6 months to a year? For me, that is often a sensible choice if you can do it. Having food stocks in place has certainly made things easier for us (and meant less frequent shopping excursions) during the pandemic.
After the winter, I still have several shelves stacked with blackberry, raspberry and gooseberry jams and jellies, apple sauce, chutneys, and a few other canned goods that I preserved last summer and autumn. But they will mostly be used up by the time the fruit harvesting season rolls back around. I also buy in local wholemeal flour from just down the road, and some other staples a few months worth at a time.
Though I can grow some crops through the winter in my polytunnel, and eat food from there year round, I also look forward to storing root crops etc. over winter once our barn conversion is finished and my pantry is in use.
If you would like some help to prepare for catastrophe in your garden or in your home, I can help. Please do reach to discuss your concerns and together, we can work to address them.
2 thoughts on “Prepping is Not About Doom and Gloom”
Up until the 1950s, there weren’t many supermarkets, and most country people grew and preserved their own food. When I grew up, a big garden and orchard, along with pigs and chickens, was what I knew. It’s nice to see more people going that route once again.
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Prepping is a great skill. We can and “should” 😉 deepen it.
I don’t take fashion advice from peppers, and the paranoia doesn’t appeal to me, at least not every day. (I absorb it occasionally, though, and let go of it afterwards. Ha ha.)
But being prepared for emergencies, the climate’s ups and downs, earthquakes and similar problems that can (realistically) occur is important to me. I do listen to the practical knowledge and implement some of it every year.
The drumming about doom and gloom can be exhausting, it is true, but I would not discard everything… I even notice a particular genius in thinking about survival and about being able to weather unforeseeable storms. Our grandparents and even our parents knew that extraordinary circumstances can happen anytime and cultivated a few or a lot of prepper skills.
It is good to acquire them 🙂 in our time.
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