Here are Judy Spier’s notes attached from our last (March 2nd) Self Reliant meeting at the 70th Ave. Fire Station. The Seven Tasks were the topic. I used the example of Joyce’s sister’s injuries in the Christchurch earthquake to emphasize that such a disaster could occur here at any time, say, 11:08 next Thursday! Surely more than the 7 tasks will be needed, and Bruce will connect with Emergency Management so that possibly our next meeting may be familiarizing ourselves with the Neighbor NET that they are using.
Grow Food – Have Chickens…I keep hearing that, and Leslie Carie, who lives off 70th on Mathias, wants to buy some chicks and needs a chicken pen. She is new at this and could use some advice. Call Mr. or Mrs. Carie at 847-9889.
Task 1…at least in March plant 3-4 seeds in 3-4 little planter pots, maybe keep inside for awhile. It’s a start.
Task 2…at least get a free window or glass or plastic and make a small “cold frame” to shelter young plants.
A time and place will be arranged for a workshop, helping each other make the 4’ by 5’ crop cover.
Task 3…at least buy a dozen canning jars (from ACE Hdwe) for $12.99. Then ask someone how to can food.
Task 4…at least use the Neighbor Net (little forms attached) to create an instant phone list for your several neighbors.
Task 5…at least talk with your family and choose a small space in your home that you can close off and keep warm.
Task 6…at least obtain one rain barrel ($15 from Sky and Betty?) – plan where to put it.
Task 7…at least make sure you have an old bike (freecycle or Craig’s, or a neighbor kid) that you can fairly comfortably and safely ride. Maybe your family already has them. Shshsh…don’t tell the kids how valuable they really are, as the mostefficient form of transport known to man.
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Self Reliant Community
March 3, 2011 Meeting Report
Self Reliant Community members met March 2nd to further share information about the 7 tasks that form the backbone for individual self–reliance. There were announcements first.
The film, “The Future of Food” is going to be shown as a fundraiser by The Friends of Pierce County at the Tacoma Grand Cinema at 606 So. Fawcett on April 19th at 6:00 p.m.
The Mountain News, an on-line magazine “Serving those who live close to the mountain in body or spirit,” was introduced by Bruce Smith, publisher and owner. The magazine is committed to bringing the news and telling the stories of the events and people around us. Readers may choose to receive the magazine daily, weekly or monthly, or to be notified by email each time a new article is posted by signing up for a free subscription. The address is http://www.themountainnewswa.wordpress.com. Bruce can also be reached at 360 832-6248, or at email@example.com.
Laundry soap that is homemade can be very cost effective at $3 for 5 gallons. A course on laundry soap making will be scheduled soon. Contact Lynn Worley 253 209-2625 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for information and to sign up.
Genetically modified (GMOs) foods have negative consequences beyond their genetic impacts, reports are now suggesting, and introducing new and dangerous pathogens into our food.
Heirloom seeds can be saved for crop planting next year, and it’s time to buy them. Seeds produced by large corporation have been modify so their seeds cannot be used to plant future crops. If you want to get into seed saving, be sure you purchase heirloom seeds.
Borton Garden is being made available to those who need space for a garden. There will be a meeting at Le Cup Cake at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, March 10th to discuss plans.
Local currency information is available at http://www.lifedollars.org.
The Graham Expo is this Saturday at Frontier Junior High from 10:00 to 4:00 p.m. Featuring local businesses, it’s been described as a fun cross between a Graham American Idol and an arts and crafts fair. There will be activities, things to buy, and a silent auction.
7 Tasks to Self Reliance
Today not even the most advanced earthquake scientists today are able to predict an earth- quake. Wayne Cooke, spokesman for the Self Reliant Group in Graham, pointed out that the people of Christ Church, New Zealand unprepared for the earthquake that struck. The Pacific Northwest is earthquake country. We need to prepare with the urgency that we would if we knew an earthquake would strike at 11:05 a.m. next Thursday.
Task 1 Grow your own food—especially potatoes, squash and beans that keep well, have high food value, and are free of the heavy chemicals and pesticides used by commercial growers. Homegrown food is far more nutritious and a more secure source than what we have in the stores today. The present commercial food system is efficient, but it is fragile and could go down any time. Remember, stores today have a 1-day supply of food on their shelves. We need to have a 7-day supply of food on hand at all times.
The Maritime Northwest Garden Guide magazine is the best source available for telling gardeners what to plant and what to do each month. It can be ordered from Seattle Tilth at (206) 633-0451 for $20 including tax. It comes highly recommended.
Task 2 Build a small green house. Small and simple green houses can give plant the protection and warmth they need to get a head start in our climate. A good tip is to place bricks or bottles of water on the back wall to hold the heat from the sun and release it during the night to keep plants warm. Start plants inside now. Information on a whoop house is available at http://www.westsidegardener.com. A greenhouse attached to the house cuts heating bills.
Task 3 Preserve food. Ace Hardware now has 12 Mason jars for $12. Get canning supplies now for this summer. Don’t overlook drying foods. You don’t have to buy expensive equipment; the cheapest food dryer is a rack placed inside your car on a sunny day.
In case of a critical emergency where simply consuming enough calories is what’s needed for survival, a 5 gallon bucket will hold enough rice and beans for one person to live for a month. Wheat and rice will keep for 30 years if sealed right.
The Mormon cannery in Kent sells 25 pounds of wheat berries for $7.50 while the Eatonville Mountain Community Coop has 50 pounds available for $50.
A new idea called thermos cooking was introduced. For information, Google thermos cooking by Kurt Saxon.
Note: The U.S. government has been buying up supplies of ready to eat meals. The government is preparing for something; so should we.
Be prepared. China and Russia have lost their wheat crops; this will affect supplies and prices of wheat products in our country this year.
Task 4 Know your neighbors. Choose 5 or 6 neighbors and create a neighbor network of people you can call and depend on in an emergency. Go to your neighbors and ask for their names and phone number—and permission—to put them into a short list that can be put on or near your phone. Keep 2 for yourself and give 2 each to the neighbors in your network for instant communication. A meeting will be set up with the Pierce County Emergency Management office to get help in organizing neighborhoods and identifying who will do what in an emergency.
Task 5 Make a warm room. Last year temperatures dropped into the single digits and a local woman died of hypothermia. This year’s really cold weather has likely passed, but we get high winds and power outages in the spring time. Make a plan. Identify a room that you can stay in and keep warm. Put blankets over windows and to cover doorways to hold heat in a small area. Use a bedroom. Put up a tent for the kids to sleep in. They’ll stay warm and have fun.
Task 6 Get rain barrels. When power goes out, you may not be able to flush your toilets. Buy a barrel or two and collect rain water from your downspouts. 55 gallon food grade barrels with faucet at the bottom are available for $15 from SKY at email@example.com. Barrels are also available for large food storage.
Task 7 Have a bike. If gas supplies get cut or an emergency makes driving impossible owning a bike will need to get you where you want to go a lot faster than walking. Biking is good exercise and a great family activity.
The next Self Reliant Community meeting is scheduled for April 6, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. at the 72nd Street Fire Station.
If you have any questions, please call Wayne Cooke at (253) 847-4614.