July 24

Life in the Slow Lane

I’ve been swamped as of late, though a lot of what I’ve been busy with is spinning my wheels. I feel like I’m stuck in a rut and instead of working on building connections, I’m spinning my wheels on GSD. I have yet to get my carport cleared out, I’ve yet to rearrange my shed to my liking to set up for a workshop, and I’ve yet to do a lot of projects I’ve done a lot of talking about. I’m still planning on doing rabbits, but without my carport, I don’t have a place to put them. I’m still planning on doing a computer repair side hustle, but I need to buy some equipment and wire up my shed. I’m still planning on planting fruit trees, but I haven’t bought any saplings yet. I still want to do raised wicking beds.

Many of my issues have to do with being swamped with bills. Another aspect is time. I’m now working 40 hours a week at a job 80-90 minutes drive from home. By the time I get to the weekend I’m exhausted. It’s no excuse, of course, I still need to get this shit done and I know the more I put it off the more unlikely I am actually to do any of it.

I would, however, like to thank everyone who has been boosting my podcast episodes via Lightning. I’ve been getting them, and it’s an honor to know that someone (or a group of someones) thinks my content is worth even some of your treasure. It’s really been making me think about doing at least an occasional episode, however, I want to be able to devote quality time to that and not just throw some shit together. You all are worth more effort than that. That being said, I want to leave you all with one thing to think about over the next however long it’ll be before a new episode is out:

If you are truly in the freedom movement, then not only can you be individualistic, but you can still be altruistic. Let me explain. Whatever you empower the government to do to someone else, you empower them to do to you. Conversely, whatever you disempower the government to do to you, you disempower them from doing to others. Therefore, those of us truly and actively working to get ourselves out from under the yoke of slavery aren’t just doing it for ourselves, we are doing it for everyone else, as well. I think someone coined the phrase, “Enlightened Self-Interest”. By making it so we can do something, we’re making it so all can do that something. Go out, build your intentional communities. You don’t have to all live together. You just have to work together. We make ourselves stronger, and more independent, by building resilience into our lives. You don’t have to raise all of your own everything. You just need robust connections to be able to trade and barter. You make connections, and you cultivate them, and you make more connections because people move away, or die, or stop doing the thing you relied on them for. Of course, you don’t stop helping, but you find other ways to not only supply your needs, and to meet the needs of your intentional community. Your ever-growing, ever-changing, sometimes long-distance intentional community. The only borders that define us are our property lines. Everything else is an anachronism that has long since lived past its usefulness.

Category: Agorism | LEAVE A COMMENT
May 6

Rabbitry – Food for Thought

I have a lot of ideas. Some of them work out, some of them don’t, and some of them just take me a long time to get started for reasons. Here is another project which is on an extended timeline for completion though I may be able to start this one in a bit more earnest.

Rabbitry for Dummies

Yes, as the title and header proclaim, I’m looking into getting into rabbitry. Why? Mainly because I want a source of meat other than the grocery store and the buy-in for rabbits is pretty low. For ~$60-75USD I can have a trio of breeders start producing kits for my herd. Of course, I have to buy the cages, feeders, waterers, feed, hay, heaters, etc. to really be ready to start this entire project. Probably looking at $500-600 total if I buy all new. First, however, I still need to make the room. My wife has already agreed to let me take over the carport since it’s really oriented inefficiently for us to use it for much else.

Everything I’m reading and watching on rabbits suggests that, while it’s time-consuming, it’s rewarding in terms of outputs (meat, maybe some show-quality buns to sell as breeders to someone else, etc.). Of course, meat is the primary concern, according to one source, with a good setup I could see 1500lbs of meat a year just from rabbits. That’s a lot of meat if you ask me. And from the setup described, if I can expand it I could have even more. Meaning I could even process some meat for sale (though I may find selling breeders more profitable, which is fine if I can fill up my freezer with delicious bun-bun). This makes me happy because that means less reliance on frail systems. Of course, I want to try tractoring but I think I’ll mostly stick with cages/hutches, collecting their ‘waste’ to add to a garden which I hope to be able to supplement our grocery trips with. The instant compost would make a fine addition to the raised beds I’ve talked about in the Discord community, and will be a fine supplement to the humanure compost I still want to get started in producing.

I feel like if I can get involved in rabbitry and make my initial investment back in terms of sales of breeder/show rabbits and meat, I can put all future profits into savings toward chickens (still want to raise those, too) and whatever projects I want to invest in going forward. Small steps, baby steps. Then take over the world, right?

I am going to leave you with some links to all of the rabbitry resources I’ve currently found, including a YouTube playlist I’m building specifically about rabbitry. Feel free to comment here or in the Discord or on Telegram (links below) with any additional resources you think may help.

Links

Teal Stone Homestead – I found her on YouTube, a great resource especially if you’re going to raise silver foxes for your meat rabbits, though I think the general principles can apply to any rabbit.
BHA Rabbitry – This is a link directly to some blank records they offer for print out. They also have a lot of other useful resources for rabbitry.
A System for Ear Numbers – Discusses the importance of good record-keeping and some suggestions to get you started.
Raising Meat Rabbits: Lessons Learned Back to Front – A great resource and the article that finally sent me fully down this rabbit hole (see what I did there?).
Tennessee Rabbit Breeders – They also list for other states, so could be a good resource for sourcing your first buns (so many delicious food jokes).
Hopper Popper – This looks like a really simple, straight-forward tool for humanely dispatching your rabbits. I’m not necessarily endorsing this per se, but it does seem like a good resource. I’ve seen these devices in other people’s videos on meat rabbits so I thought I’d include a link to them here.
The Survival Podcast – Raising, Butchering and Cooking Rabbits with Nick DePuy – Jack is always a spot on source of information and this podcast episode is no different. It’ll provide more information and another perspective on raising meat rabbits and really gave me the confidence to put this project on the go-ahead list.

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Category: Agorism | LEAVE A COMMENT
December 14

Intentional Communities

I have been listening a lot to Nicole Sauce (Living Free in Tennessee) and Jack Spirko (The Survival Podcast) – see links in the sidebar – and one of the best things that they are talking about right now is intentional communities. Now, they are not necessarily talking about people living close to each other, even possibly on the same communally owned land, though those are all valid options, too. They are talking, as far as I understand it, about an intentional network of individuals helping each other.

I took a first step, I think, in that regard. An individual I met via a Telegram group is looking into relocating and he is taking a look at the town or area that I am living in and, while we were discussing things, I realized that regardless of whether or not he moves to the area, I made a first step in building a community. I gave of my time and knowledge, leveraged some of my own contacts, and I provided him with valuable information about the area even if what I had may have been limited and possibly even somewhat outdated (which, by the way, is still better than what he had before). My next interaction like this and I can provide better information by getting out and finding out more about the things that this guy was interested in.

While the next person may not have the same concerns or needs, I will still have taken steps to better provide future people more information and will have gained valuable knowledge for my own purposes. This is not a zero sum game. If this guy does wind up moving to my area I now have a like-minded individual 20 minutes away at most and now we can help each other with whatever it is we may need help with. This also means that we are showing others looking to relocate that there are reasons now beyond just the land, access to resources, and being left the fuck alone. There is now another growing intentional community (the Holler is about 90 minutes away from my house) in the area. More opportunities to do your own thing but also not being isolated from normal people.

This is the way forward, I believe. Not only should we be getting ourselves prepared, to borrow Jack’s catchphrase, “for when times get tough or even if they don’t”, and intentionally making sure that we have a viable network of like-minded people doing the same thing for themselves.

As my family continues going down the road to becoming self-sufficient, we can surround ourselves with others looking to do the same. We each will have unique skills, talents, and interests that we can leverage to help ourselves and those in our community network.

If you have been presented with an opportunity to network with someone, even if they might not move to the area or whatever, don’t pass up the opportunity. You won’t know what will come of it unless you take the risk. I took the risk today and I wasn’t disappointed. I met with a cool guy, we talked about my hometown, and we broke bread together. That’s powerful. That’s intentional. That’s community.

Category: Agorism | LEAVE A COMMENT
November 29

What is Agorism to Me?

Agorism is, to me, the lifestyle of minding your own business and living life in harmony with others (for the most part that means not actively being aggressive toward those around you). That also means that you are not asking for permission to engage in any activity that doesn’t require the use of others property.

In practice, as I think about it, there seems to be some problems. Like common-use roads, utilities, and other actual things that are taken for granted today. How do you handle electricity distribution, clean water supplies, sanitary sewers and the like?

Ostensibly, today in the United States most of these are (un)regulated granted monopolies (think telecommunications including infotainment services and electrical utilities) or wholly managed by local governments (water and sewer where septic tanks and wells are not in use).

In the case of water, sewer, and power people who are served by such have no way of opting out. In fact, with the wholesale adoption of the International Building Code, almost all dwellings must be serviced by at least a common power utility.

How then do you opt out? And if it wasn’t wholesale mandated, what would an Agorist system even look like?

I wish I could answer these questions. As someone who grew up relying on these systems saying, “No, I would like to provide myself with at least some of these things and opt out of the mandatory system.” presents quite a radical change. It requires a lot of planning and self-education and a whole lot of work. I need to have reliable systems in place before I can even begin to consider opting out.

When you are so invested in something, it is hard to let go (sunk cost fallacy ftw) however whether you are into prepping or self-sufficiency or not it pays to always reevaluate your needs and situation.

Do I really need for someone else to provide me with something that I can more easily and reliably provide for myself? Is what I am invested in worth keeping? Is it worth letting go? What is the cost/benefit

And once that analysis is completed, what are the hurdles to opting out (if that is the conclusion you came to) of the system? Is it possible in the first place or would it require relocation?

There is so much to consider it can seem daunting. However if you break down the process of dealing with the problem into manageable pieces then you can also tackle the solutions in manageable pieces. There is no one saying that if you come to accept the Agorist philosophy that you have to go live in the woods with nothing until you either die or figure out how to survive (and if someone is telling you that, don’t listen).

I am coming into this philosophy with a left arm I can’t do much with ever again, morbidly obese and with very little capital. However I am working on tackling pieces of my problems so that I can at least have little victories to build upon. My wife is helping as much as she can, and we are both raising a daughter. Progress is slow but there is progress. Victory is inevitable. Whether we get there tomorrow or 1,000 tomorrow’s from then doesn’t really matter.

Study, contemplate, ask questions, debate respectfully. When it comes time to make a decision, you will be better off with information at your disposal. Keep good notes. Share what you learned.

All of this goes toward, I think, what agorism is. Living life as fully informed and self-sufficiently as possible. No one is going to hold your hand. Agorism isn’t easy, but then again neither is life.

Choose how you are going to live, and choose wisely. You – and those who rely on you – are going to be the one reaping the consequences good or bad.

Category: Agorism | LEAVE A COMMENT
November 13

What Does Self-Sufficiency Mean to Me

I’ve been struggling with something to type in this space. Not because I’m ignorant which if I’m honest with myself, I am ignorant on being self-sufficient. Sure I’ve helped raise chickens for a year or two. Sure we gathered their eggs and ate their meat (and, let me tell you, I miss that immensely). We didn’t stick with it. We didn’t fully rely on it like we could have started doing. I know what I’m missing.

This blog, is after all, not just a place to advertise my podcast. I want to document my journey into self-sufficiency. I want to get back to raising chickens and culling them for meat and gathering eggs. I want to document my journey into being healthy and less lazy. So let’s document.

This past summer I half-assed trying to raise some tomatoes and peppers in buckets. I failed. I didn’t know what I was doing and I failed. I harvested one puny pepper that wasn’t even a toothful and 3 puny tomatoes. Sure they tasted great, but it was a failure. I know some of why I failed. I’m going to try again next year. I may fail again, but not as badly. I hope.

How am I going to succeed? I’m working on building up my compost. I’m using this past season’s failure and the leaves falling from my trees, I’m using vegetable matter coming out of my house (if any). It’s a static pile. I’m dumping stuff on and mixing it every so often and that’s it. A bit lazy but it works. I know it works. I’ve gotten beautiful compost from it in the past, and I will again.

I also plan on building a structure to house a hydroponics setup. I bought Hydroponics: The Kratky Method: The Cheapest And Easiest Hydroponic System For Beginners Who Want To Grow Plants Without Soil to help me get started (if you’re offended by me making money, you can feel free to leave; being self-sufficient means not being afraid of making money and I need to make money so I’d rather you stay and read and if you want the book, click the link and buy the book). I don’t know the first thing about hydroponics, but we have a book for it (and this one comes recommended by Jack Spirko of The Survival Podcast, which you should be listening to if you aren’t already, Jack is the inspiration for this, at least in part).

I need to learn. I need to do. I need to be non-fragile, as Dr. Ken Berry calls it. So do you. Let’s go and get this shit done.