Build this Cozy Cabin
basic carpentry skills can construct
this classic one-room cabin for under
Mother Earth News June/July 2006
By Steve Maxwell
Rays of early-morning sunlight
gently peek through the windows, easing you
awake. Looking down from the sleeping loft, you
see everything you need: a pine table; a box
piled with hardwood, split and ready for the
woodstove; and a compact kitchen in the corner.
This is the cabin dream.
In this article, I’ll show you
how to build a 14-by-20-foot cabin featuring a
sleeping loft over the porch for
about $4,000. Who can resist it?
For the complete article on
this cozy dream cabin click
Goat's Milk: A Natural Alternative for Milk Sensitive Patients
Goat milk is
an excellent option for any patient
who is cow milk or soy milk
sensitive and is necessarily
concerned with obtaining adequate
calcium from a natural dietary
source. Goat milk is also an
excellent source of dietary calcium
important in the prevention of high
blood pressure, osteoporosis and
other bone-related problems. For
menopausal women, goat milk provides
13% more calcium than cow's milk and
can be consumed comfortably even by
those women with milk sensitivity.
While it is often recommended that
children who have problems digesting
cow's milk change to vegetable
protein soy-based milk, that is not
always the answer. An estimated
20%-50% of children with cow milk
protein intolerance will react
adversely to soy proteins. Goat milk
is a natural milk that children like
and can consume comfortably, even if
they are sensitive to cow's milk
and/or soy milk.
The nutrient composition of goat
milk is very different than that of
cow's milk. In addition to
containing 13% more calcium than
cow's milk, goat milk also has 25%
more vitamin B-6, 47% more vitamin
A, 134% more potassium and 350% more
niacin. Goat milk is also higher in
chloride, copper and manganese and
contains 27% more of the essential
nutrient selenium. Goat milk
contains none of the controversial
Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH).
Goat milk is available nationwide in
evaporated and powdered forms
(supplemented with folic acid) and
in fresh one-quart, refrigerated
cartons (whole and 1% low fat), as
well as aseptic quarts with an
unopened 8-month shelf life.
For more information on goat's milk,
contact the National Goat Milk
"hotline" at (800) 891-GOAT (4628).
ReferencesLuke B, Keith LG. Calcium
requirements and the diets of women
and children. Journal of
Haenlein GFW. Role of goat milk in
human nutrition. International
Conference on Goats, University of
Haenlein GFW, Ace D. Extension Goat
Handbook. United States Department
December 1, 1997, Volume 15, Issue
Pesticide Dangers to Human Health
Carry Through Multiple Generations
A recent study conducted by
researchers from the University of
Texas at Austin has uncovered
evidence that the damage done by
pesticides may last for four
generations or more.
Andrea Gore and evolutionary
biologist David Crews compared the
sexual behavior of two different
groups of rats. One group of rats
was a standard laboratory rat stock,
while the other group was descended
from rats that had been subjected to
the hormone-disrupting effects of
biologist had injected the
great-grandmothers of these rats
with vinclozolin, a common fungicide
that is particularly popular among
rest of the article click
Country Cat: A Job Description
Feline friends work and play on the farm.
Published: April 14, 2008 @ 04:55 PM CST from the May/June 2008 issue of GRIT.
By: Jerry Schleicher
About four thousand years ago, some Egyptian pharaoh decreed that cats should be worshiped as gods. Around the same time, the guys who grew the pharaoh’s grain and fed his ducks discovered that cats were also pretty handy for keeping down the rodent population. And with that, “country cat” became a job description.
It wasn’t long before cats conquered Europe, Asia and all the other continents. And other than an unfortunate period during the Middle Ages, when superstitious folks associated them with evil, cats have pretty much had it their own way.
Today, according to the 2007-2008 National Pet Owners Survey, nearly 90 million “domesticated” cats live in this country alone – or about 15 million more cats than dogs. Most of those are pampered pets that sleep on the furniture and do their business in a litter box. But that doesn’t account for an entirely separate population of country cats that live in farmyards, haystacks and woodpiles. If you figure just a half dozen or so barnyard cats on each of America’s 2.2 million farms, that adds up to somewhere around 13 million country cats.
Maybe cats were associated with witchcraft because of their habit of appearing out of thin air. Move to a new home in the country sans cat, and the first country cat that comes along will take up residence in your yard before you get the boxes unpacked. Some country cats are part gypsy, wandering from farm to farm like migrant workers in search of a day’s work and a bite to eat. Some are society’s rejects, dumped from a car at the side of a rural road. Others are half-grown kittens chased away from their mother by a dominant tom. Those born in your barn or under that old shack at the back of the property, on the other hand, are legal residents.
Unlike their urban cousins, no one really owns a country cat. Most are free agents, semi-domesticated felines that may saunter your way when food is offered, but would rather tangle with a dog than submit to being petted by a human. Country cats generally have little interest in living in your house unless it’s freezing cold outside, or unless a pregnant female decides to deliver her kittens in your closet.
Hardcore country cats are happy to live in the shed or the chicken house, or a nest deep inside a straw stack. On the farm where I grew up, about a dozen of them lived in the barn. We kept a supply of rolled oats for the milk cows in a concrete bin in that barn, and the field mice it attracted provided an all-you-can-eat buffet for any cat that chose to participate.
If you ever conduct a cat census on your farm, do it at milking time. That’s when every cat on the place will congregate in a semi-circle around you and the milk cow while you squeeze a well-aimed stream directly into each open mouth. I learned early on that cats can count, so if you want to prevent cat fights, be sure to distribute the milk evenly among all feline attendees.
Country cats earn their keep by keeping the rodent population under control. While town cats pretend to attack squeak toys, yarn balls and human feet, country cats possess the same predatory skills as an African lion. They spend hours stalking and killing mice, rats, moles, gophers, snakes, rabbits and other assorted varmints.
Danger around every corner
The life of a country cat is fraught with danger. Cats prowling through an alfalfa field are at risk from mowing equipment. Cats out hunting can themselves become prey to coyotes, or they can fall victim to passing cars. And woe to the cat that crawls under the hood of the pickup to sleep on a warm engine block; it may suddenly find itself an unwilling part of the fan belt assembly. That, as they say, is when the fur begins to fly.
Dogs, on the other hand, don’t worry country cats much. Dogs mostly run in straight lines, while a barnyard cat exhibits all the moves of an NFL running back, employing zigs, zags and reversals to leave the eager pooch panting for air. “Looking for me, bozo? Let’s see if you can climb this tree!”
Despite a fairly high mortality rate, country cats are in no danger of becoming extinct. If each female produces a new litter of four to six kittens every six months or so, and each one lives 10 or 12 years …. well, you do the math. Planned parenthood is a population control option that’s sometimes difficult to implement. You’d have to look hard and long to find a vet willing to chase down and neuter a half-wild barnyard cat, or a farmer or rancher willing to pay the bill.
A house cat accustomed to sleeping on the couch in a climate-controlled environment and eating specially prepared food would probably have a hard time adapting to living outdoors. But could a country cat be happy living in a city?
Some years ago, my wife and I lived on an acreage beside an apple orchard outside Yakima, Washington. One day, a stray cat delivered a litter of four kittens in our woodpile. As the kittens grew, my wife began taking food out to them. While three of the four eventually wandered off, one little male with Siamese markings that my wife named ‘Chicken George’ stuck around. A friend of mine from Chicago happened to come to town on a business trip, and when he admired the kitten, we jokingly asked him if he’d like to take it home. To our surprise, he agreed, and two days later, our country cat was living a life of leisure in the city.
To our knowledge, Chicken George never regretted his career change.
Country writer and cowboy poet Jerry Schleicher lives in Parkville, Missouri.
Small Farms Best for Environment: Organic Group
Straight to the Source
(Organic Consumers Association) MODENA, Italy - Small-scale, not industrial farming, is the answer to food shortages and climate change, organic farmers argued this week.
Meeting at the Organic World Congress this week, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements IFOAM -- www.ifoam.org -- criticized a recent U.N. food summit for touting chemical fertilizers and genetically modified (GM) crops rather than organic solutions to tackle world hunger.
For the rest of the article click
Farm Fertilizer Runoff
Blamed for Bizarre Frog Deformities
(NaturalNews) Runoff from
industrial farming and ranching appears to be
the ultimate cause behind the surge in
deformities among North American frogs in the
past several decades, according to a new study
published in the Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences.
The problem of frog deformity in North America
is only one part of a global decline in
amphibian populations that is increasingly
alarmist biologists and conservationists. One of
the apparent causes for the decline is that an
increasing number of frogs are improperly
developing out of the tadpole stage.
"We continue to see malformed amphibians all
over the place, and yet very little is being
done to address those questions or even
understand them," said lead researcher Pieter
Johnson of the University of Colorado at
"You can get five or six extra limbs. You can
get no hind limbs. You can get all kinds of
really bizarre, sick and twisted stuff."
Johnson's team created 36 artificial
ponds in Wisconsin, to which they added
snails and frog tadpoles. To some ponds, they
also added nitrogen and phosphorus -- nutrients
commonly found in
fertilizer and animal waste. In these ponds,
the researchers observed a great increase in the
population of both snails and the eggs of
parasites called trematodes, along with a
higher rate of trematode infection in the frogs.
In nature, trematodes infect snails and
reproduce in their bodies. The parasites are
then expelled into the water, where they infect
frog tadpoles and burrow into the spots where
their limbs are developing. Often, this leads to
deformities in those spots. When the deformed
frogs are eaten by birds, the parasites are
defecated back into the environment.
Nitrogen and phosphorus runoff from agriculture
have long been known to lead to explosive algae
growth. This growth provides more food and
habitat for aquatic snails, thus beginning the
chain that leads to frog deformities.
More Variety for Maximum Cancer
AICR (The American
Institute of Cancer Research) has long
promoted increased consumption of
plant foods – namely vegetables,
fruits, whole grains and beans – as
a key factor in cancer prevention.
The release of AICR’s latest
landmark report, Food Nutrition,
Physical Activity, and the
Prevention of Cancer: a Global
Perspective, has solidified
The first AICR
expert report, published in 1997,
encouraged people to eat “a variety
of fruits and vegetables.” The new
report now points to a probable link
between consumption of non-starchy
vegetables in particular and reduced
recommendation to up your veggie
intake isn’t necessarily headline
grabbing news, the new report
encourages the public to broaden its
pallet beyond starchy vegetables
(think mashed potatoes), which have
become the anchor of many American
meals. Seeking out non-starchy
options in addition to starchy
veggies appears to offer increased
protection from cancers of the
mouth, larynx, pharynx, esophagus
For the rest of the
Keep Out! The Basics of
If you’d like to
protect your land, here
are some things you’ll
want to know about
By Troy Griepentrog
Signs such as this may or may not impact your rights as a landowner. It depends on the laws in your state. ISTOCKPHOTO/JENNY BONNER
— $50 to
Facts About Milk When It
Is Pasteurized And
The popular milk
campaign has been very
successful in reversing
declining milk sales in
America over recent
years. Common teaching
is that milk is a
"perfect food," for
building strong bodies
in children and
as we age. The modern
dairy products that are
available in most
supermarkets are nothing
like the unpasteurized,
unhomogenized milk of
Today's milk looks the
same, but it is not the
discovered by Louis
Pasteur in the
compromises your milk.
It destroys vitamins and
interferes with calcium
absorption. When you
boil a liquid, you kill
any bacteria and make
that food sterile. In
the process, you can't
help but affect the
taste and nutritional
value of that food.
Pasteurization is the
process of heating a
liquid to a high enough
temperature to kill
certain bacteria and
disable certain enzymes.
Milk can be pasteurized
by heating it to a
temperature of 145
degrees F for 30 minutes
or 163 degrees F for 15
seconds (called flash
Ultra High Temperature (UHT)
completely sterilizes a
liquid. This process is
utilized for the "boxes
of milk" that can be
shelved at room
temperature. For UHT
Pasteurization, milk is
heated to 285 degrees F
for a second or two.
Homogenization is a more
process and it has been
called "the worst thing
that dairymen did to
milk." When milk is
homogenized, it is
pushed through a fine
filter at pressures of
4,000 pounds per square
inch. In this process,
the fat globules are
made smaller by a factor
of ten times or more.
These fat molecules then
become evenly dispersed
throughout the milk.
Milk is a hormonal
delivery system. When
becomes very powerful
and efficient at
digestive processes and
delivering steroid and
protein hormones to the
human body (both your
hormones and the cow's
natural hormones and the
ones they may have been
injected with to produce
Homogenization makes fat
molecules in milk
smaller and they become
substances that are able
to bypass digestion.
Proteins that would
normally be digested in
the stomach are not
broken down and instead
they are absorbed into
process breaks up an
enzyme in milk which in
its smaller state can
then enter the
bloodstream and react
against arterial walls.
This causes the body to
protect the area with a
layer of cholesterol. If
this only happened once
in a while it wouldn't
be of big concern, but
if it happens regularly
there are long term
Proteins were created to
be easily broken down by
this and insures their
survival so that they
enter the bloodstream.
Many times the body
reacts to foreign
proteins by producing
histamines, and then
proteins resemble a
human protein and can
become triggers for
autoimmune diseases such
as diabetes or multiple
proteins did in fact
survive digestion. It
was discovered that
Bovine Xanthene Oxidase
(BXO) survived long
enough to affect every
one of three hundred
heart attack victims
over a five-year time
period. Even young
children in the U.S. are
showing signs of
hardening of the
1600s and 1700s: Each
approximately one quart
of milk per day. Cream
was churned into butter
and was stored to help
during the hard winters.
1908: Pasteurization was
introduced to reduce
spoiling and the growth
begun to prevent the
separation of fat
1932: Synthetic Vitamin
D first added to milk
1964: Plastic milk
containers are first
1994: Monsanto Company
develops the genetically
bovine somatotropin (rBST)
or bovine growth hormone
(BGH)) to boost dairy
The bottom line is that
today's milk may contain
assorted drugs and
from treated grains,
bacteria from infected
animals, and genetically
hormones, in addition to
being chemically altered
into something that is
incompatible with our
Jo Hartley - Wife,
Mother of 8, and
Grandmother of 2. Jo is
a 40 year old home
educator who has always
gravitated toward a
natural approach to
life. She enjoys
learning as much as
possible about just
More Variety for Maximum Cancer
vegetables include the following
categories: leafy greens such as
lettuce and spinach; cruciferous
vegetables like broccoli, cabbage
and bok choy; and allium vegetables
like onions, garlic and leeks.
Cucumbers, squash, peppers and
tomatoes – botanically classified as
fruits – also fall into this
category. (For a comprehensive list,
defined in the report as roots,
tubers and plantains (most notably,
potatoes, cassava and sweet
potatoes), differ from their
non-starchy cousins in their
nutrient content and calorie count.
While non-starchy varieties provide
just 5 grams of carbohydrate and 25
calories per serving, starchy
vegetables have three times the
carbohydrates and roughly 80
calories per serving.
vegetables are more concentrated in
calories than non-starchy veggies,
they remain nutritious staples in a
balanced diet. These foods provide
many nutritional benefits. Potatoes,
for example, supply almost twice the
potassium of a banana. Starchy
vegetables also provide dietary
fiber, which may play a role in
colon cancer prevention.
starchy vegetables, however, can
prove problematic. First, a diet
devoid of non-starchy options is
lacking in many vitamins, nutrients
and phytochemicals. And second,
starchy varieties, like potatoes,
are frequently prepared with added
fat, salt and sugar. In fact,
although potatoes consistently rank
as the favorite vegetable in
America, they are rarely consumed in
their unprocessed form. A plain
baked potato would garner thumbs-up
from any dietitian, but tater tots,
potato chips and French fries are
clearly foods that should be eaten
How do they
affect cancer risk?
According to AICR
experts, non-starchy vegetables
supply a broader array of
micronutrients. Specifically, the
panel cites the potent anti-cancer
effects of plant foods containing
Vitamin C, carotenoids such as
beta-carotene and lycopene, folate
and a variety of phytochemicals.
These compounds are most commonly
found in non-starchy vegetables and
In addition to the
direct effect that non-starchy
vegetables play in cancer
prevention, the benefit of
increasing vegetable intake –
starchy and nonstarchy included – is
actually two-fold. As a general rule
of thumb, vegetables contain fewer
calories per bite than other foods.
They also tend to have a higher
water content and additional fiber –
two characteristics that can
increase satiety. Foods that meet
these criteria, defined as
low-energy-dense foods, have been
identified as key players in
battling weight gain. As AICR has
identified maintenance of a healthy
weight as a major factor in reducing
cancer risk, choosing foods that
support this goal –vegetables, for
example – is highly recommended.
According to the
report, at least five servings of a
variety of non-starchy vegetables
and fruits are recommended each day.
One half-cup of cut vegetables or
one-cup of raw leafy greens each
count as one “serving.” Try the
following suggestions to help
increase your intake of non-starchy
Make a farmer’s
omelet using bell peppers,
mushrooms, onions and spinach
zucchini and yellow squash to
Forget the chips
and offer broccoli, cauliflower
and carrot sticks when serving
salsa and dip to guests
frozen veggies to accompany
reduced-sodium frozen dinners
Starting at the beginning of the
alphabet, try a new vegetable
each week: ‘a’ is for artichoke,
‘b’ could be bok choy, etc.
great big vegetable challenge
Asparagus, Bean sprouts, Beets, Bok
Choy, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts,
Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower,
Celery, Collard greens, Cucumber,
Eggplant, Green beans, Hearts of
palm, Jicama, Kale, Leeks,
Mushrooms, Mustard greens, Okra,
Onions, Pea pods, Peppers, Radishes,
Rutabaga, Sauerkraut, Spinach,
Summer squash, Swiss chard, Tomato,
Turnips, Water chestnuts, Zucchini
Institute of Cancer Research
Starting Your Own Garden
24, 2008 by: Debby Bolen
(see all articles by this author)
The Season of Spring is lavish with
its abundance. Before we even ask,
nature blesses us with every shade
of color and profusion of green. Far
and wide, beauties of nature are
bursting forth with new growth and
blossoms. Our copious supply abounds
everywhere. Everyone is relieved
spring has finally sprung for nature
is teeming with plenty for everyone.
Yet, our country is presently
experiencing numerous economic,
environmental, and health crises.
Concerns from reducing pollution,
greenhouse gases, energy
consumption, and the burden on our
landfills, to protecting our
water supply, plants and animals
from extinction, and against serious
threats to human health, have risen
on the list of public interests
causing many more people to "go
green". There are simple but
meaningful actions people can take
to save our planet for future
generations including choices to
recycle, composting, using energy
efficient light bulbs, or using
barrels to collect rainwater.
Consequently, over the last year one
gardening is witnessing
tremendous growth nationwide is
because people who love fresh food
are reducing environmental costs of
mass-producing and shipping food all
over the globe by drastically
reducing "food miles" and simply
choosing to grow their own. With
this culinary trend towards fresh,
local cuisine one knows exactly what
they are serving and eating. Among
the numerous reasons more than 70
million US gardeners grow their own
fruit, veggies, and herbs includes
reasons for health, to save money,
to teach children, and to share.
Another enormous dilemma in
America is our growing hunger
plight. According to a 2007 USDA
report, over 35 million Americans
experienced food insecurity in 2006.
In other words, there are tens of
millions of Americans including over
12 million children who are not sure
when or where their next meal will
come from. Our nation's largest
charitable hunger relief
organization, Second Harvest
reported in "Hunger in America 2006"
over 25 million Americans depend on
emergency food services annually
with the hardship currently
Many food banks struggle to meet the
need for food assistance to the
point where now they only serve
people living within their zip code
area. By 1995 to contend with this
ever-growing predicament, the Garden
Writers Association (GWA) launched
their Plant a Row (PAR) program (http://www.gardenwriters.org/Par/index.html)
encouraging gardeners to donate
their extra produce to food banks
and local soup kitchens serving the
homeless and hungry. Wherever a
local Committee exists, the GWA PAR
program provides direction, training
support, and materials for
businesses, church groups, home
gardeners, schools, and youth and
community organizations making a
difference in their community for
their neighbors. Through their
approach they have made a
significant impact on reducing
hunger. In 2005 mainly through the
media, GWA PAR efforts provided,
without government subsidies or
bureaucratic red tape, more than 1.5
million pounds of fresh produce to
over 5.5 million hungry recipients.
Throughout the U.S. and Canada their
total donations have reached nearly
10 million pounds.
If these reasons don't persuade your
interest in gardening, take into
account the quandary we are in two
different wars and our soldiers are
returning home daily. During World
War I and World War II private
residence gardens provided up to 40%
of the vegetable produce consumed
thereby reducing the strain on the
food supply. Such devotion doesn't
exist now. Are you aware the
Veterans Health Administration
confirms an average 126
veterans per week for a total of
6,552 veterans per year are
suicide? Sorrowfully there are
about 18 veterans suicides per day,
which hasn't happened in previous
wars. Imagine after war coming home
with health and psychological
problems to unemployment, high
prices, and a non-responsive
government. Consider welcoming home
your local returning weary vet by
donating a row of garden produce to
assist them as they re-assimilate.
Some seed companies have even
stepped up to meet some of these
types of community needs by donating
seeds to qualifying
organizations. Two examples of
companies with seed donation
programs are Seeds of Change ((http://www.seedsofchange.com/donations/...)
and Park Seed ((http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/cli...)
Interestingly, there is even a
Victory Gardens organization in
Oregon specifically devoted to
supplying untreated, organically
grown or certified organic
open-pollinated and heirloom seeds (http://www.victoryseeds.com/TheVictoryGarden/)
With all the supplies and options
available, gardening is much easier
today. Between the Internet, the
local County Extension Agencies, and
gardening supply businesses, a
plethora of information is available
to make your 2008 gardening
endeavors great. Gardeners
contribute to saving the planet for
our children, future generations,
and us. So whether you are motivated
by concerns about the environment,
feel a civic duty, just want to
share with your neighbors, need a
new hobby, teaching children, or
whatever your impulse might be, pick
up some seeds and supplies and Happy
About the author
Debby is a Registered Nurse, and a
free-lance journalist. Please visit
Debby educates the public about a
preventative-based healthy lifestyle
and operates an on-line business
offering the best in whole food
wellness products at
The best method of achieving
wellness and optimal weight is by
eating healthy and exercising.
Sow Your Own
Start garden plants from seeds.
Published: December 18, 2007 @ 02:20 PM
CST from the January/February 2008 issue of
By: Tina Marie Wilcox and
In this fast-paced world,
many folks choose to create their gardens
with young plants, rather than taking time
to grow their own from seed. The upside to
this approach is that you invest less time
in the process; however, the downside is
that your choices are limited to only the
most popular garden varieties. If you find
yourself dissatisfied with plant-store
selections, or want to take advantage of the
thousands of flower and vegetable varieties
out there, then you will need to sow a
Technically, a seed is an
embryo-containing, ripened plant ovule whose
function is to ensure that the species can
survive in future generations. To the
gardener, these miraculous containers of
life provide an economical means for
diversifying gardens, and all it takes to
get from seed to healthy adult plants is a
little effort and forethought.
for the complete story, click
Energy fears looming, new survivalists prepare
By SAMANTHA GROSS, Associated Press Writer
Peter Laskowski stacks firewood in Waitsfield, Vt., Friday, April 11, 2008. Convinced that the planet's oil supply is dwindling and the world's economies are heading for a crash, people around the country are moving onto homesteads, learning to live off their land, conserving fuel and, in some cases, stocking up on guns they expect to use to defend themselves and their supplies from desperate crowds of people who didn't prepare. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
BUSKIRK, N.Y. - A few years ago, Kathleen Breault was just another suburban grandma, driving countless hours every week, stopping for lunch at McDonald's, buying clothes at the mall, watching TV in the evenings.
That was before Breault heard an author talk about the bleak future of the world's oil supply. Now, she's preparing for the world as we know it to disappear.
Breault cut her driving time in half. She switched to a diet of locally grown foods near her upstate New York home and lost 70 pounds. She sliced up her credit cards, banished her television and swore off plane travel. She began relying on a wood-burning stove.
"I was panic-stricken," the 50-year-old recalled, her voice shaking. "Devastated. Depressed. Afraid. Vulnerable. Weak. Alone. Just terrible."
Convinced the planet's oil supply is dwindling and the world's economies are heading for a crash, some people around the country are moving onto homesteads, learning to live off their land, conserving fuel and, in some cases, stocking up on guns they expect to use to defend themselves and their supplies from desperate crowds of people who didn't prepare.
The exact number of people taking such steps is impossible to determine, but anecdotal evidence suggests that the movement has been gaining momentum in the last few years.
These energy survivalists are not leading some sort of green revolution meant to save the planet. Many of them believe it is too late for that, seeing signs in soaring fuel and food prices and a faltering U.S. economy, and are largely focused on saving themselves.
Some are doing it quietly, giving few details of their preparations — afraid that revealing such information as the location of their supplies will endanger themselves and their loved ones. They envision a future in which the nation's cities will be filled with hungry, desperate refugees forced to go looking for food, shelter and water.
"There's going to be things that happen when people can't get things that they need for themselves and their families," said Lynn-Marie, who believes cities could see a rise in violence as early as 2012.
Lynn-Marie asked to be identified by her first name to protect her homestead in rural western Idaho. Many of these survivalists declined to speak to The Associated Press for similar reasons.
These survivalists believe in "peak oil," the idea that world oil production is set to hit a high point and then decline. Scientists who support idea say the amount of oil produced in the world each year has already or will soon begin a downward slide, even amid increased demand. But many scientists say such a scenario will be avoided as other sources of energy come in to fill the void.
On the PeakOil.com Web site, where upward of 800 people gathered on recent evenings, believers engage in a debate about what kind of world awaits.
Some members argue there will be no financial crash, but a slow slide into harder times. Some believe the federal government will respond to the loss of energy security with a clampdown on personal freedoms. Others simply don't trust that the government can maintain basic services in the face of an energy crisis.
The powers that be, they've determined, will be largely powerless to stop what is to come.
Determined to guard themselves from potentially harsh times ahead, Lynn-Marie and her husband have already planted an orchard of about 40 trees and built a greenhouse on their 7 1/2 acres. They have built their own irrigation system. They've begun to raise chickens and pigs, and they've learned to slaughter them.
The couple have gotten rid of their TV and instead have been reading dusty old books published in their grandparents' era, books that explain the simpler lifestyle they are trying to revive. Lynn-Marie has been teaching herself how to make soap. Her husband, concerned about one day being unable to get medications, has been training to become an herbalist.
By 2012, they expect to power their property with solar panels, and produce their own meat, milk and vegetables. When things start to fall apart, they expect their children and grandchildren will come back home and help them work the land. She envisions a day when the family may have to decide whether to turn needy people away from their door.
"People will be unprepared," she said. "And we can imagine marauding hordes."
So can Peter Laskowski. Living in a woodsy area outside of Montpelier, Vt., the 57-year-old retiree has become the local constable and a deputy sheriff for his county, as well as an emergency medical technician.
"I decided there was nothing like getting the training myself to deal with insurrections, if that's a possibility," said the former executive recruiter.
Laskowski is taking steps similar to environmentalists: conserving fuel, consuming less, studying global warming, and relying on local produce and craftsmen. Laskowski is powering his home with solar panels and is raising fish, geese, ducks and sheep. He has planted apple and pear trees and is growing lettuce, spinach and corn.
Whenever possible, he uses his bicycle to get into town.
"I remember the oil crisis in '73; I remember waiting in line for gas," Laskowski said. "If there is a disruption in the oil supply it will be very quickly elevated into a disaster."
Breault said she hopes to someday band together with her neighbors to form a self-sufficient community. Women will always be having babies, she notes, and she imagines her skills as a midwife will always be in demand.
For now, she is readying for the more immediate work ahead: There's a root cellar to dig, fruit trees and vegetable plots to plant. She has put a bicycle on layaway, and soon she'll be able to bike to visit her grandkids even if there is no oil at the pump.
Whatever the shape of things yet to come, she said, she's done what she can to prepare.
On the Net:
Peak Oil: http://www.PeakOil.com
Be Prepared for Storms
These tips will help you plan for storms, floods, power outages and other emergencies.
(Mother Earth) Lightning and wind and rain – oh my! Severe storms, plus the blackouts and flooding that accompany them, can be life-threatening. But, with a bit of advanced planning, you can weather them with relative comfort and minimal anxiety.
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Take Stock in Your Health With Bone Gelatin
By Neil McLaughlin, April 9 2008
(NaturalNews) It seems that the current generation has lost one of the most essential components of our cuisine. Perhaps related to our degenerating health is this fact: most of us no longer make Chicken soup! More specifically, we no longer consume whole organisms by utilizing the bones to make a broth called stock. Most cultures throughout history featured a steaming cauldron in which entire animals were cooked. When organs, cartilage, connective tissue and bones are liquefied, the collagen they...
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- It’s easier than you might think to
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