Saturday, January 11, 2014

Historic Communities and Village Museums

You can learn tons of stuff from your vacation time.  Plan trips to historic communities like Williamsburg Virginia, Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts, Shelburne in Burlington, Vermont, King's Landing in New Brunswick, Canada. 
These museums will give you tons of information on how to do things in the old manner.  One drawback is the Sanitized view of daily life that they present.  Plenty of funding and admission fees allow them to show all the people in the communities in nice clothing, clean, well fed etc..  The realities of life in a post apocalyptic world or in the 18th century were a bit different.  Communication was poor until the 19th century, and manufactured goods were available in the form of ploughshares etc., but they required money.  People were poorly fed in some years, and in some seasons.  People had to butcher their animals, preserve the meats, plow the fields etc.  All these tasks are rarely a part of the show at the museums.
The realities include mice getting into the seed grain.  Crops failing because of the rain...too much and too little.  Your potatoes sprouted prematurely so only a few of them could be used for the new crop.  Open hearths led to fires that would leave you stranded and sleeping in the cowshed with no resources to rebuild, or in freezing temperatures in the winter.
Everything takes much longer by hand.  Where do you get a safety pin if you have none.  Where do you get medicine?
Such museums show us a world with well established lines of communication and a society that was used to the deprivations of the time. You may have to live in a world of total collapse, and isolation.
Learn all you can from these museums, but prepare for the realities by working with others for the common good.....

A good strategy would be to purchase a large piece of land...I mean really large.  Cut it up into pie wedges with a central common area in the middle.  Sell the wedges off to like minded people who will build their homes near the common areas in the center, and farm the outlying land. Housing should be kept very...VERY modest in size so as not to waste resources.  Communal ovens, pottery kilns, storage facilities, ice houses, communal root cellars, fish ponds, orchards, sawmills and mill ponds, etc., should be built on common land.  Woodlots should be kept in peripheral areas and managed very carefully for sustainable harvest of the wood and sugar production where applicable.   Remote storage for seed, breeding stock and supplies should be hidden around the peripheral areas.  Doing all of this in advance of need assures that people will not be left in a world without good sources of energy and trying to clear and plant virgin forest or the like. 


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