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Old 11-23-2013, 08:43 PM
 
462 posts, read 629,613 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
Not only those serious things, but if you have ever suffered from heartburn, can you imagine how horrible their quality of life would be without Tums? Or imagine life without drugstore reading glasses, let alone prescription glasses, and the seemingly small things we take for granted like disposable diapers and bathtubs with hot water. I sometimes think about all the women who raised children in little freezing cabins in the middle of nowhere, and I wish could miraculously provide them with a hot bubblebath.
A lot of heartburn and health problems are created by the very food that can only be produced via modern technology. Food used to be about just eating to get to the next day, now it is a billion dollar business with government stipends and regulation - for better or worse. There are a lot of books and documentaries about today's unhealthy food. Food companies use a lot of tricks to get people to consume more, just like in any other money-making endeavor.
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Old 11-23-2013, 11:28 PM
 
Location: Cushing OK
14,545 posts, read 18,993,468 times
Reputation: 16886
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatanjaliTwist View Post
Interesting, NB. Some probably don't need to dip that far back for generational shock. Mostly likely as with the majority posting here, my grandparents were all born before the turn of the century. I heard stories of my dad's mum in IR & how she was virtually chased out of town with sticks for entering a Charleston dance contest, as a young girl with long orange hair & a ribbon, daring to flash her ankles & perhaps knees (the horror) to the crowd. She had a huge family to feed & the prize was £5, a fortune in those days. Racy behavior at the time, sure, but, when I look back on pics of her (she was long gone before I was born), she looks like someone out of the 1700s... stern expression; long, modest, loose fitting dress; white hair pulled back into the obligatory bun; never a stitch of makeup & lace-up, black shoes with a modest heel.

Hard to imagine grandma being the Rihanna/Miley of her day... although she had 12-13 kids who lived into adulthood & 5-6 more who died in childhood, so she & grandpa must have at least liked each other. Still, I imagine she'd be stunned at today's clothing styles, the way in which people speak to & about each other, TV programming. Then again, my eastern EU grandma liked Patti LaBelle, James Brown & Elvis & bought me my first bikini at age 14 (my mum ordered me into the house to take it off & grandma shook her finger at her & told her to leave me alone because all young girls wore bikinis), so, who knows, maybe she & others would be cool with, or at least adjust to inevitable changes.



A slightly different point, but it's a bit mind boggling to me that today, financially well off people pay $$$ for chipped (or as the upscale call it, distressed & shabby chic) metal cabinets bolted to an old metal rack on rollers in an industrial, functional way or now haunt thrift shops for used clothing/items (now called vintage finds), use quaint words like regifting or thrifted & will eat at home style, inexpensive pubs & call it slumming. I've overhead that kind of talk from time to time & slowly turned to glare at said folk like Bela Lugosi's best Dracula impression out of sheer insult & dismay. None of my business, why should I care, but I despise being labeled as having been raised shabbily or eating in my old 'hood would be slumming it, as if we were destitute, fearful non-beings.

We grew up that way out of necessity & poverty... except we could never afford to eat out anywhere. I can now afford to live well & could purchase the above cabinets for $250 if I wanted, but it's so ingrained in me to recycle & not waste, fix rather than discard, make rather than buy, that I'd rather take an empty jar, decorate/stencil it & use it as a holder for wooden spoons, than buy it at Pier 1 or Pottery Barn for $25. When clothing was too old/stained to wear, my mum made potholders out of layers of the material & saved the buttons, collars & cuffs for possible use on another garment. I was slightly embarrassed by that as a kid (grew out of embarrassment when I was 20 & living on my own) but today, that would be considered vintage style by some & they'd pay $50/set of 2.

It's admittedly my own issue, but I do have to resist offended looks at those who are gleefully trolling consignment shops & I've overheard are excited that they found a $3 knick knack to sell in their upscale shop in La Jolla for a steal at $100 for a slice of old world Americana. Or, maybe it just means I need an Ebay site to sell my homemade $50 potholders.

Frugality used to be a necessary way of life for many. Now it's a salable commodity to some. Again, why should I care... that's life in a commercial society, but I can't help feeling a bit miffed.
Before they were lost, I saw pictures of most of my grandparent's parents and aunts and uncles. And my grandparents were all born in the 1890's. The men are always in suits, neatly dressed and yet you can tell its not a special occasion, but just how they dressed. The colors were dark, the hair neat, the facial hair always neatly styled. The women wore dresses, all with sleeves, and high necklines in the early pictures. Even later, nothing to peak at. I even remember my mom wore dresses most of the time, always when going out somewhere. The frilly girl look was one she favored until I turned twelve and said no more pink, lace or ribbon. I can only imagine what my great grandparents would have to say about the usual female wear today.

It was pointed out in a thread about the marchers in one of the protests in the sixties how all the men wore suits. It wasn't special. They just did, and for all but the sort of tasks like mowing the lawn.

I've heard stories that some of the female relatives were 'wild' too. Interesting there are no family pictures of them during their 'wild' days.

One of my favorite lines from a tv show is one from a Dr. Who episode. The doctor and his companions arrive in one of the homes of Queen Victoria. She picks up on 'dreams' of the present and wonders why everyone is just wearing underwear.

I don't think we can really even grasp how shocking the flappers were to the staid society they confronted. Its on the scale of Victoria's views of modern dress, but it was a symptom of a greater change which led to us. It was not just dress, but technology and change, especially the pace it held steady at. How many today can say their great grand parents were farmers, and maybe their grandparents, but nobody is today?

Change started to happen far faster than before, and I think the dream of trying the old ways without really knowing what they were is one sign that its left a layer of people who in that time would have gladly embrased their world and don't quite feel right in this one.

And crafting...

I'm SO tempted to find some place to sell the smaller croched things I make, like the bonnets with scarves attached. Or just seeing what I could get for one of the large afgans. It would never pay me for the time, but then the payback would be that I could go and make more of them. And that whole 'slumming' stuff. As someone who has at times bought from thrift shops since I could afford to, when people come in doing the 'in' thing and take the nicest things, I wonder if someone who else might need it more?

Now, I'm trying to make my living room look like a formal Victorian sort of place. LOVE the old wood being tossed because its 'old' and you have to dig out a few nails and sand it a bit.
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Old 05-20-2014, 01:25 PM
 
983 posts, read 826,039 times
Reputation: 3075
Hope old thread bumping isn't frowned upon here, so here goes.

I have a severe nostalgia for the days before the Industrial Revolution. In fact, I would go back to 1810s or so, just post-Lewis and Clark times. Reading descriptions on how farms provided everything one needed, it's incredible how they lived. Life was harder, no question about that, but was life better?

Fatr less cancer causing chemicals polluting everthing in sight. Far slower pace of life. Less noise. Less light pollution, dang, a person can't even look up at night and see the stars anymore, every single square foot of a neighborhood has to be bathed in light so it feels "safe." More time spent talking, boy what a concept.

I watched both PBS specials with back in-time-themes. I loved Frontier House. The1900 House, I wouldn't spend one night in that death trap. I couldn't live in Victorian times, there were all these new inventions coming up, but with questionable safety. I look at gas lights just inches from the wall and cringe. Or the range blowing up. Or new personal products coming out that had lead in them. I once read that men used to splash benzene on their faces as after shave because it smelled sweet! Yikes!!!!

Give me life on the frontier. I'd deal with the bugs, and the work, and tending my animals. Being so connected to the land. Having space to breathe. Yeah, about 1810-60, that's a 50 year life span. On a big farm with everything I need right there, except probably the blacksmith.
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,994,845 times
Reputation: 13779
Quote:
Originally Posted by IheartWA View Post
Hope old thread bumping isn't frowned upon here, so here goes.

I have a severe nostalgia for the days before the Industrial Revolution. In fact, I would go back to 1810s or so, just post-Lewis and Clark times. Reading descriptions on how farms provided everything one needed, it's incredible how they lived. Life was harder, no question about that, but was life better?

Fatr less cancer causing chemicals polluting everthing in sight. Far slower pace of life. Less noise. Less light pollution, dang, a person can't even look up at night and see the stars anymore, every single square foot of a neighborhood has to be bathed in light so it feels "safe." More time spent talking, boy what a concept.

I watched both PBS specials with back in-time-themes. I loved Frontier House. The1900 House, I wouldn't spend one night in that death trap. I couldn't live in Victorian times, there were all these new inventions coming up, but with questionable safety. I look at gas lights just inches from the wall and cringe. Or the range blowing up. Or new personal products coming out that had lead in them. I once read that men used to splash benzene on their faces as after shave because it smelled sweet! Yikes!!!!

Give me life on the frontier. I'd deal with the bugs, and the work, and tending my animals. Being so connected to the land. Having space to breathe. Yeah, about 1810-60, that's a 50 year life span. On a big farm with everything I need right there, except probably the blacksmith.
Right.
  • Have you ever plowed a field behind an ox or mule with a single blade plow?
  • Ever cut hay with just a scythe, and then stacked it by hand with a three pronged hay fork, and then loaded it by hand into a wagon to carry it to the barn where it was unloaded by hand?
  • Ever muck out a cow or horse barn or chicken coop?
  • Ever spread manure by hand from a wagon?
  • Ever cut down a 12 inch diameter tree with an axe?
  • Saw firewood with a two person handsaw?
  • Made your own furniture with only hand tools?
  • Split shingles with only an axe to roof your house, barn, outbuildings?
  • Split rails from trees you cut down so that you could build fences?
  • Hauled rocks out of your fields and used them to build stone wall fences?
  • Drawn water from a well with a bucket from a hand-dug well and carried numerous buckets into the house and then into the barn for livestock?
  • Built a privy?
  • Used a privy, especially on a cold, rainy/snowy night?
  • Made soap from lye and candles from lard?
  • Washed clothes in a tub of boiling water over a fire, wringing them by hand to get out much of the moisture, and then hanging them to dry, whether the temperature's 90 or 20?
  • Butchered your own livestock?
  • Cooked/baked your food in a fireplace?
  • Harvested your wheat or oats with a cradle, threshed it by beating it or winnowing it, and then ground it the wheat in mortal and pestle because there's no gristmill nearby?
  • Carded wool, spun it into thread, woven it into cloth, and then sewn it into garments without the aid of a sewing machine?
I could go on ...
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Old 05-22-2014, 12:36 PM
Status: "And just like that, Covid was gone." (set 29 days ago)
 
8,233 posts, read 7,115,489 times
Reputation: 7468
yeah! i reminisce about the "old days" like what it would be like to live in 1930 or maybe 1890. In Chicago, we have a surgical museum that has very old rusty medical tools... When i saw the rusty heavy looking tools that they used inside a person, i got kind of sick to my stomach. And when i see old Civil War movies where they chopped a leg off without anesthesia, eeekk.. like in Gone with the wind, but im sure it was more graphic.

i think it would have been kinda cool to live near the beginnig of chicago, when the city was being built, that would be cool to see. however, to live back then, there were a lot of things not yet developed, like good medicine like we have now... but maybe food tasted better without all the chemicals. funny how they used toxins in stuff or drugs like cocaine in Coca Cola, or arsenic, or they didn't know the dangers of radiation therapy like we do now. Mr kellogg of kellogg Cereals had some kind of weird treatment for things, pretty much we know it was pretty fraudulent, but people felt he was really treating them.

I do think that in the olden times, there was more things like good morals, more respect for people, not so much shooting like we have nowadays, for stupid stuff i mean, people have an argument with their husband and chose to just shoot them.. sheesh... i guess life for black people was hard because they had Jim Crow laws against them and post-slavery hardships that others didn't suffer, so that was no fun, well even up to 1955 it was not great,,,, but i think peopel seemed to have a better ethics, with work, treating others better, more respect for God, surely more respect for our country, more patriotic than now, i think our country was more conservative than liberal, i think the liberals kinda messsed up a lot, now politicians of all kinds are pretty corrupt. so in those ways, i like the old days better, but would i give up the modern conveniences for that? i guess if i never knew them, i woudln't miss them. heck.. maybe 100 years from now people will view us as primitive.. wonder what things will be built/discovered/created.
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Old 05-22-2014, 04:12 PM
 
Location: The Great West
2,077 posts, read 2,241,777 times
Reputation: 4088
Quote:
Originally Posted by IheartWA View Post

I have a severe nostalgia for the days before the Industrial Revolution. In fact, I would go back to 1810s or so, just post-Lewis and Clark times. Reading descriptions on how farms provided everything one needed, it's incredible how they lived. Life was harder, no question about that, but was life better?
How can you have nostalgia for a time you didn't live through?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoMeO View Post
I do think that in the olden times, there was more things like good morals, more respect for people, not so much shooting like we have nowadays, for stupid stuff i mean, people have an argument with their husband and chose to just shoot them.. sheesh... i guess life for black people was hard because they had Jim Crow laws against them and post-slavery hardships that others didn't suffer, so that was no fun, well even up to 1955 it was not great,,,, but i think peopel seemed to have a better ethics, with work, treating others better, more respect for God, surely more respect for our country, more patriotic than now, i think our country was more conservative than liberal, i think the liberals kinda messsed up a lot, now politicians of all kinds are pretty corrupt. so in those ways, i like the old days better, but would i give up the modern conveniences for that? i guess if i never knew them, i woudln't miss them. heck.. maybe 100 years from now people will view us as primitive.. wonder what things will be built/discovered/created.
Brilliant, thanks for bringing politics into it. Perhaps you would, in fact, do better in a time when challenging the status quo could get you jailed or killed.
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Old 05-22-2014, 04:53 PM
 
32,525 posts, read 32,991,465 times
Reputation: 32455
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
[*]Built a privy?[*]Used a privy, especially on a cold, rainy/snowy night?
.
A number of the things on your list were done by people during the Depression. My grandmother, who had a house in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago, had a privy until the late 40's.
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Old 05-22-2014, 05:15 PM
 
14,331 posts, read 15,566,487 times
Reputation: 42641
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
Right.
  • Have you ever plowed a field behind an ox or mule with a single blade plow?
  • Ever cut hay with just a scythe, and then stacked it by hand with a three pronged hay fork, and then loaded it by hand into a wagon to carry it to the barn where it was unloaded by hand?
  • Ever muck out a cow or horse barn or chicken coop?
  • Ever spread manure by hand from a wagon?
  • Ever cut down a 12 inch diameter tree with an axe?
  • Saw firewood with a two person handsaw?
  • Made your own furniture with only hand tools?
  • Split shingles with only an axe to roof your house, barn, outbuildings?
  • Split rails from trees you cut down so that you could build fences?
  • Hauled rocks out of your fields and used them to build stone wall fences?
  • Drawn water from a well with a bucket from a hand-dug well and carried numerous buckets into the house and then into the barn for livestock?
  • Built a privy?
  • Used a privy, especially on a cold, rainy/snowy night?
  • Made soap from lye and candles from lard?
  • Washed clothes in a tub of boiling water over a fire, wringing them by hand to get out much of the moisture, and then hanging them to dry, whether the temperature's 90 or 20?
  • Butchered your own livestock?
  • Cooked/baked your food in a fireplace?
  • Harvested your wheat or oats with a cradle, threshed it by beating it or winnowing it, and then ground it the wheat in mortal and pestle because there's no gristmill nearby?
  • Carded wool, spun it into thread, woven it into cloth, and then sewn it into garments without the aid of a sewing machine?
I could go on ...
My father grew up during the Depression. He was trapping and hunting from the time he was a small child, and he loved it. He was always an outdoorsman, partly out of necessity. He's also a huge conservative.

I asked him once - when his old hunting grounds were being built over for a highway - "Do you miss the old days? Do you ever wish you lived a hundred years ago?"

He laughed and laughed. Then laughed some more. Then he asked me if I was crazy.

He'd dealt with enough deprivation, seen enough people die of diseases that were easily cured today, felt enough limitations to never ever want to deal with them again, even though those were arguably the best years of his life. I'm surrounded by a lot of pragmatic old people - I've never heard them once utter the words "those were the good ol days" or anything like it.

ADDITIONAL EDIT: THe wife of my father's best friend still limps from a childhood bout of polio. Yeah, not a lot of mourning for times past with that crowd.
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Old 05-22-2014, 05:18 PM
 
14,331 posts, read 15,566,487 times
Reputation: 42641
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoMeO View Post
yeah! i reminisce about the "old days" like what it would be like to live in 1930 or maybe 1890. In Chicago, we have a surgical museum that has very old rusty medical tools... When i saw the rusty heavy looking tools that they used inside a person, i got kind of sick to my stomach. And when i see old Civil War movies where they chopped a leg off without anesthesia, eeekk.. like in Gone with the wind, but im sure it was more graphic.

i think it would have been kinda cool to live near the beginnig of chicago, when the city was being built, that would be cool to see. however, to live back then, there were a lot of things not yet developed, like good medicine like we have now... but maybe food tasted better without all the chemicals. funny how they used toxins in stuff or drugs like cocaine in Coca Cola, or arsenic, or they didn't know the dangers of radiation therapy like we do now. Mr kellogg of kellogg Cereals had some kind of weird treatment for things, pretty much we know it was pretty fraudulent, but people felt he was really treating them.

I do think that in the olden times, there was more things like good morals, more respect for people, not so much shooting like we have nowadays, for stupid stuff i mean, people have an argument with their husband and chose to just shoot them.. sheesh... i guess life for black people was hard because they had Jim Crow laws against them and post-slavery hardships that others didn't suffer, so that was no fun, well even up to 1955 it was not great,,,, but i think peopel seemed to have a better ethics, with work, treating others better, more respect for God, surely more respect for our country, more patriotic than now, i think our country was more conservative than liberal, i think the liberals kinda messsed up a lot, now politicians of all kinds are pretty corrupt. so in those ways, i like the old days better, but would i give up the modern conveniences for that? i guess if i never knew them, i woudln't miss them. heck.. maybe 100 years from now people will view us as primitive.. wonder what things will be built/discovered/created.
Wow. You really think politicians are more corrupt now.

That's adorable. Please read about things like the Teapot Dome Scandal and more.

Yes, "the liberals" messed everything up.
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Old 05-22-2014, 10:59 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
25,863 posts, read 17,287,568 times
Reputation: 19784
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
Right.
  • Ever cut hay with just a scythe, and then stacked it by hand with a three pronged hay fork, and then loaded it by hand into a wagon to carry it to the barn where it was unloaded by hand?
  • Ever muck out a cow or horse barn or chicken coop?
  • Ever spread manure by hand from a wagon?
  • Ever cut down a 12 inch diameter tree with an axe? A 12 inch tree is no big deal. The 3 foot trees are the big deal. A 12 inches can be cut down with a hatchet about as easily as an axe, and swinging a cruiser axe is a lot different than swinging a felling axe.
  • Saw firewood with a two person handsaw? A 2-man handsaw is usually used for felling a tree. Most firewood doesn't need 2 guys, except for big hunks of the trunk. A single person bow saw works faster, and 2 people with bow saws can cut more firewood singly. A splitter wedge and a sledge hammer cuts up the big stuff after it's cut in slices. A light cruiser axe is often as fast as a bow saw, depending on the wood.
  • Made your own furniture with only hand tools?
  • Split shingles with only an axe to roof your house, barn, outbuildings?
  • Split rails from trees you cut down so that you could build fences?
  • Hauled rocks out of your fields and used them to build stone wall fences? Only to remove the rocks.Never made walls with them. Stringing barbed wire is faster and easier, and a lot less dangerous.
  • Drawn water from a well with a bucket from a hand-dug well and carried numerous buckets into the house and then into the barn for livestock? No hand-dug well. We had a spring.The bucket work was identical.
  • Built a privy? Several.
  • Used a privy, especially on a cold, rainy/snowy night? We didn't build them as ornaments.
  • Washed clothes in a tub of boiling water over a fire, wringing them by hand to get out much of the moisture, and then hanging them to dry, whether the temperature's 90 or 20? Nope. We did use a pedal driven washing machine that had a crank driven wringer.They have been around for well over 100 years. Boiling the laundry was a common cause of young girl's death by scalding, and was dropped as soon as the primitive washing machines were invented. Much of our laundry was done with a washboard and rinsed in a creek, but was wrung out with the wringer.In early spring or late fall, we dried the clothes inside, on wooden racks that were built between the wall and the cookstove. Only idiots hang clothes out in the winter, even before the invention of the cast iron stove. Folding racks were put up by the fireplace in earlier times.
  • Butchered your own livestock? Regularly. Often with a few guys getting together and doing a bunch of butchering at once. Ladies also helped a lot.
  • Cooked/baked your food in a fireplace? Nope. We had a cast iron wood cooking stove. Everyone had one. Fireplaces were too dangerous. Most of the stoves had a built-in container for heating water, so all that was required was using the spigot to get some. Sloshing a bucket of hot water was very dangerous.
  • Harvested your wheat or oats with a cradle, threshed it by beating it or winnowing it, and then ground it the wheat in mortal and pestle because there's no gristmill nearby? Nobody but hobby farmers have harvested like this since before the turn of the 20th century. I have harvested thousand of bushels of grain by combine, but I just missed the combines that were horse driven- those dated back to the early years of my grandfathers. Local gristmills weren't very local out here. Trucks were used early on to transport the grain to elevators, where the crop was purchased and stored until it wen to big central mills many miles, often hundreds of miles, away.
I could go on ...
I deleted the stuff I haven't done from your list. I'm not exceptional; most of the folks who were raised on western ranches did all of this, to some degree. Not all the grain grown was ever used for only human consumption. Oats, rapeseed, and some pea varieties are all grown for animal fodder.

I'm a native Idahoan, was raised on a ranch, and a lot of your list is very citified. No one but enthusiasts have hand carded wool or hand spun thread for a very long time. machines replaced all that long, long ago, just as shearing sheep is no longer done with knives. mechanical shearing clippers and shears were widely in use well before the civil war.

My family did what we did because that's what we had to do in the growing season. In the winter, we all moved into regular homes down in the valley that had all the modern conveniences. As soon as the mountains got some electric wire strung up, we were all happy to sign right up and get us some juice. We used chain saw just as much as axes, and we used pressurized Coleman lanterns because they gave more light. We piped in a small line from the spring to keep the icebox cool, and the water drained out to a garden that, in a good year, gave us some fresh vegetables. If the deer or a stay cow or sheep didn't get them first.
It ain't nearly as romantic as you think when it has to be done daily. We used anything we could to make the life a little less strenuous, and my ancestors did the same.

There are lots of folks, increasingly more every year, who choose to live off the grid. Relatively few choose to live without electricity and indoor plumbing, and most choose high efficiency appliances. But it's all a matter of choice.
Cast iron stoves replaced open fireplaces long ago, and there are very efficient wood burning stoves, and heaters that allow greater convenience and less labor. Those who live far off the grid use solar panels, passive heating and cooling, and don't live primitively- they are just un-connected to all the big stuff. If anyone wants to live the pioneer life as it was over a century ago or more, it is becoming increasingly hard to find the tools to do it well.

Intensive chore labor is often neither joyful or pleasant in the teeth of a blizzard, but it has to be done every day in all weathers. The less a person has to care for, the less the need for hard daily chores. If modernity eases life of the humans and the critters, it's never a bad thing.

Farming by choice not necessity is always more fun, but that's not to say necessity is always a drudge. It's all in the chore and how a person sees it. For anyone, the novelty wears off very quickly.

Most of that stuff isn't at all hard to learn, and much could be done in a typical suburb that permitted chickens and small pet pigs, goats, or other boutique farm animals. The smaller they are, the quicker to butcher. Of course, suburban living doesn't accommodate much now, but that's not to say it couldn't.
But at the same time, those who live off the grid take full advantage of all the modern advancements in intensively growing small crops. They will build a modern greenhouse, or hot beds, and will use drip irrigation instead of watering cans. 20 acres is still enough, if it's good land in a good place, to keep a family happy and can allow some profit to boot.

They are all around you. You just don't know yet what to look for.

Last edited by banjomike; 05-22-2014 at 11:37 PM..
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