Sent: Friday, May 04, 2007 4:18 PM
Subject: Things are not so simple
I made it to Kansas all right, and the news for Week 5 is confirming my short-term worries. Fortunately it's springtime, so we have time to prepare a big enough garden to get us into the fall, BUT I'm a life-long suburbanite, so I don't know what to plant, or when. As cost of supplies goes up and product distribution becomes erratic, I have a lot to learn in a hurry. We probably should get some chickens, but we need materials for a coop and fence to keep out the raccoons and other predators. I don't have a lot of gas left, and town is 4 miles away.
I'm not sure where my electric power comes from, but if it is coal-fired, and the diesel for the trains that haul the coal (and the machinery that mines it) becomes scarce, we could have a short-term energy problem. Photovoltaics need to be installed, but supplies and installers have huge backlogs and none are nearby. They will also have transportation problems even after they get the panels. The 160 acres here is about 3/4 trees, so firewood is not a problem. Building a wood-fired electric generator is feasible, but that will take some months and my son's engineering skills. I'm wondering what canned-goods and other non-perishable foods to buy while supplies last because getting through next winter already looks like a challenge. Being in the rural countryside is probably better than being in a city, but it does not automatically solve the problems that are already showing up as the oil crunch gets increasingly serious.