Surviving the Back Hills of Humboldt

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKMW5jPs61g&feature=player_embedded]

The bomb drops, civilization crumbles, and you have to survive off the food you find around you. Do you know what berries you can eat? The video above noted several plants that I had never even seen around here.  I think they might be native to northern or more coastal areas of our county.

Denizens of Humboldt are frequently  survivalists at heart.  Many of my neighbors stockpile months of food.  I once wrote a story about this for the NC Journal but while plenty of people were willing to talk about what their tactics.  Only one was willing to give his name.  The rest were worried that if a disaster happened they didn’t want people to know who had the food.

I try to keep at least a few weeks of food on hand.  But lately I’ve been slacking. This post is a way to beat myself back into good behavior.  Any tips from you guys?

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36 comments

  • At this time of year when the food pantries are asking for donations, I rotate my earthquake stock. A trip to Costco and a big Mt. People order, and last year’s stock (still not expired) goes to the collection.

    Maybe you can motivate yourself by making it a project to set and set aside some for the food pantries while getting your stock in order.

  • At this time of year when the food pantries are asking for donations, I rotate my earthquake stock. A trip to Costco and a big Mt. People order, and last year’s stock (still not expired) goes to the collection.

    Maybe you can motivate yourself by making it a project to set and set aside some for the food pantries while getting your stock in order.

  • Somewhere I read that the most important rule for stockpilers is that the neighbors cannot know.

  • Somewhere I read that the most important rule for stockpilers is that the neighbors cannot know.

  • Kym… Interesting that this topic comes up. I am far more the grasshopper than the ant. I’ve been here 40 years and never had to worry too much about food. However, I missed the big event for shortages and problems which happened in the 1964 flood.
    That flood was made much worse by a large snow pack which melted in the following “pineapple express”. This year, the higher elevations have had a snowfall which seems to me to be the heaviest I can remember and more on the way.
    Weather folks tell us that this is a la nina year following an el nino year, something that does not happen too often. The las time this happened was in 1973 and 1974. My recollection of 1974 was a cold winter with a serious high water event in January and again in March.
    Soooo…. It seems to me that the possibility of a serious flood is higher this year and though it may not happen at all, It would be a good year to have some food reserves.

  • Kym… Interesting that this topic comes up. I am far more the grasshopper than the ant. I’ve been here 40 years and never had to worry too much about food. However, I missed the big event for shortages and problems which happened in the 1964 flood.
    That flood was made much worse by a large snow pack which melted in the following “pineapple express”. This year, the higher elevations have had a snowfall which seems to me to be the heaviest I can remember and more on the way.
    Weather folks tell us that this is a la nina year following an el nino year, something that does not happen too often. The las time this happened was in 1973 and 1974. My recollection of 1974 was a cold winter with a serious high water event in January and again in March.
    Soooo…. It seems to me that the possibility of a serious flood is higher this year and though it may not happen at all, It would be a good year to have some food reserves.

  • I do what Liz does, or at least my version of that. I was going through the pantry just yesterday!
    I was also filling bags for others. As long as our house is standing we would be ok for quite awhile, maybe not eating like we usually do, but we wouldn’t starve. And I would like to think our neighbor hood would tribe up and help each other.. but one never knows do they?

  • I do what Liz does, or at least my version of that. I was going through the pantry just yesterday!
    I was also filling bags for others. As long as our house is standing we would be ok for quite awhile, maybe not eating like we usually do, but we wouldn’t starve. And I would like to think our neighbor hood would tribe up and help each other.. but one never knows do they?

  • I’m lucky to have neighbors who not only stockpile what they grow, but share it all year– and their tips on DIY. Collaborating with neighbors seems like a better model for survival rather than the “rugged -but ever nervous– individual” path. Drying is easier and less space-consuming than canning. Integrating wild foods into your regular diet makes the concept less foreign when need arises. I know more people every year who are trying acorns… and liking them (wink!)!

  • I’m lucky to have neighbors who not only stockpile what they grow, but share it all year– and their tips on DIY. Collaborating with neighbors seems like a better model for survival rather than the “rugged -but ever nervous– individual” path. Drying is easier and less space-consuming than canning. Integrating wild foods into your regular diet makes the concept less foreign when need arises. I know more people every year who are trying acorns… and liking them (wink!)!

  • Emergencies are the only times I see some of my neighbors. In my experience they give us all (I mean all) a chance to be more human.

  • Emergencies are the only times I see some of my neighbors. In my experience they give us all (I mean all) a chance to be more human.

  • I see I’ve got a quart of canned acorn soup and some smoked salmon from Hoopa in the cupboard. I feel better now.

  • I see I’ve got a quart of canned acorn soup and some smoked salmon from Hoopa in the cupboard. I feel better now.

  • K at the bookstore

    I think the natural human response is to take care of one another. I remember Ben showing me an interview with,,is it Lucy Stone? who had survived the advent of the white settlers and seen many things happen to her family and neighbors. It was during the Depression and she was talking about how the whites talked all the time about hard times. She said she and her people never had hard times, not really. Sure, there were times there was no food and they ate the moss off the trees–but they shared. Everyone ate.
    Of course I have badly recounted this story (Ben can give you the real one!) but that sense of mutuality really impressed me.

  • K at the bookstore

    I think the natural human response is to take care of one another. I remember Ben showing me an interview with,,is it Lucy Stone? who had survived the advent of the white settlers and seen many things happen to her family and neighbors. It was during the Depression and she was talking about how the whites talked all the time about hard times. She said she and her people never had hard times, not really. Sure, there were times there was no food and they ate the moss off the trees–but they shared. Everyone ate.
    Of course I have badly recounted this story (Ben can give you the real one!) but that sense of mutuality really impressed me.

  • I’m definitely of the we’ll-all-pull-together frame of mind, and I see ample evidence that that’s the most common reaction to disaster. Grinding poverty and systematic destruction of community and culture sometimes distorts that, as described in The Mountain People, by Colin Turnbull (although other researchers say his account of the Ik tribe in Uganda is flawed).
    I do my best to have lots of greens in the garden and greenhouse year round, and I start the winter with lots of other garden produce preserved in various ways. Much of it is in the freezer, though, so if we have an extended “event,” we’ll definitely be sharing and trading!

  • I’m definitely of the we’ll-all-pull-together frame of mind, and I see ample evidence that that’s the most common reaction to disaster. Grinding poverty and systematic destruction of community and culture sometimes distorts that, as described in The Mountain People, by Colin Turnbull (although other researchers say his account of the Ik tribe in Uganda is flawed).
    I do my best to have lots of greens in the garden and greenhouse year round, and I start the winter with lots of other garden produce preserved in various ways. Much of it is in the freezer, though, so if we have an extended “event,” we’ll definitely be sharing and trading!

  • When people laugh at me for storing so much food (in other times..now I’m woefully understocked now), I point out that I want enough for the neighbors, too. Who could be happy if the people around you are starving?

  • When people laugh at me for storing so much food (in other times..now I’m woefully understocked now), I point out that I want enough for the neighbors, too. Who could be happy if the people around you are starving?

  • My old friend Irv Mallo told me that in 64 he had a friend south of Phillipsville at the Meadowwood who had broken his leg. Irv and one of his boys packed food but the Avenue was under water and they had to cross swollen Anderson Creek. It was too high to wade and they found a tree which had fallen across the creek. A little work and they used the tree to cross and get to their friend and his family. Another old timer, Chauncey Burnside, was chosen as hunter as he was a good one. He brought back plenty of venison (hill salmon) and some may have been doe meat. Everyone cooperated and made it through OK but the Beasleys lost their second house to flood. It had also been destroyed in 1955.

    • I’ve heard of people riding over trackless hills on motorcycles to get to Garberville and bring back food for all the neighbors. People did look out for each other when the worst happened.

  • My old friend Irv Mallo told me that in 64 he had a friend south of Phillipsville at the Meadowwood who had broken his leg. Irv and one of his boys packed food but the Avenue was under water and they had to cross swollen Anderson Creek. It was too high to wade and they found a tree which had fallen across the creek. A little work and they used the tree to cross and get to their friend and his family. Another old timer, Chauncey Burnside, was chosen as hunter as he was a good one. He brought back plenty of venison (hill salmon) and some may have been doe meat. Everyone cooperated and made it through OK but the Beasleys lost their second house to flood. It had also been destroyed in 1955.

    • I’ve heard of people riding over trackless hills on motorcycles to get to Garberville and bring back food for all the neighbors. People did look out for each other when the worst happened.

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