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Fear Not. I’m not dying…yet… other than the existential, we are all dying, thing. My wood still works just fine.
This is just the final episode of the C5 Gets Wood series. How many cryptic penis jokes can I continue to come up with anyhow?
For those still impressed with the size and longevity of my Zucchini, I put the photo above. As of April 15, I think it is finally tapping out. It’s going soft. Soon to deflate into a drippy mess. But that would be the one to get seed from. Longest survivor.
That’ll do Zuke. That’ll do.
The butternut squashes are all fine though. MrsC5 has been bringing them as house gifts when we go visit one of our produce deficient friends..
Speaking of my tool… or tools, size isn’t always better. I’ve hung on to those couple of big antique Simonds saws forever. They are way better quality than anything you will find today. Scour garage sales or antique shops for those. Hold those for your children.
But based on real life experience, the smaller 30 inch bowsaw is the one that gets actual use. The bigger modern bowsaws are flimsy in use (with a risk of stitches from broken blades) and it really only stays strong in the 30 inch version. That’s just my experience Plus it can be tossed in a pack.
Go small or go home.
Going even smaller, the one that has served me the best, and I have used for 35 years, is the folding Gomboy saw from japan. (I should clarify. That’s my third one)
Here is an italian Peraso billhook used in conjunction with a Gomboy saw. I notice the little things.
Now before I forget, I have another important firewood technique to share. I like to think my firewood is done for the year… but its never really done. I think I will be doing more soon. I think I will still knock down some big trees. Lets say you are late to the game and only thinking about your firewood now.
At this point, Its best to cut your larger trees down… and just leave them. Here is why. They are about to go into heavy growth mode. Its sucking up water for the big growth push. If it is cut, all the budding and leaf growth will begin sucking the water out of the tree. The capillary action. Once you notice those leaves have dried out in the summer, then it is time to buck it and split it. Don’t say I never taught you anything.
Besides firewood, this has been the other way I have been collecting life saving energy from trees. Sugars.
I spent yesterday sitting by my homemade rocket stove boiling down maple syrup like a good little canuckster. Some day, I need to rebuild a better rocket stove. There are only so many things I can build in a life. But the next attempt definitely needs a J-Tube (look it up) so I don’t need to be constantly pushing in sticks. (Or dropping them down the top for a hotter burn. Lessons learned by doing)
One of the reasons I built this was for that day when propane for our gas range is no longer available. A rocket stove is the fastest way to cook… using small sticks (or hotter burning split hardwood when needed). I will leave you to scour all the assorted versions on youtube, if you are not familiar with this technology. Now you know what to look for. The term is “Rocket Stove”
Remember how I have continuously said, A- there is no such thing as a survival expert. Anyone claiming to be is just trying to sell you something, And B- I’m not an expert on much of anything? This is a prime example. Tree sugar as energy. I didn’t grow up around this. I’ve only made about 3 years of attempts in the last 6. So far, I would say my Energy Return On Energy Investment has been in the negative. What I mean is that I have most likely burned more calories than I will receive (calorie deficit). I really should not count on this for survival, but I look at it as “Getting through the learning curve”.
In our case, what I have learned my problems are is, though I do have maple trees, they are quite far apart and quite a distance from the house. Where there is a bunch close enough together, Its pretty much swamp. Cutting trail also used up a lot of calories. Next issue I am seeing is that, we only had one really good day this year for sap. The rest has just been a dribble. Temperatures need to be bellow freezing at night, and above freezing, preferably with sunshine, during the day. Our particular climate zone sort of jumps from deep winter to late spring very quikly. We would have to travel to a slightly higher altitude to make it worth wile.
There is only one reason I continue to pursue this as a survival skill. There is really nothing edible growing this time of year. NOTHING. Historically, people don’t starve over the winter. Between now and mid summer is when people start to die of malnutrition and related illnesses. The added carbohydrates in the form of tree sugars may be the essential calories to push through till fresh foods start showing up in enough quantity.
It’s not so I can poor maple syrup on pancakes.
That would assume I had mastered growing and processing grains by hand in sufficient quantity. I haven’t. In my one feeble attempt at growing wheat, I learned that first I must master animals. I had decent enough soil. There just wasn’t enough food in it for the wheat to feed on. It would need manure… but I am getting off topic.
Since this is the Dark Green Mountain Survival RESEARCH Centre, and you are here for that research, here is what we have learned… and how can we use that for better Adaptive survival chances.
I had about 12 buckets up over a three week period, checked each day . The end result is a bit less than 1.5 liters of syrup. Not good. Little more than a calorie deficit treat for later in the year.
Part of me sharing this is for “Expectation adjustment”.
Now, If I am going back to that Adapters game of “How do I keep 4 extra families alive over the first winter?”, what I have learned is that the only way to make this useful is, A- I would substantially need to ramp up collection, at least ten fold, and B- (this is my big insight) I would completely bypass processing to syrup.
We would directly drink the slightly sweetened tree water, as if it were juice. This way we get the carbohydrates, with the bonus of any live nutrients not killed by the boiling. You have to drink water anyhow. Might as well get nutrient fortified energy while doing it.
(as a bonus, deer have started to use the paths I cut, so this helps direct them where I want them or at least know where they will be. Do your trail building in the late fall, when you are at your healthiest. Oh joy. One more fall job)
Speaking of which, RE passed this old gem along to me when we were first chatting about billhooks. Worth a look.
A Lot of the same tools we have been talking about for low tec wood energy production are there. They’ve been in use for quite a while… and I just happened to have a few of them around the farm
The Rare item worth scouring the antiques stores for is the Forester, Heavy Duty Brush Cutters. I put the PowerGear 2 beside it for comparison. The Fiskars have been working great. The complex gearing really takes the damaging torc off the bars. Still, it cant handle what that Forester can, by a long shot. From the days when people made Real Tools and not cheap disposable consumer products. If your life depends on it to cut small diameter firewood in bulk, which would you trust your families life with? Someone get to work, building those two tools into something new.
One last though on getting energy from tree juice. Maples aren’t the only ones producing this.
I think I will experiment with birch next year. I hear you tap them after the maples are done. One more, one last though. Since I would have to substantially ramp up production, its best if I experiment with creating improvised taps from tubing or pipes, since their is plenty of that scrap around.
With all that said, I think that’s all of my apocalyptic wood people can fit in. Phrasing. 5 articles is enough. We shall now bask in the afterglow.
But I do have a tendency to spoil the moment…
Anthropomorphic climate change is messing up tree sugar production. A lot of Canadian maple syrup producers went belly up last year because there weren’t those essential temperatures for production.
I hummed and hawed about using this guy. He’s a Suburban Yuppy Prepper. Not an Adapter. Still, he is one of the few that doesn’t really deserve my full usual wrath. Manly because he is not a Dick. He’s a moderate prepper. We just navigate differently. I suppose he has the distinct disadvantage of being an Albertan and deserves my pity. Budup Dup.
I’m letting him off way too easy, but sometimes the enemy of my enemy is my friend. That and the whole Canadian manners thing.
What to pay attention to is the 3% compounding interest. Tighty Whitey Rightys have already been trained in this. Compound interest over time. 3%, 6, 12, 24, 48, 96, 192%, etc. I also agree with him that Carbon Taxing is Greenwashing. It’s still, pay to pollute. The rich still get to pollute at will while monopolizing wealth. Everyone else gets too poor to live. Nothing changes. We all die as a result.
Many people will think I am a Negative Nelly because I wont back the “Hope and Change” crew or the “Solar and Wind and Technology will save us” so we can keep driving to business as usual, growth is progress, Kumbia Land.
We have the technology. All we need to do is back peddle on the whole industrial revolution. Keep the ancient carbon in the ground. No more oil. No more coal. No more strip mining resources. No more shipping stuff around the planet. Period. Done. It’s that simple.
No government is going to do that because the moment they go back by even a few percentage points, the whole house of card crumbles and 90 percent of the people starve to death, slowly, painfully and revolutionally. No government is going to voluntarily put their head in the guillotine. So just get that idea out of your head.
If governments actually gave a shit about you, I have some recommendations for what they “could” do with your tax dollars that would be a realistic disaster plan. They would have to start a mass breading program of draft horses and oxen. Maybe even lamas and donkeys. And they would have to do it in TOP SECRET because NOBODY would be willing to fund this. They would have to start secretly buying up all the failed malls and rural school building and start filling them with wheat as a strategic grain reserves, just like in the days of the Pharaohs or medieval kingdoms. Maybe fill up some of those retired missile silos. Aint going to happen.
And this weeks Bonus Read from Gail Tverberg at Our Finite World- https://ourfiniteworld.com/2019/04/09/the-true-feasibility-of-moving-away-from-fossil-fuels/#more-43676
One last thought. Canadian Prepper had also recommended that the best way to avoid being a crazy prepper… is to go dancing occasionally. It aint just me. Speaking of which, for those that missed it in the title, last article, I borrowed the title from feminist, atheist, anarchist, Emma Goldman, from her famous quote somewhere around 1931..
If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.
A revolution without dancing is not a revolution worth having.
If there won’t be dancing at the revolution, I’m not coming.
Sooo…… How does DJ-C5 top the music already presented. Dead Can Dance comes to mind. That song they always use in apocalyptic movies, the moment people realize just how fucked the reality of it is.
Well, that’s a bit of a downer. How about something more danceable.
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