Preparing for lower temperatures

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This topic contains 20 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Whirlibird 1 year, 1 month ago.

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  • #6971

    Josefina Arenas

    Even NASA has confirmed that the outer atmosphere is cooling and that the sun is in an extended “calm” stage (fewer sunspots).  Some blogs I read suggest we may be going into a mini ice age for an extended period of time.  If that’s the case, how do we prepare for that?  How much wood is required/ square foot for which temperature ranges to heat a space?   What will be the impact on the economy and how will food prices rise?  How do we grow food if growing seasons are shortened?  Just wondering if any of you have researched this possibility?

  • #6975


    If everyone grew food in their extra spaces indoors and replaced their inedible plants with edible, this would be a non-issue. Then we’ll need to build greenhouses that are 50″ or more below ground. We have many simple fixes for this.

    The problem is our education system. We are creating dependent consumers out of our kids, rather than independent free thinkers, which have the basic knowledge needed to provide for themselves.

    All of this starts at home, not at the corporate, industrial or governmental levels. We need to remove the growing dependence causing society to require a nanny for life. Lazy parents create lazier kids and that’s not sustainable.

    If we decrease government, we increase independence and this alone will get us back on track.

    Be the change.

  • #6979

    Crow Bar

    In a word:  Yes.

    I already live in the Great White North, so I think on this on a regular basis.

    More fire wood is one thing.  Better insulation, more efficient furnace/wood stove would go further I think.

    Looking at plants/veggies/herbs that are more cold hardy.  And coverings too.

    Livestock that is more cold adapt too.

    And cold weather gear.  We already have most of that, but replacement for old or worn out gear.

  • #7000

    Josefina Arenas

    <i>Agree with you both.  We’ve kept livestock, but have been dependent on purchased alfalfa or grain to supplement their grass diet from our own land.  If free fed grass is not available, most cannot keep livestock and there will be upward pressure on prices.  Chickens are pretty easy to keep, but tend to not lay in winter months.  In addition, even on a vegan diet, it’s almost impossible to grow enough calories to keep people alive on a long-term basis.  Growing underground is an option, but an expensive one which requires access to electricity and ventilation.  The pot growers have figured out how to grow through the year, but would be stymied without copious amounts of electricity for their grow lights, heaters, and fans.  </i>

  • #7008


    Great post. We don’t have livestock, but know you need the land to grow food for them. We don’t have that either. Our house sits on an acre of land with 2 sheds. So doesn’t leave us much space.

    Has anyone tried aeroponics or aquaponics. I am looking into both. The latter one is interesting. The fish feed the plants and the plants feed the fish. But not so sure in an EMP it would work. Thinking along the lines that might need solar all the way for this or wind turbine.

    Also we are having our wood burning fireplace redone as it is in dire need of work. Then we will be fencing in a place for firewood so no one can get to it. I am sure people get desperate they may try to haul off what you have stored up for fireplace. I have heard around here that that has happened.

  • #7015

    Red Carnation

    It is very wise to protect your firewood.  When the USSR fell apart, people had all their firewood stolen, and many placed bars on their windows for safety. :-/

  • #7024


    Chickens lay in winter, with 20 hens we get 5-8 eggs a day. Just rotate fresh hens each year. When cold feed them wheat it helps them stay warm and lay. Old breeds like dorkings lay same all year but less eggs.

    Have fuel for digging out we had 2 feet of snow without plows and blowers it takes days to dig out or 3 hours.

    Look up a green house called a wapini, good in cold weather. Use solar wrap plastic for added heat, use a compost pile and mass heater and you can grow year round in -40c.


    Learn to make mass heaters 50 percent better wood efficiency. Make the pieces from clay/concrete metal don’t stand up as well keeping





  • #7031


    As someone who deals with 0F normally, has a tremendously shortened growing season and rocks for soil, I tend to listen to much of the advice and raise a singular eyebrow.

    What worked in Iowa or even eastern Colorado, doesn’t work here. At all.

    Trying to keep the greenhouse warn last year was an exercise in futility. I suppose rocket mass heaters may have worked but both of us having jobs and the kids having school, just collecting enough fuel would be impossible. Let alone being up all night.

    And living in town, livestock is not a possibility. And no I am not doing rabbits or chickens. I can go for a thirty minute drive and collect enough rabbits/hares for two weeks as long as I don’t mind bending the rules.

    “You have to have seeds”, no you have to be able to grow stuff first. Having seeds without being able to grow them is wasted money and effort.

    Blanket statements certainly don’t work for everyone.

    Figure out what works for you where you are. After that, good luck.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by  Whirlibird.
  • #7036


    Whirlibird, did you come here to contribute and learn or just whine?

  • #7040


    Whirl 30 min drive is a days walk.. half a days bike depending terrain. A walk that far with food would be risky even if armed if you had to do it.


    Farmed animals and crops changed us from cave nomads to civilization. Crop failure ends civilization too.


    Without a animal you control how will you compete against the 100 or thousands of city people for same resources?  Big city they can’t gather but they can rob you on way back. Single source of food what happens when dogs start going feral from city?  Not like anyone stopping them from rabbit hunting in park.

    Whirl you give good advice on the gunsmithING,  this sounds like you have given up, always a way through under or around.  Using one costco steel rack some plastic and a south-facing window you could do enough micro green in nunavik  for a family of 4 except the total dark time without additional light.


    If the can grow  enough on both poles to feed staff, no reason you cant. No environment harsher than that. For soil you can make it,  look up recipes for humus soil there are many ways for each area with local plants.


    Mass heater rocket stove version you heat once maybe twice a day if extremely cold takes 30 min for it to heat ie you feed kindling in then it radiates heat for up to 3 days. While you tend your plants you feed the fire 45 min a day for fresh greens is minimal work.


    Can’t cut wood no time? You can buy pre cut or buy coal, just use a coal burning Insert. Always a reason not to, only reason to do something is you consider it worthwhile and make time for it.




    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by  namelus.
  • #7046

    James Mitchner

    Don’t overlook the macro view of such a cooling event rather than just concentrating on you own situation and how you might lessen the negative impact of sever climate cooling.

    Much of the world cannot feed itself already.  The Middle East is a good example. With the exception of a few countries, food must be imported to feed the population.  Food, like wheat and other grains, make up a large part of the diets, and these grains will be in very short supply for export from the producing countries like the US, Russia, Australia, Canada, and even China because the grow areas in these countries will have to shift south, if possible.  Even with a shift southward, production qualities will be squeezed to much less than previously.  Would the US continue to be the “Bread basket of the world”?  I don’t think so, and those countries like Russia and Canada with even more northern grain producing areas would be impacted even worse.  Those countries that can still produce will likely be inclined to hold that production for distribution to their own population.  With 75% of the world starving, then what?  I think we could see mass migration even within some countries and certainly from those countries unable to feed their population.

    If you are one of a few who have the resources and knowledge to grow enough food for yourself and your family, you will be extremely fortunate.  The majority will never be able to pull it off successfully regardless of how many books they’ve read on the subject.  Just saying.

  • #7053

    Josefina Arenas

    Littlesister…I haven’t tried aero or aquaponics, but know people who have.  Most cities have discussion boards or meet up groups for aquaponic gardeners.

    Red Carnation…good advice about protecting firewood.

    namelus, you are correct–chickens do lay in winter if you have a few that are first year layers.  Thanks for the info on Walipini greenhouses.  Here’s a link to one.  There are a few videos if you search the term as well.

  • #7057

    Crow Bar

    My chickens are still laying.  Not as many as they did in the summer/warmer months.

    Every spring I start seedlings using grow lights and heating mats and covers.  Every year I try to save seeds from the largest plants from the previous years.

    Not sure how it happened, but one winter one of the boys got in with one of the girls and a month later she kindled and had 8kits/baby bunnies.  Had to bring her and the kits inside the house.  Of all the livestock I have, I think rabbit pee smells the worst.  Not fun, but breeding rabbits in the winter is doable.

    • #7104

      James Mitchner

      Put a light in your coop.  I placed one in mine once the egg production dropped in winter and in about three to five days it picked back up with a light on a timer placed in the coop.

  • #7060

    Crow Bar

    Pic taken last year:

  • #7151

    Josefina Arenas

    Thanks, Crowbar and James M.  My chickens have seen the light…I know, bad pun.  I need to set it up again.  And, this spring, I’ll get some new chicks, which are always fun!

  • #7212

    OldMt Woman

    I have conditions like Whirlibird.  I’m at extremely high altitude in ROCKY mountains.  Emphasis on ROCKY.  When you look around here, you do not see anywhere NEAR the level of diversity of plants/wildlife that is seen in more popular places to live.  Less oxygen.  Less days between last frost in June and first one in August or Sept.  We decompose granite here….LOL {regional joke}.  Composting more difficult due to arid conditions.  Composting does occur but it takes a lot more manual labor and attention.  I’ve got a 8′ pile of duckhouse straw that should not even be there….if we lived in a moist climate.  I could go on and on about the barriers to producing enough CALORIES to keep your cells from dying….let alone nutrient diversity.  In MY particular location.

    Here is something I’ve repeatedly told people:  Research the Pre-Technological people groups who lived in YOUR area.  What did they eat and how did they survive the harsh seasons.  In some areas that’s the HEAT of summer.  In other areas, it’s the COLD of winter.  IF they could do it, we can.  Right?  Well…yeah…kinda.

    OK…reality check.  How high was their mortality rates?  What skills did they have that we’d need to learn.  Remember they were acclimated from birth to living ‘rough’.  ….and that returns back to the former times when many cultures did not even NAME babies unless they “made one year”.  Hawiian culture still celebrates when “baby made one year”.  Due to tradition rather than high infant mortality rates currently.

    What I discovered about MY location is that none of the people groups stayed up here during winter.  They migrated by the seasons.  Yeah – that confirms what I’ve been suspecting for the past few decades up here……….

    I need to move if we lose too much of the technology that makes it POSSIBLE to eat adequate calories and heat homes up here.  I clearly live in the wrong place for a serious, long lasting Stuff Hits Fan scenario.  Whether that be changing weather conditions, which we’ve already seen or something else.  It didn’t use to be this blasted cold up here.  And we used to get regular rains.  …..Ah, but not further back in history than I can claim.  So it’s always changing and we need to position ourselves wisely.

    Anyway, facing your OWN reality is certainly not “whining”.  That was an uninformed and presumptuous statement, MineYourMind.  We don’t usually run into rudeness here, by the way.

    The fact is, even ….or maybe ESPECIALLY …..those of us who are only TOO aware of the precarious nature of our current location, have taken steps to learn and store and construct and try and try and try again to get around whatever makes OUR little portion of real estate livable for now and for any changes in the future.

    I recently ran into data about someone who is actually doing a greenhouse in MY type of conditions.  A $$$ lot of investment.  Don’t know completely how they’re doing it but I look into these things constantly.  I’ve done many, many things to adapt to this plot of ground.  Pretty much figure hydroponics would be needed.  Yet I’ve no clue as to how to produce enough CALORIES!  I’ve read about that factor extensively.  We don’t have salmon….which is one of the highest.  Deer would be outtta here in the first months.  Grains….from where most calories are gained.  I grew up in corn country.  I know what we’re missing here.

    So…..I store a lot of what I can’t produce.  And when that’s gone – one will migrate if you have to….like all the PreTech folks who lived before us.  Or migrate before it gets bad.  I believe if we ever end up in a Post-Tech scenario….it will be very similar within a few decades to PreTech.  Cuz the tech stuff wears out.  We can hope that doesn’t happen…or that after a lag, we get a restart on tech stuff again.

    OldMtWoman ….has been on this topic for decades!

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by  OldMt Woman.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by  OldMt Woman.
    • #7220


      OldMtWoman, I’ve lived in your type of conditions where marijuana and many other beneficial plants grow great. Also, you said in your own statement that the natives were able to support themselves in the summer there, so it does produce. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the growing season outside is not year round in 95% of North America. You need to modify your environment, as does anyone with a plan beyond foraging what grows naturally.

      You need to put in some effort by setting up greenhouses, raised beds with trucked in soil, creating your own soil through no waste techniques and a little work and you need a well with extra holding tanks.

      First off, my passive aggressive statement followed Whirlibirds passive aggressive statement. Second, if the info doesn’t pertain to you, bud out, instead of trying to look more intelligent than you are and causing other’s to become ill informed, simply because your ego+denial+possible ignorance added nothing, but FUD. It was also an observation from two identical comments by this user, which came off as whiny, adding nothing to the topic, but possibly causing other’s to be put on the wrong path.

      There’s always a way. The only obstacle is the human in charge.

  • #7225


    for those of you who have no soil, can you get old hay, orgainic prefered cow poo, clay , chicken poop, leaves or green matter. Take old bales  2/3 break a part l separate into 3 piles and reserve the 1/3 as bales.

    Mark out a rectangle in a relativEly flat area, the width  should be 1/3 the length. PUT a pipe with holes down the length or 3 times across the width equally spaced fro the ends.


    Place loose hay to cover the pipe about 6 inches deep over whole rectangle this should be 1/3 of the  bales taken apart. Then layer leaves or green matter over the rectangle 2 inches deep then next 1/3 hay with cow poop on top then last of the loose hay mixed with chichen poop. If you have acess to blood or urine soak the pile then use remaining bales to cover it up, if cold use a tarp  that is old and has holes. Plug all the pipe ends.

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Let it sit for 2 months there should be no horrible smells from this start unplugging the pipes bit by bit I use rags for the  blockages, the un blocking and pipes means you don’t have to turn pile.</p>

    you will know when it is done will be 1/3  the size it was to start with, go buy some peat moss and dig some river clay. Mix 2 portions the humus compost 1 portion peat moss 1/2 clay. Each year you will need to add some more humus to amend soil, depending on what you are planting.

    You can tell when humus is ready as other things will grow all over it. We regularly have dandelions grow over 2 feet tall on the piles. You will find it full of worms and bugs it’s supposed to be that way it is biologically alive with microbes.


    In farm country you can get the old hay for free,  the poop in most places that are not factory farms will let you take for cheap or no cost, the pipe use what is left over, if not use scrap to make the air tunnels. On the huge piles we use straw bales tipped on edge so there is a triangle tunnEl running the length.


    If you know local mushrooms and how to harvest spores you can inoculate the humus pile it speeds things up and you get a crop of mushrooms



    Peat moss you can buy super cheap at garden place at end of season. Clay well it’s every where. If you can’t find use rock dust it works too.


    If not and you have some $$ to spend about $3000 you can do a aquaponic system so long as you choose proper fish species for your climate  and if super cold like here dig the ponds deep enough.


    This year working on our Olympic summing pool sized frire retention pond…. eagle must have dropped the trout and duck weed.











  • #7229

    Josefina Arenas

    Here’s one of the articles I was referencing;


  • #7266


    Thank you OldMtn Woman.

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