- Marjory – let’s start this off with one of my favorite questions to ask: How/why did you get interested in preparedness?
- I became interested in preparedness while I was a professional money manager, setting up investments in the real estate market (ironic, I know). If you’re in real estate, you’re going to be managing a lot of debt, So I began studying Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac which were the biggest sources of debt for family homes. I saw, back in 2000 or so, that Fannie and Freddies business model was unsound. And when Fannie and Freddie when down… . I had an “oh shit (insert expletive)” moment, and realized that our whole system would topple liked dominoes. Fortunately it has been a slower process than I predicted, but we are knee deep in it right now. I no longer felt safe being so dependent on the system, and decided I would dedicate myself to learning self-sufficiency & preparedness from that point forward.
- What motivated you to leave the “normal” life and create a homestead?
- Just like realizing how fragile our economic situation was, I discovered it was no different for our food supply. This troubled me deeply – many cities have about 4 days worth of backup food or so, and I’m sure you can imagine how fast that would fly off shelves in a disaster…and even absent of disaster, I began finding out more about conventional growing methods and how terrible they were for both human health as well as the health of maintaining healthy top soil. With enough research, I felt that the best decision was to take my food supply into my own hands.
- What is your personal philosophy as far as preparedness goes?
- We are entering a whole new world paradigm. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – everything is an opportunity to learn! Some of my most effective strategies and methods were developed after making multiple mistakes but just keeping-on no matter what. It’s really important to not get discouraged: many of these skills are new for all of us, so you have to be willing to try things you’ve probably never done before.
In fact, we featured a lot of the mistakes we made in our DVDs, and it’s something people have written to use about the most. Everyone appreciated that we included what not to do almost as much as what to do.
- Survival and preparedness is becoming more “mainstream”. Over the past couple of years I have seen more and more reports that show “regular” people are storing extra food and buying firearms – as well as getting involved in gardening and learning new skills. Why do you think this is?
- 2008 was a big wake up call for many people. And there is more information available to the individual than every before, and as a result, people have started finding out that the food-supply isn’t as healthy as they thought, or our political climate isn’t as safe as they thought, and they want to do something about it. With the awareness of what could go wrong, and what is already going wrong, I think it’s a natural response to want to have the know-how to prepare for a number of different scenarios, including the SHTF scenarios.What has surprised me, and I think keeps the movement growing, is how wonderful you begin to feel as you reclaim more and more self-reliance. There are so many benefits to learning these skills.
- There are a lot of dangers in the world today. What do you see the most likely situation which people should prepare – both in the short-term as well as long-term?
- Personally, I feel that we will see very steep rises in food prices, especially staples, as well as food shortages, in a short time-frame with the way the US dollar is behaving. There will be increasing violence that the ‘authorities’ won’t be able to help you with. I recently read When Money Dies, a book about the hyperinflation in Weimar Germany just after WWI, and I feel that we could see a repeat of that scenario here in the mid-to-long term. That being said, the scenario I see as being the most likely is massive social unrest whenever there is any significant food price jump (the relationship between rioting and food prices is a very direct one) but every report I see, whether from the FAO, USDA, BLS, or independent studies, show food prices increasing, so I feel that social unrest will be a real possibility here.
For new folks getting into preparedness – well, it can be overwhelming as you know. So I recommend start small. Start preparing for a 3 day event such as a weather event. Get some basics of food, water, warmth, medical, lighting, etc. Once you’ve got that, then focus on being able to handle a 2 to 3 week event. Then look at a 2 to 3 month emergency, and so on. Also, make it as fun and enjoyable as you can.
- You offer a Backyard Food Production Systems DVD – tell my readers a bit about it.
- Our grand-parents and great-grand-parents were largely self-reliant. They know how to grow food. How take to care of livestock, and what to do when things went wrong. And you know what? They rarely went to the doctor. The DVD set, “Grow Your Own Groceries”, is your guide to re-capturing that lost knowledge. I show you how I grow my own food right here at my home. I show you the quickest and most effective gardening methods, how much land and water you need, which livestock to focus on, home butchering, and much more. We’re commonly accused of trying to put too much information on the DVD (LOL)! People watch it over and over again. There’s also a bonus resource CD that is a mini-library of 60+ supporting documents.
- Is your DVD only for someone who moves out into the country-side and lives on many acres?
- We ourselves live in the country, but the heart of my food production system is in an area the size of a suburban backyard. There is a tremendous amount you can do even in an apartment or condo. Learning to grow food is so critical a skill you should start wherever you are. And things are changing so rapidly, who knows where you’ll be next year?
- After watching your Grow Your Own Groceries DVDs I have to ask you – do you ever get used to killing those cute little bunnies?
- No, I have never gotten used to killing those bunnies. It always pains me. And you know what? I don’t want to lose touch with that pain either. I have gotten a little better at doing the kill quickly, and the processing faster, but let’s face it – I am taking a life to sustain my own. And this is a fundamental necessity of living – it’s true even if you are only eating vegetables as you are killing the plant in that process. I don’t know why God has made it so. But modern civilization has protected us from this basic truth, and as horrible as it is, I feel it is an important part of being alive. It does keep me humble. I believe this concern of taking life is the basis for the all the ancient rite of hunters around the world that honor the lives of the animals they have taken.
- What are some of the most common mistakes that people make when they get into homesteading/gardening and trying to be more self-reliant?
- People try to take on too much too quickly. Start small. Often there is a sense of panic when you first awaken. We plowed up an acre to begin with, but all I ended up with was an acre of weds and frustration. I realized we really needed to start with about 100 square feet. Even just starting with potted plants will get you more in touch with the skills that you’ll want to be fostering. But, if you try to take on too much, you will most likely fail and get discouraged…start with a small garden plot and grow plants you like, and expand your bed as you get more confident in your skills.
- Do you have an opinion on our current economic and political situation?
- Yes – I think we are in a very precarious position, in a number of ways, both economically and politically. We just lost our AAA status, several large countries in the EU look like they’re on the brink of collapse, there is no end-in-sight as far as paying off our debt. Really, what amazes me is that the system is still afloat.
- Do you have any new projects upcoming or special announcements you would like readers to know?
- Actually yes – we just completed a brand new DVD called Alternatives to Dentists, featuring herbalist Doug Simons, which is an awesome guide to simple & effective herbal tooth care. I was lucky enough to catch Doug’s presentation several years ago and then began trying his methods and was so blown away by their effectiveness that I wanted to share them with everyone.
I am working on a new DVD focusing on women and defense. Increased violence is simply a fact of the trouble we are headed into. There is a lot of great material out there, but not focused on the special concerns of women. So I am figuring out things like what are the tradeoffs and choices with all the various weapons? How do I handle guns safely, especially with my kids? What training do I need and what resources are out there to help? Can I make my home defensible and how do I defend it? If it makes sense to learn hand-to-hand techniques, which ones are best for women? As I’ve become more of a public figure I’ve come into greater contact with women who share my desire to know more about defense.
Thanks for having me Rourke!
From Rourke: Thank you Marjory. I highly recommend her DVD’s and website – great information.