I know some preppers are not in the least bit interested in becoming part of a group or having a few people they can rely on in a tough situation. A thread started by Geordie_Rob on the forum had me thinking.
Like Geordie_Rob I have an allotment and at least 50% of the plot holders are retired and most of those have had a plot on this site since it opened 40 years ago. These chaps have forgotten more about growing than I can ever hope to know. Their wives are preservers extraordinaire who I’ve no doubt could pickle and jam anything.
The oracle of the plots knows everything there is to know about the history of the field, what grows well and what doesn’t. What direction the wind blows when to plant out and he’s intimately acquainted with the soil structure and fertility. I have made a point of cultivating a relationship with these old boys not only to improve my chances of a successful crop, but to have a group of people who I know and who would band together in a crisis.
It’s not just their gardening knowledge that is useful either, some of these guys are ex forces and there’s one who even pushing 80, I would put my money on in an unfair fight. Most have lived in the area all their lives and know where the trouble spots in the town are, they also know where the little gems of stuff are that could make life a bit easier. They know where the best fishing spots are, where the outfalls for various factories and sewage plants are on which rivers. The best blackberrying spots, the Italian chap on the next ride is an avid mushroom hunter. The oracle is a whizz mechanic, and can build almost anything, there’s an engineer, a plumber, and builder just on the first ride where my plot is Imagine the wealth of knowledge on the whole field. I also know there’s a few of them still go shooting regularly and a couple go beating on the local estate. It all adds up to a fantastic wealth of local knowledge. Admittedly some of them don’t get on with others, there’s a bit of a parking feud going on at the moment, but I know for a fact these same chaps would put that aside in a crisis. Without realising it a cohesive and close-knit likeminded group has formed. These folk are the vanguard to what is called prepping.
It’s not just what they know, but who. Even with the transient nature of society these days, the old families of the area are still here. As an incomer myself, I know very few of the local families, the ones who have lived here for generations, which families are a bad lot and those who can be trusted. It’s local knowledge like that, which takes generations to accumulate that I feel is worth its weight in gold and could be the difference between success and failure.
My rambling point is it’s not always necessary to start a prepping group, although that would obviously be a big help, but you may already be in a group that is more likely to survive than the average Joe without realising it. Look around you and you may just be surprised.