Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs


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Unlike their humans, the chickens here at Chez Brown are fully aware that it's spring, and they're celebrating with an abundance of egg-laying revelry. The thing is, I feel like I'm still in winter mode. Like being surprised by the warm weather, I'm still overwhelmed by the bounty in our backyard. Like most animals, chickens don't reproduce in the winter. It's not the cold that keeps them from laying as much as it is lack of light. So, when we're in the midst of the dark winter, they don't lay. Some farmers give their chickens an artificial light source.

We never have. We just know that, during the winter, we don't eat eggs. Sometimes it's a drag to want something that requires eggs and to have to make a different plan. But that's part of having a mostly local, mostly seasonal diet.


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We don't give our chickens artificial heat or light during the winter. It's their down-time. I don't know if it's better for them or not, but come spring, when the light returns and it starts to warm up a little, they become star providers.

Book Review – Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs

Twelve chickens, all between the ages of one and seven years old, give us an average of seven eggs - per day. That's a lot of eggs, especially when I'm still used to not having eggs at all. Now that the chickens are in egg-mode, we can enjoy egg-heavy dishes, like German pancakes. For those who've never had German pancakes, they're not like American pancakes, which are more like a French crepe.

German pancakes are like muffins, only not sweet, and they puff up and have a hollow center. We - as individuals and, especially, as a culture - can't afford to just keep throwing things away - there is no "away. And, if you have a favorite egg-based recipe, please feel free to share it in the comments ;!

Sunday, March 31, Turning rags to A few years ago, I asked Deus Ex Machina to purchase this book for me. It was written by a friend of ours from the homeschool community. She and her husband moved from their urban rental into a big farmhouse on a nice piece of acreage in more rural Maine. I was a little envious, but very happy for them.

My friend had a blog on which she shared her family's adventures - both before and after the move - and among other things, she talked a lot about making a home. Homemade stuff - everything from delicious, drool-worthy food to incredibly functional and adorable home decor. One of the projects in her book, and the reason I wanted it, was a rag rug. The instructions for her rug were really well-written, but the process was a much larger commitment and a lot more complicated than I was able to do.

I'm too much a product of my generation of sitcom watchers, plus I'm a Gemini. The combination means that, while I love doing things, if it takes too long, I get distracted. Her rag rug required collecting, cutting, sewing, and ironing of material scraps that would be wrapped into ball. When one had three of the properly sized balls of fabric, one could begin. I have a couple of balls of fabric strips Anyway, I started the rag rug based on my friend's instructions, but like too many things in my life, it ended up on a back shelf.

I also have a dozen or more knitted squares that will, someday, become an afghan A couple of weeks ago, I found a much easier and less time consuming set of instructions for a braided rag rug, and I decided to give it a whirl. We had several old tee shirts with stains or small rips.

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Deus Ex Machina cut them into strips for me, and using the instructions from the above link, I made not one, but two small rugs about 27" across. The plan is to use a fusible backing for them to make them a bit more sturdy, but mostly, they're pretty decent rugs. As part of my ongoing series about living large in a small house, today's topic is about having storage with furniture that also serves another function.

My living room is tiny. It's very long and narrow, and the space is actually two rooms. It's 9' wide, and the two rooms combined are around 30' long with the wood stove right in the middle and a door on either end.

I love the space, but putting furniture into it required some real thought, a lot of trial and too much error. But we have finally found a combination of furniture that appeals to our aesthetic, is comfortable, and gives us that much-coveted storage space.


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I went through a lot of different choices for furniture in the room, and we finally found a good fit. We have one, over-sized couch and a wing-backed chair.

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Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs (PDF)

We can comfortably seat four people, if one person sits in the middle section of the couch, but when we have guests, depending on who the guests are, conversation is not terribly comfortable for more than three. We needed another seating option, but the room can not handle any more chairs. It's exactly what we needed in that room. It's perfect for a coffee table, but it also has storage for blankets and pillows. When we have extra guests, we push it against the wall and use it for seating.

We also have a couple of non-traditional end tables in the room. Brown also uses the conveniences of modern society to fortify what would be only a temporary existence in her imagined apocalypse. Granted, Brown admits these crutches in the book, but it certainly breaks the realism needed in a true survival guide.

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The apocalypse is also described in a fairly vague manner, mainly focused on an extreme energy price increase that would fully debilitate modern infrastructure. Yet there is no mention of climate change effects, such as increased risk of a natural disaster or changes in agricultural production. Brown appears to pull much of her research from observation and speculation, as opposed to legitimate sources.

Surviving the Apocalypse In the Suburbs by Brown, Wendy

Her unsupported claims about human history and societal collapse hover somewhere between believers and the Twilight Zone — Jared Diamond, an expert on failing societies, would be unimpressed. Fortunately, Brown focuses on what she does know well, finding diverse solutions for a low-energy world.

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Brown lives in southern Maine, but she diversifies her ideas so they could be implemented coast to coast. Adapting to an apocalypse, or simply gearing down for a low-energy world, will certainly pose a dire challenge for many suburbanites. Subscribe now to get more book reviews in your mailbox! Upon graduating, he plans to do something completely unrelated. There are a lot of books and movies out there. Let us point you to the cream of the crop. We also review current art exhibits! Popular Features. New Releases. Description In the latter half of the twentieth century, the percentage of the total American population living in suburbs grew to nearly fifty percent.

Fossil fuels were cheap and plentiful, and car-dependent, energy-intensive lifestyles came hand in hand with this demographic transition. In the age of Peak Oil, environmental catastrophe, and a failing economy, it is imperative that we transform the suburbs into sustainable communities. Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs envisions a suburban evolution--from isolated cookie cutter houses with manicured lawns and two-car garages to small, closely packed, productive, interdependent homesteads.

This guide to simplifying suburbia and adopting a lower energy lifestyle breaks down all our basic needs and describes how they might be met after the loss of the modern conveniences we currently take for granted.

Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs
Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs
Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs
Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs
Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs
Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs
Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs
Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs

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