Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Category: Book Reviews

Book Reviews

Life After SHTF: Moving Food From Farm To Market

Bowl of okra and peppers grown as part of a survival garden

For this article we are going to take an exert from the book “Life in a Medieval City” by Frances and Joseph Gies. We are looking at chapter 3, a Medieval Housewife, pages 47 and 48. Last paragraph of page 47 talks about how the housewife shops for food on a daily basis. She would go to the market, divided into different groups, then shop for a variety of food.

There are several lessons to learn from this example.

Since there was no way to preserve food for a period of time, gathering food was done on a daily basis, and was seasonal. Food was grown locally, harvested, then brought to the market almost daily. How else do we think the housewife shopped for food daily?

Someone had to organize transportation for the food to go from the farm to the market. Today we call those people “middlemen.” The middleman organizes and communicates between the merchants and the farmers.

After a SHTF event we could probably expect this same type of organization to become reestablished. Chances are people who have horses and wagons will divide up rural farms into routes, very much like what the United States Post Office does. Rather than numerous middlemen going to the same farm, middlemen would divide up the farms and have established routes. This would allow the middlemen to develop relationships with the farmers.

Collecting Survival Books for a Well Rounded Survivalist Library

Survival books

There is a question in the forum asking about survival books. Since the question is posted in the wilderness survival section of the forum, I guess the question was about wilderness survival books.

Rather than addressing just wilderness survival books, let’s talk about survival books in general and developing a well rounded survivalist library.

My favorite books are non-fiction history books. Also, I have a collection of modern survival / prepping books from various authors.

I usually pick a topic, such as the black death, or medieval history, buy several books from Amazon, read them, then pick another topic.

Last Three Books I Read

  • Black Rednecks and White Liberals by Thomas Sowell.
  • The Neanderthals Rediscovered by Dimitra Papgianni and Michael Morse.
  • Technology in the Ancient World by Henry Hodges.

Adding To The Prepping Library

Survival books

As some of you may or may not know Paladin Press is going out of business. Some of their books are marked down to 65% off. So if you want to add to your prepping library, now is a great time to do it.

Those of you who know me and follow my YouTube channel know I live in a rural area and am developing a self-sustainable homestead. The books I picked out are ones that talk about the direction I am going in.

The trapping books are so I can trap on the farm and around the outside skirt of the farm. My property is bordered by hundreds of acres of timber company land. The people who hunt the land rarely get close to the property line. this allows me to trap small game on the edge of the property line without issues.

Paladin Press Closing Its Doors An Icon Fades Away

Kevin Felts, blogger and political commentator

Some of the people reading this post may not even know who Paladin Press is, much less care they are going out of business. This is truly a sad time, as independent publishers like Paladin Press kept information flowing into the survivalist community during the dark ages of the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Let’s go back to the 1980s and 1990s.

After the end of the Cold War things were good. The Soviet Union had been defeated without ever firing a round, the economy was going good, and overall, life was grand. Being a survivalist was ok.

Then along came Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City incident. When it came out Timothy had been a member of a survivalist group, all of a sudden “survivalist” was a bad name. Main stream publications dropped certain advertisers who sold to the survivalist community.

Life In a Medieval Castle By Joseph and Frances Gies

If you have ever wondered what life in a medieval castle was like, this is the book for you. Joseph and Frances Gies describes in great detail everything from how, why and when castles were first built, their evolution and finally their decline.

While reading life in a medieval castle I sometimes forgot this was a book about castles. The authors offer such a wide spectrum of history that surrounds castles that it is easy to lose oneself in the book.

Chapters include:

The castle comes to england
The lord
The castle as a house
The lady
The household
A day in the castle – which I found very interesting
Hunting as a way of life
The villagers
The making of a knight
The castle at war – another chapter I found interesting
The castle year
The decline of the castle

Best Books For a Survivalist Library

Books for a long term SHTF survival situation

One of the common questions I see repeated over and over on the forum – What are the best books for a survivalist library? Since the topic of books is brought up so much, I would like to post an article books.

Some books should be a given, such as religious books and first aid books. Who in their right mind does not have a first aid book in their preps? Saying that you should have a first aid book in your preps, is like saying the sky is blue and the grass is green.

Asking if you have a military survival manual in your preps, is like asking if you took a shower and brushed your teeth this morning.

Lets move past the books that should be a given.

My personal opinion, the only wrong answer is not doing anything at all.

If you are doing “something”, then you are on the right path.

Life in a Medieval village by Frances and Joseph Gies

Life in a Medieval Castle by Frances and Joseph Gies is an outstanding read for any survivalist who wants a better understanding of how people survived the medieval ages. The book covers peasant life from around the 1100s to what happens after the Black Death of 1348 and 1350.

Just about every detail of daily life is described; such as what crops were raised, what farm animals were raised, what uses the animals served, what services the animals preformed, which animals were best for butchering, which ones were not butchered, what people ate, and the difficulties that people ran into.

One example is that crop fields slowly turned into sheep fields. Sheep served several purposes – meat, milk, wool and skin for writing. People could make more money by raising sheep and exporting their wool, then could be made from growing food crops.

Recommended Survival Manuals

If you were going to buy 5 books to prepare for a disaster – any disaster – which books would you buy? These books should be considered resource material, so that excludes works of fiction.

Here are some of the books I would consider:

1. The Bible – during times of stress, people often turn to their faith. Having a holy book around, can provide people with guidance and wisdom needed in stressful times. When an important decision comes up, just ask yourself, what would Jesus do? I feel that the teaching of Jesus and to love your neighbor is a reflection of mankind. Regardless of how some of us act, the majority of us feel love and compassion for our fellow man.

A Lesson From The Black Death

Books on the Black Death

If we want a real world lesson on preparing for a plague, look no further than a history book on the Black Death. The Black Death was a worse case situation. The climate had recently changed and Europe had entered into the Little Ice Age. People were starving, crops were withering in the fields, and then along comes the plague.

One good thing about the plague, which should be a lesson to us all, we have written records that have been passed down through the ages. Why should this be a lesson to us all? Because so much of our daily lives are lost when we pass away. Every few of us take the time to document our daily lives, and then pass that down to our descendants.

A few months ago as I was reading a book on the Black Death. There was an interesting story of a family that was out of food and staving. The family members decided they had a choice to make – either try to get some food from town, or stay at home and starve to death.

The family gathered all of the money that they had, then the father and son headed off on their journey.

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018