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Two Letters Re: Barnyard Junk: The Things that You Do and Don’t Need for TEOTWAWKI


Regarding post on junk: Right on! When I recommend the OAR system for preparedness the O stands for organization. It does no good to have supplies you can’t find or access. I see an awful lot of farmers with yards that look like the municipal landfill. It isn’t safe or healthy. True preparedness requires doing the work of tracking supplies and useage so you don’t find yourself short or waste hours looking for the tool that you know is here…someplace. One of the best features of the “Rawles Gets You Ready” preparedness course [1] is the organized inventory lists. For a beginner, this course is a must-have.- Kathy Harrison, author of Just In Case [2]: How to be self sufficient when the unexpected happens [2]


I agree wholeheartedly with Jim Fry. Farms that are eyesores are a blight on the land and on the farmer who created the eyesore.

When I was in the Army I used to drive for over an hour to spend weekends on a friends parents’ farm in Kansas. The farmer I “worked” for was nicknamed “Tidy” because right from childhood, he had always been fastidious in his habits. Tidy was a Marine and a veteran of almost the entire Guadalcanal campaign. You know what they say – once a Marine, always a Marine! His self-discipline, professionalism and pride showed in everything he did – just as his inner strength showed through his quiet and self-effacing demeanor. His farmstead was always standing tall, as was his equipment and shop. He had one of each piece of equipment that he used on the farm – and they were all in a fine state of repair, with spares on hand for the parts that were critical and/or most likely to break. Going down to work on the farm for Tidy was always a joy, because I knew that whatever jobs he had for me to do, the equipment would be right where he’d shown me it would be, and it would be ready to go. Everything got done in plenty of time for me to get cleaned up and dressed for dinner (Yes, Tidy insisted that everyone be changed out of their work clothes for dinner – never had to tell me that one, it was just obvious that it was expected – just like at home.) with plenty of daylight left to go down to the pond for a little fishing after dinner in the summertime. Keeping your place clean and organized goes a long way toward efficiency and a good outlook on life.

One thing that Jim forgot to mention is the defensive liability created by having piles of junk scattered around the farmyard and the farm in general. Those piles of junk interrupt your fields of vision – and fire – providing concealment for approaching bad actors, and cover for them once they decide it’s time to strike. If the Golden Horde [3] comes pouring through your gate or woodline, the last thing you want to have done is create pre-positioned fighting positions for them. If you truly think you will need something “someday” maintain it and store it under cover, so it will be of use when you need it — not “someday” after the need occurs. In most areas, you can find a place to cut poles for structural members, and you can usually take down old unused buildings for siding boards and 2x4s — so your total outlay will be for metal roofing. You will take your farmstead’s defensive layout into account when planning for the placement of new equipment storage sheds, right?

If you don’t need it – and don’t have a plan to use it in planned-for contingencies, then get rid of it! Don’t be a slave to your stuff!

Just my de-valued two-bits worth. – Countrytek