Urban Homestead (National Geographic DOOMSDAY PREPPERS)

Doomsday Preppers, Episode 3 “BACK TO THE STONE AGE”

Jules Dervaes and family, Pasadena, California
“We’re prepping for the catastrophic collapse of the modern food system.”

Jules Dervaes said that he and his three grown children prep because they fear the “catastrophic collapse of the modern food system.” Dervaes talked about farmers moving to genetically-modified crops, which were created to weaken pests that destroy the crop. He thinks this is a “disaster waiting to happen.” Dervaes claimed superpests are adapting to the GM crops, and are becoming stronger. He points to the example of the corn rootworm. Last year, an Iowa State University entomologist Aaron Gassmann reported that Western corn rootworms in four Iowa fields had evolved to resist the natural pesticide in the genetically-modified corn plants. However, Monsanto, the maker of the GM crop, argues there’s no scientific confirmation of pest resistance to its Bt corn and claim less than 0.2 per cent of acres planted with the corn were affected by rootworm damage last year. In addition, some scientists believe the problem could be partly the result of farmers who are planting Bt corn year after year in the same fields.

Regardless, the Dervaes family became determined to grow as much of their own food as possible, and by the looks of their lush backyard food garden, they’ve come a long way. In fact, the show revealed the food the family produces makes up 90 percent of their diet during summer months. Impressive.

Jules said that their Pasadena, California, property is 100 feet from an 11-lane interstate highway. In certain SHTF situations, highways could become jammed with refugees. A number of these will almost certainly try to scavenge food and other items, possibly threatening the garden. I hope the family is taking this into consideration- and preparing accordingly.

Taking full advantage of their suburban garden, the Dervaes family trades flowers, vegetables, and fruit for waste vegetable oil from a local fast food restaurant. They take the used oil and utilize a biodiesel processor to produce clean biodiesel fuel for their diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz station wagon. According to the show, the family saves up to 80 percent on regular gas prices. Something else that might be worth looking into, especially if you suspect higher gas prices are on the horizon.

In the “Expert Assessment” portion of this segment, Practical Preppers recommended the family purchase a diesel generator, “so that in a blackout, you can use the biodiesel you make to help power your home.” Great suggestion, because in a situation where regular gasoline becomes harder to obtain, having both a biodiesel processor and diesel generator on hand allows a family like the Dervaeses to trade for waste vegetable oil, refine it, and use it to power their vehicle and home.

Near the end of the segment, Jules said something that probably struck home with a lot of viewers. He pointed out:

Everybody else seems looking to be dependent on government, dependent on corporations, dependent on the banks, dependent on others. But we are providing for ourselves and living a self-sustaining life here.

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