The flesh is weak and prone to error. For example, I watch bad TV specifically “The Walking Dead.” Though the characters suffer from a tragic lack of development, many of them are nice to look at and sometimes deliver good lines. I can’t think of any of them right now, but I watch it, so they must. The show feeds a fascination I have for life in a post-apocalyptic world.

Society works mostly because we all agree that it does. The dollar’s value rests entirely on our faith that other’s will honor it. My land belongs to me only as long as my neighbors don’t graze their sheep there. If these social boundaries and agreements erode, all hell will break loose. It helps that there are usually men with guns who support the status quo. A zombie apocalypse would threaten this state of affairs, but so would a more mundane plague that wiped out 75% of the people. A dramatic change in global temperature could destroy food production which might bring about some dramatic social change to. Luckily that’s not going to happen.

Some part of me longs for an overturn of the orderly way things run. As a spindly, unarmed, glasses-wearing, card-carrying geek and liberal, I’d last about fifteen minutes. But that doesn’t change my desire to pretend that I could live for without our economic structures; I do grow food after all. I daydream about supporting my family during the zombie apocalypse as I sip coffee (imported from somewhere with a cloud forest) and gaze out of my heated house into my unfenced garden where I’ve erected two tiny little hoop houses.

Right now I have some spinach and lettuce that’s just germinated as well as some nearly full heads of lettuce. The carrots and spinach that I planted in September are ready to eat and I’ve got some beets and greens that are supposed to be super hardy. Bring on the zombie apocalypse, I’m entirely self-sufficient. As long as everyone respects my property line and I only have to eat salad for two days.

Clipping some fresh lettuce in November is pretty nice though. I took a few plastic coated metal tomato stakes and cut them into one foot sections. I drove these into the ground in pairs on either side of a bed every two feet or so. Some 4 foot sections of ½ inch PVC form the arches connecting the stakes. I stretched some clear 6 mil plastic across the top and stapled it to 2X4 scraps. I can lift the 2X4 on one side up and place it on top of the hoops to get access. On warm days I leave it open.

Of course it’s barely been really cold yet, but I find myself looking up designs for cheap greenhouses. Next year I’m going to be eating tomatoes in February and laughing at the zombies from a tropical paradise in my own backyard. I can dream can’t I?

Caleb Rounds

Author: Caleb Rounds

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