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Old 03-31-2012, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Admiral Nelson View Post

Two Scottish shepherds who flew some of their new sheep from market to their farms (a preposterous proposition if ever I've heard one). When the plane developed engine trouble and was heading groundwards at an alarming rate, they donned their parachutes and were heading out the door, when Duncan asked, "What about the sheep?"

"Bugger the sheep," a terrified Angus replied.

"Do you think we have time?" Duncan replied.
Oh, behave ! TP
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by siege571 View Post
Your house sounds mahvelous, dahling. I'm so jealous
Well since we all seem to have gotten COMPLETELY OFF TOPIC here lol, I'll go ahead and say Thank You

The people who built my house did a wonderful job. After nearly 100 years, it is still rock steady and sturdier by far than most new house construction I've seen.

The house was designed with our hot southern summers in mind with a deep wrap around porch on 2 sides.

The walls are solid pine boards placed on the diagonal, so I can hang a baby grand off the wall if I wanted to or at least I never have to give it a second thought when hanging large pictures wherever I want to!

There's not a lot of closet space as people didn't have a lot of clothes back in those days (or so my mom tells me) so they didn't need to devote very much of their living space to clothes storage.

The pantry on the other hand... is GINORMOUS!!!! It's cool and shady inside the pantry and stores food beautifully
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:43 PM
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Study the Inuit Indians for cold weather survival.
Old 03-31-2012, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by SurvivorGirlAL View Post
Well since we all seem to have gotten COMPLETELY OFF TOPIC here lol, I'll go ahead and say Thank You

The people who built my house did a wonderful job. After nearly 100 years, it is still rock steady and sturdier by far than most new house construction I've seen.

The house was designed with our hot southern summers in mind with a deep wrap around porch on 2 sides.

The walls are solid pine boards placed on the diagonal, so I can hang a baby grand off the wall if I wanted to or at least I never have to give it a second thought when hanging large pictures wherever I want to!

There's not a lot of closet space as people didn't have a lot of clothes back in those days (or so my mom tells me) so they didn't need to devote very much of their living space to clothes storage.

The pantry on the other hand... is GINORMOUS!!!! It's cool and shady inside the pantry and stores food beautifully
Wow--that sounds great. I absolutely LOVE old houses! They have so much more character (and quality workmanship) than anything built today...
Old 10-22-2012, 12:15 AM
39 Chevy 39 Chevy is offline
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We need to get off the idea that we need to be at 75 degrees all the time. Brits let their houses go down to the low 60s in temperature. They wear sweaters and wool clothing all the time to keep warm.

One thing that was different in pre- industrial revolution times was survival took all your time. Cutting firewood, butchering, harvesting and preserving foods was a full-time job. All small farms had a grainery. Root cellars were basically cold storage. 500 years ago Europeans ate a lot of rotting food. Spices covered the foul smells. Firewood was hard to find, and woodcutting on private lands could lead to severe punishment. Filth was omnipresent. The only good thing was the overwhelming stench prevented you from smelling yourself.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:25 AM
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This is a really good question, and it would help everyone to do research on how people lived 100+ years ago, as that will help us now. For one thing, people would eat what they picked in their gardens, or cooked for that day, so there was less to have to preserve from day to day. This is a skill that we will all have to develop to stop depending so much on refrigeration. In other words, "If you pick it, you eat it."

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Old 10-22-2012, 04:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Purdy Bear View Post
you would have had one cabin maybe with a small fire in which everyone slept including the animals.

People didnt wash, they use pomanders on their clothing with oranges and cloves to keep away the smell. Their clothing was multi layers for warmth. Disease was rife.
Is this not how most Londoners live now, especially in the Southeast?
Old 10-22-2012, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by txflyboy View Post
I'm guessing the Native Americans living here 500 years ago were nomadic. At least that's what I've read and been told countless times.

)
Locally they would move down here to the shore in the summer, and head up into the hills during winter.


I was about 10 feet deep into a sand bar here digging a foundation when i found evidence of a clam bake.


I doubt it was from captain kid, no gold
Old 10-22-2012, 06:56 AM
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I read an article years back about how people survived the long winters years ago in harsh climates such as the Alps and Russia. The answer was a sort of "human hibernation". They settled in with their cows and pigs and spent the winter months in a long sleep.

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“Seven months of winter, five months of hell,” they said in the Alps. When the “hell” of unremitting toil was over, the human beings settled in with their cows and pigs. They lowered their metabolic rate to prevent hunger from exhausting supplies. If someone died during the seven months of winter, the corpse was stored on the roof under a blanket of snow until spring thawed the ground, allowing a grave to be dug and a priest to reach the village.

The same mass dormancy was practiced in other chilly parts. In 1900, The British Medical Journal reported that peasants of the Pskov region in northwestern Russia “adopt the economical expedient” of spending one-half of the year in sleep: “At the first fall of snow the whole family gathers round the stove, lies down, ceases to wrestle with the problems of human existence, and quietly goes to sleep. Once a day every one wakes up to eat a piece of hard bread. ... The members of the family take it in turn to watch and keep the fire alight. After six months of this reposeful existence the family wakes up, shakes itself” and “goes out to see if the grass is growing.”
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The country remains comparatively lively till the following winter, when again all signs of life disappear and all is silent, except we presume for the snores of the sleepers.

This winter sleep is called 'lotska'. These simple folk evidently come within '0 fortunatos nimium sua si bona norint!'
(translation: "0 more than happy, if they only knew their advantages.")

and in France, in wine country:

Quote:
In Burgundy, after the wine harvest, the workers burned the vine stocks, repaired their tools and left the land to the wolves. A civil servant who investigated the region’s economic activity in 1844 found that he was almost the only living presence in the landscape: “These vigorous men will now spend their days in bed, packing their bodies tightly together in order to stay warm and to eat less food. They weaken themselves deliberately.”
Source: "The Big Sleep", New York Times

and "The Curious Case of Human Hibernation"

It's good to read up on how things were done long ago. We may be living in those ways soon enough. Project Guttenberg is a great source of these books. One of the more fascinating books to me is "Apicius - Cooking and Dining in Ancient Rome". Here is the portion on how they kept foods back then: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/29728....htm#bki_chvii . I'm not recommending these methods (especially stacking oysters in a pitched barrel), but it's affirming to read how civilizations before us certainly survived and prospered without the modern conveniences we have today.
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by SurvivorGirlAL View Post
I stored sweet potatoes in there for nearly a year, and had very little spoilage, but I stored them loose in the bottom ofa small clothes basket. Didn't have time/energy to deal with a 15lb sack of irish potatoes recently, asked hubby to put them in the pantry until I could deal with them. Just a few weeks later, I opened the potatoes and found that all of them had started to sprout badly. Maybe it was because they were enclosed in a plastic bag and that would hold moisture?

How are you storing your fruits and veggies? Suspended (hung up) or laying stacked on shelves ?
The worst enemy to fresh fruits and vegetables is plastic bags. Produce gives off ethylene gas that remains trapped in those bags and breaks down the product faster. Your original storage bin of a clothes basket let them 'breathe'.
Old 10-22-2012, 02:49 PM
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Something to consider: Until the 1920s stomach cancer was the most common kind in America. Now it's rare. What changed in the 20s? Refrigeration. Before people had fridges they ate a lot of smoked, pickled, salted and otherwise chemically preserved foods. Once they had food kept fresh by refrigeration instead, stomach cancer rates dropped off dramatically. They are still relatively high in places like Japan and parts of eastern Europe where people are still fond of preserved fish, meats and vegetables.
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:07 PM
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Interesting historical observation. When exploring trash dumps of old mining towns in the 1970s, it was obvious that locals ate a lot of canned food-and also consumed a lot of stomach remedies. Canning was introduced in the 1840s, and has a long history of health side effects. Lead poisoning, botulism and other poisoning problems come to mind. In remote parts of the West 30-40 years ago, it was not unusual to go into a store or trading post and see nothing but canned foods.
Old 12-15-2012, 10:16 PM
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Remember too 500 years ago you were an adult at 10, married with 2 kids at 16 and dead at 30. Life was short and rough, but people were tough. If you old folks remember way back when you were 16, you could lick the world. Now there's a reason you say lord, just let me make it through another winter...
Old 12-15-2012, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by SurvivorGirlAL View Post
Well since we all seem to have gotten COMPLETELY OFF TOPIC here lol, I'll go ahead and say Thank You

The people who built my house did a wonderful job. After nearly 100 years, it is still rock steady and sturdier by far than most new house construction I've seen.
Thanks for getting us back ON TOPIC.

My house is slightly older as well - - - one of the things I most appreciate is that my septic system is 100% gravity fed. No electricity needed. Of course it helps living on top of a hill.

Everytime I flush my toilet, I send it all down to my neighbors!

Hopefully we are now back on topic of septic systems!

Old 12-16-2012, 03:26 AM
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People here in the Arctic Dryed Meats, put eggs under moss against the permafrost and then oiled them and placed then in the cache, caught and dryed fish, and let alotta things, meat wize , ferment and eat later while frozen, and that too is the predominat method, to keep and eat things frozen.
As well, they were semi Nomades here in the land of Eskimo, and teh indians were simular as semi nomadic Hunters who based themselfs in a cycle of 5 seasons, Spring, Summer, Fall, Dark Winter and light Winter. They had camps that were moved to and used in season, year after year, but with the deviation that came with fish/birds/meat not showing up or being so abundant they stayed untill done, basily a flexable way to live, and not decimate one area. With 8 months of Winter, freezing was the predominate method of storage, but in the spring any newly caught or winters surplus of Fish and meat was dryed up before the flys come and used as 'travle food" when the waters flowed and moveing large ammounts of accumulation could be done by boat. Spring and summer was when Large game was hunted, Whales, Beluga, Walrus, Bearded seals and such. Men Hunting, women processing and all hands busy, a couple walrus or Beluga, or a share of a Bowhead Whale would land them a ton of food at a time to deal with, drying meats and rendering oils, them storeing and moveing all the catch. They Hunted Caribou and Sheep in august/sept for meat, fats and mostly skins for proper clothing. They Hunted and traded as they went along and returned to their winters Home, and put away the tents and boats and spend the Summers catch while isolated in the Polar night, feasting, Dancing, visiting, sewing, tradeing and exchangeing gifts was done in preperation of Febuarys light days and cold temps, everyone had to be well dressed and with a bit of fat about as it all burns off when you walk to stay warm.
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:00 PM
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I just bought this book:


The first chapter is on what people ate in the Middle ages (500 - 1500) and how they preserved it through the winter.
Old 12-16-2012, 06:45 PM
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The answer is pretty much common knowledge. But..to bite; a lot of people did NOT make it through the cold winter. Does a bear get fat in the woods in the autumm? Why? Duhh. You can provide your own answers. Watch the film, (excellent!) "Defiance" starring Daniel Craig. (007) Excellent scenes on staying hungry. HB of CJ (old coot)
Old 12-16-2012, 06:47 PM
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Not all native americans were nomadic. Mostly in the west of the US they were. In the east from maine to florida they were more settled in homestead areas with farms, cattle..etc
Old 12-16-2012, 07:20 PM
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Title says it all

How is it that I keep fruit in a cool, dark cupboard, and it gets mouldy and goes bad. How the hell did people survive? Did they just store up things like wheat, rice etc and hope that they didn't go bad for winter?
Rice doesn't go bad even in very hot humid regions because it's completely dry. Wheat has been found in the pyramids and still sprouts. People knew (passed down) how to store depending on what they were storing. If your things get moldy, it's because it is too warm and humid (should be close to freezing about 32 degrees) or because what you are storing does not store well. Then there are things that can't be stored together. Apples will make just about every other fruit and vegetable spoil faster due to gases it releases the promote ripening. You actually would need a book or an older person to figure out how to store food for longer periods.
Old 12-16-2012, 07:43 PM
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The Pequot Indian Museum has a fantastic display of a time-chart, that Native Peoples archaeologists have made. Showing the migration of 'farming' methods coming up from Central America, slowly working it's way to the East Coast and then Northward.

By their time-line the knowledge of planting crops had just reached the Pequots within a 40-year period of when the Pilgrims landed.

The indigenous peoples of Southern New England had only just learned the secrets of planting crops when they helped the European colonialists. That knowledge never did reach Northern New England tribes like the Mic'mak.

In terms of 500 years ago. The knowledge would have likely not reached the East Coast yet. It would have been working it's way across the gulf states. Father-to-son and via inter-tribal bartering.

If anyone has the chance to tour the Pequot Museum it is well worth your time.
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