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Really interesting article about self-reliance

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  • Really interesting article about self-reliance

    Hey all,

    I read an interesting article last night and thought to pass it on. It's about a Russian family of Old Believers who, just before WWII, ran away to the wilderness of Siberia so that they could practice their religion without being persecuted. Not hugely related to Primal eating (they lived on small amounts of grains and foraging, sometimes hunting), but a very intriguing look into folks who didn't like the direction the world was going and decided to do their own thing: For 40 Years, This Russian Family Was Cut Off From All Human Contact, Unaware of WWII | History & Archaeology | Smithsonian Magazine.


  • #2
    Amazing what religion can do to folks..


    • #3
      That is true, but they left in response to a repressive political culture. Either way you look at it, amazing what politics do to people too.. You could argue that their religion saved them. The Soviet regime might have had them killed.

      What I was fascinated by was how they managed to feed, clothe, and house themselves for all those years. I doubt most of us would know where to start, if faced with the prospect of living off the land.


      • #4
        It's amazing they survived for so long considering that they lacked many of the skills we consider necessary, the ones that come to mind are hunting implements and the ability to make pottery or other vessels to cook in. Not to mention the difficulty of living with out a community.

        Dh has always been fascinated with learning ancient technologies flint knapping being the oldest but he's also a competent potter, blacksmith, gardener and he can spin. He can pretty much learn any skill he sets his mind to.

        The article didn't mention if they ate fish. Seems to me that would be an excellent source of protein.
        Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.


        • #5
          They lacked some necessary skills.. and some necessary food for survival. I don't know if this info is in the article I posted or in another follow-up I researched, but eventually two of the kids died of kidney failure. Amazing that they lived as long as they did on mostly fodder. The article mentions that eventually one of the sons figured out how to hunt (the family either trapped or exhausted animals by chasing them), so I would guess that they also figured out a way to take advantage of the abundance in the river.

          DH sounds cool! I'm the verbal/humanities one and my boyfriend is the scientist/engineer in our relationship. So, basically, if I can dream it up, he can figure out how to build it :-) Pretty good deal we have going on. But going "back to the land" without a community does sound very difficult.

          Urban Forager, where does your name come from? I've always been intrigued by foraging, but never have done so in a city. And, haven't had the courage to go out and do it since coming back from Eastern Europe. There, I was surrounding by people who knew what was poisonous or not. Now, I'd have to find some sort of pocket reference.


          • #6
            Vintageeats, I've always foraged even when I lived in the city. In the city it was mostly fruit trees in overlooked areas, sometimes I scavenged materials for art projects. Now that we live in a small town in a rural area I've learned a lot about the edible plants and mushrooms. I still collect fruit and nuts that nobody seems to want. I love foraging it's so fun to go out and collect food. In very little time you can have a whole sack of apples (not the prettiest but tasty) when the store bought (organic) ones sell for $1.50 a pound.

            Thanks for posting that article it was fascinating.
            Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.


            • #7
              You're welcome! I thought the MDA community would find it interesting.