Missouriwannabe: Ozark soil gardening? Yeah, right. How in the world do I garden in this soil? I'm from central Illinois. Throw seeds on the ground here and you'll get perfect crops. I go down to our 40 acres in southern Missouri with my shovel and all I dig up is sand and rock. What can ya do to get those crops to grow down there?One does not have to follow preppers for too long to learn that the Ozark Mountains of Missouri and northern Arkansas are an unparalleled bugout location. They have a low population density, the area has minimal natural disasters,* and as the author of the just-linked article notes, it's a great place to be if the oceans rise.** Alex Jones assures us that the Globalists(™) are all building their castles here because it's so perfect. And it is just about the only place in the central Midwest to receive Joel Skousen's top recommended rating. Surely this
holmeed: Beats me. I'm from Northern Ill and Wis and its terrible.
GraniteStater: Plant some trees instead. The soil in the Ozarks is not great for farming and gardening like it is in the Midwest core...
No, it's a terrible place.
Now even though I'm sitting at present right in the heart of the Ozarks, what I'm about to say does not apply only to this plateau but to anywhere you're considering as
Harken back 100 years and ask yourself how the people lived in whatever area you're considering. The
Now expatriates from Nashville have discovered the beautiful Branson area and funded 30 years of capital improvements. New highways run through the mountains, beautiful cabins spring up behind gates and fences, country singers that everyone thought were dead open theaters on the main drag of a city that has tripled in population over that period.
Yet half of the children in this area still live in poverty. And there's a reason for that. The Ozark plateaus are covered with thin, rocky, relatively poor soil that is subject to frequent droughts. Or, as MissouriWannabe discovered upon setting spade to his 40 acres: sing all you want, you still can't grow anything here.
The soil of the Ozarks is a matchless combination of limestone rock, clay, and sand. If you want to live on pine cones and skinks, the Ozarks will suit you fine. If you want to eat people-food for the rest of your life, you're going to have to implement one of two options:
a) move here today and get to work building your soil and your relationships.If you bug out to 40 pristine acres in SHTF, you're going to live a life just like the people of this land lived 100 years ago: nasty, brutish, and short, with vigilantes at your door and hookworms squirming in your stool. And you'll be surrounded by desperate, bitter, rickets-addled subsistence farmers who will treat you as an invader. Gold and silver will avail you nothing, for no one within hailing distance will have anything of value to trade you for it.***
b) plan to move somewhere else.
No matter what area you choose to inhabit, you probably can't help how your neighbors live. But you can help how you live. Make sure the area you choose is self-sufficient in food - real food, not possums and wild mushrooms. Make sure the area you choose has markets or a way to move goods to and from them. Finally, make sure the area you choose has the ability to produce wealth - food, mineral, metal, anything - because no matter the economy, the currency, and the politics that arise once the music stops, it is the production and trading of wealth that raises people out of their natural state of poverty.
The combination of geographic isolation, poor soil, and played-out lead mines just means the Ozark Prepper, even if all goes well, will die the richest rock farmer in his county. If you want to live better than that, now is the time to pick a better county.
* Other than the New Madrid Fault which could theoretically put an end to the
** Though I am informed that one can drive there from New Orleans without much trouble.
*** This is not a criticism of the Ozarks or its people - more than once this vacation I have gazed upon a beautiful mountain and said, I could live here. What's more, I meant it: this place is gorgeous and its residents are among the most friendly and genuine people you will ever meet. It is instead a criticism of those preppers who understand our present plight but expect that a last-minute geographical juke is all the planning they need to cope with it.