Prepping for the Preppers
By Alice Loweecey
I’m not making this up.
Well, not all of it. This is a story about how research slithers its tendrils into real life. That sounds like the plot of a horror novel, and these ideas did start with horror novel research.
In Nun but the Brave, Giulia infiltrates a cult of Doomsday Preppers. Oh, the Prepper research! Tactical bacon (it’s a real thing on Amazon; promise). Water purifier systems demonstrated by perky models. Reams of advice on protecting your apocalypse hoard from desperadoes.
Its purpose: the individual’s survival post-nuke. Or post-Electromagnetic Pulse. Or post-Zombie Apocalypse. Note the Tactical Bacon above. Who would want to live in a world without bacon? Or coffee? Or chocolate?
I leave out booze, because it’s become easier than ever to create beer and mead and moonshine in one’s own basement. But even if your neighborhood Prepper group raises bacon the hoof (aka pigs), coffee and chocolate are tropical plants. It’s unlikely my corner Starbucks will be operating post-ZA.
Thanks to my horror novel research, I learned I can grow tea on my desk, coffee in my backyard, and cacao in a greenhouse—and I live in one of the snow capitals of the US.
I’m not saying it’ll be great coffee or tea or cacao, but when one’s stores of ground coffee (no electricity post-nuke, so forget about that fancy whole bean grinder) are used up, a backup plan will be flowering.
When Giulia visits the Preppers, she’s surprised to see coffee growing in their gardens. Surely a coffee hound like Giulia would’ve considered growing her very own in her huge vegetable garden? But Giulia isn’t merely a coffee addict; she’s a coffee gourmand. Because when she tries this home-grown brew, well, let’s just say Starbucks doesn’t have to worry about losing a customer.
Tea, on the other hand, is not Giulia’s favorite. It is a favorite of her creator, and if my cats would leave the plant alone, I’d sure try growing my own tea on my windowsill.
A cacao tree is not in my future, because there are only so many hours in the day. If my choice is to grow my own beans, grind them up, and perform all the other steps required to create the food of the gods—chocolate—I’ll head to the grocery store and buy some Guylian seashells. (If you’ve never had these luscious creations, hie thee to the store post-haste! They’re also great for people watching their weight, since they’re so rich you can’t eat more than two, max, per sitting.
Now that I’ve made all y’all crave coffee and chocolate, my work here is done. And if anyone decides to take advantage of my research and grow any of these plants, please send pictures! I’m on Facebook and Twitter and you can always contact me through my website. I’m off to brew some very strong coffee.
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