Anyone had group of 100+ for more than 10 years?

Doomsday Prepper Forums

Help Support Doomsday Prepper Forums:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
We are 100% energy self-sufficient, but we are still not there yet with hydroponic vegetables. When we were at 91% of the membership staying in the facility all or most of everyday for about a week, we still had to bring in fresh vegetables. The team estimates it's going to take another 3 months to get us to where we need to be to be totally self-sufficient for vegetable production. They are adding two 40-foot containers to the hydroponics area to provide additional trays, pump systems, and lights. If we end up having to deploy sooner than that, we can make do by supplementing with canned vegetables. If nothing happens and we have a huge excess, members are used to dropping by for fresh veggies and if that doesn't cover it, we can always get a spot at the farmer's market.
These guys are a WHOLE OTHER LEVEL of efficiency over what we do, but we only spend a couple thousand dollars setting up each container. These guys want 75K per container!!
I don't know that we could even eat that much food, but the automation would certainly be nice! WATCH!

Our containers look more like this with access aisles and lights at different levels, whereas the CUBIC FARMS guys rotate the trays and bring the food right to you for harvesting!
Pretty sweet, but it would all "go south" if you lost power for very long or customers dried up like during Covid-19.
Less efficient, but we grow what we need and give away the excess!


  • hydroponics.jpg
    306.4 KB · Views: 7
Now if Cubic Farms sold each container with enough topside solar panels, and inverter etc. to make their hydroponic containers completely self-sufficient (except for connecting to a water line - it can't "make water" too!) then it might be worth 75K, but I haven't heard of anyone doing that?!
I've been asked "why not just sell our excess veggies in our own grocery store?" Yeah, about that. The grocery buys produce from local farmers, so we don't ever want to compete with the farmers. I was also just talking junk about ever getting a booth at the farmer's market. We wouldn't do that for the same reason. Our own members have been snagging our excess veggies for years, so stopping that practice MIGHT mean more purchases from local farms, but it's a perk I don't think we'll curtail. The main thing is, we just don't want to flood the market with additional veggies that would decrease sales to the farmers. So anyway, that's why.
All our High School students take a "Career and Technical Education" (CTE) course called "Technology Studies" which if they were in a public school might be considered a joke course, but they take it seriously (and with glee) because we've added a Friday component that makes it all worthwhile. Parents have all signed their approval of this curriculum although it goes well beyond what kids would normally get out of this class.

Several and sometimes MANY parents attend this Friday class with their kids (me too) to glean what they can. Monday through Thursday, they follow the standard curriculum although accelerated. They also get drilled for homework several times a week with a 15-minute web-based tutorial/game that gives them practice using the terms used in the curriculum.

One Friday session I attended, students were required to "acquire" (carefully remove from a rooftop and return with it to a safe location - the classroom parking lot) a solar panel, wiring, batteries, and inverter from a nearby rooftop (NOT our active system, but one installed for teaching purposes) and get it to charge the batteries and power several lights. Coming into the lesson, they already had a background in the required components and theory, so this was the practical application of carefully disassembling and reassembling the system.
It is HEAVILY stressed that these scenarios are for a W.R.O.L. AND there's a disruption in power" AND the system is being wasted on a vacant building."
Understandably, parents don't want us to develop juvenile delinquents, but everyone understands why these skills are included.

Other Fridays, everyone got to learn how to drive and use a
bobcat, forklift, a scissors lift, a D40 bulldozer, a water truck, a fire engine (just a demo - no one got to drive it!) a dump truck, a school bus, a Sprinter van, and an 18 wheeler (Freightliner Columbia.) More, I just can't remember.

They also learn how to safely start and operate gas, diesel, natural gas, and LP generators, water pumps, a concrete saw, and a compressor. Again, more I can't recall.

Another Friday, they controversially (but parent approved) learned in theory and with some actual vehicles, how to start (if no key) and get (siphon) fuel and other W.R.O.L. skills that might be useful.

We've been doing this with our high school aged kids since 2008 (way before we developed our own school) and we've not had a single kid go off the rails and start a "life of crime," so it's worked pretty well. These kids will be an asset to any group if they end up somewhere else after college. We are fortunate that very few have moved away but understandably, our little town doesn't have the dazzle, the restaurants, and nightlife that a big city can provide...but we like it here just fine!
Until we upgraded our firing range, kids had to go with their parents to a nearby local range to get practice. In general, that meant they shared their lane with their parent which for a beginner, I think it's a good requirement, so they get the guidance they NEED.
Previously, our kids were only allowed to use our facility's archery range, but now if they are certified and have parental approval, they can get their own lane in our updated firing range. Some are VERY good marksmen.
In that "Career and Technical Education" Technology Studies class (see above,) the kids also, (over the course of the year,) will tour, study about, and do projects on all of our facility systems. They won't by any means become experts on any of our systems such as food rotation, the generators, the solar arrays, the ventilation and filtration systems, hydroponics, or security etc. but they'll learn enough that some of them might eventually step into some of those roles. It also helps to have them understand that it all "doesn't just happen"...a lot of planning, work, and maintenance goes into everything they might otherwise take for granted. It's a real "buy in" for them because they feel like they are being trusted with privileged knowledge and they are more cooperative about family meetings and other required events that some of them sometimes balk at "having to attend."
This years' graduating class has more kids going to nearby colleges than out of state colleges than previous years. I'd like to think it was because they want to stay closer to home, but it could be remnants of Covid or a host of other reasons.
Tomorrow, (Friday) the TS class is touring the water storage sector which includes 375,000 gallons (combined) of fresh, gray, and black water storage. They will learn about the filtration and treatment facility as well as the valves and pumps that control the rainwater, well, and city water sources. I intend to pop over from the grocery to tell the story about how moving the generators from the parking deck roof was a mistake so they understand that people make mistakes...sometimes really expensive ones, but eventually, with input, (hopefully their input!) we can make things even better.
We had a great tour with our High School technology class this past Friday. They asked some really good questions!
Last edited:
I know my statement that thank God PMs don't have to wait to be moderated sounded really stupid. As a newbie, I was frustrated that my post wouldn't immediately show and it said something about moderation on my end. I really wanted to get Dave's attention immediately. Fortunately, my PM went through instantly. But from your end, I'm sure it looked like I was just an idiot.
Lukas say he can fly Dc to Orlando 13May if you can say rent car or pick up. Which one is for you?
Today the installers (including that huge crane) finished putting the two new 150 KW natural gas generators on top of the grocery store rooftop. Along with all the solar, the energy needs for the grocery store, (in case of hurricane outages etc.) are set. But even more important, now that it's been inspected, the transfer switch that transfers this power to our facility, can be installed by our electricians.

What we can't move and can't duplicate for the facility is that big minus-20-degree Fahrenheit freezer we have access to in the grocery basement, so this install helps ensure that this critical freezer doesn't go off-line. It's currently powered 100% off-grid by our facility but having that extra power option feels comforting.


  • Generators.png
    479 KB · Views: 4

Latest posts