Rural landscape post-carbon?

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Farmimator's picture
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Rural landscape post-carbon?

I moved out to rural Ontario about 3 years ago and started a mixed farm CSA operation with my wife.  I still maintain my city job which I do from home via the internet.  Most of the 'Doomer' talk I read about is related to cities, which makes sense as most people live there.  In an economic collapse it seems like the cities would be a tough place to be.  But what about the countryside?

Does anyone have any insight as to what happens to rural areas in times of decline.  Rural Canada and the US have been in a slow but steady state of decline for a generation at least.  The 'bottom' out here can't be quite as far down as in the urban centers.  But there's also less opportunity for commerce as well as vaster distances that still must be traversed no matter the price of oil.  On the flip-side it does feel like there's a real sense of community still here.  And of course we have the land base to be produce 'real' wealth in the form of food, fibre, fuel, etc.

One notion I have is that folks from the cities, jobless and seeking a new life will want to come to positive places, like my farm for instance, and apply their labour for a reasonable wage.  My hope is that the farm will benefit from the increase in labour and the people will benefit from some sense of community and stability.  Is this unrealistic?

How do rural folks adapt and change to economic down-turn?  The poorest will be hurt the most by any economic shifts and most rural folks have been hollowed out...

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Post Carbon Rural

Hi Farminator-

Welcome to the site!

How I see the rural area shifting after the age of oil - Well, nearly 50% of the population was involved in some type of agriculture before the age of oil so I see a vast number returning to that skill set. Food production will be a large part as rural areas supply local towns with food as well as some energy via wood for heat, alcohol for cooking and maybe lighting. Alcohol can also be a minor source of fuel for transportation and I see most farms finding ways to produce some part of their own energy needs via animal, bio-fuels or other alternatives (wind, solar, hydro). According to the IEA charts - wood heating will increase over 600% over the decline period. And, after seeing GasLand DVD, I have little hope that natural gas can be a real solution when retreiving it pollutes aquafiers.

I also think local farms have the potential to be the MAIN resource of local energy once they meet their own demand in food production/sales as energy becomes increasingly more expensive from outside sources (natural gas, oil, gas and coal).That said, supply will still only be a fraction of what it is today. Farms can be the source of keeping local operations going with fuels for ambulances, emergency vehicles and maybe school buses (though I imagine most kids will be educated in old-time school house settings with computers with interactive sports as the only reason to travel in buses).

For now, most of the people I know who live in the rural areas with 1 - 20 acres work in town and though I see more car pooling in our future, I also see less jobs in towns in the coming years. We also manage our business via internet and more and more of that will be happening. New jobs are scarce now for young people and will result in the lost generation as few kids today look forward to the physical labor jobs in hopes of becoming a big hit on youtube, American Idoll or America's Got Talent. I think they will continue to "mob" as the illusions hit hard reality. For farms with food, heat and fuel near a city, this could be a problem as local dis-enchanted youth want for a former life. Living in a northern climate might be an advantage for part of the year, but not a 100% protection from people wanting life supports without the work involved.

Though I think the solutions are obvious -Obama should be making jobs on farms for these kids to learn food production like past presidents made parks jobs for youth - massive small farm resources should be developed. There should also be a dialoug started between local emergency groups (ambulances, police, highway dept) to locate farmers to supply essential goods (food, heat & fuel) locally as a security measure for the community. 

So, I see farms supplying nearly 5%, 25% to 50% of the local needs for food, heat and energy as the decline progresses. This means farmers are again - America's Most Valuable Resource.

That's a Game Play!

EndGamePlayer

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I doubt many people will be

I doubt many people will be able to just pick up and leave.
Seems that the most likely occurance will be that people who have family in rural areas will migrate as they're able; that is, if there is sufficient space, provisions and opportunities where they intend to go.

Essentially, what I mean is that families will "condense" into smaller spaces (similar to what was discussed in the "Case Study in Collapse Thread") as we're already seeing these impacts as the economy continues to shrink our discretionary funds dry up, leaving us with less opulence.

When that subsisdes, the reasons for wanting to be apart from one's family diminish as pride takes a back seat to necessity.

That said, I think most of the folks who are unskilled but experienced in farm/ranch labor will be highly prized and valuble members of smaller communities, so the folks who show up late to the party might not be the best people to employ, though I'm sure that the demand will increase.

Just some thoughts.

Cheers,

Aaron

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Wide spectrum...
Farmimator wrote:

I moved out to rural Ontario about 3 years ago and started a mixed farm CSA operation with my wife.  I still maintain my city job which I do from home via the internet.  Most of the 'Doomer' talk I read about is related to cities, which makes sense as most people live there.  In an economic collapse it seems like the cities would be a tough place to be.  But what about the countryside?

Does anyone have any insight as to what happens to rural areas in times of decline.  Rural Canada and the US have been in a slow but steady state of decline for a generation at least.  The 'bottom' out here can't be quite as far down as in the urban centers.  But there's also less opportunity for commerce as well as vaster distances that still must be traversed no matter the price of oil.  On the flip-side it does feel like there's a real sense of community still here.  And of course we have the land base to be produce 'real' wealth in the form of food, fibre, fuel, etc.

One notion I have is that folks from the cities, jobless and seeking a new life will want to come to positive places, like my farm for instance, and apply their labour for a reasonable wage.  My hope is that the farm will benefit from the increase in labour and the people will benefit from some sense of community and stability.  Is this unrealistic?

How do rural folks adapt and change to economic down-turn?  The poorest will be hurt the most by any economic shifts and most rural folks have been hollowed out...

Farm -

Nice post - welcome to the site.

I suppose the answer to "Does anyone have any insight as to what happens to rural areas in times of decline?" is probably, "It depends."

Depending on where you are, I would say some rural areas will be relatively unaffected.  Those who are farming at an industrial level, or those who are dependent on oil derivatives (fuel, fertilizer, herbicide, pesticide, etc.) to support their operation will get hit harder, but those who are smaller scale (large home gardeners, CSA) are more resilient and better positioned to weather what's coming.

Therein lies the real question - "What is coming and how bad will it get?"  Depending on who you ask, it falls somewhere between "Nothing is going to happen, the government will save us, turn 'Dancing With The Stars back on please.'", to a Mad Max meets Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" overseen by SKYNET.

Clearly we will be somewhere in between.

I think your observations about "rural folk" being hollowed out as a possible liability will in fact turn out to be their strength.  You seem to be positioned well - especially if you can already sense the feeling of community where you are.

Looking forward to seeing where this thread discussion goes.......

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Old style farming

I wouldn't suggest that society will be transformed into Mennonite-like communities overnight, but I think we should study their way of life to see how they manage to survive without use of much energy. I'm sure that many of their skills and adaptations will be needed to some degree within 15-20 years.

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back to the land

I was just back to the farm I co-own with my brother.  Presently we aren't doing anything with it.  It's a large holding for east Tennessee and some folks want to lease it for beef pasture, which could be a good thing while we figure out what to do with it, especially if they keep it mowed and keep up the fences.

In all honesty, I don't see anyone there growing gardens or doing any serious farming anymore.  You'll see a few horses and some cattle now and then, but you have to get way away from town before you find any vegetable gardens.  

Two generations ago both sides of my familly weathered the depression on farms while my parents worked their way through school.  They were short on cash, but they always ate.  They were hardworking people who looked ahead and prepared.  They both had deep larders and prided themselves on how much they were able to put away.  They ate what they produced and didn't buy too much besides basic staples.  You had to like green beans and potatoes, bacon and eggs, and southern fried chicken.  The kids had to sit at the table until they ate the squash or whatever it was that they didnt like--it didnt get thrown away.

The farms served as a cushion--the kids went away and got jobs and if they didnt work out, they always got help from their folks.  My dad went through law school by selling milk from one of his dad's cows.  My mother went home to her parents on weekends to recoup.  That went on until the war when the boys went to war and the girls got better jobs.

Now this next depression is going to last a long time and I may never live to see the end of it.  

The land isnt especially fertile, but there has been a garden before and there can be one there again.  I've never had chickens or dairy cattle, and that would be another stretch for me. I am not young enough to be really amibitious with it either.

I see the biggest  threat to the farm being security.  It is so easy to google a map and see exactly what you have and where it is.  A farm that isnt seen from the highway could be a great hideout for someone who is just looking to take what he wants.  A stranger could plan an invasion without even going there first to check it out.  You could have your house stripped, or just taken over if you could not defend it and looters were attracted enough to it.  I have just started thinking about that.  The barn has been burned twice by kids smoking dope, and no one saw them then.  Now the local fire department is on one end of the farm.  I don't know if in these hills people will arm themselves to defend their holdings, but they just may do that.  I don't remember either of my grandfathers owning guns, but that was another time.

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Get involved

 Farm ,   

 Get involved in as much of your community activities as you feel comfortable .   ' Not what ya know but who ya know ' rings true in smaller towns.

 Yes we have farmers markets in every little town .  Do I take things in to it ??  NO , too much Govt. regulations there .  When they run out of money to send out the Veggie Police   I might participate .

  Just comes down to  who you feel you can trust . As I sat next to the sheriff and taught his kid how to train their dog  I  asked him if we had any hopes to get a firing range set up here . He said they were working on it and it would be open to the public soon .  But when I got home my son told me that our set up at home was as good as what the law enforcement had to offer  and that there was no advantage to alerting  them what guns we have . 

 All this negative talk aside .    The people in small communities will work together and the sooner you gain their trust the better you will be.  For example we have finally talked the local greenhouse into putting aside 2 of them to grow veggies over the winter to have in the grocery store instead of supplying Earl May with that many more flowers .  We have a population of 1000  with a garden in every 5 yards and at least 10 commercial sized green houses .  There is Talk of opening one commercial kitchen  for those that want to go in and can up their veggies .  And definitely enough Grain and cattle to feed MANY MANY more   If everyone can get their living expenses down as far as possible  We should be able to feed the people.  When Gas goes Higher  more will turn their crop land back into grazing land  just because it will have to be .   We may have to send the cattle out by rail and more local butchers & Lockers will need to be set up .    I can fore see that more will raise goats to send back to the cities too .

  With School funds being cut back  there are moms stepping in to take over in volunteer status and Dads that are helping to teach welding skills .

 I do not see Why anyone who could do their job from a computer at home would risk staying in a city  but I am sure they have their reason .  Heavens our town was built 125 years ago from people who saw a need to leave NY .

 We moved back here from Japan and I have never regretted it one time .   When I have a need that  I can not figure out  I only have to ask about 3 people before I have the name of the person that can handle it .

 If you do not feel the urge to grow food you had better find something to do that those who do will be willing to trade for . Dentist  or Dr. perhaps .. open on Friday and Saturday or the evenings only ... you know  when all the others are closed and other people are off of work . DUH    You will be booked solid and can golf on  Monday and Tues or during the day when  the course is empty ...... Just joking but you get what I mean . You may not get rich but you will eat . Every Time I sit in that dentist chair I pray the power does not go out before he is finished !!

  It is just time to start thinking outside the box .We as a community here need to be spitting out some of these ideas  not clinging on to normalcy .

 FM.

 

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Farmimator wrote: One notion
Farmimator wrote:

One notion I have is that folks from the cities, jobless and seeking a new life will want to come to positive places, like my farm for instance, and apply their labour for a reasonable wage.  My hope is that the farm will benefit from the increase in labour and the people will benefit from some sense of community and stability.  Is this unrealistic?

I don't think it is unrealistic, in fact I am planning for it. Not so much that an ex-Boeing Engineer turned drifter walks up to me and asks for a job as a farm hand, but that my extended family and friends would be welcome to make a life for themselves. A world built by hand, to rip off JHK.

I have positoned myself and my farm with expansion in mind. Bring me a desire to make it for you and your family, and I'll put you up and feed you while you use my tools to build your home. Then help me add on to the garden, etc. etc. etc.

Since I don't have a firm grasp on just how bad it may get (keep in mind that although we constantly hear about the unemployment in the Great Depression, 75% were still employed...) it may only be one family who has lost their means of income, or if things get ugly, it may be several. Flexibility is the key.

Hope to see you around.

R

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one note

  One more note .    My  grandparents did not loose their farm in the depression . The 2100  acres were all lost in one bet on one horse .

 Moral of the story here is to not put all your eggs in one basket  Or bet everything on a 'Sure Deal '

 FM

 

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Wow.  Some great,

Wow.  Some great, insightful posts and illuminating stories.  I feel I am in good company.  Wink

I've long moved passed the notion of individual security and am deeply inspired and moved by the Transition Towns notions of community resiliency.  I AM in fact involved locally with a few community initiatives and believe strongly that the only true currency is relationships.  I don't have any spare money to invest in gold or silver.  I put all my money into fencing and making my home more efficient.  In the meantime I'm investing all my spare time in relationship and community building.  

For those without currency...you always have your smile and a helping hand to build up your portfolio of friends.  

It was mentioned above that out here, in the country, if you need something you're probably two or three people away from knowing someone who can help you.  One to one.  I think one of the greatest strengths of the rural culture is that real relationships still exist.  Not all the relationships have been replaced by institutions.  I also think it's important to point out that there IS actually cohesive rural culture out here.  My wife and I are from the city and are 'outsiders.'  We stick out here.  Our CSA, mixed, small-scale, tractorless farm being the least of obvious differences.  There's a mold here and while it may be stifiling it also bring with it much needed social cohesion.  

I've found that as long as we're open to people they are open to us.  We've engaged with the alternative and traditional folks alike in ways that I had never experienced in my time growing up in the suburbs.

In terms of security up here....Yes we are vulnerable to attack in the sense that we are isolated.  BUT by creating community it becomes very easy to spot outsiders and help each other to secure our holdings as a group.  To quote a famous American:  "Gentlemen we must all hang together or we shall most assuredly all hang separately."

I also agree that many people will be moving back up to family farms.  I have made it clear in no uncertain terms to my parents and brother that there is a place here waiting for them.  Without lots of cash to throw at problems I instead hope to rely on people who are pulling together with a similar goal.

One scenario I think about:  If food-system are shut down by lack of cheap transportation there will be an INCREDIBLE pressure for food locally.  For most places, including where I live, the actuall stuff of life is not found on 90% of the planted acres.  They are Corn/Soy fields, inedible until processed.  I worry that in the future governments will see small-scale farms as inneficient compared to larger scale operations who could be providing more calories for a starving, urban electorate.  Will governments sculpt policies so as to transition large-scale producers to more local fare while penalizing the 'less productive' land-holders?  Statistically I am more productive acre to acre than a conventional farmer but my output is pitful compared to theirs.  No matter how efficient my acre of storage crops is their 100 acres will produce WAY more food.

Quick aside:  Our farm property came with an inground concrete pool.  It turned into a perfect root cellar!  Green-Roof on top, ramp dug in and door cut out....voila!  Engery-free cold storage all year long.

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Shared sentiment....

Farm -

I hope you stick around this site for a long while.

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Youth on Farms

Though I think the solutions are obvious -Obama should be making jobs on farms for these kids to learn food production like past presidents made parks jobs for youth - massive small farm resources should be developed

 We've had many volunteers and interns.  My experience with SOME is that they are pure academics.  They love the IDEA of farming, the IDEA of sustainability and are in love with perfect systems as laid out in permaculture handbooks.  But when it comes to labouring under the sun, carrying heavy load that bite into their skin or smelling the aroma of a freshly mucked out animal stall.....well their enthusiam wanes.

But with others....man I'm blown away.  They are not only capable they seem to get so much energy out of the same stuggles.  They are inspired and motivated to be actually DOING something rather than just thinking.  Working with their hands on something they believe in brings them fire and passion.  Something they may never have known.  There is at least one generation looking to stop using just their eyes, brains and fingertips to interact with a (virtual) world.  They may not know it yet but:  ""To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves."  - Ghandi

 

To Dogs:  Too kind.  Thank-you.

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thank you

Farm ..  the Gandhi quote  was inspiring !  Offer the Kids  a dip in the Swimming hole  and to eat the fruits of their labor  for supper after they are done working .    The Lazy ones  will be shamed  by their lack , pier pressured into working , or will not show up again . They must learn if you don't work you do not eat .

 OH and pray for me . MY future daughter -in -law  gets out of a lot of work by saying " I don't know how ..* giggle* "    It ain't going to fly around here for long or sparks will be flying!

 FM

 PS .   Question , do you quit fertilizing after the fruit is set on ?   cabbages , tomatoes  etc?

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FM - Lost the farm . .

Ha Full Moon-

I have to tell this, though a little off-topic.

The farm we bought lost all the crop fields (not the house site and woods) on a stock market margin call a few owners back. The land was bought at auction and has been commercially plowed with GMO crops since. The soil is the worst around and we saw new renter plow it this year and he won't be back. 

My senses tell me to keep an eye out as land like this may soon become abandon. The fact that the land has been so abused plus that farmers are borrowing more and more money to cover their higher energy input expenses, ...we've even heard of farmers who are betting on a "good sale price" and using credit cards to buy seed to plant. . . talk about a gamble!

Either way, we will keep an eye on it and if it does get abandoned- I think my neighbors and I will find a way to improve the soil and sqaut it properly.  This kind of land abuse has gone on too long and so - no regrets

EGP

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That's awesome
Farmimator wrote:

Quick aside:  Our farm property came with an inground concrete pool.  It turned into a perfect root cellar!  Green-Roof on top, ramp dug in and door cut out....voila!  Engery-free cold storage all year long.

That is just awesome!  A huge root cellar is on my sustainable property list maybe I should view those pool properties in a new light.

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good plan

 EGP ,      All the land around me is  in CRP  and the farmer has not burned it off , kept it  cleared ,or followed the rules .   I plan to be ready when it they catch up with him .  Soon my place  will be surrounded by a forest  that planted itself on excellent river bottom land .    I might have to cut and sell the walnut trees  to put it back to crop land .   At $3-4000 and acre you would think that he would be doing something with it .   He does not keep the pastures cleared  or even run cattle on it .   And yes I think they are putting their socks and underwear on the Credit cards  while they work in town .

    This is funny   When I went into town the other day  I saw one of the richest farmers around 80 + years old ,out in a 100 acre field hoeing his soy beans by hand .   Just because he is a tight wad .  Sad thing is that when the snow melts off this week his field will flood  as they are shutting all the dams because of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers are flooding .

  And it rains on the just and unjust alike .

  OK what was the original topic ?   Sorry  Farmer .

 FM

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Full Moon wrote:  because
Full Moon wrote:

 because of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers are flooding .

 

Mind if I ask what area you are in? My farm is in South Central MO, but my house is a lot closer to said flooding, maybe we arn't too far apart.

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Kansas

 Ready ,    

    North East  Kansas  is where I live .    The  Railroad is trying hard to reroute things and shore up the rails  Lots of river bottom  flooding  even into Nebraska .    It will go over the dam before it gets to my house and I often doubt the dam is secure enough to hold . Definatly would not feel good about living directly below it in the valley .

   No fun cleaning up after a flood that is for sure .

  FM

 

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Back to the family farm...

...is my Plan C. We're currently on Plan B1 (there's also a Plan B2). My mom grew up on a farm in E Iowa and for about 10 years (since 9-11) everytime I visit, my Uncle/Aunt/Cousins make sure I know that if the world gets unhinged that I'm always welcome there. No doubt they've been telling my other dozen cousins (plus spouses, kids, etc.) the same thing. Could make for tight quarters for a few years until additional residential structures could be built. But in a post-peak carbon world having many hands on deck would be a boon.

A family reunion on the farm is currently being planned for 08/12. I'm already having movies play in my mind that we're all there next August and that's when SHTF. I remember the Oil Embargo of the early 70s, and my dad saying we might have to load up the family station wagon and move to the farm. History rhymes...

Although if Plan C comes to pass, I'd hope to make a stop at Ready's place and do an internship on BioFuels (in return for mucking stables or whatever it is he needed doing that I could trade for the knowledge)... That way I'd arrive at the farm with something uber-useful to offer.

Awesome thread. Thanks Farminator.

Viva -- Sager

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building rural sustenance

Colleagues --

This thread is nourishing and inspiring.  Thanks! 

This thread resontates with the promise (to paraphrase Dr. M) of an increased quality of life in the face of a decreased standard of living.  The foundation of this increased quality of life is one's relationships with the communities (e.g., family, neighborhood) of which one is a part.  It is the most fundamental form of resilience.

Two recent DVDs give histories of how people have survived and thrived in response to economic collapse.  The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil relates when "...Cuba lost access to Soviet oil in the early 1990s, the country faced an immediate crisis--feeding the population--and an ongoing challenge: how to create a new low-energy society.  Cuba transitioned from large, fossil-fuel intensive farming to small, less energy-intensive organic farms and urban gardens, and from a highly industrial sociiety to a more sustainable one...through cooperation, conservation and community..."  Reconnecting to Nature Through Spiritual Permaculture by Dr. Leonid Sharashkin describes how "...Russian families preserved a unique traditional lifestyle grounded in self-sufficiency and self-reliance..." to deal with the collapse of the Soviet economic system.

These relationships form a rich foundation for local economic resilience. Two books offer insight and information about this resilience as they describe Transition Initiatives.  Hopkins' Transition Handbook offers a great description of how to go about developing such resilience, and Chamberlin's Transition Timeline has a promising vision of what such resilience might look like near-term. 

All of these resources are available through Amazon, B&N, and other major retailers.

 

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SagerXX wrote: Although if
SagerXX wrote:

Although if Plan C comes to pass, I'd hope to make a stop at Ready's place and do an internship on BioFuels (in return for mucking stables or whatever it is he needed doing that I could trade for the knowledge)... That way I'd arrive at the farm with something uber-useful to offer.

You don't need to muck anything, just come on down. If you are driving a diesel, you will leave with your tanks full too. Or stay and build a house here! Now you have a plan D as well!

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I want to move to Ready's Homestead

Crisis or no crisis, I can imagine all the fun we would have working on projects together:

  • I could finally build that house I always wanted, a partially underground dome home, bermed by terraced aquaponic beds.
  • Plant a huge food forest, to support generations of family and friends.
  • Enough land to finally try Masanobu Fukuoka's brilliant approach to natural farming
  • Grass cultivation-Joel Salatin style
  • Designing and building a community-sized power grid
  • Seeing my daughter grow up in nature, instead of in the land of the consumer.....the most precious dream of all
  • And of course the semi-annual beer-brewing competitions amongst friends
  • Not to mention that all the chores and labour would get my fat-butt in shape again....

Damn....it almost hurts to just dream of this life....Thanks for the moment of happiness Rog....back to the real world now

All the best....Jeff

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Just dropped in...

...to this thread.  Don't have time to post now, but love the direction it is going.

Doug

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feeding the city
Farmimator wrote:

 I worry that in the future governments will see small-scale farms as inneficient compared to larger scale operations who could be providing more calories for a starving, urban electorate.  Will governments sculpt policies so as to transition large-scale producers to more local fare while penalizing the 'less productive' land-holders?  

I have been wondering myself whether there will be some kind of govt sponsored reappropriation of productive farmland near cities in order to feed urban populations.

 I myself am considering moving to an island west of Seattle so I can learn from a friend who happens to be a sustainable farmer and has been living this way for many years.  The island is a short distance from the city and used to consist mainly of farms producing for the city, with produce transported a short distance by boat.  Now it is mainly residential, but still rural in character.  Most of the local farmland east of Seattle has been reduced to suburban sprawl.  So when transportation becomes a huge issue, it may occur to the city of Seattle to try to buy out the residents of the island (or kick them out) in order to reclaim productive farmland.

 (I also worry about the vulnerability of living on an island to destructive outsiders who could arrive unnoticed by boat, take what they needed, and depart).

 I'm still weighing my options about whether relocating to the island is a smart move.  Maybe I am just being paranoid?

Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Dogs_In_A_Pile
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 4 2009
Posts: 2606
Ahem, Captain.....
JAG wrote:

Crisis or no crisis, I can imagine all the fun we would have working on projects together:

  • I could finally build that house I always wanted, a partially underground dome home, bermed by terraced aquaponic beds.
  • Plant a huge food forest, to support generations of family and friends.
  • Enough land to finally try Masanobu Fukuoka's brilliant approach to natural farming
  • Grass cultivation-Joel Salatin style
  • Designing and building a community-sized power grid
  • Seeing my daughter grow up in nature, instead of in the land of the consumer.....the most precious dream of all
  • And of course the semi-annual beer-brewing competitions amongst friends
  • Not to mention that all the chores and labour would get my fat-butt in shape again....

Damn....it almost hurts to just dream of this life....Thanks for the moment of happiness Rog....back to the real world now

All the best....Jeff

If Missouri doesn't work out for you I'm sure we can find a spot for you in the Shenandoahs or Blue Ridge mountains out near robie.

I believe I might be able to give you a run for your 'money' (non-fiat or bater goods of course) in the Chili Cook-off that would have to occur......Dogs' 11 Pepper Nuclear Nightmare Chili vs. Captain Sheeple's Green Chili Meltdown????

Would it be possible to introduce a semi-annual malted barley distillation contest?  For 'fuel' of course.

A fiddle player, banjo picker and upright doghouse bass fiddle player would also be nice - but Sager prolly wouldn't recognize any of the tunes being the metal-head that he is.  Cool

Start collecting old smoke detectors and I'll build a small nuclear reactor with the Americium sources.

Wait, that might be a bad idea.  Surprised

Ready's picture
Ready
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 30 2008
Posts: 917
Thread Drift

Webster's New World Dictionary:

Thread drift: See This Thread

 

OK, everybody is invited. Group hug.

 

Sorry for the detour Farm. Innocent

patrickhenry's picture
patrickhenry
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 12 2009
Posts: 76
drbost wrote: The Power of
drbost wrote:

The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil relates when "...Cuba lost access to Soviet oil in the early 1990s, the country faced an immediate crisis--feeding the population--and an ongoing challenge: how to create a new low-energy society.  Cuba transitioned from large, fossil-fuel intensive farming to small, less energy-intensive organic farms and urban gardens, and from a highly industrial sociiety to a more sustainable one...through cooperation, conservation and community..." 

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1721584909067928384#

This is a section of the Cuba video available for free at google video.  Includes sections on Cuba Urban Farming and Sustainable Farming.  How during the "special period", the country moved in sweeping fashion to organic farming, and non machine farming. 

Cuba farmers made good living not having to buy food and selling food, 50%+ of food needs raised in urban gardens (urban farming includes 5 kms around cities), explosion in the # of food kiosks in cities, manual work made smaller farms necessary, took 3-5 years of returning soil to natural fertility without oil based fertilizers, composting, green manure, worm humus.  Now 80% of Cuba food is organic.

 

 

SagerXX's picture
SagerXX
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 11 2009
Posts: 2219
Ready wrote: You don't need
Ready wrote:

You don't need to muck anything, just come on down. If you are driving a diesel, you will leave with your tanks full too. Or stay and build a house here! Now you have a plan D as well!

COOL!  Thanks Ready!

I am...The Man With The Plan[s]...Cool

Viva -- Sager

maceves's picture
maceves
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 23 2010
Posts: 281
30 pounds

I do remember from one of those videos on Cuba and permaculture that the average Cuban lost thirty pounds while they learned how to grow food.  Now I could lose thirty pounds and not die, and I know a lot of other folks that could too.

A little reading between the lines and reading body language you can tell that they wished they hadnt had to do it and if they could switch to modern agriculture and eat meat, most everybody would do that.

I cant help but admire those Cubans though.  On that little island, all cut off, and working together to survivie.  The university encouraged scientific agricultural studies too.  I would love to see them.  I know they made extensive use of earthworms.  Gotta love the worms.

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