Where Will Food Come From?

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DurangoKid's picture
DurangoKid
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Where Will Food Come From?

Absent from most of the discussions is the question of how do we feed ourselves in the post Peak Oil era.  This is the part of the physical economy that counts.  In a hand to mouth existence there is no spare labor to build and maintain much of anything.  As more human labor turns to just keeping enough calories coming into our mouths, all forms of infrastructure will begin to degrade.  As society begins the slow collapse toward less complexity, more of the populace will be required to pitch in and grow something to eat.

Some people have started in a small way to address the question of rescuing the suburban slums for productive horticultural land.  A small but important movement is converting fesque to veggies.  Good for them!  Better to light a single candle than curse the darkness.  When I talk about this issue with ohters, however, the discussion is not so encouraging.  Many urban gardeners find themselves up to their eyeballs in radishes and zuchini.  There doesn't seem to be a rigorous approach to gardening as if one's life depends on it.

Growing stuff to eat in your own back yard is probably a good jumping off point, though.  One can learn some basics, get some fresh veg, and get a warm fuzzy from fighting the good fight.  But, what if one is serious about growing enough to live on?  Where does one start?  Here's my first crack at it.

The average office worker needs about 2500 calories per day.  That's about 912,500 per year.  A good crop to grow in terms of calories per acre and nutritional value is the potato.  It has carbs, vitiman C, a bit of protein.  It will keep you alive longer than almost any other single food.  Current conventional yields provide about 45,000 pounds per acre.  At 0.8 calories per gram, I did the math, it works out to require 2434 sq ft of garden plot to get all of one's calories from potatoes.  By conventional, I mean fossil fuel inputs for traction, weed and pest control, processing, but not cooking.  Organic has about half the yield per acre.  In one of my examples the yield was 24000 pounds per acre.  Crunching that number means that without hydrocarbons for pesticides and fertilizers it requires 4562 sq ft of garden to feed you for a year.  Without hydrocarbons for traction and processing, one's back will have to take up the slack in the system.  That means several hundred hours of extra labor per year per person.  Parenthetically, a work year is 2080 hours.  For a family of four, our garden plot has expanded to 0.4 acres.  Obviously, no one lives entirely off potatoes and it would be foolish to monocrop one's only source of food when   there may be market shortages.  But, potatoes make a pretty good baseline for comparison purposes.

This scenario makes several assumptions.  One is that the gardener is proficient.  By that I mean our gardener knows the local soil and climate well, has chosen productive varieties, and has the physical stamina to work in a garden.  Unfortunately, gardening as well as other physical work requires more than 2500 calories per day.  If we assume our gardener needs, say, 4000 calories per day, this puts things in a slightly different light.  The per person garden area now shoots up to 7300 sq ft. for about 3/4 of an acre for a family of four.  Something tells me that we have long since outgrown our slice of suburban paradise.  Moving the hot tub won't get it done.  This also puts the lie to the urban gardening movement.  When people have to get all of their food from a local garden, the demand for open land is far greater than a few city blocks sprinkled here and there.  Hundreds of nearby acres will have to come back into production to feed local populations.

The current financial debacle shows us that the job economy is very fragile.  Over the next several years we can probably expect the numbers of unemployed to rise steadily.  The numbers are cooked so that only a small minority know the real extent of unemployment.  The economic growth that makes it possible to sell one's labor might follow Hubbert's Curve with a slight delay between the peaks.  And for a good reason.  Conventional crude production has peaked.  From now on the energy subsidy that makes laptop computers, air travel, and nasty airline food is going away never to return.  Some pundits are already talking about a turnaround in the economy a couple of years out.  How can that come about with the per capita net energy in permanent decline?  How can Joe Average afford a bag of cheese doodles when most of the money is concentrated in so few hands?

One last topic I'd like to touch on is what I call the crossover point.  That's the point in time when it's energetically or economically more advantageous to make for yourself what you previously sold your labor for money to buy.  Is it a better deal to grow versus buy potatoes?  Does it make sense to quit your job to raise a garden and work part time?  By that time Peak Oil will be a dot in the rearview mirror, if you still own or operate a car.  Money will be hard to come by or it will have lost much of its value.  Preparation for the post Peak era will be for that decision point.  Failure to prepare will mean that there will not be a choice.  You will be so tied to the labor-selling-to-get-the next-new-gadget economy that there will be no alternatives.  People lining up to buy flat screen tv's are wasting their time in more ways than one.  While a group of your neighbors tore up their lawns and driveways and moved into a single house, you were fiddling with your lawnmower and now it's too late.  Like the peak of oil production, the crossover point may only be recognizable from the other side.  Clues might be empty supermarket shelves, no banks open, gasoline only for military vehicles.  It may come suddenly or slowly.  The one certainty is that after the crossover point it will be too late to prepare.  Those who didn't pare down their posessions and move away from the money economy will find life very difficult starting with the necessity of feeding oneself.

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Re: Where Will Food Come From?

DurangoKid what you say makes good sense.

The sustainable population of the planet is near 1 billion according to most creditable sources. I expect that hunger and cold will be the mechanism by which we reduce our numbers. Basically the planet needs us to die as soon as possible to remain or return to an ecosystem able to support diverse lifeforms. Frightening thoughts that get no discussion.

Where I live there are 50 thousand people within a days walk. Our valley has maybe 2 thousand families where possibly 20 could subsist. When I look around I see lots of tree and plant growth - pine trees by the thousand and almost no edible plants or tree crops. Some of our neighbours are growing edible plants like us but not many as a proportion of the total. Once oil or money stops we stop; period.

Don

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Home Gardens will not work for long

It's basically an impossible solution to even presume you can grow enough food to sustain yourself or your family if everything collapses. Unless of course, you own a large farm. The farms will be the first to be raided by the hungry, so unless you have a remote farm with high security, forget it.

I think most people on here with small farms are doing it for emergency purposes only. Like to go 2-3 months without dependence on other sources of food.

 Let's just hope it does not go more than 2-3 months.

Of course the smart way is to go is food packs. Here is an example of a typical emergency food supplier-

This deluxe one-year supply unit, along with 4 gallons of cooking oilyou add yourself, supplies all the nutrients you need to stay well-fed for a full year. The foods are all dehydrated or dry, packaged oxygen-free, and in this very compact form will store well and require minimal storage space. This 802 lb unit comes in 13 cases and 9 six-gallon Superbuckets. Storage area required is just 33 cubic feet (stacking example: 13" by 74" by 59".) The Mix-A-Meal Cookbook is included with FoodPak 1 with 110 pages of recipes for cooking with dry stored foods.

FoodPak 1 will also serve as a 6-month supply of food for two people, a 3-month supply for four, and so on. Sealing lids are provided for all #10-size cans, so that they may be re-sealed after opening. FoodPak 1 offers a real abundance of long lasting, flavorful & nutritious food, and represents a value we don't think is equaled elsewhere... a lot of great food at very reasonable cost, delivered right to your door!

Security FoodPak 1 >> Just $1299.00 plus shipping
 

So if you read the fine print, a normal family of four will run you about $5200 minus shipping, and I would guess shipping would be high considering it's over 800 lbs.

This does not include medical supplies, diapers, baby food, prescription medication or anything you usually need outside of food.

SO YUMMY!

Of course, you could go the super cheap protein bar route- Some companies are doing this as well. It's cheap, and you will stay alive to see the end of the world at least.

 

Happy Surviving!

 

 

 

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Re: Where Will Food Come From?

Hi All,

Part of 'where will our food come from' is 'where will our water come from?'. Where I am at the tip of Africa our water comes out of taps, pumped out of the aquifer which holds about 2000 years of water for the town. Do we have 2000 years of electricity for pumping water out the acquifer? Do we have 5? Water tanks, to sustain the kind of agricultural effort described above, just won't do. Here, it rains in winter and is excruciatingly hot for all of summer. Our only hope is in fruit trees whose roots may reach the water table. I've planted an orchard of them but they'll take 2 or 3 more years to start bearing properly. My heart is in my throat every day now because I don' think we've 2 or 3 years. Nevertheless, I'm still getting those trees into the ground and giving them to friends and planting them wherever I possibly can, while money still buys things down at the nursery.

Where will wood come from for cooking all the agricultural produce also part of the food question, and to a lesser but still significant extent 'where will we get salt?'. Civilisations have fallen for a lack of salt, cooked food not tasty without it and besides - eating cooked food without salt eventually leads to illness.

Where will our temperance and open heartedness come from is the ultimate question, our ability to share when there isn't enough. Will years of being cocooned in dark room shooting humans in dungeons on the computer have prepared us for this humanitarian crisis?

Thankgoodness the pure fruit diet doesn't need water, except in the intial stages of setting the tree, and we don't need to drink water as fruit has plenty in it. Thankgoodness fruit doesn't need wood for cooking. Thankgoodness fruit doesn't need salt. And thankgoodness that when coming onto a mainly fruit diet one experiences a decrease in aggressive tendencies. We needed to have planted the trees years ago, years ago. We may, and I believe we have, passed the crossover point for trees already. But keep planting anyway, as if life depends on it.

Thanks for listening

from Katie

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Re: Where Will Food Come From?

PERMACULTURE.

Farming, even most gardening, is totally inefficient.  We have become accustomed to lazy practices, pour some fertliser here, spray a bit of that there.....  we've got the money to pay for it, we can afford it, what could the problem be?

The Matrix converts fossil fuels into food.  We eat fossil fuels.   http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/100303_eating_oil.html

To prepare properly for the coming food crisis, you need about five years.  At least in our poor Australian soils.  To fertilise your soil without fossil fuels, you need to integrate animal manures, and green manures.  To close energy loops and avoid waste, you need to grow your own animal fodder as well as your own food.  If you need to drive to the local ag supply store to buy your mulch and chicken grains, you are cheating......

So to start a sustainable farm, you need to start with growing your inputs, and you must have your own water source.  We use two 5000 gallon (IMP gallons, so ~ 5500 US gallons?) to capture rain water.  Water tanks act like buffers, catch the water when it rains, use it when it doesn't  Your input needs are fertilisers and mulches.  We grow lots of legume varieties (and species will and should vary with climate) to fix Nitrogen into the ground and then use the leaves as mulch.  We harvest our chicken and duck and goat manures to fertilise.  Because we live in a sub tropical climate, it's not really practical to make compost in the traditional way, we make it in situ, in the garden.....  Horses for courses, you must learn to deal with your climate, the soil, the rainfall....  the list goes on.

To cut to the chase, do a PERMACULTURE DESIGN COURSE, known as PDCs.  They should be available somewhere at a town near you!  This looks like a good place to start if you are American:  http://www.permaculture.org/nm/index.php/site/permaculture_diploma_and_p...

Good luck.  You're gonna need it!

Mike. 

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Re: Home Gardens will not work for long

And when you run out after 12 months what then?  I don't think this will work for long Krogoth...!

A garden, especially one done properly along Permculture design principles, is a better investment than any amount of gold or silver... 

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Re: Home Gardens will not work for long

Nahhh, I don't believe in gardens or dehydrated food. I will be with the well armed raiders!

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Re: Where Will Food Come From?

Much easier solution:  Soylent Green!

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Re: Home Gardens will not work for long

And what makes you think that's sustainable?  What happens once the raiders have killed off all the farmers/gardeners/permies?  Or did you have your tongue firmly parked in your cheek yet again!?

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Re: Home Gardens will not work for long

Then I will come live with you. These are my needs.

1) High Speed Internet connectivity
2) Breakfast served by 7am sharp
3) Quiet time or nap time at around 2 pm
4) Bedtime Cocoa and a sweet story from you at around 9pm

That's it, just basic stuff.

 

 

 

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Re: Where Will Food Come From?

While I agree with the premise of the original premise, I do not agree that yields from organic agriculture must be half of what they are with industrial agriculture.  That is an old paradigm.  Many recent studies have shown that by using biointensive  methods and permaculture design organic methods can match and even exceed the output of fossil fuel-based agriculture in both the short and long term.

This isn't going to solve the food problem, but it's important to point out.

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Re: Where Will Food Come From?
DurangoKid wrote:

A good crop to grow in terms of calories per acre and nutritional value is the potato.  It has carbs, vitamin C, a bit of protein.  It will keep you alive longer than almost any other single food.  Current conventional yields provide about 45,000 pounds per acre.  At 0.8 calories per gram, I did the math, it works out to require 2434 sq ft of garden plot to get all of one's calories from potatoes.  By conventional, I mean fossil fuel inputs for traction, weed and pest control, processing, but not cooking.  Organic has about half the yield per acre.  In one of my examples the yield was 24000 pounds per acre.

I will just add that you can grow more efficient potatoes in a 55 gallon barrel, than in the ground. You drill holes for drainage in the bottom & line with plastic screen. lay down 6 inches of composted soil. Plant one potato seed (two eyes) in the center & one more in each corner, (5) total. When they have sprouted 2" above the soil, cover with more soil, or straw (I use wood shavings) Keep this up until they reach the top. Meanwhile, you can make doors in the barrel, and reach in whenever you like, to harvest some new potatoes. That's why I use the shavings. the potatoes grow up branching out from the stem. When time comes to harvest, you just flip the barrel ...

HERE'S one article about it ... definitely a thought for those with not much space, and even if you have a lot of ground, you can save your ground for other plants.

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Re: Where Will Food Come From?

Its very challenging to make your yard entirely self-sufficient (crops to feed the livestock, livestock to provide protein and manure to feed the crops, etc).

But as Chris advocated in Chapter 20, remember your neighbors:  a neighborhood plan could work pretty well. If your neighbors are fed, there's less worry about theft. If you've got bad soil, your yard does the water collection network. Another neighbor does the chicken and eggs. Another does the potatoes (actually, you switch from yard to yard for the potatoes - you don't want to grow season after season of potatoes in the same field or the diseases and bugs will build up in the soil). Another does the animal feed. Another keeps the massive composting projects moving along. And so on.

We've already started a bit in our neighborhood. Our rabbits make excellent compost (their poop is high in nitrogen) and our neighbors help feed the rabbits with their weeds. Four neighbors have planted small apple orchards and we already share the apples. One neighbor dehydrates the apples and blackberries (we also have tons of wild-grown blackberries) into tasty snacks she passes out to the rest of us. We're working on getting some laying hens. We're growing potatoes already - great in our climate, because the frost line doesn't get deep enough to reach the potatoes, so we just leave them in the ground all year round and dig them up as needed.

Its kind of fun!

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Re: Where Will Food Come From?

great posts.

hey katie i am planting my fruit trees and berries now. i am not in a pinch as i have a great bunch of neighbors who have plenty and we share. 

we can grow a huge amount of food in a very small area. permaculture and french intensive methods are two very good methods. i have been studying traditional indian methods which are organic and very effective. i dont know where the notion comes from that organic methods are less productive. in my experience that is bs. i grew up as an organic gardener in mid town manhattan it works. i suggest people interested in farming read about findhorn.

my plans include growing large amounts of sweet potatoes(the single most nutritious food) white potatoes, acorn and butternut squash, and beans. these are all things which will keep a long time with proper storage. i will be drying things like fruit and berries and tomatoes for long term storage. solar dehydrators are pretty handy.canning is a great way to store summer produce.

of course it is important to grow a good amount of medicinal herbs. my basic book for that is back to eden by jethro kloss.

they can be grown indoors all year round in pots. as for year round crops at least here we can grow quite a bit in cold frames. i mentioned this before in my forum topic on frankenstein food........use heirloom seeds so you will not have to keep buying hybrids from monsanto. lots of mulch and drip irrigation will make the work easier. there is a wealth of wild food just waiting for the picking. i add redbud blossoms to my salads, i add lambs quarters as well. poke salad is a great spring tonic. jewel weed is a cure for poison ivy wild mint is great for the stomach.wild plums wild strawberries. huckleberries the list is huge depending on where you live.

obviously this is not going to feed 7 billion people which is why the point krogoth raises is very important. being isolated is not the answer you just stand out even more. this was brought up in an earlier post talking about the flatlanders.you cant be isolated anyway

chris makes the case for a strong community. having been involved with this for 40 years i agree. all the conversations always came down to security. get to know your neighbors, not only get to know them but work with them. 

as an idea we could get a space on this site where we share this info .......we all have ideas and knowledge we can share. after all we are all neighbors.

plant a seed and love it. it will treat you right

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Re: Where Will Food Come From?

Sorry, but this is precisely what you should NOT do...!  Sure engage the neighbours by all means, but if you have bad soil, then you turn it into good soil.  To do that you use the chickens.  I've seen rocky ground barely better than concrete turned into an incredibly fertile veggie garden using nothing more than chickens, hay, food scraps, and of course water and some grain for the birds, within twelve months.  Bad soil should never remain bad soil, it should always be managed to eventually become great soil!

The animal feed should be INTEGRATED into the yard, not excluded and put somewhere else.....  once you've harvested the grain, you can chop and drop the stems to mulch/fertilise your soil...  the best feed is stuff you can also use as green manure.  For instance, we grow a tree here called Ice Cream Bean (Inga edulis) They need to be pruned hard to keep them in check, but the prunings
make great compost and the larger limbs can be used as edging in the
garden as they slowly break down and add nutrients to the soil.  Goats love to eat the leaves, and we are currently growing a couple of dozen.. So we turn solar energy into food which the goats turn into manure, recycling all the minerals that exist in the soil with immense efficacy.  THAT is the essence of permaculture.

We also use ducks to keep the grass down in the orchard.  They turn the grass into great manure, and I also use the water they bathe in as liquid manure all over the place. 

We also have a compost toilet in our house.  NO resources ever leave our property, and when we DO buy resources, whether it is supermarket food, grain for the chickens, or even paper (used for mulching) I look at them as RESOURCES which stay here and enrich our property. 

The problem with totalitarian farming is that it's all monoculture.  Monoculture, especially on the scale it is now practiced is only possible with huge quantities of fossil input.  Intermingling crops is of course not doable with machinery, which is why totalitarian farming doesn't do this!

The best part of Permaculture BTW is that once established, it hardly ever needs much work...  we have stuff self seeding all over the place, nothing goes to waste, once it's no longer useful it's simply composted one way or another. 

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Re: Where Will Food Come From?
switters wrote:

Many recent studies have shown that by using biointensive methods and permaculture design organic methods can match and even exceed the output of fossil fuel-based agriculture in both the short and long term.

This isn't going to solve the food problem, but it's important to point out.

The problem is that so many (WAY too many!) people now live in totally unsustainable places.  For instance, Canada was originally settled by extremely hardy people who were prepared to put up with diets no one today would even recognise as a diet!  The ONLY reason anyone lives somewhere anywhere near as cold as Canada (unless they are Inuits!) is because of the freedom cheap and abundant fossil fuels offer.  Back then, there was also far more pristine wilderness you could hunt and gather in.  AND people still had those skills.  Just send someone out in the sticks with a bow and some arrows, and tell them to get a moose and see how far they get!

Desert areas like Arizona and Nevada, whilst not totally impossible to 'green' (watch this  http://www.permaculture.org.au/?p=230) would require amazing tenacity to keep settled, and basically, I think modern man is simply not tough enough now, too much sitting in cars and in front of TVs and computer screens....

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Re: Where Will Food Come From?

Very good comments, all!

 I heard it said that gardening is primarily about growing soil.  Rich soil is like a sponge filled with bazillions of bacteria, molds, and other critters.  Heathy soil is almost a living thing in itself.  The real sign of healthy soil is fungi.  They are the key to breaking down big molecules into plant friendly sizes.  Celulose being one that comes to mind.  They are also remarkable regarding alkanes, too.

I found two examples of orgainic potato farming in one short search session.  Both agreed with each other within about 10%.  Organic may be lower yielding from year to year, but in the long run, it builds soil rather than treating it as a mining operation.  The so-called conventional methods yield more only so long as the growth medium (I won't call it soil) can be pumped full of agro-chemicals.  It's basically a dead substance for holding roots.  Remove the chemical inputs and yields tumble.  Orgainic horticulture must also include crop rotation to rest the soil every few years and add nitrogen in the form of legumes like alfalfa or clover.  Cattle and horses love it.

I don't know enough about bio-intensive horticulture to really make an informed comment.  If bio-intensive is labor intensive, the yield per human labor hour may be on the low side.  I like raised beds.  Seems like it would reduce the stoop labor issue.  Some institute in Willits, CA studied the problem and decided that bio-intensive must include all forms of waste including human remains if we are to have a chance of feeding 9 billion humans.  Real skanky.  Without returning the phosphorus to the soil it will eventually fail.  Bones are a good source of P.  Go to http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8957268309327954402 to view Robert Newman's "The History of Oil".  Well worth it.

There is a Zen Buddhist enclave near San Francisco that provides almost all of its own food.  They run a bed and breakfast operation for those interested in Buddhism.  The food is suposed to be amazing.  I've seen their operation.  They take composting very seriously.  Huge mounds of it.

If you want to keep draft animals, expect to devote about 25% of your arable land to the maintenance of horses, less for oxen.  My father's father farmed with a team of horses as did my uncle for a couple of years.  Horses are spooky and can be extremely dangerous.  Even mild tempered breeds like percherons can destroy valuable equipment like plows and wagons and anything they run into if they decide the next stop is the closest far away place.  A well placed kick from a large horse can be fatal.  If you want to breed horses, then you must keep stallions.  That's a combination of spooky and aggressive.  Don't get me wrong, I love horses.  I respect them, too.  The Amish have done well with animals for traction power.  Their religion prohibits mechanical traction.  Horses limit the acreage they can farm.  It also prevents them going into debt to acquire new land.  A lot of the Amish are poor, but they may one day be considered well off compared to those who didn't see it coming until too late.

 For those of you who think raiding the settlements is a good idea, don't get caught.  You will be made an example of and it won't be pretty.  You may find yourself upside down on a pole feeding the crows.  Look for two movies called "The Ballad of Narayama" or Kurasowa's "Seven Samurai".  I have no sympathy for briggands.

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Re: Where Will Food Come From?

NIce thread.  I appreciate the "potato in a barrel" idea.

 "Brigands are my favorite protein source", said the well-armed, slightly crazy, self-sufficent provider.

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Re: Where Will Food Come From?

I've been working hard since last summer on compost production.   One of my neighbors let me have a huge pile of leaves, clippings etc. from many years - an absolute gold mine in lower part!  My soil is poorly draining clay  so I do mostly raised beds.  I extended the harvest this year with cold frames built with sliding glass doors salvaged from another neighbor (shows how valuable community relations are!)   I have some rain barrels to rig up to the downspouts, and may dig a pond at the bottom of my land.

I like winter squash like butternut:  easy to grow, stores well, high calorie,  high vitamins.  Will try Potatoes next year definitely also. 

I'd like to get chickens and pygmy goats, which I've had in the past, but first need to figure out how to avoid depending on the feed store for processed feed, hay, etc.

Matrix, did you build a composting toilet or get a commercially made one?  Setting one up is high on my to do list.  Urine goes in the compost whenever possible righ now; great source of nitrogen! 

The land issue brought up is a concern to me since I have only an acre.  If my job starts looking shaky and things start deterioratiung fast I'll be looking for a larger lot.  Besides crops, I need firewood too.

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Re: Home Gardens will not work for long

Oooh Krogoth mate......  I dunno my wife would go along with some of those...!

Mind you, some of those we already do, like the nap.  It's miles too hot to be outside between 10:30AM and 3 PM.. I have breakfast before 6AM

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Re: Where Will Food Come From?

LEARN.  http://www.theurbanfarmer.ca/workshops_courses.html

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Re: Where Will Food Come From?

This thread hits the spot - almost. I'm stil worried about water.

Joe you got it, "plant a seed and love it and it will treat you right". Watching the olive trees flower is better than TV!

But I was watching Harare in Zimbabwe on the news this morning. They've got cholera, cut off the water in Harare, now there are riots... I'm going to get back into meditation and all that spiritual stuff so I don't die of a heart attack when the people around me here start rioting, because they will. One man, being interviewd in Harare, said "a hungry man is an angry man", and when I last visited in the township some of the people there said the same thing. Its an old Bob Marley lyric (them belly full but me hungry, a hungry man is an angry man), and is becoming a mantra. I've read too that in times like these we're heading into that starving people will stone people who appear well fed.. because they obviously have a private stash.

I know this is terrifying, but I'm not anticipating starving to death peacefully. Just got to keep a cool head and open heart.

k

 

 

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yep... what he said.

..."expect Japan to be forced to sell ever more of its huge pile of existing foreign reserves. You ain't seen nothing yet when it comes to credit contraction, we're only just beginning. And when credit contracts, so do exports. With that in mind, it's easy to tick off the victims: the countries that rely most on customers abroad. No. 1 on that list must be China, where 2009 will be a year of ugliness, in many shapes and forms.

My 4-year old prediction of civil war in China by 2015 may have to be moved up yet again. If China's economic growth goes down to 5%, the economy and the political system are going going gone and out of here. These newly built export economies are just too vulnerable, no resilience. Put Russia down as a close second, and reserve a space right behind for many developing countries. Other, more established, export powers to meet the hammer are for instance Germany, Holland,
Brazil, Austria, Belgium and Australia. Job losses will be staggering, and I don't see any of these places seriously preparing
for it. It's all blind growth religion. They should all take a good look at the Baltic Dry Shipping Index, which is approaching 600, from 200.000+ a few months ago. That, my friends, spells bleak and empty shelves coming to a place near you. Around January 20."...

http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/2008/12/debt-rattle-december-2-2008-im-sorry.h
tml

krogoth's picture
krogoth
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 18 2008
Posts: 576
Re: yep... what he said.

We are already seeing a lot of Chinese workers rioting on Asian television. Factories are closing and unemployment is rising fast. A lot of people are angry at the government for letting this happen, and are not informed about the big economic picture, just the basic local picture of a factory closing.

Of course, your talking about a country that after the major earthquake they had, hundreds of mothers who lost children in the poorly built schools from collapse, were beaten down hard by police outside the government office in charge of regulating the building codes, little codes that they have.

Hey Joe2baba, I think they need unions in China! Maybe we can send the Big 3 Auto CEO's over to help them out, and leave them in China forever. And also the UAW leaders should be sent as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

joe2baba's picture
joe2baba
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 17 2008
Posts: 807
Re: yep... what he said.

collective bargaining would go a long way to raising the standard of living in china.

osha would make jobs much safer, the epa would keep melamine out of baby formula (by the way how is the baby?)

the epa would also make the coal plants sequester the carbon emissions.

or in the world you and matrix imagine this will all happen automatically because we are all doing jobs we like and there is no money.

just think about the chinese worker making $75 an hour. jeez our balance of payments would actually balance.

by the way how does one boss and ten mexicans figure into utopia?

 

joe2baba's picture
joe2baba
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 17 2008
Posts: 807
Re: Where Will Food Come From?

stop by the local coffee shops and get all their coffee grounds. it will help loosen the clay soil. dont know if you have a limestone quarry near by but the ones here sell ag lime is is ground up pretty fine helps with ph and loosening soil.

an acre is a lot to grow on. you can produce a huge amount. find someone with a woodlot and trade for wood. make your house super efficient and you wont need a whole lot.

way to go woodman

krogoth's picture
krogoth
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 18 2008
Posts: 576
Mexican Revenge

Well so far the baby is melamine free, LOL. We use a lot of American formula based goods here, but I am reading it's made it's way into American products as well. Actually, it's Matrix's idea, we are just adding the pro's and con's. I never said it would work or not.

As for the Mexicans, as punishment, the boss goes to the dirty jobs for a year for taking advantage of the poor Mexicans.

joe2baba's picture
joe2baba
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 17 2008
Posts: 807
Re: Mexican Revenge

ok you can be king and make the rules.

i trust you .....................will you still respect me in the morning, is the check in the mail .......etc.

krogoth's picture
krogoth
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 18 2008
Posts: 576
Re: Mexican Revenge

No, not King. Maybe a Warlord or General, but never King.

tom.'s picture
tom.
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 18 2008
Posts: 345
Re: Where Will Food Come From?

This is a large scale worm farm, (vermicomposting) something I am doing now on a much smaller scale, and without the cows. It's very possible for you to raise your own worms, even to the point of breeding & selling the worms, the castings, and the compost tea.

Beginning with one thousand sexuallymature adult redworms, and including their offspring, and their offspring's offspring, etc., it is possible to produce over one million red worms in one year. (By the end of the second year, the total would be over one billion.) Redworms currently sell for about $25.00 per pound

neilk's picture
neilk
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 5 2008
Posts: 10
Re: Where Will Food Come From?

Hi everyone

I live in Bangladesh. We currently import food and get some aid from the UN (in particular during disasters.) The situation here has improved dramatically. We used to have disasters killing millions of people but are getting to the point where we can take care of ourselves. That doesn't save us during an emergency, or where there is a fuel crisis,. but at least we have moved in the right direction. Another good point for Bangladesh is that people are used to a tough life here and are satisfied with little. Hard selection has produced a people physically superior in terms of dealing with a tough life. I wouldn't know anything about this since all my ancestors are from Ireland!

Now to my point in relation to this thread. Bangladesh is an incredible place for growing crops. You can easily get four yields during a year. A lot of the country has areas heavily intersected with rivers and streams which is going to make irrigation more easy. Land is parcelled up in small free holds which aren't very efficient. There is a HUGE population (160 million and growing) which is going to help with manual farming (which is really all we have now.) The country has a huge unexploited potential.

Next door to Bangladesh is Burma (Myanmar) which is an underpopulated country that used to be the source for rice all over the region (and the world.) People from Chittagong, where I live, used to walk into Burma to harvest crops. There has been talk of contract farming with Bangladeshi people taking over land and farming in return for cash/food given to the Burmese government.

I've jokingly suggested that Bangladesh should invade Burma. If international organisations break down (no UN) it might happen. The Burmese junta won't have a chance against the huge Bangladeshi army which has at least deployment experience (with the UN). The question would be whether the Chinese would become involved.

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