So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Our agriculture is in trouble. It's highly mechanized and dependent on oil. Oil to runs the machines. Oil is a feedstock for fertilizers and pesticides. Cut off the supply of cheap oil and the industrial food production machine comes to a halt.
Doomers will then say that hungry people will riot and it's the end of everything. The problem with that thinking is assuming food production has to continue to run the way it has in the recent past. It doesn't. The best example is when the Soviet Union fell and oil was cut off from Cuba. They had some lean years, but totally changed their agriculture, putting enormous efforts into organic methods. Any bit of idle land went into production and a diversity of crops were planted.
Cuba is the inconvenient truth that there are alternatives to industrial machine agriculture. We don't all have to starve, but we do have to change the way we grow food.
Cuba is one way, but that's not to say the only answer is for a totalitarian government has to take charge and forcibly change food production.
There are other ways to produce food. During WWI and WWII citizens were encouraged to plant Victory Gardens, and they did much to increase national food production. It worked.
Of course, the world has a more urban population and many don't have a clue about growing food. Fortunately, we are in the information age. People can learn. Already there are price pressures to grow one's own. The pressure will only increase.
There are crops that produce a lot of food in a small space. The humble potato is one of them. Sunchokes are productive and so tenacious that once planted it's difficult to get rid of them as they come up year after year with no effort. There are other plants that produce well but few people have heard of. Discover what grows in your area.
Governments: Federal, State and local are often part of problem, not the solution. Does your area have laws against raising chickens, bees, or planting veggies in your front yard? There are people working hard to change such laws, sometimes successfully and sometimes not.
That's great, but why let silly laws prevent you from feeding yourself? If marijuana growers can produce mountains of the stuff, the average person should be able to grow a few carrots. Food safety is too important to let something as trivial as laws to get in the way.
I don't think we all have to starve. In fact, we should be able to eat a more healthy diet. Cubans have a healthier diet than they did before oil was cut off. Shouldn't we be eating as well as Cubans? Don't wait for a crisis. Grow food now. Benefit now.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.