Saturday, August 3, 2019
Gardens and Farming
There’s a huge difference between having a garden and having a farm. Gardens are smaller than farms, but it’s more than a matter of size. In general, gardens supply food to a household. Some folks may sell their extra, but more often than not extra garden goodies are given away. Most gardens these days just supplement a household's diet. In the past, they may have had to supply a significant part or even all of a family’s calories. Garden’s are for subsistence.
Commercial farms, even relatively small ones, operate in the greater market place. The variety is limited, often growing just one type of plant. They are focused on the market and profit. Money from the farm has to run the operation and meet the farmer’s basic needs -at a bare minimum.
Farms are not really all that great as a hedge against collapse. When the economy tanks, we have the strange condition of hungry people who can’t buy food and farmers who can’t sell food. Everyone suffers. The farmer is tied into the world of markets and banks. They rely on supplies of fuel, fertilizer, seed, irrigation, pesticides, and machines. There’s a lot that can go wrong.
During the great depression the only reason a lot of farmers survived was that they were also gardeners. They may have grown a cash crop like wheat or corn, but also maintained a kitchen garden with a variety of veggies and fruits for the table. That doesn’t happen as much these days.
Personally, I’m really glad there are farmers out there supplying my needs. We have a small garden, but my lovely wife is a lot more into it than I am. Of course, in a collapse situation I’d be darn thankful that she dabbles in dirt.