[microfarmer] Re: Ideas

  • From: "Robin Wheeler" <robin54@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <microfarmer@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2007 17:34:34 -0800

Hi, all - Good discussion -
I would like to return briefly to the original message to this group - that I 
will be offering another Microfarm Forum in February, am inviting people to 
speak on Non Forest Timber Products and "Value Added", and am wondering if 
there is another class that some consensus could develop around for a third 
The theme will be "Capacity Building", remembering that this is what the funds 
are directed towards - helping growers increase capacity to grow food, to feed 
themselves, and then to sell to others, in an effort to make the Sunshine coast 
safer to live in, reduce fossil fuel use, bring people back to their gardens. 
Meanwhile, please carry on with dialogue ...

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Lancifer WIldwood 
  To: microfarmer@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
  Sent: Friday, November 30, 2007 3:53 PM
  Subject: [microfarmer] Ideas

  The European Central Bank has injected 60B of liquidity into the market, ie. 
they are trying to bail out a sinking ship with a thimble!  They actually did 
more inane things today.  The FRN (I refuse to call greenbacks 'money'!) is 
doing the same and there is no way around what is going on financially.  Its a 
dead end.
  Peter Light and his son were looking into writing a minimal diet for the 
coast, what could be grown that would meet our basic nutritional needs if we 
could also eat from the sea.  Too bad, I don't think they've been working on 
it.  Everyone needs to know stuff like that but, alas!, most people haven't a 
clue about what's really going on.  Sure there are whispers of doom, 'Peak Oil' 
(nonsense, peak refinery production), 'Anthropogenic' global warming (vide: 
more taxes for everyone!) but 'follow the money' and then it becomes clear that 
the crisis that those in power don't want us to look at is financial.
  This is one reason I suggest everyone invest in seeds, which will be the 
currency of tomorrow (briefly), and a really good 'fedge' (an edible hedge) 
from which to take cuttings.  I'd say a bush in the ground with tasty fruit or 
nuts on it is a good hedge against economic skullduggery.  Since we are such a 
small group of people it seems logical to focus on selling plants with which 
people can feed themselves, if it comes to a crisis there is no way any of us 
would be able to feed 'the masses'.  Ah...more 

  lynn grossutti <secheltlynn@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
    Greetings to you,
    Your  experience and observations are appreciated. Thanks for taking the 
conversation up a notch.
    In my opinion, now, real food security is a well thought out, community 
plan based on market research, nutritional data and the execution of that plan. 
It's not a romance. I'd like to know how many of us have even 10 lbs of dried 
beans and 50 lbs of rice kikking around with some miso and tahini, dried fruits 
and veggies, dried milk powder and nuts to feed us for a couple of months.  For 
vegans, this would be paramount and for the flexitarians (everyone else) it 
would provide base line nutrition. How many of us have tried the 100 mile diet? 
 How long would our food supply last without the ferries and the products they 
carry over for us? Apparently about 3 days and then 'survivor' would kikk in.
    The First Nations fished, hunted and grew corn, beans and squash (the 3 
sisters) and they thrived.  The Sechelt Nation was affluent.  It seems to me 
that they didn't fabricate reality; they honoured it and respected it.
    Could you say more about "the EU CB injected another 60B into the markets 
today!" and
    what you would priorize in the next year for those of us seeking solutions 
geared to food security?
    The thing is, we are a group of people who make up a small percentage of 
the population that would even consider asking these questions and searching  
for solutions.
    We are living and bringing up our children in a vibrant, enthusiastic and 
positive community.  Everything we need is right here and now.  Looking forward 
to future forums.
    Ciao for now,
    Lynn Grossutti


      Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2007 23:47:30 -0500
      From: phytomphalosfarm@xxxxxxxx
      Subject: [microfarmer] Re: Ideas, please
      To: microfarmer@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

         After some thought (8 years worth now, here) I've concluded for myself 
that this is not an area to farm in.  Permaculture yes, farm no.  By this I 
mean that I will never spend time growing annuals for market.  I've enough 
experience to know that for real food security, you must provide for you and 
yours above all else.  Expecting even this amount of return from the poor soils 
on the coast is almost laughable.  Looking at my extended families food needs 
for one year makes me lean far more towards mariculture than agriculture.
         This is simply not a 'farming' locale.  Sure there was enough small 
fruit production to have a jam factory, and I'm sure that those who contributed 
also had home gardens, but the wealth that westerners extracted from here was 
not soil based, it was ocean/forestry based.  Looking at boosting production of 
low-use annuals (almost most of them!) seems rather weird to me.  If anything, 
we should be focusing on small scale meat raising, because 
vegetarianism/veganism as a lifestyle would be impossible in a time of real 
crisis.  Which is what I tend to think is coming.  Growing more lettuce, 
peppers, corn, basil or other marginal crops seems a waste of time.  Sure they 
may be slightly marketable but they do not answer to food self security 
         The only solution I have come up with is to utilize the dead spaces as 
foraging tools.  Roadsides, empty lots, marginal land, clearcuts.  These places 
could all be utilized as massive food production areas, if our main food source 
was the sea.  As it was for the past millennia.  We should learn from the 
Sechelt, not try and garden in and around them.  Sure, have a huge home garden, 
but what need is there for specialty lettuce's?  Focus on 20, very hardy (do to 
Solar Based Climate Change), very useful plants.  As a money earner, we could, 
since there not very many of us really... become nurserypeople. Having a fully 
functional fedge filled with fabulous fruits and nuts is going to be de rigeur 
in the not so distant future (the EU CB injected another 60 B into the markets 
        The plain and simple fact is, we can not live by soil alone, nor 
anywhere near so, on the Sunshine Coast (my apologies to the non-coasters 
here).  We must focus in on how we CAN live, not on the whims of marketability, 
but in clear concise garden-wise ways that may need more marketing than the 
easier to see products.  We need to be proactive in helping mariculture renew 
itself.  We need to think along different lines.  Sure, grow blueberries, but 
grow 20 types of them!  Harder to market since they don't ripen at the same 
time, but holding down different genepools in the face uncertain 
climate/political/banking backdrops seems wise.
         Have a specialty!  But don't specialize (specialization is for 
insects).  If this list is the new wave of budding farmers, we need to do a lot 
of thinking and planning for what is to come.  I disdain of typing really, so 
I'm hoping to chat more with everyone at the next gathering.  Growing 
perennials is more time consuming, but more fruitful in the future.  And if my 
sources are correct, we are going to need a lot of food security in the not so 
distant future.

      Ciao Fer Now

      A consensus means that everyone agrees to say collectively what no one 
believes individually. Abba Eban

      ""We already have the means to travel among the stars, but these 
technologies are locked up in black projects and it would take an Act of God to 
ever get them out to benefit humanity...Anything you can imagine, we already 
know how to do."
      Ben Rich, Stealth Bomber Designer 
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