Greetings: 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 what-so-ever. 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 today!). 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 lance 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 --------------------------------- Looking for the perfect gift? Give the gift of Flickr!