[microfarmer] Re: Ideas, please

  • From: Lancifer WIldwood <phytomphalosfarm@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: microfarmer@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2007 23:47:30 -0500 (EST)

   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

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