[microfarmer] Re: Ideas, please

  • From: "David Parkinson" <parkidavid@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: microfarmer@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2007 09:51:53 -0800

Thanks, Lancifer.

I'd like to hear more about this, so I'm looking forward to the opportunity
at the next Microfarmer Forum. I don't want to make you type.

I think there is a very interesting disucssion to be unpacked from your
comments here: namely, the dilemma of doing what is marketable and feasible
right now, while we're not in crisis mode -- versus doing what is feasible
and necessary once we get into crisis mode. I can see the argument that the
current staple crops of the small-scale farmer are not the ones that we will
need for survival; but on the other hand it's not reasonable to expect
people to launch into a more bare-bones survival mode of production until
such time as it's needed and supported in the surrounding culture.

In other words, how to be out ahead preparing for the future without getting
so far out there that folks burn out or lose all their money. This is a
challenge in many areas of preparation for peak oil, where current folkways
and governmental regulations work against doing the right thing
(car-sharing, chickens in the backyard, foraging, cooperative enterprises,
and so on). As my friend Heinz says, "We're not hungry enough yet." But when
we are that hungry, we'll want to have people around who can switch from
current pathological methods of production & consumption over to ones which
make complete sense given our surroundings & what they make possible.

I like the comments about mariculture as well. This is something I don't
think about very much, but bringing our food consumption in line with
traditional knowledge is pretty much a no-brainer. I don't know enough about
what blocks people from feeding themselves more from our waterways, and
would like to leanr more there.

On Nov 28, 2007 8:47 PM, Lancifer WIldwood <phytomphalosfarm@xxxxxxxx>

> 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
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