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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Neighborhood Gardens and Survival Growing




Someone one sent me the poster (at top left above) depicting the differences in urban living between the U.S. and Switzerland. But there is a glimmer of hope for the U.S., between the bad news of drought and other natural disasters affecting our agricultural capability as well as the propensity of smaller farms to  be sold off to either larger farms or suburban development groups,...... there is a growing urban/suburban gardening/farming movement that is good for many reasons......

1 -  Growing your own vegetab;es will teach and provide growing experience to people who otherwise would not get it.  This increases these people's chances of long term surival in a decayed society if they can make it to the point where they can grow crops for survival and bartering.

2 -  The more people in the inner cities growing crops are less people that are shooting and looting.  Seriously, imagine some overall shithole like Detroit where large city blocks can be converted to urban farms and inner city youths diverted from criminal enterprises to something that actually has some value.  I know, it's a pipedream - much more money in drugs, but nonetheless one can hope.

My survival group....and again, we are a loose knit group, sharing information, support and planning, with the overall plan to consoldiate when the need arises.....anyway, my survival group took a hit the other day when we found out we are losing out most experienced and talented grower.   One of our eight families, who plan on bugging in together in one of two suburban locations, is now moving. The good news is that they will be moving to a farm located on the edge of suburban sprawl but they do have a decent moving body of water and two ponds on the property. This will be an option for Bug Out for the remaining seven families as it is within one long day's unencumbered movement via vehicles and possible movement by foot within one week. However the bad news is that the majority of our vegetable - farming growing expertise is leaving with this family. We all probably know someone who we say has a "green thumb" and their counsel is valuable to address all manner of issues relating to growing food. 

Two of our member families,...and one is me,...had started and lost iterations of vegetables already this year. The only good thing is that the year is early enough to re-plant but we move our timeline for harvest back a month.....maybe six weeks.   If this was a SHTF situation and we needed those vegetables to eat then we would be up shit creek without the proverbial paddle. But I guess that's what we stock bulk, canned and survival foods for the hard times.

In the e-mails I receive relating to growing our own food for survival, I received a tip from a reader who used a home improvment chain store gift card to purchase several rolls of various types of small mesh fencing both for his or his neighbors future growing needs or for barter.

While I have four rolls of common barb wire fencing stored away, I made a mental note to do the same as this mesh fencing is not only useful for fencing in gardens and protecting them from varments, it is useful to create obstacles that can be use to slow up or deny entry and/or force channelization for defensive purposes, or even create holding areas for livestock.

Back to growing food,...................the ability to grow your own food is going to be not only a huge asset but most likely the difference between survival or not.  The below article, entitled "America the Vulnerable - History warns we're sleepwalking towards collapse", by James H. Kunstler was published on Peal Prosperity.


Food production system in the Soviet Union had been so direly mismanaged for so long – most of the 20th century – that a whole counter-system of work-arounds had been established in the form of nearly universal household gardening. Even families who lived in the ghastly Modernist apartment slabs of Moscow had access to garden plots in the vast un-suburbanized Russian countryside, and they could get there on public trains and buses. The more privileged had dachas ranging from humble shacks to fancy villas, each with a garden. The Russian people were used to the necessity of growing their own food and had the skills for preserving it to offset the idiocy of the official distribution system in which citizens wasted whole days waiting on line for a cabbage, only to be told they had run out.

When the Soviet system collapsed, the effect on society was far less than catastrophic, perhaps even salutary, because a large cohort of people with an interest in growing food, who formerly only pretended to work in dismal bureaucratic jobs, were now available to reoccupy and reactivate the de-collectivized farming sector that had been a drag on the Russian economy for generations.  After a period of adjustment, one thing was self-evident: no more lines at the Russian grocery stores.

By contrast, in the U.S., even farmers don’t have kitchen gardens. This is not a myth. I live in an agricultural backwater of upstate New York where dairy farming modeled on industrial agri-biz reigned for decades (it’s in steep decline now), and as a rule, the farmers do not grow gardens.

When even farmers don’t grow any of their own food, you can bet that a lot of knowledge has already been lost. American supermarkets operate on a three-day resupply cycle. The system is much more fragile than most Americans probably suppose. My guess is that few even think about it. The resupply system has never failed, except briefly, in localities hit by natural disasters. However, a financial crisis could cripple the food distribution system of the entire nation. Truckers who don’t get paid won’t deliver. Trouble in the Middle East oil nations could provoke an oil crisis – something we haven’t experienced since the 1970s.  There are many ways for this complex system to fail – the point being that when it does, there will be no backup, as was the case in the former Soviet Union.

6 comments:

  1. Once again, spot on post, so true...I spent time on a farm as a youth, and have gardened myself off and on until we into our current home, where space is limited...That said, I do know how, have the tools, and plots picked out already...To your point about Truck Stoppages, here's a great, chilling article on the impacts of truck stoppages...PSYOP Soldier
    http://waronyou.com/forums/index.php?PHPSESSID=a639dd7f183d14773f56282f7a8ace6b&topic=17398.msg64844#msg64844

    ReplyDelete
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