i'm looking into a greenhouse so i can grow coffee... gotta
have that to make lattι. i think i'll need to grow cocoa too.
so if i put a 2nd greenhouse out in Savannah (NY), can you
keep an eye on the coffee there? ;) seriously though, i'm
not a huge fan of straight roasted chicory. what other
locally growable coffee substitutes are there? we've got
brewing beer & cider down, but i'll need more flatish land
to grow grain. the hops grow like crazy here, plus we have
several non-hop plants for preserving beers (creeping
charlie, for example). there's a dammed pond on our property
that is rumored in the town history to be the first local
grain mill. the flow is restricted currently by a Fish &
Game dam upstream, but that is currently failing...
mine? no, because the state doesn't know it exists (and i'm
not going to press the issue so that they find out).
the F&G dam was not in good shape before the flooding this
past spring, & that certainly didn't improve anything. i will
see F&G tomorrow and ask about that dam. it really doesn't
serve much purpose, except to slightly (about 2') artificially
raise the water level in a spring fed pond. i suspect the
reason F&G has control over that dam & section of stream is
more for access to the pond for stocking efforts.
of course, if they don't do some work on it, i strongly
suspect the road is going to go away in the next flood... the
under road culvert can't take that much water going through.
we had 8" over the road, along with the culvert's load. it
washed a cement block i left on my dam over 300 feet
downstream... there was too much water coming in for me to get
the drain at the bottom of the dam open, but i suspect that's
a good thing really. there was no damage to my dam at all
(it's earth & rock, at least 200 years old).
The US is not the world and since the US needs world participation to keep
it economically strong, it will be just as stuffed as any other country when
oil production ceases to be effective. The US is also very relaint of oil
for food transport and food production.
Yep. That means most modern cloth we wear, our computers our tupperware,
much of our bedding materials, much of our furnishing cloth, the stuffing in
our furniture, our shampoos, soaps, detergents, ice cream, tyres, car
components - the list is very long.
Yes and since then it's found it's way into just about everything in your
house. If you really want a scar, check out each household item and figure
out where it comes from. so much of it needs petrochemicals.
Ummmm. I don't think you have got the right idea about the availablity of
synthetics and where they come from.
Nope. It will be in deep doodoo, just as the rest of the 'developed' world
will be. And remember there are 4 (I think that is the figure I recall)
guns for every person in the US. Not a pretty thought.
Interesting article Charlie; thanks for posting it. There are a few
problems with it though.
As a producer of beef cattle, I really disagree strongly with what he wrote
about the need to be vegetarian. His view is very restricted as it relys on
the belief that all animals are lot fed and that therefore one must have
land to grow hay and grain. Balderdash I say. Such a concept only applies
in farming areas of full snow cover over winter and even then in the dark
ages, few beasts were kept over winter - just enough to breed stock for the
I'm currenly looking for some sheep (mainly for fleece) but I will have any
surplus killed. Sheep/goats/poultry (chooks, ducks, pigeons etc)/rabbits
would be the sensible stock for non vegetarians to keep and these could be
kept in smaller areas with a bit of effort.
Another thing which really irritated me about this article is that the
author didn't even mention the need to use old fashioned non hybrid
varieties of seed. All gardeners should know abut the need to be seed
savers if they want to have a self succient garden.
There were a few other things about the article that I thought he missed but
enough for now.
Are you talking about smaller animals here or cattle? If cattle I have
problems with this paragraph.
Also the inefficiency in land use and water consumption of taking vegetable
calories and feeding them to animals (which you eat) instead of eating them
yourself is quite clear. I don't mean to say we could eat grass but the
same land and water will feed more people if turned to vegetable food
production instead of pasture.
Having said that I would much prefer to remain an omnivore. I hope it
doesn't get to the point where meat becomes a luxury but it's possible. In
the dark-ages meat was a luxury, the commoners (that's me and I assume you)
only ate meat on feast days and holy days.
not all land is suitable for vegetable production.
cattle/sheep/goats can thrive on land too hilly or rocky to be
useful for food production.
i take it you are not familiar with the Northeast of the US?
we have plenty of water, but not a huge amount of decent flat
land suitable for food crop production. there's a reason old
Yankees were dairy farmers & shephrds.
if you stop looking at 'meat' as being only high maintainance
modern beef breeds (or dairy being only Holsteins), you will
see that it should be possible to continue your omnivore habit
lee <who can get potable water from my well without electricty
just fine & heat my house with wood if i have too>
In many parts of the world sheep , deer, goats, and native breeds of
cattle can graze a living from terrain too steep, poor, cold, wet, hot,
dry , acid, alkaline, rocky or remote for humans to grow food crops on.
Wherever poor land can only support vegetation fit for rough
grazing/browsing by species which can digest fibre by cudding, it makes
perfect sense for humans to let cudding animals convert that tough
vegetation into proteins vitamins and fats which the human physiology
Janet. (eating local hill sheep, wild venison and hardy beef in Scotland)
This is all fine, more power to you if you can get a feed off such marginal
land. However in many places feeding animals on pasture that is quite
suitable for cropping _is_ done. Lot and shed fed beasts _are_ fed on grain
etc that is grown on such land and often these are fertilised with chemicals
requiring energy (oil) to make.
It's also going to be harder (but not impossible) to raise vegetable crops
on that land without chemical fertiliser if energy becomes very expensive.
So would we be able to afford the added layer of inefficiency of running it
through an animal to get our calories in a preferred form? From the
perspective of considering current common practice the original article has
yes, and *that* is all due to the easy availability of petrol
& chemicals both for intensive cropping & moving the meat to
market. take away cheap fuel & those operations will disappear
rapidly, along with the cattle breeds unsuitable for living on
do you know much about organic growing or the farming methods
used in the early 1900s? it's not only not impossible, it's
pretty simple (far from "easy" though).
no, the fruits & veggies won't be huge & "perfect", but
they'll be a lot better tasting & more healthful (the
nutritional values of fruits, vegetables & grains has actually
declined since the 40s when factory farming & massive chemical
use became the "norm".
lee <gotta go! big Tstorm!>
We feed grain to ruminants who aren't equipped to eat it. We have to
medicate them to stave off infection in thier rumen - the only reason
it's somewhat suiccessful is the fact that they're killed before the
infection actually kills them. We won't even get into the feeding of
animal byproducts to them - remember, they're herbivores, they aren't
supposed to eat animal protein.
The whole concept is too complicated to explain here (how food animals
are fed, the process, if done naturally, really isn't), If you're
interested (and you should be) about our food supply you need to try
to get your hands on a copy.
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
David, I suspect that you wouldn't find this book a lot of use given that
you are in Oz and the practices which apply here are very different to those
in the US. The lot feeding here is for a very short time and is often
combined with grass feeding anyway.
I just read the intro and chapter one, which is a freeby, here:
scroll down a bit for the download.
It looks quite interesting and I like his style. The analysis of corn in
the economy and in the food chain is more important for the USA but I
suspect has some relevance here. The other chapters on non-industrial food
may be worth the price without it.
I'm happy you found it interesting, I find the whole thing
fascinating. I'm on grass farming now, and Joe Salatin (hope I
spelled that right).
This book is an education for anyone about industrial food systems.
And believe you me, that's what many of us eat, industrial food. Even
if we think we're eating organic......
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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