Ready for Self-Sufficient Gardening?

seedcorn

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Very few people put in gardens large enough nowadays to grow sufficient food for a typical household....takes quite a bit of garden to do that, even if intensely managed.

100% agree.
 

Pulsegleaner

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Even if they do, a certain level of trade is necessary for most homesteading, and THAT needs a certain amount of stability as well. Even if you CAN grow enough food to feed your household completely, you'll still need tools to do it (mechanized OR hand) Know how to make tools? You still need the iron to make them. Know how to smelt iron? You still need ore (and so on).

With the exception of some of the uncontacted tribes in the world's rain-forests I can think of few people who need absolutely NOTHING that their immediate environment does not supply. However "far back" the average homesteader thinks they can go, relatively few are going to want to basically go back to the Stone Age (no PRE- Stone age, the stone age needs a source of chippable rocks nearby.)
 

Beekissed

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Then you also have to think about, if you are in that situation, so are millions of others.....they are hungry, lack the land, skills and tools to produce food. They will want what you have....it was thus in the Great Depression~was real common to have folks steal chickens out of coops, eggs, food from gardens, livestock right out of the fields and meat from smokehouses~ and it would be more so even now, as now people have more access to weaponry and a will to use it. Lower moral codes, more weapons, people living closer to one another and increased hunger leads to violence over food.

You may be able to grow it....but can you keep folks from stealing it? All points to ponder. It sounds nice to imagine growing all our food, bartering with those who have things we didn't have, fashioning tools, etc., but it's all a pipe dream in a scenario where everyone is short on food. They are stabbing and fist fighting each other in the store right now over bottled water and TP, can't imagine what they will do when things REALLY get bad.
 

flowerbug

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one thing you barter for besides food is protection. you get talking to the neighbors and work together to support each other.

this is more possible in the country where distance between each other helps but also the fact that you are out and away from the larger population centers.

all in theory and of course your mileage may vary...
 

Pulsegleaner

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Then you also have to think about, if you are in that situation, so are millions of others.....they are hungry, lack the land, skills and tools to produce food. They will want what you have....it was thus in the Great Depression~was real common to have folks steal chickens out of coops, eggs, food from gardens, livestock right out of the fields and meat from smokehouses~ and it would be more so even now, as now people have more access to weaponry and a will to use it. Lower moral codes, more weapons, people living closer to one another and increased hunger leads to violence over food.

You may be able to grow it....but can you keep folks from stealing it? All points to ponder. It sounds nice to imagine growing all our food, bartering with those who have things we didn't have, fashioning tools, etc., but it's all a pipe dream in a scenario where everyone is short on food. They are stabbing and fist fighting each other in the store right now over bottled water and TP, can't imagine what they will do when things REALLY get bad.
one thing you barter for besides food is protection. you get talking to the neighbors and work together to support each other.

this is more possible in the country where distance between each other helps but also the fact that you are out and away from the larger population centers.

all in theory and of course your mileage may vary...
I was going to bring that up but it seemed over paranoid.

And banding together with your neighbors works OK with little bands of thieves, but if they band together to make a raiding nomadic horde then you need a BIG group. And part of the problem in this case is that big groups are a danger in and of themselves.

And beyond stealing food, as food replaces currency as the object of supreme value some of those hordes are going to be out for slaves to tend THEIR land. And of course at the very bottom, some will lose it and go cannibalistic and YOU will be the food they are after.
 

Beekissed

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I was going to bring that up but it seemed over paranoid.

And banding together with your neighbors works OK with little bands of thieves, but if they band together to make a raiding nomadic horde then you need a BIG group. And part of the problem in this case is that big groups are a danger in and of themselves.

And beyond stealing food, as food replaces currency as the object of supreme value some of those hordes are going to be out for slaves to tend THEIR land. And of course at the very bottom, some will lose it and go cannibalistic and YOU will be the food they are after.
It's only paranoid if it's not the truth. ;) Ever see those YT vids where folks are acting like planet of the apes on Black Friday over towels or TVs that are on sale? Imagine those people are hungry and have kids to feed too. It's not paranoid, it's just observant of human nature and particularly this current age of human....they give animals a bad name to say they act like animals in a crisis. Some folks are decent, but overall the general populace are very self serving.

They flat out will not CARE that it's yours....it simply has no meaning to them. The other day someone on a sister site was telling about someone coming up to them in front of the grocery store and rummaging through their bags to steal cleaning items and such out of them~said the police said it was happening all over. Broad daylight, cleaning items and TP. Imagine these folks are hungry, more hungry than they've ever been in their lives, with no hope for their next meal.
 

Pulsegleaner

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It's only paranoid if it's not the truth. ;) Ever see those YT vids where folks are acting like planet of the apes on Black Friday over towels or TVs that are on sale? Imagine those people are hungry and have kids to feed too. It's not paranoid, it's just observant of human nature and particularly this current age of human....they give animals a bad name to say they act like animals in a crisis. Some folks are decent, but overall the general populace are very self serving.

They flat out will not CARE that it's yours....it simply has no meaning to them. The other day someone on a sister site was telling about someone coming up to them in front of the grocery store and rummaging through their bags to steal cleaning items and such out of them~said the police said it was happening all over. Broad daylight, cleaning items and TP. Imagine these folks are hungry, more hungry than they've ever been in their lives, with no hope for their next meal.
I am reminded of a line from the Capitol Steps parody song "Try Montana" (during the Unabomber times)

"There's many kind of Paranoia, take your pick,
If they're really out to get you then your not that sick."
 

digitS'

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I was out once, distant from conveniences. With running water but without electricity. Nearly all of the food that I had, vegetables and meat, came from my own land and efforts.

Mom wasn't happy that I had taken my career in farm work and used it as a means of careening off from civilization into the sticks. She baked goodies for me whenever I visited. My girlfriend wasn't very accepting either. She wasn't leaving her community and didn't quite tell me that I either rejoined her 80 some miles away or we were through. But, when I didn't rejoin her ... we were through.

I became lonely, of course. But, these days, I think that our skills as gardeners could be reassuring. I certainly had skills, competence and confidence as a 20-something even if I became lonely and uncomfortable when I found myself with neighbors that were a part of the Aryan Nation.

No. I'm no preppie - not then nor now that nearly 50 years have passed. There have been several difficult episodes in my life that I wasn't prepared for. Perhaps, there was denial, anger, bargaining, sadness, and finally some measure of acceptance. Life is uncertain, always.

Steve
 

Prairie Rose

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I'm not ready for it...yet. The garden we had when I was a child could have produced most of our vegetable needs across the year, but it would have needed much more intensive management than we ever bothered with. There's still space here for a garden that size, but I would have to reclaim it from the field. For truly self sufficient gardening, I'd probably have to reclaim the entire old farm from the fields...space for animals for milk and meat, and a source of manure for the garden.

My next big goal in life is to buy a property of my own where I could do that on a smaller scale if I had to without consulting the landlord. As it is, the family has finally seen the point of getting chickens, and if we weren't so close to town, a couple of weaner pigs every summer for meat.
 
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