Spring has sprung here in Central Texas. All the grasshoppers (millions of them) have sprung up here just like last year. I am glad I have a large greenhouse to grow in which is mostly protected from these devils from hell that will eat almost anything. They remind me of politicians. That are hungry greedy creatures from hell. My outside garden is suffering, but I will wait it out. These suckers eventually die (after laying a million more eggs). My early tomatoes are looking good as well as my early Waltham Squash. I did manage to get one crop of spinach before the hordes of summer found that they really liked my nice spinach. My potatoes are now being attacked, but I will get a good crop from them.
There are some really strange things going on here when it comes to birds. There don’t seem to be all that many anymore. Also the last two years we have failed to attract Purple Martens. Also, there are no Finches, Red Birds, or even English Sparrows which have infested Central Texas all my long life. Road Runners and Quail are far and few in-between as well. I am not sure what is going on here but it is not like it was two years ago. Are you experiencing the same missing birds?
Perhaps the world is changing for the worse. The earth’s magnetic fields are weakening and wandering in what looks like a magnetic pole flip. Is this confusing birds? I suspect so. It is probably confusing for humans as well as we are all intimately connected to the earth.
Just looking at all the grasshoppers and the damage they are doing accentuates the fact that growing food is hard to do unless of course, you want to use insect poison on your plants. Yes, I could load up on chemicals and spray this farm with insecticide, but what would that do to my food and eventually my health? That is why with the possibility of food shortages you should realize that it takes some time to actually get good at growing food. AND, there is one thing about food, and that you cannot live on greens. You need some really high caloric foods like potatoes, and of course meat!. Ever wonder why the food looks really nice and perfect at some food stores. You know perfect squash, tomatoes, peppers, and all those perfect berries. Yes, some are grown in greenhouses, but much of it is grown in a chemical sprayed field. And you my friend are eating the same chemicals that are killing the would-be insect attackers. Without insecticides, chemical fertilizers, and weed killers, it would be impossible to feed the almost 8 billion people who inhabit this planet.
So what is going on in my greenhouse? That is where probably most of my food will be grown this year. As you may or may not know, I grow in my greenhouse in plastic grow bags. Yes, plastic. Food Grade plastic. I also recycle the bags and some have lasted three years or seasons. I use the 1, 3, 5, and 20-gallon sizes. For a couple hundred of them, I use drip watering and drip fertilizing. For another 125 of the three-gallon sizes, I hand-water as they are set up on tops of tables in the greenhouse. Yes tables. At my age, I need to make things easy as I will be 79 this month. So drip watering and hand watering for grow bags on three-foot-high tables make it a bit easier.
There is one very sad thing about my greenhouse growing, and it is not a SHTF type of solution. To grow in the greenhouse takes electricity (for cooling) and a plastic covering for the greenhouse. While this is available now, in the future it would probably not be. That is why I will be getting away from my greenhouse and growing as much fruit, veggies, and other things outside as possible. So grow bags when you look closely are not the final solution. It is just a small part of getting to where I want to go here on our small farm, and that is a system where everything is grown in the ground. And what is grown is about as diverse as I can make it.
The ideal SHTF farm would of course have water. Then the following:
- Chickens for eggs and fertilizer
- Rabbits for meat and fertilizer
- A garden
- Fruit trees
- Berry bushes
- Nut Trees
While the above sounds simple, the real problem is just doing it and doing it well enough to succeed. For most of my life, I have kind of turned away from permaculture. My thoughts (when everything was working well) were that it could not feed a world of almost 8 billion people at the time and I suspect that was correct. You cannot feed almost 8 billion people using permaculture because a person needs land to do it. But with what is coming, and perhaps 9 out of every 10 people not making it, permaculture begins to make sense.
So what are the easiest things to grow and give you good hardy high calory food? The answer is mostly root crops like potatoes and sweet potatoes. On average Tomatoes are generally successful. Then things like beets, radish, and Turnups. Don’t like beets, radish, and Turnups? Well then just starve or get over being a baby or a whining mushroom! I suspect if you were really hungry a Turnup would taste pretty good.
Feeding yourself or a family in hard times would be a full-time thing. Not only do you need food for daily consumption you will need it for storage during the winter months. That’s where some pumpkins, Potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, onions dried beans, and canned veggies become important. All your kitchen waste should feed your chickens and rabbits. Forget large animals as they eat more than you do. Rabbits can live on scraps and grass if you work at it. Same with chickens but add bugs. Your fruit and nut trees as well as your berries should feed you during the summer. To stay healthy, you will also want a herb garden, one for seasoning and one for your medicine. Most of your day-to-day food from your garden should be close to your home. Things like potatoes and sweet potatoes are more distant. Water should be close by as well.
Are you a super Man or a Woman? I have seen them but they were part of fiction movies. The only way to become super is to be part of a community. Forget being the Lone Ranger or the tough guy. Acting tough will only eventually get you killed. Being small, smart, and unseen is much better. Now is the time to form your community. Will it be many members of your family or a bunch of trusted like-minded people? The ideal group would be around 50 people with diverse skills. You will need that many to watch your back. Some cooking, some cleaning, some protecting, some building some gardening, harvesting, and growing. All like-minded people with the same needs and wants. There is no other way out of the mess that is coming.
Please pardon my words, but if you do not see what is coming and have not started on the path of taking care of you and your family, then I must ask “Are you Brain Dead?” This cannot be wished away and hidden from. It will eventually catch up with you one way or another.
Food, gardening, security, and community should be part of your daily thoughts. Get those seeds now. Start thinking about community and family. If your spouse thinks you are crazy, I would start thinking about what you will do when it is too late. Personally, I would leave my spouse if my children were in danger as there is little one can do about stupidity! Hopefully, that is never an option. Think about what you will do when the SHTF.
No one will come to help you, especially the government. God will help you and you should thank Him for the wisdom and knowledge to see what is coming. All other bets are off. Polyanna died a horrible death and the rose garden has large huge sharp thorns. Nature does what it wants to do and does not ask for your permission. The universe is sick and tired of the great waste of life and what we are doing to this planet. So you are on your own. You have the knowledge to get through this so start now.
Dennis at Crescent Hill Farm in Central Texas