Gardening is wise, don't we know it

I read a headline this morning about some global group that is trying to sound like an authority, and that I've never heard of existing before, declaring that the world's supply of fruits & vegetables is under threat.

Fear mongering is alive & well. It's telling you what is coming next. How would they know what's next unless there's a plan? Boo.

We know all these shortages we've experienced are man-caused/artificial. We also know that we can do something about this at least in our little corners of our world. We are resilient.

Keep growing your food as you are able & wherever you are able, & keep foraging wisely. Remember to teach others what you know, especially to the youth and those who don't have any skills, knowledge or food.

Comments

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,483 admin

    @LaurieLovesLearning Fear mongering is certainly alive & well but I refuse to listen to the pessimistic approach some people, groups or authorities have taken on. That doesn’t mean I’m going to bury my head in the sand but I’m a glass 1/2 full type of woman.

    That’s why organisations like TGN are so important, we have each others back & we are here to encourage, nurture & teach each other. There is so much we have done & willing to do, to spread the valuable message to be resilient, be responsible for yourself & your actions & to be kind. Not only to yourself but to others.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,515 admin

    I just saw this quote just this afternoon. I'm not sure how to verify that it really was from Thomas Jefferson, but it fits TGN and this discussion perfectly.

    "If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines to take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyrrany."

    - Thomas Jefferson

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If we follow what our grandparents did we will all live a better life. Most had gardens, ate healthier and did activities together. We as a family know what we need. It's a style that is fast disappearing, but we can reclaim it, if we want.

    @LaurieLovesLearning Love the quote above.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,515 admin
    edited February 2023

    @Monek Marie I keep hearing about AI (and no, not artificial insemination like most farmers think, haha). It is growing by leaps & bounds and claims to be the future, but I don't buy into that, that it is a positive thing. I view it as an enemy of sorts.

    I have already seen it invading the large scale conventional grain farming for years already. My husband says, and I heartily agree, that the farmers no longer know how to farm. It is sourced out to expensive "experts" who are of big ag school and promote the products or its done by computer. He does say auto-steer is kind of nice, though...but it's not as invasive as many other things out there.

    Anyway, the way most farming is done today is NOT farming. It's no wonder you hear so much that "it doesn't pay to farm". If they farmed the traditional way instead...it certainly can pay. We know some folks that have proven just that. It's sad though that much wisdom was so quickly discarded as farmers were told to trust the big ag & their marketing lies. We know who got rich. It was not the farmer. The farmer got poorer land as the chemicals destroyed it, they also got extreme debt, and less say over what crops they could plant & market. It also made them dependent. That's not a good thing.

    As you say, reclaim...do as the grandparents (or for most nowadays, great- or great great grandparents) did. I totally agree with you. There is much wisdom in the traditional ways and it needs to be protected and carefully nurtured.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,633 admin

    Its not just big ag and their lies that have destroyed traditional farming methods. The banks were in on it, too. Encouraging the borrowing of money to buy bigger, fancier pieces of equipment to "make their lives easier". Instead, farmers are now slaves to the banking industry, having to put more and more land under cultivation every year to pay for the "labour-saving" machines.

    There is a strange concept that has been introduced into our region by government officials from the Department of Agriculture. Instead of doing range turnout every spring, this involves pasturing your cattle at home all summer on what would have been hay land and then buying hay from someone who does nothing but produce hay. I can tell you, its not working out. The once productive hay field pastures are becoming over-grazed and barren. The monocrop hay producers need constant fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides to keep producing.

    Haying the land and then allowing your cattle to be on the hay land all winter being fed your hay takes care of the fertilizer end of things. Generally there are less pests and "weeds" on land that isn't being monocropped.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,515 admin

    @torey Range would be best. Farmers here put their cows out on summer pasture...but most bring them to the home quarter for the winter to feed hay or unfortunately now, corn silage instead of green feed. This is usually all too often feedlot style for convenience for the larger operators.

    But if these farms have too many animals on a small piece of land, that is a big problem right there too, and I suspect that's also a big issue. If you also put these too many cattle on a small piece over winter, and even though they drop manure all winter, the ground will become packed hard and will not be any good due to compaction.

    Fertilizers can be replaced with aeration of the ground, increasing hay production tremendously. If the hay crop is healthy, then there should be less weeds, similar to a lawn...so essentially, no herbicides. I'm not sure what their alternative solution would be to pesticides (of course, not advocating them). I'd think that would be mainly grasshopper control.

    Hay fields are considered good for 5 years, then need to be broken up because they become root bound. A good hay field will have a nice mix of grasses (up to 5 types) & sometimes alfalfa, rarely clover, so it really should not be monocropped unless they are really doing something wrong. Sometimes alfalfa or broke are done monocrop, but like I said, the best hay for livestock is mixed.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,633 admin

    We have a lot of corn silage starting to appear here. It used to be primarily hay but in recent years, the climate has become more favourable to corn in some areas, so some of the ranches in those areas are turning to this type of feed. There are still big ranches that continue to do turn out, bringing cattle into home range for winter feeding, still done by cowboys on horseback but the smaller operations seem to be run by people more willing to listen to the government "experts" than good old fashioned experience.

    There are some fields that you can tell have been planted with Round-up Ready alfalfa. The bigger ranches still seem to be working with mixed hay.

    I'm all for new farming and ranching methods if they are based on real life trials rather than computer projections.

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,452 admin

    We still have hay here in Tirol. May be, because of the mountains, because huge farms are not possible. The difference from the old times is that the hay is stored in huge hay balls covered with plastic instead of in the hay huts that are spread all over the landscape and contribute so nicely to the charm of Tirol (I include a photo of the winter landscape with huts). The farmers still mow the slopes of the mountains. Sometimes it is quite dangerous. I many cases, they collect hay by hand. All families working together. They do get subsidies for keeping the old way of farming. Sometimes it is an advantage when the size of farmland is restricted by nature. And the meadows are fertilised with cow manure. Not bad, although it changes the variety of plants.


  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,483 admin

    @jowitt.europe what a beautiful photo, thank you. I think silage bales have become very popular worldwide & I worry about that much plastic wrapping!!!

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    @JodieDownUnder the silage bales are now generally the type of bales we see in our area now. We jokingly refer to them as marshmallows. Definitely too much plastic though, which is not funny.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,515 admin

    @marjstratton Us too. We have green ones as well...mint flavored.

    I agree. It's too much.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,633 admin

    There is a rancher just north of us who makes "artwork" from the "marshmallow" bales. Most commonly is the giant snowman he makes every year. But he has also done pumpkins for Thanksgiving/Hallowe'en. One year was a giant bunny for Easter. And of course, he has the more common feet and upper body parts sticking out of the ends of the bales, too.

    Most of them are using the green mesh type baling wraps.

    I know of two farms a few hours south of me that still hay (large fields) by scythe. Its amazing to watch them, how quickly they are able to move through a field. My dad used to be able to use a scythe like that; the field would appear like a lawn after he was finished. I'm not sure that I would remember how to swing the stroke properly, its been so many years. And the big wooden hay rakes. I'm so glad I have those memories.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    We frequently have Easter egg-colored bales in the spring or early summer.

    I have a scythe that my father had. He never mowed with it though. I bought a new scythe that fits me much better. I have tried and tried to get the swing of mowing. Really need someone who is good at it teach me.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It's all in the swinging motion. Once you get a good motion the grass comes down easily. In the spring my first few minutes are off then I get thee hang of it again and it works well.

  • Cornelius
    Cornelius Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭

    Gardening also helps reduce stress!

    @jowitt.europe That picture is beautiful!

  • kbmbillups1
    kbmbillups1 Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Talk about fear mongering! I saw an article the other day telling people gardening can give you a heart attack. Sure hope people see through that one!

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning I don't know if Jefferson actually wrote that, but it certainly sounds like something he might have written.

    Jefferson was very much an agriculutralist, constantly experimenting at Monticello to see what he could grow, what would be productive, and how he could improve it. He very much wanted to move away from tobacco, but in his time and place, few other crops were profitable. He died in considerable debt.

    He was also very much an agrarian political philosopher who wanted to see America settled by small farmers. He would have been horrified to see the industrialized world of the late 19th century and later times, where most Americans were wage laborers rather than independent smallholders.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,515 admin
    edited February 2023

    @kbmbillups1 🙄 That's interesting. I've never heard of that happening. I wonder what one has to do to achieve that outcome? Shoveling snow...yes. Gardening? Well...no?

    Yesterday, I saw a collection of articles telling people not to get chickens for eggs. They all had some odd take with that same theme. The only one I remember for whatever reason is that "they poop all over!"...really? That's the reason to not get chickens for eggs? (One of my boys said...dogs poop all over, but somehow they are a necessity even though they don't produce food. They just eat it.) You might think they'd talk about cost vs. output, but I don't think even one of them did that. None of the reasons given were legitimate and all were emotion manipulative based, written by city folks & directed at those considering chicken keeping & having no knowledge from experience.

    People need these skills. They need to know these headlines that are coming hard & fast at them, aren't true. So many don't or won't have food soon because they are dependent on a manipulated & artificially broken system. Food independence is extremely important for their autonomy and for citizens of any country.

    Keep your animals. Protect them from those who wish to destroy. Figure out how to continue to keep your food independence. Keep gardening. Do not quit & don't give it up for anything. It keeps each of us and a people strong in so many ways.

    We need to keep educating.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,515 admin

    @VermontCathy I saw a documentary about him and his gardening. It was a really well done show. What he did was very interesting.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning "Yesterday, I saw a collection of articles telling people not to get chickens for eggs. They all had some odd take ... [such as] "they poop all over!"...written by city folks..."

    I think that's the root issue right there. Written by city folks, for city folks.

    It's the same mindset that Barbara Kingsolver complained about in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, where the newspaper food columns gave plentiful pumpkin recipes, all of which called for canned pumpkin and without any acknowledgement that fresh pumpkin in season is cheaper and just as easy to use.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,633 admin

    Its amazing how quickly we (speaking of the human race here) lose skills and knowledge. Its easy to see that happening in cultures that had no written language. Knowledge could be lost in a generation if it wasn't passed on. But even in our modern world, where we have the information highway at our fingertips, we are losing the knowledge of our parents and grandparents.

    I guess a heart attack is possible if you are a sedentary desk worker that suddenly (in panic) decides that you need to move to the country and raise all your own food. Never having done any physical labour, out of shape and in a fear state could bring about a heart attack if they were to tackle digging a large garden in an afternoon in a rush to get things planted. Kind of like Oliver Douglas in the old TV show "Green Acres", although I never saw him do much physical labour. :)

    We're not just losing knowledge by depending on big ag to provide for us. We are losing genetic diversity. I see people at farmers markets, pointing unknowingly at things as if they were alien species from another planet. All they are accustomed to is the standard fruits and veg available in grocery stores. I remember the first time I served purple mashed potatoes to my in-laws. Too funny!

    And yes, gardening does reduce stress. When I have clients that are under a great deal of stress, one of the things that I will suggest to them is to go outside and get some dirt under their fingernails. There is actually a bacteria in the soil (Mycobacterium vaccae) that can trigger the release of serotonin.

    Gardening is beneficial all around. Improves our physical health through activity and good food, good for our mental health and in general, good for our economic health. Becoming self sufficient is also very good for mental health.

  • kbmbillups1
    kbmbillups1 Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭✭✭

    We do need to keep educating! I'm afraid too many people believe whatever the tv tells them. I remember when my girls were small, and I took them to a friend's house who grew blueberries. She gave us several quart bags full of them AND she took us see their chickens. My girls were shocked to see the eggs and they couldn't wait to go home and cook them. They had no idea where eggs actually came from, and I felt terrible that I'd never thought about telling them! I'm afraid there are a lot of people who are learning this now with all that's going on with eggs besides the crazy prices.

    As far as gardening I overheard someone at the store not too long ago learning that carrots are actually grown in the grown before they come to the store. This person had never seen carrots with tops on them before.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,515 admin

    @kbmbillups1 I can't use the reactions at the bottom of the post. None fit.

    Oh my. 😕 But, I'm glad she learned! It's a start and we all have to start somewhere.

  • kbmbillups1
    kbmbillups1 Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning I know! I looked for one when I posted it.

    People have a lot to learn that they should already know!

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,515 admin

    @kbmbillups1 Agreed.

    We've got a lot of work ahead of us.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    @Monek Marie I know that it looks so easy. Just a matter of figuring it out.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2023

    On a more positive note, gardening is one of the most popular hobbies in America, and has been for many decades. The same is true in England. I suspect it is true in many other temperate climate countries as well.

    We have retained a lot of knowledge and practice even as the world has urbanized.

    Things are not as bad as all that. Keep your chin up, and keep sharing gardening knowledge and energy!