Blogger Aurora made a very important point about sustaining the bees, which are dying out for as yet only speculated reasons. Research has shown that bees die off in greatest numbers in areas where agricultural sprays are used. Therefore, to start buying organic food and voting with our dollars is also to ensure the bees’ survival, and ours along with it. After all, bees are necessary for pollinating crops. And pollination is what the plants depend on for yielding produce, which of course means that our survival depends on pollination and the bees. (If you can’t afford high-grade organic food, try Safeway’s Organics brand which though not of Whole Foods quality, since Whole Foods requires its growers to have cultivated organic crops for seven or more years prior to certification and thus ensuring pure water and soil quality, it also is a good start). Aurora made a good point about keeping beehives in our own backyards, for those of us who have such space. May I add that our ivy hedge, when blooming, can be heard all the way around the other side of our house, being so full of humming bees. They also love our blooming oregano. Far from cutting off the blooms as you are supposed to do, I let it go to flower and then to seed, if only to feed the bees. And they love it!
Medical survival in an economic crash: Pharmacists, doctors please post your tips below! I also am posting a few herbal website links at the end of this article. (NOTE: A pharmacist had posted to a previous article I wrote, and the comment disappeared from the web!)
HERE ARE SOME IDEAS FOR HOW TO OBTAIN FOOD IN AN ECONOMIC CRASH:
A) Pools can be turned into community fish farms. Think of backyard pools, YMCA’s, gymnasiums, apartment complexes. If neighbors work together with managerial teams, then we can become small self-sustaining communities. It would have to be researched how to keep the waters clean and circulating without using chlorine (which would likely kill the fish, or at best making a very unhealthy product. Chlorine has been linked with many skin cancers and also causes erosion of the cell walls when ingested. Cell walls are part of our immune integrity, aid cellular respiration, etc. So as cell walls break down, so do tissue fibers, resulting in tendonitis and arthritic conditions, among other health concerns).
B) The Native Americans considered squash (and members of that same family) to be symbols of abundance. And no wonder: Think of how huge just one pumpkin is! How many such monsters grow from just one single vine? Even in apartment complexes, there often is land somewhere which can be used for growing such whonkers. If considered communal gardens, then there is no stealing possible. Period.
I canned three moderate-sized jack-o-lanterns which gave me about 12 quarts of steamed, cubed flesh. (Pi=pumkin squared? Couldn’t resist!) It’s just not true that only the sugar pumpkins yield good flavor: The moderate-sized ones are quite tasty, full of fiber and vitamin A to boot. I use pumpkins in curries, soups, pies, muffins and one time I poured cheese/white wine fondue with garlic and mustard seed over the cubed and steamed pumpkin. It was really tasty! Try baked pumpkin with honey, ginger and cinnamon: It’s yummy! Yes folks, we can eat inexpensively (one pumpkin of moderate size will cost about $3.50) and abundantly. The seeds can either be baked, or dried and saved for planting seeds of hope later. Package them and distribute them as seeds of hope, asking others to do the same. Word will spread! Write your editor a letter and tell them the same, and word will spread even further!
C) Have you ever seen color photographs of acreage covered with rotting produce, which the government actually pays the farmers to “let go” ? I saw one such photograph in National Geographic many years ago. It was god-knows-how-many acres covered about shin-deep with rotting oranges. All I can say is that our one apple tree yields so many gallons of canned fruit, I just can’t begin to say how abundant nature is. I canned 24 quarts of fruit this year and it didn’t even make any visible dent in the yield. We must have had at least a 30-gallon yield (if all had been canned) just from this one tree!
Bloggers have written that our world is over-populated and therefore an economic depression would mean starvation, even horrors such as cannibalism in the cities. I say with such acreage covered with produce as government-paid waste, surely there is a way to tap that abundant resource. We are so obese as a nation that surely food cannot be a scarcity. Starvation may be more of a choice than we think, even while I don’t want to minimize the harsh realities either. My point is, however, that there also are many more resources than we may think: Where there’s a will, there’s a way! And guess what? The survival instinct is absolutely strong. I think we all can agree about that! When people need to survive, they will get creative and solve the problems. I have faith in that! How about you?
D) Sprouting grains in glass jars can be done in any home kitchen. In a matter of just two days, we can have enzyme and chlorophyll-rich sprouts from sunflower seeds and legumes such as lentils, from alfalfa seeds, spicy-tasting radish seeds make a pungent salad addition, even wheat berries can be sprouted for baking... Just put the materials into the jar, moisten with water, shake and drain. Turn the jar onto its side (to give all seeds or grains as much sun exposure as possible) and set in a window for sun exposure. Keep the jar covered with cheesecloth (no lid) for aeration. Rinse daily and set back in the light. Tada! Done.
E) In Russia, people survived the economic crash by dachaus, or gardens. Granted they had more garden space than we do, but there still may be ways even for city communities to get by in this way. Think of rooftop gardens, unused public parklands, recreation areas, land patches in apartment complexes, land adjoining those same complexes which can be used for growing pumpkins, zucchini (very abundant yielder), butternut squash (extremely abundant and stores for months, as do pumpkins), tomatoes... Put in a fence taller than six feet high and deer will not be able to jump into the garden. I have also been told that deer don’t like the fuzzy stems on squash plants, and therefore to plant a border of them around a garden is to deer proof them. I don’t know if that is true, not having tried it myself FYI. You can also buy organic deer-proofing fertilizers from your local nursery store.
You can gopher-proof your garden by putting chicken wire into the soil underneath garden beds. Dig down, put down the wire and then top with soil, raise the beds and you’ve got a gopher-proof spot.
Plant the French Intensive method and you will have much more yield from your space than with other gardening methods:
If we are afraid that there is not enough land left for such cultivation of the great numbers in our population, let me suggest that those of us who have even a small plot of land can help those less fortunate than ourselves, by sustaining our own family as best we can. No doubt our gardens won’t yield enough to supply our entire needs, but we also can do a lot to help ourselves. The more we act locally to help ourselves, the more food there will be left to feed others. And the French Intensive method, as above, should give us a lot of hope, since the yield from each garden space will be much higher than in traditional gardens (see articles above).