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March 7, 2011, 04:33 PM
[ quote ] I have one question: even if the worst oil crisis occurs - will USA see Zimbabwe type inflation? The chances are very close to zero. So why worry and spend time on building a garden and starting a co-op? These are low return strategies. But they are highly time intensive too. Time intensive + low returns = bad idea.

Your time can be put at other better uses. To earn more than food prices will ever increase. [ end quote ]

Ah-ha...the sobriety and innocence of youth.

Ankesh you are a forward thinker and quite brilliant - proven by your intuitive postings here....but....

your youth may be against you a bit.

Old timers (I am in the same age bracket as GJA) who have experienced the rough times of yesteryear know that it is not just inflation but a matter of supply....doesn't matter how many millions you have if there is nothing to buy.

The oil crisis would slow down and could possibly even interrupt the supply chain leaving not just a scarcity but a total lack....if the farmers have no petrol the crops don't get harvested - at least not in a quantity to supply....could you imagine trying to harvest even 10 acres of wheat by hand let alone thousands.

Those paying attention will find solace in Gordon's words but not just because of just the possible oil crunch....in as little as a possible 10 years....

The plains will no longer produce and the population will lose about 20% of its wheat and corn production....the aquifer (which is non-replenishing) they are drawing from is estimated to go dry by then if the consumption stays at the same rate, but may be extended to 60 years if the water is managed wisely.....but the end game is the same - the water will run out and the dust bowl will return.....and then throw in the wild card...billionaire Pickens buying up all the properties with water rights and piping the water to populated centers as they run dry...thus shortening the term.

Low return strategies? Yes on a monetary basis, but not on a survival basis.

When I was a kid we had 2 acres of garden......it provided our food pretty much all year except for meat (produce that could be frozen was frozen and others stored in a root cellar)...but the excess that we didn't need was either bartered for eggs and chicken or sold to others and that money used to buy other meat forms, flour, yeast (and when there wasn't yeast then sour dough).

It is now March and in 5 days I will be germinating seed for this years garden. I am down to my last few meals now from last years garden - each of the 3 years the supply from the years garden has been extended to last longer. The last 3 years were experimentation years with the garden, and this year, providing the world doesn't go bust in the next 3 months (read as oil shortage and materials needed not readily available) I will be breaking ground on a geodesic dome. If my calculations are correct, and I believe they are, then this dome will provide me with food year round....with no reliance on anyone else, or any outside forces other than Nature for the food.....as long as the sun shines and it rains just a little my family will eat no matter what the economy. And the bonus is it is not genetically modified garbage where all the nutrition has all but been removed - I only grow using heirloom seed and organic methods.

I was going to run another experimental year prior to the dome, but the deciding factor to move on it this season was the prices that are in effect right now for produce....tomatoes have almost tripled and lettuce has tripled....that due to the freezing temperatures that destroyed the crops.....however the cost of gas also entered the scenario because as it climbs the additional transportation charges will be reflected in increased prices ( in the last 3 weeks gas has climbed here from $5.03 per gallon to $5.67 as of yesterday - I haven't been out today to see if it has climbed even more).

Low return strategy...mayhaps financially.....garden saves me about $3000 per year....last week I had to purchase carrots, tomatoes, peppers, and string beans for the first time since last spring...and while the prices were shocking the real disaster was that I was forced to buy tomatoes, peppers, and green beans grown in Mexico. But on the plus side (non-financial) I spend on average 1 hours a day in the summer months in a tranquil setting with Nature and all the inspiration it provides (better read as quiet time for ponderance and the flow of new creativity). With the dome I anticipate and look forward to spending much more time in a tranquil and creative setting.....not that it will take much more time to maintain, but that it will be a year round haven where in the middle of our northern winters I can sit in Nature with the laptop and just enjoy.

Bad idea...in my opinion not so....I feed my family no matter what transpires, I get a little exercise, spend part of my day basking in a tranquil setting (after the gardening chores are done) all while tending to internet business....for me it is a win/win.

There is one drawback for me with moving gardening into the dome.....the local critters that visited the garden won't be there to keep me company. Last summer I had an 8 foot snake prowling the garden looking for a meal of voles while I was working in it..he/she was only a couple of feet away and was a regular visitor to the garden.....and then there were the 2 baby cottontail rabbits who had taken shelter from the summer heat in the shade of the cucumber plants leaves and just laid there contentedly watching me go about my business, not to mention all the other little insects, etc., that I enjoy mingling with and watching as they carry on their daily and nightly life....these things I will miss.

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