Does anybody here have any significant experience in growing their own food? Not only that, but preserving this from year to year?
I’ve been having private conversations off and on and the consensus is that the ability and means to grow your own food is not what many seem to think it is. The lack of energy inputs (primarily fuel and fertilizers) means that home gardening will be woefully short of the caloric requirements for a working adult. The EROEI (energy return on energy invested) is negative.
So rather then debate what isn’t actually experienced by most of us, including me, I’d like to hear from those who have:
a) grown all of their own food;
b) and if possible, have done so without petroleum inputs (fuel and fertilizer);
c) and have stored enough of this food to make it through winter and reseed and plant for next season.
Those that have actually lived off their own land like this will be extremely valuable people – but do they even exist? Or is all the hype I’ve seen about growing your own food without petroleum input mostly bogus claims?
Many of us, including myself, live in short growing season areas. I see this as a major problem, always have. This can be extended somewhat with greenhouses and cold frames, but being brutally honest here, I’ll never be able to grow enough of my own food and I know it.
It is not hard to see that my situation is going to be repeated hundreds of millions of times in this country alone. Either climate, soil, drought or the sheer lack of available land (city dwellers) are going to have a very hard, if not impossible time, in growing all of their own food.
Frankly, I have never once met a single person that actually does this, anywhere. But that is meaningless, because I don’t know every person in the country. I know farmers, who use tractors, combines and fertilizers (who have also all been put out of business), but I do not know of a single person that actually grows all of their own food, relying upon no outside inputs. Even these farmers have told me in years past that they could not do it if it wasn’t for oil.
So speak up – if you grow all of your own food, or even a significant amount of it (over 50% would qualify as significant), then let’s hear about it. I’m sure we could all learn a thing or two.
Excluded (please) are the primitivists and survivalists who have harvested food off the land (plants and animals). This isn’t the same thing and certainly not possible but for a very tiny few. This has long been known by serious survivalists, including myself.