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Thursday, October 30, 2014

ten percent


TEN PERCENT

On this big ‘ol ball of mud we call a planet, just ten percent of the place has arable land suitable for crop production.  There are several problems with this.  First, a lot of people who are not farming that land live on that land.  Right smack dab on a fertile chunk of land lies bowling alleys and movie theatres and homes.  This isn’t just here in the US but a leftover from the last seven thousand years or so when there wasn’t modern transportation but rather folks needed to be right next to the crops they planted.  You needed to roll out of bed and start hoeing your asparagus immediately.  In some places such as the Nile, you couldn’t do that because of the annual flooding that re-fertilized the ground.  You pretty much had ALL the arable land available for planting ( which is another reason they were the other successful long term empire ).  If transportation wasn’t an issue than neither would the amount of available land be.  But we are stuck with all that farmland being shared with non-farmers.  Which means that historically the great majority of the population lived on that ten percent.  What has happened recently was that as transportation became easier and more widely available people moved away from the ten percent of land and food was shipped to them.  But the 10% kept increasing in population at the same time.  So here is where we are today.  A LOT of population lives both on and surrounding the arable land we have.

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So, here is a very simple question for you.  What happens when fuel for transportation becomes scarce?  If you said “everyone living on crap land moves toward arable land in a desperate attempt at survival” you win a Bison Loyal Minion Brownie Button.  Follow the migration patterns in Africa.  It doesn’t matter if folks walk away for weeks towards a possible death by the hands of border guards, bandits or refugee camps.  To stay is certain death.  To go, at least a small possibility of survival exists.  This is the herd mentality you will see in our very near future.  Folks will gravitate towards farmland.  If you are there, you are a target.  The areas already overcrowded are going to get even more crowded.  You can take that to the bank.  Is that where you want to be living?  While it is true that growing food is paramount to long term survival, being in an area already overcrowded because its fertility and soon to be drawing far more people is NOT good for short term survival.  This is what keeps me sleeping soundly at night- I’m in a place nobody wants to be.  The few idiots that desperately cling to this area like piglets on a sow trying to suckle at the corporate left over wealth of mining will desert the place as fast as the money dries up.  You put so much effort into avoiding nuclear targets or natural disaster sites and have instead put yourself on ground zero so you can garden.  Good job.

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20 comments:

  1. I've read somewhere (link lost in CPU crash...) that 1 person needs to eat 25 squirrels or 5 rabbits a day for protein/calories. That includes guts and branz!

    A deer gives you 3 weeks worth of food but then you have to worry about spoilage.

    Elko is the sweet spot in junk land. Far from any large cities, nuc reactors, and has shallow water well depth.

    Gil

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  2. Farming has always been a bad deal. Farmers often end up pretty much as slaves. I'd rather live on tree bark and bugs rather than run to a farming area. SHTF there's going to be a lot of bad stuff happening in the farming regions.

    Glad you can sit it out in the desert. I'm too much of a water person myself. Unlike most arm chair survivalists, I have lived off the land -and it's a lot of work, but doable. Was not kidding about tree bark and bugs.

    Even so, the best bet is to hunker down and live off stored food until things settle down. Living off the land involves a lot of travel and that's plenty of opportunity to run into bad guys or have someone rob your homestead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So, since farmers are slaves, what I'm hearing is that anyone who encourages you to prep to farm is an agent of the elite slave owners. Paid prostitutes on par with FDR.

      Delete
    2. There were a few historical exceptions, such as the Yeomen of Brittan, etc. But yes, by and large farmers have to spend so much time hoeing the fields that they haven't the time to train to be proficient with the common muscle powered weapons of earlier eras.
      HOWEVER gun powder significantly changed that equation. Any slop with a couple hours to spare can become a soldier with a gun.
      Yeoman farmers were replaced by musketeers and riflemen. If it hadn't been for a frontier to expel them to most of the European kingdoms of the age of colonization would have fallen quickly. But there was a frontier- and those with the drive to be independent of the kings could migrate to them instead of creating a civil war for their freedom at home.

      Delete
    3. You always think of religious freedom or penal colonies for the New World arrivals. I've never thought of it from the Kings POV.

      Delete
    4. Consider current Mexico as a no-class-movement feudal plantation, where you can escape (with a wink-nod and Matricula Consular card from the MexGov consulate when you get to Portland) to the borderless fUSA, to join 30M+ of your co-linguals and countrymen expats.

      Those 30M Mexicans in El Norte are sufficient to change the gov't in Mexico City, but instead, they send billions South as "remittances" (sucking real wealth out of American hands).

      Delete
    5. Look at how most other mass migrations ( outside of US history ) have ended poorly for the arriving groups. You have to hand it to all the illegals for playing the corporations game, but at the same time, in time, using it to their advantage. They own a good three and a half states ( one half Texas ).

      Delete
  3. I'd love to hear mire on this subject.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I live in the eastern part of NC in a rural farming area. If collapse happens no more fertilizer deliveries and the only crops will be weeds. No fuel for tractors or fertilizer. They can rush here but they will starve just as quick as in the city. But in the short term you are right I will be over run and maybe in the stew pot anyways. Six bears might have the answer, stay around the water, easy to move around and lots of ways to get food.
    Great hair!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the answer is also to wait out die-off on crap land then move back after depopulation. It is dangerous, ya gotta do it smart like bring a bunch of slaves to quickly transition to intense/organic ( assuming no drought ) without machinery. And then you must fight to keep the land.

      Delete
  5. That's why junk land is so wonderful -- it's usually not very fertile.

    My homestead has zero top soil. Zip, zero, nada. We were under a glacial lake back during the last ice age. When Lake Missoula finally burst, all our top soil was taken downstream to Washington.

    So what to do.........STELTH GARDENING. Folks are more than happy for you to haul off their barnyard manure. We haul off truck loads and fill in low area on our property every year.

    A little spot here and a little spot there. After a few years, you can have quite a sizeable area.

    So right now I have a nice mid size garden that folks can see when they come visit. But at other various places in the woods, I have these nice grassy/weedy areas that are covering up to 2 feet of aged manure.

    So it will never be as easy as living near fertile farmland. But I can follow Ol' Remus' s first rule of survival -- Stay away from crowds.

    Idaho Homesteader

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You mentioned your gardening beds in a podcast, right?

      I've listened and your podcasts have good stuff for people planning on living in the poor soil west.

      Gil

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    2. You see, guys. IH is a lot smarter than she looks. You could take a lesson.

      Delete
    3. One Million Pounds of Food on 3 Acres
      Aquaponics. Look up youtube with that search and see a guy with 3 acres that produces 1 million pounds of food (Not all for human consumption) on 3 acres in WI. It gets COLD there and he uses compost to help heat the greenhouses. Aquaponics Baby!!! Extra parts, pumps etc. Also look up Aquadome at www.freedomsphoenix.com. It will come down to food and people.

      Delete
    4. Gil,

      You must have me confused with someone else. I don't do podcast. Heck, I don't even know how to upload a video to YouTube. No smart phone and I've never text before. Too many buttons.

      I just comment here and on a couple of preparedness forums


      Idaho Homesteader

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    5. High yield aquaponics has got to be a high input business. High fuel, high material input ( even if the fuel is indirect ). Give me a slingshot and I can starve out any Northerner with this kind of setup.

      Delete
    6. Ida

      Rats! There is a lady from Idaho that podcasts. I lost her link in my CPU crash. I was hoping that I discovered her here and you were her.

      She mentions that the Idaho soil is crap and it's best to just build soil on top by compose, etc. She said don't waste time trying to mix compose with the Idaho soil.

      She had 4-5 20 minute podcasts. I mainly remember the soil podcast. I saw your soil comment and hoped you were her.

      Gil

      Delete
    7. Bah! Whaddaya think the commie celestials did with all their starved farmers back in the early days of Maoism, other than eat them that is.
      Nowadays it's be like sacks of fertilizer wandering onto the plantation all by 'emselves.
      You gots to find the silver lining in these things, folks. :)

      Delete
    8. I like it, thinking outside the composting box

      Delete

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