Would you know how to feed yourself and your family if the local supermarkets were empty? There’s no shortage of information about gardening on the web. When you conclude that the system is hopelessly corrupt and predatory, that the question is when and not if it will collapse and bring down the food distribution system with it (as almost happened in 2008 when the commercial paper market froze) you’ll want to investigate local food varieties. According to The Future of Food http://www.personalgrowthcourses.net/video/gmo_food_genetically_modified 97% of the vegetables in north america at the turn of the last century are now extinct. That seems excessive, but there’s no question that we are far too dependent on monocultures that require toxic chemicals, are vulnerable to insect infestations and which restrict our access to nutrients our species has eaten for thousands of years. The video World Without Cancer http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4312930190281243507 claims that a vitamin B17 which has vanished from western diets prevents cancer. The american cancer society claims this is quackery. Unfortunately one must always consider the economic interests of medical institutions when evaluating their proclamations. One must also consider how the industrialization of agriculture has affected the variety of commercial crops available. Personally I have no way of knowing if B17 is a real vitamin, but it’s a safe bet that the more we diversify our food intake the closer we will be to the diet our species has evolved to eat.
It’s also true that a great many weeds around here are actually edible and delicious. I eat lamb’s quarter with breakfast almost every day. I don’t have to cultivate it, it grows like crazy around here. Google “edible weeds” and you’ll get an idea of nature’s abundance and how ignorant we are of free alternatives to the system. Many “weeds” were probably on your grandmother’s table at one time or another. It would be a good idea to start trying to recover this lost knowledge while the web is still functioning. There are a few front yards in columbia which have kicked the grass habit and gone with cultivated biodiversity. Not only are they beautiful, many of them are probably largely edible. And no need for toxic chemicals or lawnmowers.
And then there’s chickens. A whole other story. But highly recommended especially now that columbia allows them in your back yard. Not only are they easy to manage, they produce excellent fertilizer and eat insect pests like ticks.
I’m kinda rambling here, but I wanted to throw in what I think is the most important key to future survival: meeting your neighbors. We have everything we need right here in mid-missouri if we can only unplug from the TV monoculture and rediscover why so much of our brain mass is so well adapted to interacting with human communities. Networks are the most robust form of chemical, biological and social organization. They are what life IS. What we are. Humanity has been infected with an ideology of hierarchy and uniformity, but that’s not how nature or physics works and it’s not sustainable. Sustainability requires diversity. Just ask an irish potato farmer.