re Survival Garden:This series is right on target

by Thomas
(Rural Michigan)

Until 5 years ago I worked in the high tech industry, but moved on to a small 5 acre farm with the goal of creating the self-sustainability you describe. At the time the primarily reason was a lack of faith in retirement planning based on financial investments alone.

I am now 55 and have learned, believe me the hard way, how to grow and preserve crops to provide maybe 25% of my needs on an annual basis. What I am interested in exploring is if I should start to specialize in a few crops and use the surplus to barter for with others, or to try and "do it all". For example I keep no livestock, so do I move in that direction or barter my veggies for eggs & milk, etc.

Looking forward to this series.

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Hey Thomas,

Congrats on an astute analysis of the perils of relying on money alone, and taking steps. That takes some courage to go against the conventional wisdom.

You and I are of an age, so you may remember the great underground comic by R. Crumb called The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers; to paraphrase Free-Wheelin' Franklin Freak, "food will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no food". (It's paraphrased because Franklin was referring to a certain combustible herb, but the principle applies.)

You raise a very good point about 'doing it all' versus specializing and trading. You will note in the original article I included your network of friends and neighbours as an important tool for survival.

I think we will have a better shot if we create or re-create our communities by seeking out like-minded people and planning and acquiring resources together e.g. do half a dozen small farms located reasonably close together ALL need a tractor? Or a root cellar; or any other relatively big-ticket item that might be shared. That goes for skills, and food, and other stuff. If I can trade a couple sides of pork for a quarter of beef, probably both parties benefit. And if one farm has a good set up for processing chickens, maybe we have a few group 'chicken-plucking days' to take care of everyone's flocks. We might also be each others 'first line of retreat' if/when needed

Of course this works best if the relationships are established before TSHTF.

regards,

Scott

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