A little more than a year ago I had a feeling that seemed like a word of knowledge about the future as it pertained to water. In that moment the thought being downloaded to me suggested that water, in the years to come, would be more valuable than gold and silver. Over the years I have had several of these “God thoughts” that randomly place themselves at the forefront of my conscious mind. They seem very important at the time and I always share them with a friend or two before they are packed away as if in waiting for the next piece of the life’s puzzle I live.
So it didn’t come as much of a surprise when I read an article a month or two ago about water rights in some of our western states. Seems like you can be arrested for collecting rain water in buckets in those states because laws enacted years ago give other people the rights to water in the air and by not allowing it to go into the ground and supposedly feed the streams and rivers, you are depriving them of this resource. This is still true even though scientific studies have shown that most of this water is absorbed into the ground and never makes it very far.
Another article I read that seemed to make my point as well, told of how many big corporations are buying land in other countries and in so doing are also buying the water rights as well. I got the feeling that these mega-businesses know a lot more than the general population.
All of this water-thought got me wondering about our food supply chain—what with agribusiness consolidating much of it’s crop production in areas like California which is experiencing some historic drought conditions.
When I moved to North Carolina in 1978 I worked as a carpenter for the first year and then took a job with the US and for a brief period in 1979-80 became a quality control person for the census. I had three mountain counties—Ashe, Allegany and Watauga—which were mine to scope out and do some preliminary work which would them be used by the bureau to qualify the people who actually did the door to door work later on.
During this time it seemed like I traveled every road and showed up in every nook and cranny that each county had to offer. One thing I noticed was that Allegany County had lots of dairy farms. In talking with someone from their Ag. Extension program, it is estimated there were well over a hundred dairy farms in Allegany county in the 80’s. There are currently 5 left.
Another scary piece of info: A web search for milk production led me to the fact that California produces 25% of the milk that is consumed in the United States. Guess what is going to happen to the price of milk.
The conclusion I have come to is that if our mountain counties were cut off from the rest of the world by a national emergency, we would not be able to provide food for our current population. I would venture a guess that many counties in America are in much the same boat, due in fact to the green revolution and agi-business consolidating much food production in just a few locations throughout just a few states.
And this my friends is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
I am not a “prepper”—but I do like to be prepared. Last year between the rains in Boone and the outrageous deer population, I barely harvested any beans or peppers or tomatoes.
This year, Sandi and I will buy a 20 x 36 foot hoop house/cold frame and begin the process of growing stuff undercover. Not only will we keep the deer away (they eat upwards of 7 pounds of food a day) but we will extend our growing season by a significant amount as well.
This is, as I see it, the future—people taking back the business of growing food square foot by square foot until our entire country is back in the food production business and growing heirloom crops to boot. Monsanto better watch their p’s and q’s cause growing food should not be something that any one or two company’s have a patent on.
And that’s my ride for today.
I’m glad I have friends like you who grow food. Keep up the good work. I’m hoping to grow ‘shrooms in my yard since it is entirely wooded, but I haven’t a clue how to do it. When we took this lot back in ’91, there was a trickling spring; it disappeared when James Parsons excavated for our basement, and he must have done some diversionary tricks. We’ve got a well, but it pumps the water from 600 ft below. So we may have to find that trickle again someday.
While Monsanto may be Goliath, you are one of many David’s who will preserve and continue the millenia-old practice of folks growing their own food.