Thursday, April 7, 2011

Grow It, Eat It, OR ELSE! by Dale Johnson

Corn, wheat, soybeans, and rice feed the world. You can find them in almost every processed food. Meat and dairy products are made of them. For decades supply outstripped demand as production increased much faster than population. But things are changing. We are running out of land, water, oil, and other inputs. Yields are not increasing as fast as in years past. The population continues to grow and we are constantly finding new uses such as biofuels for these crops. Demand is now outstripping supply and prices for these commodities are skyrocketing. These prices will be passed on to consumers in higher grocery bills.

2001
average price
2011 harvest futures price
Corn
$1.89/bu.
$7.00/bu.
Wheat
$2.83/Bu.
$9.00/bu.
Soybeans
$4.43/bu.
$14.00/bu.
Rice
$5.00/cwt.
$15/cwt.
Is there a solution to this problem? Yes! Grow it! Eat it! In the past gardening has been more of a hobby. It made little economic sense to garden when produce in the grocery store was much cheaper than growing it yourself, especially when you considered your labor. But in the future, many people will find it economically essential to grow their own food. Most people have room for container vegetables and a salad table. A small back yard can produce fruits and vegetables from early spring to late fall. A few laying hens will utilize the refuse and produce eggs and manure for composting. A little more land can feed a dairy goat and some broiler chickens. A small farm can support bees and beeves. Set a goal now on how much of your own food you will grow and eat this year. Increase that goal next year. You will feel the relief in your pocketbook, you will bask in fresh produce, and your physical, emotional, and spiritual outlook on life will soar.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that is EXACTLY why I started my raised bed garden this year, and re-started my abandoned salad table. And I even thought to start small, hoping to increase my skills and garden size a bit every year.

    It's like you wrote my garden manifesto for me! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

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