Food Systems

Jeff Owens kowens at
Mon Mar 13 08:33:48 EST 1995

We have been trying to produce most of our food for a few years and
have found it to be a challenge.  So I thought it might be interesting
to talk about food systems.  In the last few years a lot of the tools,
techniques, plants, and concepts have changed.
We now have new concepts such as permacutlure, ecology, sustainability,
pollution, organic growing, Integrated Pest Management, etc.  This
presents two problems.

   1.  Finding and understanding information.
   2.  Applying information in a useful way.

For example, the US government finally recognized that our basic
ideas about nutrition was wrong, so they revised the food charts.
If we apply this information to food production, it says that
animals are less important to food production, and grains, vegetables,
fruit are more important.

Permaculture is telling us that us to utilize permanent plantings
for food.  They argue that it is better for the ecology, and is
less work.  To back up their claims they have identified some
of the important plants and sent teachers around the world.

Most of these new ideas are ideal for homesteaders.  In fact it
may be possible to make homesteading easier by using some of
this research.  So I have used these ideas to make some predictions.
Hopefully this might create some discussion.

1. Homesteading will trend away from using animals for food in the areas
   of meat and dairy.

2. Homestead plantings will include more permanent plantings which
   are disease and pest resistant.

3. Homestead plantings will become more diverse, and mono cropping
   will become less popular.

4. When the oil starts running out, the price of food will go up
   and homesteading will once again become a viable economic unit.

5. Areas with worn out soil will be converted to tree crops and
   other hardy plantings.  This will give rise to a new class
   of agriculture/homestead.

Well, this is getting too long so I'll quit here.  Any comments?

Jeff (vote with your lifestyle)

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