Can The Small Farmer Feed The World


While continuing  to look for ways to make contact with other people in different parts of the world who are practicing  what we here call by many names; subsistence farming, sustainable living, hobby farming, organic gardening, small scale farming ; to use a few I found this article in Mother Earth News about feeding the world from small organic plots  On my first read I became excited by the report that in Russia we have 35 million families feeding the country on 20 million acres.  That is just over a half acre per family.  That is probably about what most of us mow far a lawn. Assuming of course they live on theirs and have a couple of out buildings.   This would mean that not only are they feeding their own family but they have some left over to market.  I’m sure not everyone lives in a agricultural setting!  Then I realized I have no idea how many are in the average Russian family.  Or what the total population is even.  It seems there might be some needed information left out!  I found it exciting because at least in my mind from what I pick up on the news and other public sources we are exposed to that Russia is a vast pretty much empty land mass with very little farmable land.  The feeling I get from the news is that even today the Russian economy is not all that great.  Empty supermarket and department store shelves were shown all over the news not terribly long ago.  So is it true or smoke and mirrors?



NATIONAL GEOGRAPIC RUSSIAN SUMMER They kind of resemble us don’t they?

Here is another one for you;  Pretty much the same thing, different numbers a little different slant on things but they also throw in the information that the Russian government GAVE every citizen X amount of land to do with as they please.  WHY?  Why did the government give it to them and why did what appears to be the vast majority decide to farm it.  Was it out of a national love of farming or a more basic need to eat.  If I remember correctly and it was about the time this happened that Russia was going through some pretty serious food shortages.  Now there is motivation for you.  I am not at all certain but I don’t believe their welfare system is very strong either.

I guess if nothing else it proves that given the opportunity and or the need there is a lot more food that could be produced around the world than is being produced. And according to both of these articles without the need of the GMOs, herbicides and pesticides that are so prevalent in our country today.  That is if we accept all the information given in these articles at face value.  To be fair there was another article that I cannot find now that drew a much less rosy picture but it was written a couple of years earlier.  Also it was obviously written by an academic and maybe someone trying to make a point in the other direction.  I cannot find that paper now or I would list it as well.

Now this brings me to what is for me at least the real point of this writing.  If here in the Good Ole USA the government suddenly gave us all 5 acres and a mule as the practice was at one time would it make a beneficial difference?  Let’s be clear!  They can’t, the government does not own all the land here.  At least we don’t know it if they do.  But If it happened how many of us are even remotely prepared to be self supporting in an agricultural sense?  How many would even have the desire to try to make a go of it if necessity presented itself?  Or how many of us would immediately begin looking for other means to obtain what we needed?

The thought of what our world would be like if the necessity of self sufficiency suddenly became real scares me badly.  A man that Pauline works with said if all the grocery stores closed up he still would eat.  He would just take his gun and go kill a deer or bear or whatever else is out there.  I can’t help but wonder what he thinks the other thousands of people in this area are gong to be doing as well.  Or how long will it take to deplete the deer population.

Are these two articles true?  I hope so?  Just the thought that our food sources could be improved upon and be more efficient and without the use of all the many chemicals that harm the world we live in is encouraging.

That is a large part of the motivation I have for being here.  Should it become needed not only could we feed ourselves, Pauline and I, but a  good chunk of the kids and their families as well.  With everyone pitching in as well.  Now housing would be a little tight but we could eat.  That is what this is about.  As the song says;  (I ain’t asking nobody for nothing).

Well you have a good one and I just wanted to give you something to think about before you go to bed.  KIDDING

If you did not read the two articles do so.  They are short and good food for thought.


PS still have not been able to make contact with people live similar lifestyles in other parts of the world.  If you have any thoughts on how please let me know.  Or if you happen to be one either here or somewhere else, reports say I have readers from all over, contact me.  PLEASE


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