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Urban Adamah is a residential leadership-training program for young adults that integrates urban organic farming, social justice work and progressive Jewish living and learning. In his Northern California farm, Israeli-born farmer Shahar Caspi is doing the extraordinary: growing food with a fraction of the water even drip-irrigation agriculture consumes. 2016 Capital Campaign AppealLearn more about our Capital Campaign or click below to donate. Organic farmers rely on natural methods to keep the soil healthy and control weeds and insects.
Past articles have talked about what crops to grow, and in some cases how to raise a particular crop and so on. People living in the United States at the beginning of the 21st century are consuming more food and several hundred more calories per- person, per day than did their counterparts in the 1950’s, according to the USDA (USDA, 2000). In 2000, the average person consumed on average 195 pounds of meat yearly, which included red meat, pork and poultry, while only, consuming on average 15 pounds of fish. The study was conducted in 2000, so in all likelihood the calorie consumption and meat consumption has changed. What is a healthy weight, that is a question for another day and only you and your health care provider can answer that. The point of the data is to point out that modern farming, food processing and readymade foods along with technology has made food readily available. The study did not point out however, that even though food is readily available for various reasons, it is not free.
Backyard gardeners today have fertilizers, pesticides and soils bought in bags that virtually guarantee results. The Internet is full of stories of people claiming they can support a family of four on a A? acre of land while others say it takes A? acre while still others say it takes a full acre.
Today if your tomatoes look like weaklings, you give them a dose of fertilizer, spray for fungus and pests, and talk soothingly to them. You go to sleep dreaming of that beefsteak tomato slice on your hamburger at tomorrow’s barbecue.
Imagine your food supply is down to six months, it takes that long or even longer in some cases for a crop to mature if it matures at all.
It seems like that ten minutes after planting the seeds weeds have already sprouted to compete for the nutrients and water. Your research has shown that growing foods organically today means you will have at least a 25 percent reduction in yields, so for every ten plants you put in, 2.5 of them will die or be destroyed by insects, animals, or simply not yield at all. When people stopped producing as much of their own foods shortly after the Second World War, people’s waistlines increased, (look up victory gardens). The overuse of pesticides in today’s gardens has reduced the number of bees, so much to learn so little time. It is not this articles’ intent to scare anyone, or to prove it can or cannot be done, but to simply point out there is more to growing your own food in crisis than just having a trowel and a packet of seeds. Get your pencil sharpened and begin now planning for when you do have to survive on your wits and skills alone.
If you need a little inspiration to get started growing your own food, this is it!  The Food Growing Summit will happen five evenings next week and feature such inspiring speakers as Joel Salatin, Vandana Shiva, Dan Susman and more.  You may not have heard of some of the long list of speakers, but their efforts are inspiration to everyone to grow your own food and learn why your local food economy is so important.

Each evening March 3rd through 7th, these farmers, home food growers and community activists will share their experiences of how to grow food simply at home and how that makes our families and communities stronger.  And it’s totally free!
Full Disclosure: Affiliate LinksWe do use affiliate links in some pages and posts on this site. Deploying techniques both new and old, his approach may soon be a model for the rest of our drying state. A question and answer session will follow the presentation and light snacks and warm drinks will be provided. Growing up in a desert climate ingrained the importance of water conservation and sharing of the harvest into Shahar at an early age. These methods take more work, but they’re usually better for people, animals, soil and the environment. Take the FREE & fun all about Growing Food quiz and download FREE all about Growing Food worksheet for kids.
This article however, will attempt to point out a few things that some of you may not have considered about your food and raising your own during an extended crisis. In the year 2000, 62 percent of adults were considered overweight, but not necessarily considered obese. The availability of foods can logically be considered one of the reasons for the growing problem of obesity in the country. In a SHTF situation how well you eat will be directly related to how much effort you put into it, along with having the right skills, knowledge and the plants themselves.
You have a reasonable expectation of yields even though you have just a basic understanding of gardening. You will not know until you know, because you cannot use the standards of today to predict what the results will be in the future. The squirrels, rabbits, deer and other animals know their place so your crops in the backyard are swaddled in comfort and safety. All the other foods for the gathering were bought at your local grocery, so gardening for some if not for many today is not a life or death struggle. You plant the seeds in soil that is dubious at best because you have no idea what contaminates may be in the soil.
The figures may be conservative because now you have a water problem, a bigger animal and insect problem and your seeds even though they were canned and sealed may not be what you thought. Was it because the troops came home, and houses were built in record numbers during this period? Make sure your seeds will still germinate a month, year or two years from now by knowing the shelf life. He carries a degree in agriculture from Hebrew University in Jerusalem and currently resides with his family in Oregon House, California. These chemicals have helped produce more food in some cases, but they can cause problems too. Soon, though, the soil loses its nutrients and the farmers must cut down more trees for more soil. This is 500 calories above the 1970 level and 800 calories above the record low in 1957and 1958” (USDA, 2000).

According to some experts today however, the consumption of meats is down compared to 2000. You have no fertilizer other than the scraps from your last meal and water is always a problem because you cannot count on rainfall. The lonely tomato is now in a life or death struggle, for water, nutrients and even sunlight and how well it does may determine if you will survive or not.
Knowledge and skills cannot be bought in a can and what about seed harvesting for future crops.
There Shahar manages a vineyard in addition to growing food for the community of Oregon House.
Cheek to cheek, the houses sprang up, no room for victory gardens anymore but that was okay because food was plentiful at the local market. Will bees even survive (you will need bees more so then ever) or will the population be reduced after a catastrophe, questions that cannot be answered right now. Who are you going to call when that survival pack of seeds is nothing more than a container of duds when the SHTF. My first year, I just got a bunch of lettuce seeds, kicked up the mud, sprinkled the seeds on the ground, and kicked some more mud over the top.
Irrigation is something you must consider as well, unless you want to carry water in clay pots and dribble a little on each plant, and where will the water source come from.
Keep in mind what you use today may not be relevant during a crisis, so you have to adapt as the situation changes. The English are very good at gardening, with their straight lines and bits of string, but that’s not me. For the first year, that’s not bad.If you have a go at something easy like lettuce, then grow some squash or pumpkins next time. If I’m growing an apple tree, it will take a year or two to get one or two apples, and it will take another 20 or 30 years to get a lot of apples.There’s enough food in that seed to keep it alive. If I put a seed in cotton wool in a bit of water, it would start sprouting and growing for about eight days.
Then it runs out of fuel, and it has to start drawing from the soil.You plant one apple seed in the ground, and it turns into a sapling.
Then, when it’s a little bigger you plant it in some half-decent soil, in a little spot in the garden.
Before you know it, you’ll be 10 years older, and you’ll have 100 of these babies, but you’ve never really given it much care. Anything that grows on a tree is pretty low-maintenance.This is really clever stuff going on here.

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