by Cassandra Anderson
February 17, 2011
Food is a market that will always exist. Many people are turning away from industrial farmed food, seeking healthier choices and getting back to the basics.
Victory gardens in America produced up to 40% of all vegetables consumed during World War II. Over 20 million home gardens, apartment rooftop plants and community plots produced 9-10 million tons of produce; equal to the amount of commercial production at that time. The population during the war years increased from approximately 132 million people in 1940 to 140 million in 1945. Current US population is approaching 311 million people.
A family in Pasadena, California is making a living from selling produce grown in their yard to neighbors and restaurants. They grow 6,000 pounds of produce on 1/10th of an acre of cultivated land per year.
While organic food accounts for only 1%- 2% of all food sales worldwide, the organic market expands up to 20% per year. We believe that the organic market is small right now because of lack of education about health dangers of GE (genetically engineered) food and the lack of labeling of GE food. Most Americans don't realize that about 75% of their diet is GE. As Americans awaken, the demand for pure non-GE foods is increasing. Organic farming is not only healthier but yields can increase, pollution decreases and water use can be decreased (click here for an example).
Some Americans barter or sell produce grown in their yards to neighbors, farmer's markets, church communities, etc. You can earn extra money selling produce grown in your yard. Because there is a wealth of information on the Internet about how to grow produce in your yard, we will explore some other innovative ideas and suggestions for creating markets. There will always be a market for food.
Some Americans barter or sell produce grown in their yards to neighbors, farmer's markets, church communities, etc. You can earn extra money selling produce grown in your yard. Because there is a wealth of information on the internet about how to grow produce in your yard, we will explore some other innovative ideas and suggestions for creating markets. There will always be a market for food.
- Start a vegetable gardening business. Many people don't have time to garden but will pay you to do it or to get them started.
- If you live in an apartment but want to plant a garden, consider planting in a neighbor's yard. Many homeowners would love to have someone tending their land and sharing the the fruits of your labor. This can be a a pure barter system and you can both save money on food costs.
- Community supported agriculture (CSA) is a delivery service direct from a farm. You can create a market by enrolling family, friends, advertising on Craigslist, social networking, and tapping into other networks like schools. This is also a good way to help farmers to decrease market dependency. And if there is a food shortage, the farmer will likely give you preferential treatment because of your support.
- Stockpiling food reserves that can be sold or traded during shortages, price hikes and inclement weather are a good investment. Seeds may also be a wise investment.
- Root storage cellars can be used to store food like potatoes and canned goods in areas where there are harsh winters. Neighbors can contribute to storage and withdraw food as it is needed or it can be sold. Baking and canning are valuable skills.
- A company in Oregon started a business for remote farming; people choose their crops which are later shipped to them. If you have fertile land, you can create a market on the internet.
- Bees have been dying off at an alarming rate and could destroy America's farmlands because there won't be enough to pollinate crops. This is most likely due to the use of harmful pesticides. Problems present opportunity. Some entrepreneurs in Europe are creating bee colonies in urban areas and selling honey. Empty rooftops are wasted real estate.
- Vermiculture (raising worms to compost) provides extremely nutrient rich fertilizer or "black gold". The worm castings can be used to create "worm tea" that acts as a natural insect repellent, fungicide, soil conditioner and increases water retention in the soil. Feeding the worms also helps reduce landfill refuse. Vermiculture can bring in some income.
- Bats are a source of natural fertilizer, are great pollinators and they eat many farm pest insects. You can build bat houses to attract them as their habitats are dwindling; this is a way to enhance your produce.
- Become an expert and conduct workshops.
- Make natural skin care and personal care products.
- Petrol based fertilizers pollute water and cause dead zones. An alternative is kelp fertilizer, which is used successfully in Norway and Japan. You can become a distributor for existing organic fertilizers and create a small scale garden or larger scale multi-farm distributorship business. Or if you have more time and capital to invest, opportunities may be available in production.
- If you live in a rural area with few government regulations on producing and selling alcohol as fuel, it makes sense to grow crops for this purpose because fuel will always be in demand. Sugar and starch based plants are the easiest to break down into ethanol. It is important to research all local, state and federal regulations first (I was advised that in California it would cost around $200,000 to start a commercial or co-op fuel station and there are numerous permits required; other states are less restrictive and hypocritical). David Blume's book 'Alcohol Can Be A Gas' is a good place to start to learn the ins-and-outs of ethanol production.
- Wall Street is gambling by speculating in food and driving up the prices with derivative "investments".
- Monopolies control markets, fix markets and manufacture shortages that don't exist. In fact, two California dairy farmers committed suicide in 2009 because of debt incurred due to low dairy prices that may be linked to market manipulation.
- Regulations prohibit the free market in many cases. For example, the falsely named Food Modernization and Safety Act will hurt independent and small farmers with excessive reporting requirements (the Tester Amendment, supposedly meant to help small scale farmers requires excessive reporting to get an exemption). Another example is Cabbagegate: a home gardener was apparently producing too much food so the county of Dekalb slapped him with a $5000 fine; there is legislation being introduced in Georgia to prevent further ridiculous incidents like this one.
- Imported food has flooded the market because globalists want populations to be dependent on other countries for food because the globalists control trade between countries through the World Trade Organization.
- Manufactured water shortages are another cause of shortages. California, which provides 50% of America's vegetables, fruits and nuts, fell victim to globalist designs on its water. The federal government owned one of the main pumps and cut water allotments to farmers, supposedly to save smelt and salmon. Later, it was determined that the main cause of the fish die-off was high ammonium levels due to partially treated sewage flushed into the Delta daily. The other problem is that new reservoirs need to be built to retain more water. However, this fact has not deterred the globalists and the feds are merely trickling water out to the farmers, while excess runoff water is wasted and flows into the Pacific Ocean. This is a perfect example of planned incompetence and bureaucracy gone wild.
- Weather events can also devastate crops.
America is resource rich. It is absurd that there should be food shortages, but human greed and lust for power have put the American food supply in a precarious position.GENETICALLY ENGINEERED VS. NATURAL FARMING
People want to eat healthy foods and are waking up to the fact that most food in America is tainted. GE crops can contaminate other plants. GE farming increases pesticide and herbicide use dramatically, which pollutes water sources.
- Genetically engineered food can cause health problems and people just don't want it. However, the FDA and USDA have blocked labeling of GE food, so most people don't realize that about 75% of the American diet is made up of GE food.
- Many people don't want to eat food grown with harmful pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilizers; GE crops use many times more herbicide than organic or conventional crops. The benefit to farmers of GE crops is more pesticide and herbicide use cuts down on manual labor and costs in the short term (weeds later become resistant to glyphosate spray), but they pay later with the eventual emergence of superweeds. Additionally, the Monsanto Technology Agreement is a binding contract that makes the farmers liable for all damages, including contamination.
In closing, many homegrown food production opportunities exist that benefit farmers, gardeners and consumers. The demand for healthy local food is expanding at a rapid pace.
Please visit Alt-Market.com for more inoovative ideas about how to break away from the grid.