There will be shortages of food at some point in this economic mess .
...we have a good bit stored away. We have most everything we need for a good couple years while we work toward expanding things even further with what we grow and do here on the land. By no means what we do here now is all we plan on doing. It is a constant evolving work in progress and i think it always will be.Sugar will keep about five years in sealed glass jars with some dessicant on top.
No need to go tradeing your hard earned stuff just for thet.
I wonder. How many times have there been food shortages in the US in the past ... say 100 years? Or 200 years? Under what circumstances have there been food shortages elsewhere in the world and do any of those circumstances seem likely in the US in the next few years?
There WAS nation wide food shortages!
I raise bees.. havent heard that one yet about the colony colapse. The veroa mite sounds like the problems you describe...they are attached to the bees and live off them.. you can use powdered sugar to get rid of them because the suction cup feet cant continue to hold on...The last I heard about the bee die off was due to a virus of some sort... There are tracheal mites that live in their trachiea and there is many many other diseases and problems with bees that can cause them to die.Re: Bees Dying
Although I do live in the city once a year we have a fair and farmers come from all around to educate city folk on how farms work. You get to see cows, pigs, sheep and bees. The bee guy told me all about why the bees are dying off. It turns out there is a mite that sits in the bee. When it hatches it eats the wings of the bee. The bee can't fly and it dies.
Apparently almost all bees in North America now have a mite. It will wipe out a hive unless you do one of two things. The first is to blow tobacco smoke on the hive. All the bees and mites pass out and fall to the bottom of the hive. You put a mesh at the bottom and the bees stay in while the mites fall out. You can also do the same with icing sugar. It makes the feet of the mites clog and they can't stay on the bees.
He even had some mites living in his glass display hive to show how it works. There were indeed wingless bees. He said as long as you do the tobacco thing your hives will be fine.
He also said that each box or colony has a minimum size. If you put too few bees in a box they will all die. Since farmers pay by the box lots of bee keepers have been putting too few bees in each box. The farmers never check the boxes because they don't want to get stung. As long as they see a few bees coming out of the box they assume it is full and never take the lid off to check. As a result these "cost cutting" measures are leaving many bee keepers with no bees.
I kept the guy's card because his honey was awesome and I kind of wanted to do a cooking blog on honey and bees. For those of you who have farms he says bees are easier to keep than any other farm animal. Even people in the suburbs with large back yards can keep bees and make home made honey. If you have a farm keeping a few hives ensures all your crops will be pollinated. He told me he always has queens for sale and can send them out.
Here's his card:
I don't know if you can mail bees to the United States from Canada but it might be worth looking into. If you've got a farm it might be worth a try?
To answer your question... I had about a quarter acre cleared last summer that I intend to start working a portion of this summer and get it planted... I plan to hopefully get an opperable green house up and if not will put up the 2 portible ones until I can get the place the stationary one will go. I have my place set up here for 2 routs... one I have it all set up for gardening with a garden tractor with a plow and disks etc. I also have it set that I can build in frames for raised beds and use them to grow in doing a square foot garden sort of option... All hand tools and no gas powered anything. I will be setting up the watering system this summer. I have a well and will be setting up drip irrigation into certain areas of the garden. It rains a lot here so water really isnt the problem up here, it is keeping the soil warm so the plants have time to grow. When I set up the green house I will set it that run off from the roof rain will go into an under ground holding tank and that will be able to be pumped back out into the garden by a 12 volt pump run off a solar/wind set up. There by if I have elec or not I will always be able to grow something... the green house will have a propane heater and back up of a barrel wood stove...