Decentralized Agriculture

Like every other social system, agriculture is vulnerable to the consequences of central control; but compared to money, manufacturing and education, the consequences are easier to understand, more direct, and potentially more catastrophic. Everyone understands that we need food on a daily basis in order to survive. Only breathable air and potable water are more immediate survival needs. If the security of anything should be of primary concern, it is that of our air, water and food; yet our diseased and decaying civilization is recklessly neglecting these essential elements of survival.

Most of us now recognize that giving greedy, soulless corporations and government agencies control over our food supply is a bad idea, as bad or worse than monoculture, where planting a single dominant crop throughout a large area invites disaster due to weather anomalies, infections, pests, and soil depletion. Corporations like Monsanto try to patent genetically engineered crops and animals so that they can monopolize the food supply, even though the supposed benefits of the genetic engineering are actually extremely harmful. Corporations are a greater danger to our food supply than all of the naturally occurring hazards combined. Government agencies like the FDA have been co-opted by these same corporations and now act primarily on their behalf rather than to protect public interests. They pretend to protect the public by sending SWAT teams to take out lemonade stands and natural organic food stores meanwhile subsidizing Big Agra, all at taxpayer expense.

Our dominant system of food production and delivery is highly wasteful, unhealthy, unethical and unsustainable. We’ve been sold the idea that bigger is better. Family farms have almost vanished from the American landscape, replaced by vast operations involving huge machines or hoards of migrant workers, supported by a vast array of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, and powered by imported oil through the entire cycle of planting, harvesting, processing, and transportation to markets.

Did you know that the average transport distance of food in your supermarket is about 1800 miles? Did you know that your supermarket can empty in a matter of a few hours in a crisis? Do you realize how much of the cost of food is for wasteful packaging and marketing propaganda? And what about food quality? Could it be that chemical pesticides and fertilizers, genetically modified seeds, hormones in animal products, artificial additives, toxins like mercury in high fructose corn syrup, MSG, Aspartame, etc., might explain the decline in health and life expectancy and the increase in obesity and health care costs in the US? Did you know that prostate cancer in places like Japan, China, India and Africa is about an order of magnitude less common than in the US? It is believed that our unhealthy food supply is the main culprit.

The dominant corporate/government controlled food system is dangerous and unsustainable. If you don’t take steps to disengage from it, you could be among the starving masses in the not-to-distant future. What are the decentralized alternatives?

Support local farmers

Buy locally grown products if offered by your grocer or from a farmers’ markets if there is one in your area. You can also get more directly involved in supporting local farmers through Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA.

Over the last 20 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a “membership” or a “subscription”) and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.

Grown your own food

Rooftop garden in Brooklyn

You can grow food anywhere

Plant a garden in your yard, on your building’s rooftop, on your apartment balcony or in window boxes; or even indoors with the help of efficient, wide spectrum LED lighting. Gardening techniques have become so well developed and refined that you don’t need a green thumb to be successful. Modern techniques such as raised beds, vertical gardening, companion planting, hydroponics, natural fertilizers and pest-control methods, all enhance your chances of growing an abundant supply of healthy food, even in a small space. Here are a few websites to get you started: Urban Garden Solutions and Vegetable Garden Basics. For more inspiration, see what this family in Pasadena has done: Path to Freedom – Homestead Growing Your Own Food Urban Garden

Go beyond gardening into all-encompassing permaculture. Take a tour of some permaculture projects: Urban Permaculture Institiute of the Southeast (part 2, part 3). For further inspiration, see how one million pounds of food are produced on three acres in Wisconsin.

 

Join or start a community garden

The American Community Garden Association will help you get started.

The ACGA recognizes that community gardening improves people’s quality of life by providing a catalyst for neighborhood and community development, stimulating social interaction, encouraging self-reliance, beautifying neighborhoods, producing nutritious food, reducing family food budgets, conserving resources and creating opportunities for recreation, exercise, therapy and education.

Get involved in social movements that support the paradigm shift

Oppose Monsanto along with 270,000 farmers led by the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, who filed a law suit in March to defend their right to protect themselves from Monsanto patents. Oppose the Obama Administation, who just appointed Monsanto’s Vice-President as senior advisor to the Commissioner of the FDA, the US Food Safety Czar.

Oppose Codex Alimentarius, which amounts to the weaponization of food.

Support Food First, an organization founded by Frances Moore Lappé, author of the best selling Diet for a Small Planet. It is devoted to eliminating the injustices that cause hunger. They understand that the our existing food system has been corrupted by centralized corporations and governments and therefore advocate decentralized solutions. They have been highly critical of World Bank and International Monetary Fund policies.

The return of the Victory Garden

Decentralized Agriculture is a vital component of the paradigm shift away from concentrated power and wealth and toward sustainability and liberty. Growing food locally reconnects us with nature and strengthens our sense of self-reliance, taking back our power and freedom from the predators and parasites in corporations and government who are as detrimental to society as the vermin and blights that infest and infect our gardens. Ironically, the US Government’s Victory Garden campaigns during the two world wars would be appropriate today, if we recognize who the real enemy is. Let’s add vegetable bullets to the silver bullets in our arsenal.

This is the fifth article in a series of eleven on the theme of decentralization: Fractal Sovereignty, Decentralized Manufacturing, Decentralized Money, Decentralized Education, Decentralized Agriculture, Decentralized Government, Decentralized Communication, Decentralized Security, Decentralized Energy, Decentralized Medicine and Decentralized Religion.

8 comments to Decentralized Agriculture

  • Naturespace

    I’m glad we are getting more articles about growing your own food. It really is amazing that a little seed can grow into a huge plant and provide so much food for us. It’s going to be very important to have an open pollinated seed bank when TSHTF.

  • project mayhem

    If you are going to start farming dont forget to get your CDL license and logbook so you can operate your tractor without the goverment putting you in jail

  • lastmanstanding

    pm…is full of shit, ignore his comment
    naturescape…start your OWN seed bank and begin ratholing heirloom seeds.

    invest in a canning setup (water bath and/or pressure canning)and use it.

    In the last 2 Sundays, I have canned 77 vessels of food. 30 quarts,47 pints… From my garden and other local growers. Beets (regular and pickled), Green beans (regular and dilly) carrots, 2 types of dill pickles…BY MY SELF.

    We have been eating greens from our qarden for over 3 months with several more to go. Our tomatoes and 5 kinds of squash are coming. Our sauerkraut is fermenting…we have cabbage on the way, peppers, corn, brussel sprouts, pole beans.

    If you can, you must find a way to feed yourself…IT CAN BE DONE!

  • Citizen Doctor

    Urban Roots Trailer. Urban Roots follows the urban farming phenomenon in Detroit. Urban Roots is a timely, moving and inspiring film that speaks to a nation grappling with collapsed industrial towns and the need to forge a sustainable and prosperous future.

  • project mayhem

    hey lastmanstanding, your saying Im full of shit? Why dont you look it up for yourself. The DOT wants to require all farmers to get a CDL licence to operate a tractor. My parents own a small family farm and they are very worried and very pissed about this seeing that the majority of there help is under 18 years old and not even eligible to get a CDL license

  • lastmanstanding

    pm…provide your own proof…i’ve farming and running heavy equipment for over 40 years and have never heard anything of the sort. A CDL is required to drive a truck and pull heavy equipment over a certain weight on a state or federal highway.

    Times are a changing, that is true…I ran JD and Allis-Chalmers tractors before I was 10 and was expected to do it well.

    Someone else who frequents this site questions those who “throw shit-bombs” with nothing to back it up.

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