I’m all for the “know your farmer” family farm model. It is exploding across the country right now. Especially in the Dallas Fort Worth area.
I like it better than the GMO model of growing food for people for sure. The family farm model has many benefits when it comes to knowing what is in your food, health, community. And it is especially good for the local economy, and the finances of the farmer. But unfortunately it too, will not truly feed hungry people. Just like GMO farming it is lacking in major areas.
- With covid19 many people looked for alternative places to buy food, when food was hard to find on the grocery store shelves at the beginning of the pandemic. This created an explosion of interest in farm to family buying. The problem may be that not many people read history. Or that we are just so far removed from the reality of what it takes to live on the planet that we are ignorant nowadays of such real living.
- There are always exceptions, but the main issue with family farms is population vs the amount of people a family farm can actually feed. Prior to 1960, in the USA, a family farm fed about 26 people. And honestly, that is amazing according to historical agrarian standards (a single farmer fed 5-10 people). Today a GMO farmer feeds around 160 people. The population of the world was around 1.6 billion in 1900. This month it will cross the 7.5 billion mark.
- There just aren’t enough farmers, or will there ever be, to truly meet the need for people especially if things go crazy (truly no food in the grocery stores).
- Now don’t go thinking GMO farming is the way to go because it can feed a lot of people. The quality of that food is very suspect. Today’s food in the grocery stores (typically grown on a GMO farm) lacks nutrients because of the way it is farmed. It is a farming model that destroys soil fertility, poisons soil, and turns once fertile ground into deserts (actually with only a handful of exceptions, all historical agriculture has done, this but now our global population is larger than it ever was).
- Poor soil due to agriculture is a major proponent in making people sick because of the low nutrient density combined with high carbohydrates and refined sugars that is in most foods because of the processing that takes place with GMO harvests.
So what is a real solution?
For every person to take responsibility for themselves and their children by growing food. And then by helping their community with the surplus from their food growing pursuits. The surplus can be sold, doesn’t have to be given (there isn’t a take without give, in a balanced natural system).
I have a feeling many people don’t want to face these facts. Stick with GMO farming and continue to create soil deserts and sick people because of lack of nutrients. Or overload the family farmers where they can’t feed you. And if we rely on history as a possibility – perhaps crime sets in because people are starving.
Historically in many places warlords enslaved their enemies and turned them into the labor force to work the land to grow food. I’m certain no one wants this.
Is there another way?
Yes good design, where you can grow perennial based systems, in which your work becomes much less, while still producing your resources and creating soil fertility. And honestly there are even annual based nutrient cycling systems which can do the same on a homestead size.
How do you start?