Episode 60 S2-25
Traditional Farming, After the Oil Collapse
Without Land Ch 25
Morgan K. Wyatt
Morgan K. Wyatt grew up as a farmer's daughter in a time when kids worked the farm and modern equipment was not the norm. There were no chemicals sprayers blasting their crops. As she grew older she trained in horticulture and now teaches and trains these organic gardening techniques.
Morgan explains that one of our main concerns in a world where the global oil supply has been disrupted is seed stock. Advising that we should all have an ample supply of seeds on hand now, she goes on to explain that your seeds will last a long time if you freeze them. Drying the harvested seeds on a cookie sheet and then placing them in a zip lock bag, stored in a tupperware ensures they will not get freezer burn.
Morgan is also concerned that individuals accustomed to purchasing amended soil will no longer be able to do so. Never fear though because making your own amended soil is not very difficult. You can put manure on the fields in the fall with mulch. For dryer or clay rich soils you want to increase the amount of mulch because it will help to aerate the soil. Turn your soil over in the fall. Additionally, you can apply a variety of items to your soil to help improve the quality. For example, hair applied to the soil will provide nutrients and prevent birds from eating your seeds during sewing. Egg shells rinsed and ground will increase the calcium content of your soil. Coffee grounds applied to the soil are wonderful for tomatoes.
Variety is always good. You don't want to sew only one type of seed even within individual groups. For example you should have a few types of carrot seeds or tomato seeds. Research native farming techniques and draw from their examples. For example pole beans, squash, and corn can all be planted together. The beans help strengthen the corn stalks, the corn provides shade from too much sun and the squash deters animals who like to eat the corn. Marigolds can be planted along with your vegetables to help deter insects.
As far as maintaining your garden in a world after oil, Morgan explains that weeds are not always your enemy. Sometimes you can leave the weeds to help maintain moisture levels in the soil. Keep them trimmed down so your vegetables get most of the sun. If the weed becomes a competitor with your vegetable remove it. Never put weeds into your compost pile, try to discourage the weeds from going to seed and slowly cull them out of the soil. Healthy plants will also assist you with weed control.
Without a great big machine to harvest your farm for you it will have to be done by hand again. When planting try to sew in waves so that you can harvest in waves as well. Children will have to participate at harvest time as well and Morgan feels that a return to farming values may not be a bad thing. Our stigma against fruits and veggies with blemishes would have to become a thing of the past. These blemishes don't normally hurt the flavor of the fruit or veggie.
To deter mice, plant mint around your home and sheds. Mint grows like crazy and is suitable for most climates. Fox urine is also a good deterrent for mice.
Garlic and onions planted around your potatoes will help to deter ground rodents from eating the potatoes.
Benefits of Having your Own Garden
You actually know what you're eating. Additives included in today's farming practices are having an effect on people's bodies and childhood development.
You are saving money by producing your own food.
You are making a statement to food processors that you are not eating their products.
Gardening is good for your connection with the planet. It's relaxing, healthy and does some great things for your body like reducing blood pressure.
Start developing your gardening skills today. You can get your children involved in a 4-H program. There are lots of county classes offering gardening and canning instruction. You local library has a wide variety of books on the topic. The internet is bursting with tips and instruction. Take the time to get to know your local farmers and support their efforts.
You are going to need seeds! There are prepper kits available on Amazon, start there. Eventually, you want to be able to harvest your own seeds. There are also seed co-ops in some communities where you can go and trade your seeds with other farmers to expand your seed variety. Morgan also recommends having a good shovel, hoe and rake on hand. She recommends shopping for them at the thrift shop. Lots of times good equipment that people abandoned can be found there.
Featured Quote From Today's Chapter:
"I thought we were rescuing people, not conquering them."