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I Planted My Salad Garden Last Weekend, And It Looks Like One-Third of the UK Joined Me

By: Steve Johnson

4/11/2011 - 179 Comments

With food inflation approaching new highs around the world, millions and perhaps soon billion will be planting their own gardens.

According to a recent article more than a third of adults in Britain claim that they will grow the majority of all the vegetables and fruit they need this season.

I usually don’t begin planting this early, but over the years as my gardening knowledge has increased, my planting season has also increased.  Yesterday I planted by salad garden.

This year, I created a garden schedule to help me manage my planting and harvesting which has become too complicated to remember.  April 10th is the earliest that I have ever planted up here in central MN. 

My salad garden consists of foods like lettuce, onions, radishes, peas, carets, kohlrabi and spinach, most of which like to grow in the cooler weather, so I should be able to get away with this unless we have a late freeze.

With a growing family, twelve percent food inflation last year it’s time to start planting earlier. My garden schedule this year stretches 22 week, with some food getting replanted up to four times (like lettuce). 

I would also like to use the new acre of land I purchased a few months ago to double my food production.  A few years ago, I ran the numbers and realized that my garden at that time was worth about $3300 per years at $27 per hour.

These figures give me two ways to improve, I can increase the amount I produce and I can increase my efficiency by lowering the time I spend in the process.

Food Trends

The increase in food prices and the lengthening recession have created an increase in local farmers markets and community garden projects all around Central MN.  This year, we even have a new food co-op that just started up in my neighborhood. 

It will be interesting to see how the food co-op competes with local grocery stores that get most of their food from distant food producers.

Can small local food producers compete with distance large food producers?  Rising gas prices drive up both the cost to produce and to transport food, taking away the advantage of the efficiencies of larger food producers.  As gas prices increase, the closer your food grows to you the cheaper it becomes.

The high unemployment rate also adds to the equation, as idol labor begins to realize they can grow and sell food in their local community without filling out a job application.  And if they become proficient at it, $27 per hour is good money in Central MN.

Then add in the rich soil that we have in Central MN, and I expect nothing less than a gardening frenzy to sweep across the state – just as I predicted years ago. Unlike many other states, we could grow food anywhere even along the highways and roadways, and when the phony economy comes crashing down, we probably will.

A Free Market Solution

By the way, this is an example of the free market economy in response to the damage that Obama has done by intervention and spending. This is the free markets response to the governments solution to steal money from people through inflation. The free market is our friend because it puts money in our pocket. The liberal politicians that have taken control of much of the economy under the disguise of social welfare economics are not our friends because they take money out of the economy and leave everyone poorer.

The ability to freely redirect labor and capital to increase production of food to lower its cost can only be achieved with a free market driven economy.  Other nations that do have not these freedoms, because there government has complete control of food production or transportation, will not be as lucky.  They will suffer a much greater loss of wealth because of the food inflation that has just begun.  

This is a clear example of how the government intervention has again failed, causing food inflation as they continue to print money and spend more than we have.  The free market (what's left of it) is the solution. It always has been and it always will. 

The negative consequences of liberalism and its central planned economy are always greater than the consequence of the free market. Yet somehow we continue to elect people that believe in an economic strategy that is doomed to fail. 

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Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times

The decline of cheap oil is inspiring an increasing number of North Americans to achieve some measure of backyard food self-sufficiency. In hard times, the family can be greatly helped by growing a highly productive food garden, requiring little cash outlay or watering. This book shows any family with access to 3-5,000 sq. ft. of garden land can halve their food costs.

The Vegetable Gardener's Bible

Ed's system is based on W-O-R-D: Wide rows, Organic methods, Raised beds, Deep soil. With deep, raised beds, vegetable roots have more room to grow and expand. In traditional narrow-row beds, over half the soil is compacted into walkways while a garden with wide, deep, raised beds, plants get to use most of the soil. In Ed's plan, growing space gets about three-quarters of the garden plot and only about a quarter is used for the walkway. Ed takes a look at the individual growing, harvesting, and best varieties of a large number of both common and more exotic vegetables and herbs.

The Hyperinflation Survival Guide: Strategies for American Businesses

The Hyperinflation Survival Guide offers strategies for business managers to keep their enterprise afloat in the midst of runaway inflation. Within this succinct little book are a plethora of sensible business strategies for American businesses. If businesses are to survive they must effectively counter and minimize the ill effects of rampant inflation and/or hyperinflation. The utmost prudence is required in managing accounts receivable, inventory, and production at such a time. A sudden inflationary economic downturn may very well bring a business to its knees leading to insolvency.

How Capitalism Saved America

This book is an excellent presentation on the problems of government 'regulations' into free market mechanisms. This book illustrates simply and clearly how many chaotic economic problems were caused by interference from government regulations and how capitalism has overcome them. Master this book and you have overcome most of the bad economic thinking of our time. Government is the cause of capitalism failure.