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Old 04-10-2019, 06:09 AM
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Default Could You Garden Successfully in Venezuela's Grid Down / Collapse Conditions?



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That really cuts to the heart of EP gardening in my opinion. They are not in a true EMP type grid down, but given their circumstances they are essentially living much that way. Must be horrible. It could last for years.

That's why I survival garden for the most part like I'm in a grid down existence.

I address that in this latest post to my blog

https://growingfromscratch.com/2019/...la-nightmares/


"Can you imagine living in Venezuela right now?

More importantly….. have you ever imagined living like that? Have you ever seriously stopped to think about the ramifications of an economic collapse? Your money is virtually worthless. Wide ranging power blackouts, almost no food, eating pets and whatever stray animals can be obtained. They are essentially in a grid down existence, the very type of which I write about here. Recent online articles featured dramatic headlines such as “Venezuelans Return To Middle ages”. I’ve always viewed the scenario of a power grid catastrophe as returning us to the 1800’s rather than a time of peasantry. Give or take a few hundred years, the dire meaning is the same.

For their city dwellers, it must be a living hell. But I wonder how the rural folk are doing? Not the bigger farm operations. They are surely suffering. But what of the common ......"


Blackout in Caracas ... the real deal. The garden center is closed.

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Old 04-10-2019, 06:30 AM
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If there was ever a "**** has hit the fan situation", I'm pretty confident this is it. I don't know if any of us have been alive to see something similar.

Your observations are spot on. Like you, gotta wonder about the rural folk. I think though, they farmed/farm without machinery? I think I recall reading about that. Something about after the gov takeover, diesel became so expensive, they just went back to doing everything by hand?
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:56 AM
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If there was ever a "**** has hit the fan situation", I'm pretty confident this is it. I don't know if any of us have been alive to see something similar.

Your observations are spot on. Like you, gotta wonder about the rural folk. I think though, they farmed/farm without machinery? I think I recall reading about that. Something about after the gov takeover, diesel became so expensive, they just went back to doing everything by hand?
The focus of the blog is more in regards to the gardening aspects rather than the farming. I wonder where these folks are getting seeds for example. Was their soil managed to not require amendments purchased from the store etc. No doubt the machinery / diesel dependent growers are already irrelevant.
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:14 AM
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Looting of the farms is another matter. The article was written with our Venezuelan counterparts in mind, the backyard gardeners.
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Velvet Elvis View Post
The focus of the blog is more in regards to the gardening aspects rather than the farming. I wonder where these folks are getting seeds for example. Was their soil managed to not require amendments purchased from the store etc. No doubt the machinery / diesel dependent growers are already irrelevant.
It is a rural tropical country area that we are talking about. People have had gardens there for millennia. People under such conditions usually manage to find a way. Some tropical crops are grown from cuttings. There are many fruit trees. there is often the emergence of black market and bartering that occurs when there are shortages due to break down of normal commerce.
Elvis you are asking very specific questions from us that mostly live in the USA so we can not answer from direct knowledge and must speculate.
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Old 04-10-2019, 11:12 AM
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Elvis you are asking very specific questions from us that mostly live in the USA so we can not answer from direct knowledge and must speculate.
I can see I may need to edit the thread title. The “conditions” referred to is not the growing climate/ geographic region, but financial collapse, the inability to depend on store bought goods to aid in growing. That’s what the article is about.
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Old 04-10-2019, 11:34 AM
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I can see I may need to edit the thread title. The “conditions” referred to is not the growing climate/ geographic region, but financial collapse, the inability to depend on store bought goods to aid in growing. That’s was the article is about.
I see what you are asking and one does need to phrase questions carefully at times. But you are still making a assumptions. you are assuming Venezuela that gardening are highly dependent on such store bought items. Just how dependent were our ancestors during the depression on store bought items. You are really asking if we suffered a complete financial breakdown like Venezuela could we still have some decent gardens?
i am working to get myself to that point.
More important to have some big food storage also and hope things sort themselves out before you have to depend solely on gardening. I am going to look into myself getting patches of things to grow in the same patch year to year. I need to look into peanuts, sweet potatoes, yams, several other root crops and perennials that will come up each year for
crops to see if they maintain themselves in the same place year to year. Seed saving is important also.
A just as likely SHTF would be some environmentally based disaster causing crop failure of one of the major grain crops of the world.
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Old 04-10-2019, 06:59 AM
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Of course people garden there but a lot less in the cities compared to rural. Without modern machinery food production would be lower. Venezuela has oil fields and no diesel, strange. Likely lacking transportation to bring produce in to the cities.

Likely they have disarmed the farmers so anyone can take what someone else grows which can lead to other problems. Under such circumstances the armed police and military do not often go hungry. All of the above could possibly happen in the USA in the future. I certainly hope not.
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:25 AM
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Likely they have disarmed the farmers so anyone can take what someone else grows which can lead to other problems. Under such circumstances the armed police and military do not often go hungry. All of the above could possibly happen in the USA in the future. I certainly hope not.
It has happened in the past, during the Great Depression and will likely happen again.
I was talking with my Dad the other day about living during the depression. He told about how he and his brothers (born 1928 - 32) would each get an empty sack and get dropped off after dark by their father at a nearby farm. The kids were expected to come back with a full sack of whatever was growing in the fields, usually corn and tomatoes.
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Old 04-10-2019, 08:15 AM
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It has happened in the past, during the Great Depression and will likely happen again.
I was talking with my Dad the other day about living during the depression. He told about how he and his brothers (born 1928 - 32) would each get an empty sack and get dropped off after dark by their father at a nearby farm. The kids were expected to come back with a full sack of whatever was growing in the fields, usually corn and tomatoes.
Here is a longstanding rural practice


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Old 04-10-2019, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don H View Post
It has happened in the past, during the Great Depression and will likely happen again.
I was talking with my Dad the other day about living during the depression. He told about how he and his brothers (born 1928 - 32) would each get an empty sack and get dropped off after dark by their father at a nearby farm. The kids were expected to come back with a full sack of whatever was growing in the fields, usually corn and tomatoes.
I read a story a while ago about an urban-gardening program in some eastern city. It was abandoned after the produce was all stolen as soon as it was ripe.

It's more than an urban legend that Depression-era truck farmers used to keep an old shotgun loaded with rock salt handy.
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don H View Post
It has happened in the past, during the Great Depression and will likely happen again.
I was talking with my Dad the other day about living during the depression. He told about how he and his brothers (born 1928 - 32) would each get an empty sack and get dropped off after dark by their father at a nearby farm. The kids were expected to come back with a full sack of whatever was growing in the fields, usually corn and tomatoes.


The situation during the depression was mild compared to what MIGHT happen now. Most farms were not near as big nor as dependent on outside sources of fuel and chemicals. Many, perhaps most farms were still utilizing horses and manure. Chemicals still were mostly not the kinds we are dependent on today.

I remember stories from the old timers. It was not so much a shortage of food as it was the lack of money to buy it. There was a lot of pilferage, both of crops and especially the chicken coop.
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Old 04-12-2019, 05:05 AM
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Throughout history, governments have taken food and redistributed it as they saw fit. In modern times, the Soviets and Eastern Bloc governments, China, Vietnam, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, India, Pakistan, *****ia, etc. In ancient times, Rome and Egypt.

Any time there is a serious food shortage/famine, those in power take what they need to stay in power, which means feeding themselves, their henchmen, their supporters, and the people in the cities that could overthrow them. These same governments killed or dispersed troublemakers/enemies into the countryside to work on farms to provide food. Farmers that got caught hiding food were killed or their land seized. Frequently, farmers didn't have enough left after the government took what it wanted, so non-family workers were killed, which was fine with the government (labor was cheap and expendable and the farmers were killing enemies of the state).

Farms/farmettes were registered and there were usually unreasonable quotas imposed. Miss a quota and land could be seized, or farmer/family killed.

If you think it can't happen here... some places "inventory" all the trees on property and require permits for all new plantings to ensure "diversity" to avoid a huge environmental impact if one species were to have a mass die-off (Dutch elm disease and emerald ash borer come to mind). Unpermitted trees subject owners to fines and sometimes even removal. So the powers that be know who has apples, peaches...

Makes me think container gardening and hydroponics/aquaponics/similar are good for more than mobility for pollination, avoiding hail, etc.
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:04 AM
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Quote:
Have you ever seriously stopped to think about the ramifications of an economic collapse?
This is a SURVIVALIST site. Thinking about how to live without money is pretty much the starting point for all prepping. If you've never seriously thought about that then I don't know what a person would even be doing on this forum.

I don't know the answer though. Maybe if I had the kind of climate they do.

As it is I struggle to grow anything up here even with access to garden store. My greenhouse is under three inches of snow at the moment. Probably not something they have to worry about down there.
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:41 AM
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Of course people garden there but a lot less in the cities compared to rural. Without modern machinery food production would be lower. Venezuela has oil fields and no diesel, strange. Likely lacking transportation to bring produce in to the cities.

Likely they have disarmed the farmers so anyone can take what someone else grows which can lead to other problems. Under such circumstances the armed police and military do not often go hungry. All of the above could possibly happen in the USA in the future. I certainly hope not.
Disarmament started with Chavez in 2012 and was stiffened to 20 in years in prison for 'illegal' carrying or selling under Maduro. Some firearms were surrendered voluntarily but most were confiscated.
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Old 04-10-2019, 11:04 AM
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The trouble in Venezuela is generally only the bad guys have firearms & ammo.

Consequently, if the bad guys see fruits / vegetables / crops growing somewhere, once ripe they steal it at gunpoint.

So, many who could grow a garden don’t, simply because they cannot defend what they could produce.

The meager exception is rural or isolated areas where there aren’t many bad guys.
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Old 04-10-2019, 05:03 PM
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If water is a limited resource, it's going to be challenging. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-v...-idUSKBN1QS2SN

Considering Southern California's reliance on distant water supplies, if we didn't have water out of the taps, we'd be in deep doo-doo, too. We'd have to raid swimming pools to flush toilets (not joking; did that after the Northridge earthquake.)
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Old 04-11-2019, 07:23 AM
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Right now I grow lots of food but I do use modern methods (powered machinery) to grow it.

I also practice to a small extent doing without machinery. In a situation comparable to Venezuela's I could grow enough food for myself to live on (and have the seeds and tools to do it). It would not be easy. Even more difficult as one ages. If other people were involved, it would require more food but there would be more help and load sharing to grow it.

Because I have enough space in a state of cultivation that it would not take pioneering efforts to work the land, it would be much much easier than starting from scratch (my original efforts were much more akin to pioneering than farming/gardening). I also have been accumulating equipment that could be drawn by animals but as yet am not equipped to utilize it because I have no draft animals.

The great unknown is always people and politics. Will it be possible to get into the gardens to work them and would you be able to keep the produce for your own purposes and the people that produce it.

At some point the situation can breakdown, like it apparently has in Venezuela, and become difficult to the point of impossible to grow and protect your food or even barter it. This is all pure speculation and then one uses the judgement on what Bunker mentioned on our current right to keep and bear arms (and how long that will last). It boils down to that even if growing food is reasonably doable, will one be able to utilize the fruits of one's labor?

The next question would be, do you have the skills and the area to utilize what nature offers.
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:08 AM
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All good points. A fair amount of speculation comes with all scenarios. Being able to keep / guard your own produce partially depends on the severity of calamity. As we have a strong gun culture I believe the ability to defend it would be somewhat possible in the country, at least initially. Urban plots wouldn’t stand a chance however. Even with a martial law situation, small country gardens would be high on the tree rather than low hanging fruit.
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:52 PM
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I might add that when I was a teenager my grandfather became too old to spade his own garden. Small backyard garden that only supplemented his food supply. For a few years I was the one assigned to spade his garden each spring.

Another point is that if I were not bothered by other people (again it would depend on the nature of the shutdown), I'd have enough fuel and supplies that I could manage a long period of transition before needing to go completely manual. I would minimize the use of fuel as much as possible to stretch the fuel supply.

As in most scenarios I can imagine, the BIG if is what will be the actions of other people and how much protection might still exist. People growing enough food for more than themselves might even warrant special protection. I don't plan on it though. I am more wary about authoritarian control than I am about potential bandits.
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