I just wanted to share my experience while visiting Russia in the 90s - most people have small plots of land, dachas, and everyone coming from the country has some land back there, their parents, enough for potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes.
When I visited Russia, there were two political upheavals and the economic system completely collapsed. Yet people survived. Everyone new that you need 50kg of grain, flour, butter, meat and sacks of potato to survive. And people would routinely stockpile food. Russia, like China, is a wonderful example that you can grow all the food you need to survive on a very small plot of land, with minimum work, on the weekends.
It is not canon permaculture, but Bill Mollison did mention Russia as a wonderful example of what a plot of land does for peoples survival.
I find it very inspiring, and with the knowledge widely available on the internet today, I feel confident that I will be producing 50 percent of my food in the coming 3 years, this on barren land.
Potatoes and apples will get you through the winter, that I know.
In villages in England everyone had a plot of land, a flower garden at the front of the house for mother and a vegetable garden at the back. It is alright, it helps get through bad times but it can encourage people not to pay people right or governments not to give social security to their poor. There is an autobiography of a girls childhood in one such village, the system came down to this, the land lord gives you a house and a bit of land, before the time of the author the villagers could also use the common land to graze a sheep or two and in exchange the father of the house hold works on the landlords land for a pittance, really it was exploitation. The children left home and started work early which relievved some of the expenses. A bag pudding was th estaple diet, made of dough made of flour and suet, filled with meat if you had it the author explains, steak and kidney type pudding and vegetables if you don't have meat and if you don't have vegetables salty water. She tells us that girls, the women of the village who most of them before marrying had worked in the houses of the rich, knew how to cook everything, but feed there families this way, as did everyone else, it was the only way to feed a family with the little they had. The diet of the poor often includes a lot of fat that is cheaper than meat. They had a pig they used to end up having half a pig, they exchanged half the pig for feed. Get the poor to demand their rights instead of learning to make do on nothing, it is not politically healthy to reestablish the old unjust systems. When more people earn money you get more people who in the end can start businesses. It unleashes a lot of creativity in a country and the countries work much better, socialism seems expensive but really its efficient. Gardening and goats should be a healthy alternative not the only alternative. Socialism brought riches to countries that followed it, just think how many goods there are now in these countries compared to before . There were always multimillionaires, the thing that was new was not having the poor so terrible poor, every poor person should have a sofa and double bed etc. The children should have enough to eat. Even as short a time ago, for me, as when i was a child, there were still some children that went pretty hungry in England and here in Spain, the poverty was tremendous. People used to be short they had eaten so little, that they did not grow properly and the hungry suffer from cold, fat does not half help to keep the cold off as does sleeping enough.
Apples and potatoes will get you through, if you have a little bit of butter too.
Potatoes are not quite a complete food, but milk is a nice compliment to them.
You've probably read about what that same upheval did to Cuba, in terms of the food system. It seems they didn't have such strong a traditions of urban gardening or of low-input farming, but they seem to have learned quickly enough.
"the qualities of these bacteria, like the heat of the sun, electricity, or the qualities of metals, are part of the storehouse of knowledge of all men. They are manifestations of the laws of nature, free to all men and reserved exclusively to none." SCOTUS, Funk Bros. Seed Co. v. Kale Inoculant Co.
Brenda Groth i like your pragmatic, in cities they just turn to crime,your really sympathetic ideas. The minute you think that it is tremendouse dificulties that get peole into crime you have stoppped being mean to criminals i reckon. I suppose its tragic, gardens don't get you in jail. Social security is the best answer.
Pollyparadigm, i am going to learn to write paradigm writing your name. I did read about permi type horticulture in Cuba, just a little about some woman univerisity professor or some such, who turned to vegetable gardening. It suprised me a bit, i had not imagined Cuba as an organic growing centre, i thought things were too tough to even get enough energy to think about doing anything but the most miserable market gardening. I did not imagine them getting imaginative.
Brenda Groth i remembered wrong , I thougth it was leah Sattler who had asked which trees were given as good for forage in the book on trees here in Spain in Castilla Leon centre North West spain, she is the goaty person, which talks of the uses they are put to, i have started a list of these for you on the forum called i gave the name of a writer and i gave it wrong. It takes a while to write becuase i have to look each tree up in the book and underline the pertinent bit. On lots of trees he has plenty to say and he talks about other things like how good their wood is to burn and for make statues for churches and such so finding th eright bit is ot absolutely fast. .Hope you like it i am finding out lots of interesting things i had only read about the trees that specially interested me in his book. he also in some cases talks of cutting branch it seems in sptember when its still green and storing it as a winter feed. THe time of yerar that you cut leavef may be relevant i tasted evergreen oak leaves in sprinfg and they were horrible, when i tried them at other times of the year i found them a pleasant nibble . I have put in a bits of information from another book a book on spainsh breeds of cattle and another one on Spainish breeds of sheep they didnot have one on Spaqinish breeds of goats last time i looked these are books written by the ministry of agriculture fishing and such. THey include a list of the feeds the differrent races are feed on it has some information abut trees and more about bushes like tiem and rosmary and such. I wrote it in the forum browse vers graze if i remember right. I think it should be useful for permies. rose macaskie
well i am seeing a lot more crime these past months since the stock market crashed..this last week a group of criminals dressed up as ninjas...PLANNED a crime where they went into a home and robbed the people and killed the parents..they left the 17 disabled and handicapped children that the parents had adopted unharmed..
yeah..unharmed..no parents..no income..no loving home left..sure..unharmed.
crime is crazy when times are difficult..they say now that there are over 5 million children living in tents and campers in campgrouns all over the USA because their parents lost their homes and their jobs..homeless now
thank God some of us still have a piece of land we can use..and plant a row for the hungry..or two or three??
Bloom where you are planted.
It must be so really absolutely awful to lose your home and job. really frightening. I am glad if they aghve gardens in their trailers but i think getting a bit of money from the goverment is also so important. In grow lots of plants on my balcony an dthey work well i have been growint them for ten years or so but i have no experience growing vegetables and i don't believe i could get good at it in a year though maybe if i put my all into it as you have to do in a crisis then it would work. At first i was afraid to use fertilisers because i had read that if you use too much it is bad for plants, i think the few pot plants i had used to end up dying of pure hunger. Now i use them and the plants really benefited, some things that hardly grew really grow now. I don't over do it. i give them fertiliser much less than it says on the bottle and it works well. I saw a documentary that said that manufacturas of fertilisers and pesticides and such really tell you to put on much more than is necesary they like earnig more money. I have a problem with bought seeds, i can grow lots of the seed i have picked up on the street from the trees on the pavement, especially since someone told me to put in lots of seed incase only a few of them where viable but can't grow things from bought seed. I buy seeds and plant them and they don't go well. May be they would grow better now i have more experience about things like trying the shady balcony or the sunny one to see if which ever plant it is does better there. I dread to think what happens to people who aren't used to growing things trying to feed a family from the vegetable garden. There really are lots of ins and outs to growing and if you don't know them its not easy to succeed and people who have always done it don't seem to realise how complicated it is. Anyway i believe in knowledge being useful to people so writing here must help people. shall put in two fotos my hot dry climate box that does help keep the heat in and stop the sun from shining too hotly. on thigns tat are delicate like seedlings. maybe if you really want to grow seedsfo ra family a geen house however makeshift is important.
I am going to post a foto of my box for delicat things in a ot climate to reduce sun and evaporation, with its cover on, to complete the picture. Puul Wheatons bits of garden furniture, smallholder accesories, etc. are much stronger than mine. Mine are pathetic but this works It wont unless ileave first thign tomorrow to water it Ihavwe not been in three weeks, though it will soon fall apart, i will have got who knows five years work out of it perhaps. Every time i write "apart" i write it wrong and get, "a prat" and i think, i am really a prat writing all this.
Here in our area if we grow a row for the hungry we aren't really encountering the hungry themselves..as we have food banks.
If i have extra food be it fresh, canned, boxed or whatever..i can donate it to a food bank..and the food bank will distribute it to the hungry.
i have had to use the food banks in the past and they are all different..some require you to sit through a sermon..and they were overbearing and really the food was old and spoiling
there is one that goes through a church but they do not require you to do anything ..however..they do have a set time and they open the distribution with a very short prayer thanking god for the food.
they do not preach or hand out literature but do have the dates and times of their meetings listed so people can attend..most do not.
they have a donation jar where people can donate for the food if they want to..or for gas to get it to the food banks..but there is no pressure.
i have gotten food from them..and taken food to them.
they purchase food from stores and factories for 17 cents a pound and distribute it at food banks here..one time we got gobs of cookies, when i was going, cause the labeler for the machine attached all the labels on the cookie packages backwards..and so they shipped them all off to food banks.
Bloom where you are planted.
Do you know the story of Elsie Widdowson? She was a British chemist who studied nutrition. During WWII, Churchill asked her to come up with a diet that could sustain the British people through the severe food shortages and rationing of the war while maintaining their health and wellbeing.
Through her research she developed a very simple diet that would do it. She said that the people only needed three foods which were in relatively good supply -- potatoes, cabbage, and bread. That was it. Through those three foods, they could have all of their nutritional needs met and be protected from disease. And, if they could manage to supplement it once in a while with an egg or some meat here and there, that would be even better, but all they really required were those three foods.
To test her research, she, along with a few friends, set off into the Pennine Mountains and spent three months in constant motion, cycling and mountain climbing up and down and around the mountains while living only on potatoes, cabbage, and bread. At the end of the trip, all were in good health and spirits and even gained a little weight.
They published the diet and it gave a tremendous morale boost to the British people and got them through some very hard times.
After the war, Churchill was so grateful to her that he went back in history and found a medal that hadn't been given to anyone for hundreds of years and awarded it to her.
She died in 2000. She remained unmarried her entire life, eventually retiring to a simple house in the country along a stream where she did some research and kept bees that her sister, also a scientist and a bee researcher, had given her.
I think that is wonderful information to be putting out during these times..I'm sure if you have the ability to can or freeze you could easily supplement these items with in season foods put aside..even dried..to supplement the 3..
I'm wondering how large a patch of which grains would be the best to put in for a sustinance amount of grain for bread for a small family (we are only 2) through a winter..I've never planted "bread" grains but do have the means to grind flour which i have from boughten wheat berries in the past.
too late to put in a grain garden here this year..but i would love to be able to put in some next with the right information under my belt.
can grow the taters quite well here..and as for the cabbages..mine are awfully small so far..but they are growing..maybe the cooler weather will bring me into cabbages for this winter..yet..also planning on planting a fall garden in the next few weeks. (still picking peas and salad greens with the 40 degree nights)
Bloom where you are planted.
I am going to leave the politics out of it as it seems both Socialist and Capitalist societies are guilty of unsustainable growth.
Like Bill said, I am just a gardener, and if I can feed myself and my family without the dependence on fossil fuels, then that is one less contributor to world problems.
What is great about the Russian experience is they had very little money and are thus very much into selection, adapting to local conditions, mulching, raised beds and multi-layered gardening.
There was a study that said people were investing thousands of dollars of labor to get 150 dollars worth of food. But then of course the person that did that study was not there to see peoples savings wiped out overnight in a bank crash. Savings might be gone, but food you grow remains, provided it doesnt get stolen. Part of the reasons there are so few large soecial upheavals in Russia in the summer time is that most people are at their Dachas, tending their crops. This is why they always have political upheavals in August, and the masses refuse to join in. To stay on topic, here is a summary article I am going to post about a Fokin kultivator, which is very good for no-till gardening and that you can do yourself.
google auto translation: XXX BC Sumerian kingdom: no shovels, no, even more so plows. Main tool - knotty stick. The yield of wheat - 250-350 quintals per hectare (see SN Kramer, "History begins at Sumer"). Now 50 centners - almost a record. What is the secret of the ancient Sumerian grain? ... 1899. In his "New System of Agriculture" IE Ovsinsky, summarized the experience of the then-experimental, wrote that the earth MUST NOT Process deeper 2-inch (inch equals 2.54 cm) ... Then the underlying, intact from last year, the roots of plants will become a drainage tube: Skip dew inside the earth and carbon dioxide. Used Ovsinsky IE instead of a plow horse pololnik (RIDING PLOSKOREZ?!) And received good yields even in drought 1895, 96, 97, when the moisture at pahanyh fields have been destroyed completely.
... 50 of the last century. П.Т. Zolotarev, agronomist with the Poltava region, experimenting with soil unheard said: "To get a good grain harvest, the land is not necessary or plow, or shell, a cultivate, not boronovat - you just need to sow and harvest, for which he was removed from the work and brought to justice. But the matter was hushed: the harvest of the "custom" agronomist was higher.
... In 90 years the clouds around the plow and spade further thicken: talking about soil erosion. To turn the formation of land, progressive gardener began to apply the fork instead of shovels. At that time, V. Fokina and had the idea of manual ploskoreze (by analogy with machine ploskorezom TS Maltseva). Conceived, he was able to realize only after 12 years as a very lightweight, universal garden tool ... The new tool can handle the soil near to the bayonet spades, though, as shown, it is often depth to anything.
In the preface to the 3rd edition of the brochure Fokina B. "To the land of science" FT Morgun, Doctor of Agricultural Sciences, academician, corresponding member of the International Academy of Information Processes and Technology, the Hero of Socialist Labor, associate TS Maltsev and AI Barayev wrote: "... ploskorez Fokina and performed with the help of non-traditional technologist gardening (without perekopki and perepashki) has rightly taken a long time and its place in the historical spiral improvement tools farmer."
-------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------ Ploskorez Fokina instead of shovels - 6 hundred a day! One tool - 20 jobs! >>>
Technological operations and methods of work with ploskorezom Fokina
Ploskorez for primary tillage and all the work - GREAT. Ploskorez for "gentle" and very quickly weed - SMALL.
Tools can be "customized" for growth and the manner of working. For this small ploskorez has 2 variant mounting bracket to the cuttings (cuttings to a bracket to one or the other bearing surface). Big ploskorez has 4 mounting options (two more - from the third hole in the bracket). "Mood" ploskorez dramatically reduced, and before the low physical effort, with deep tillage, loosening and hilling. Ploskorez Fokina instead of shovels - 6 hundred a day! One tool - 20 jobs!
1. PLOSKOREZ - hoe, Spit, Rakes ....
Grasp the shaft ploskoreza as take in the hand rake. Place the blade flat on the ground. Before you - light hoe, scythe, and "rake" with a single tooth, working in a horizontal plane.
In this situation the main cutting edge on the surface of the ground perform on the horizontal loosening soil to a depth of 5 cm for this zaglublyayut blade. Lead as the tool rake, with sharp accelerations on or along the ridges. It should not prigrebalas to soil, but remained on the ground loosened. So treat narrow intertill tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers.
Small ploskorezom produce hilling, working as a hoe, remove weeds on a large bed and some bushes. For cutting weeds, excess seedlings raspberries, work ploskorezom as oblique. The blade moves on the earth's surface. Ploskorez Fokina instead of shovels - 6 hundred a day! One tool - 20 jobs!
the tool is very interesting..i have seen them in books and magazines..like those or similar..but when i attempt to find them in the stores i cannot.
at least in Michigan.
they are similar to the cobrahead tool..i've seen advertised in magazines..but never have been able to find in stores..probably can find online..but right now can't be ordering on line as i closed out all my credit cards..
Bloom where you are planted.
Seems like the sort of thing any hobbyist with a metal shop who knows how to anneal/quench/temper steel could make in a reasonable amount of time. An old leaf spring or saw blade might be an appropriate starting point.
I even found some dimensions:
"the qualities of these bacteria, like the heat of the sun, electricity, or the qualities of metals, are part of the storehouse of knowledge of all men. They are manifestations of the laws of nature, free to all men and reserved exclusively to none." SCOTUS, Funk Bros. Seed Co. v. Kale Inoculant Co.
Brenda Groth, the existence of food help does let governments off the hook and religious groups do tend to pull towards the right and systems that in the past created extreme social differences and whose philosophies have not changed, Both the evangelists in America and the Catholics here support the right and the right here at the moment is getting fairly extremely rightist. People should not have to live off charity, the poor in a country are poor because of the inefficiency of the government of that country. Deficient schooling creates adults with deficient abilities for working and starting businesses. Inefficient town planning leads to unruly areas and inefficient dealing with destructive philosophies such as those of the KKK does too. Talking of which and the catholics believe in the prefect system and though full of verbage of love, bring up their sons to be very spoilt Little brats who will not doubt in imposing Catholicism on their families they educate males who don't let others mess with them, which education of thugs may be part of the problem in the Watts district of los Angeles. Of course the priests work with the unruly youths and pretend to try to reduce problems but i don't believe they would forsake their creation of sergeants who in the long run will serve their purposes, for the end of reducing the problem in poor districts. They always want to have their cake and eat it too. They are good at looking sweet and being deadly. Here in Spain a healthy hate of top dogs means the papers have articles on any down sides of North America, more particularly the Catholic ones. who feel that american culture is not algined with there ideas and wish to ridiculise it. It is not hate of america but defense of catholisism that makes the ridiculise. The government is responsible for all its citizens, surely lack of proper feelings on the part of the government has proved to exist and be be bad when Katrina hit, even after that people still talk of the advantages of a tough system. The poor in Africa would not be so poor if people who went to help them were not full of old fashioned ideas that meant that they try to teach people to read and write, instead planning on educating them to university level and beyond. The result of sweet plans to teach the native a little bit is that there just aren't enough people in poor countries with a good enough education to have enough teachers capable of teaching all the young or lawyers capable of defending the fair price of African goods and justice in general, or those who understand economy, economy probably means, i will buy a new fridge for my shop instead of a car or clothes for my wife, being mean enough to really make the business work, something the charitable don't encourage. The education necessary to have enough civil servants to run a big country. We have turned Africa into a series of big countries and then we are unreal about the education you have to give the children of such places. Big countries need such a lot of pepole who understand laws and such. Is not it better to have a good intelligent police force, and how much education do people need to create the type of the fair and tempered and carefull to have all the information before acting, adult that makes a good police person. If you realise that in Africa they need a high level of education, then the saying, "where there is a will there is a way" comes into play and they will get it. The rich did not make it alone they got lots of help. The rich although they fail exams go on getting schooling until they pass them, they have families who are rich enough to go on giving support. They had the best schools the best teachers and lots of help however much they then try to twist the argument to pretend the did it on their own. The rich that have enough money to get the slow among their children along as well as the fast. Among the less fortunate it is only a few that get on.
Is it capitalism and socialism that have lead to our overreaching ourselves or is it new ideas that somehow slipped in after the hippy area, when were were all to full of liberal ideas to see the new forces that were to take us so far from them, that made countries grow more than they could afford to? Don't psychiatrist pretend that it is good to tell people to take responsability for their own failures and Obama a man of his times does the same, and was not the reason for the idea to wake up the weak get them fighting a bit but the draw back is that it holds a sort of none solidarity message that has made pepole irresponsible, it is a crazy message, humans have got where we are because we all take on different jobs, because of solidarity. This idea from psychiatry and the idea that the principles of the jungle, the survival of the fitest is what pushed society on, is what makes people learn to get better, it seems, that the theory is that they will mature somehow morally as well as intellectually and physically with drubbings and tough competition, has lead to ideas that lack solidarity as i said before and also to the support of bullies. Competition can push people on, though i think there are faster and nicer ways to do it, but it also is potentiating bullies because it also gives out the message that if i get up over the bodies of those i have knocked down, that is alright, because it will teach them to get tougher and cleverer. Also it isn't my fault it is their fault for letting me knock them down, it is their responsability to stop me stepping on them. The weak may learn to get up, but the strong learn to tread hard without fear of being questioned in their brutal activities and this is not such a good idea. There are lots of ideas that have been making the rounds lately that were not meant to be potentiating the bully and he who takes the cake away from the others but that have done just that maybe laughing at people who complain if they don't have enough cake or whose bottles are half full, stopping the mouth of complainers is one of them. Rose Macaskie
I will never support giving food to anyone. Give them seeds and a stick. Worked for the Shumers.
An interesting article on Russian permaculture and more on the ploskorez
ECOFARMING AND AGROFORESTRY FOR SELF-RELIANC Small-scale, Sustainable Growing Practices in Russia
google it, its a PDF.
It is very inspiring to read about the spread of "natural farming" in Russia, with people planting potatoes into straw beds with no tillage or shoveling of the soil, and the rise of interest in leaf and kitchen scrap compostingmulch.
Russia is an example of wide-spread family small plot food production preventing multiple social catastrophes, as people were able to feed themselves.
It is an interesting instrument and i am interested in the idea of planting in straw, Bill Mollison does that in a video of his doesn't he? Sort of half bury a potato with a lot of fine grass on top. I was into trying to mulch and then my husband undoing my mulches because he ahs another system sort of put and end to that that and and other things sort of stealing my atention. I would give people food in some situations, the rich get so much help, help at home so their children don't come home to an empty house and that bieng able to employ people helps them keep children occupied in the holidays and out of mischief, tutores for children that get behind, before starting out in what they do, they either get a degree in what ever or pay experts and the result of all the help is they do well, help is great but it should be from the goverment, they give better help than others do. The jews try to find a man a wife and house as well as a sandwich, but our religiouse are still on the sandwhich stakes. They gave charity for centuries and the poor worked themselves to the bone and stayed poor. Charity does not work, goverment help does. The religiouse should just stay with trying to form people morally, the socialist beat them last century with the poor. Writers like Dickens, Mrs Gasckel, Tomas Hardy and Zola beat them too, at sympathising with the poor. As Susan Munroe says if the farmers had looked after their soils maybe the farmers of Steinbecks "Grapes of Wrath" would not have had to leave the land. We have the old cowboy problem back it seems, factory farms being an equivilent of those big ranchers who put little farmer out of a job, factory farms are putting small farmers out of a job.
It is not crappy victimism that those who can get their children through college and university and who live in good neighborhoods and who can pay people to look after their children if both parents are working and can pay for holiday activities that keep children out of trouble, do better. I was one of them, though i did not do so well.i know many of htem i know they do well, better than others. All these things are a great help. Help is great. This is just the plain truth. That many of the people who end up badly off have received less help is also just fact, a bit of reality, lets keep things real as that genius Chapelle would say. It is sensible to encourage people to be independent, but that does not mean we have to forget the other side of the story. For mileniums people have worked on bits of land and got up a six in the morning to take out the goats and spent their whole life half starved, haven’t been able to feed their children properly and this has been the fate of the great majority of people. Somehow in this life you have to hold opposing ideas all at once and somehow find a middle point between them. The simple is for those who have been tricked by the system by one part of it or another. Maybe the ever clever rich made sure the poor only had enough land to just about get by with, not to really hold their heads up with. Defending yourself against the erosive bits of human factor is part of survival and it means you don’t always get on just because you work and try. Do you get others to help you or do they get you to help them? If the second is the answer you have maybe been coned into accepting an, in the long term, fairly deadly position, if you’re really stupid you will have played the supporting role and been told your useless.
Ecohouse, i suppose that people who have different points of view should talk, it is enriching for both. I have heard the reasons of people from other ways of thinking than my families for fifteen years at least and i have learnt a little and also at least after hearing different point of view i know what i am up against. It is playing football you take the ball and get a goal off me if you can. it is the Son Goku world i fight with all the champions i meet that way we all keep mentally nimble. Church or state helping the poor is practical matter. The churches help is half hearted, they get their bread and butter asking for money to help the poor so they have a motive for maintaining poverty that may in some cases be conscious and in some unconscious and is equally disastrous which ever way round. They also have a whole lot of theories that tend to lead to increasing poverty, like education is bad though i want it for me, i want education fo rme and not for you is the anti christ, it is i love myself in a different way from you.. Humility is beautiful is another theory of the churches that can lead to them not really helping the poor, they mean to help. I thought that humility is beautiful because thinking badly of others, is painfull for them but the religious seem to like broken and obedient people, humility seems to mean yes men, those who are humble in front of God, which comes down to meaning humble to his workers the preists or nuns or who ever is standing in for them, to the powers that be, rather than before people less fortunate than themselves. Remember the churches of the world are famous for various ills like cruelty to women. and really keeping people oppressed though in theory they help the poor. The state have real reasons for getting rid of poverty if they are helping the poor, they cost the state money, maybe thats way social security is better for the poor than charity.
The theories of socialism made a real difference, the power given by trade unions made a bigger difference than the church had ever been able to do to poverty and an education for all made a real difference between the poverty of the past and that of today in the west, as Sepp Holster and his ilk do, I believe, with horticulture. His hundred acres support his children and him without ruining the land for the next generation or producing food that is a health hazard but these men are geniuses. Also equal rights have proved that the poor can be university professors if they get half a chance. The trade unions have proved that you can ask for a decent wage without breaking the country. Before all the changes of the last century it must have seemed that the miracle of the fish and loaves could not work there was not enough to spread over so many. If you say that the millions of not to terribly desperate poor in the west exist because we steal off the third wolrd. i would say that the English poor went on being poor in the time of the empire and stopped being poor in the epoch of good education for all and trade unions. I believe that it could exist if each country were independent Where there is a will there is a way and the moment we see eradicating poverty as a real possibility we we find ways to do it.
Knowing that the poor were poor through no fault of their own is not a theory it is just knowledge, it is not an opinion. i knew lots of country folks most of my life, i have known so many people who were to small because of under nutrition, i have played with them, i knew a family of seven whose father had shell shock and was a epileptic, they had the unemployment pay that was not a lot and a government house with a front and back garden that was not very big, it was grow your own vegetable in a small garden metres and they kept rabbiits and such and a big and dirty dog and canaries the father loved canaries who used to get egg bound, the mothers family were quakers and they used the old fashioned thee and thou. I knew them because they came and asked us if they could let their goat graze on our garden, they taught me how to spray people with goats milk when milking the goat, they were skinny and had dirty teeth and were very nice and took much longer to grow than my richer friends. Glyn organised really good games wiht big groupsw of children on the playing feild games in which evveryone enjoyed them selves not just a special few, also i lay once in a hay Field close to him but not touching for half an hour as it seemed to me when i was about ten, or eleven years old without talking, it was strangely agreable for such a quiet activity i was old enough to think it romantic and not old enough to think of sex, like the scene in a book called "cider with rosey" We crayfished in the river and played in the playing fields, he was also good at being the bank in games of pont un, twenty one, on rainy afternoons. He is one of those people i have in a way missed ever since. He and the two brothers we knew would never come in our house while we were eating, they would never eat anything in our house, they were honest poor, and i suppose proud. Martin was like a comic on the radio or television, he just reeled off funny remarks very fast one after another. I remember feeling bad about th eold and ugly furniture in their kitchen which seemed a big bit of poverty,though the front room was all right . The front rooms in houses then were for only for guests and everything good was in them. I begged to hold the baby wild rabbiits, the father who was strange looking, he had had all his teeth out because he was epileptic, had caught two baby rabbits which he was keeping them for the pot, and they told me wild rabbits would not take being handled and i insisted and held them and they just died of fright, heaven only knows how he caught them if they were so easy to kill. When they were too small to get frightened? I don't like remembering it, it was their dinner down the drain, as well as a little animal dead. There were older people in the village that were small, pretty tiny as they had not eaten enough as children, you can still see tiny people in the villages here who did not eat enough as children too. I remember an old man with blue blue eyes who had gone to work in the mine when he was twelve, he told my mother he had cried for two weeks when he went down the mine. He showed her the scars of the chain that he had had round his waist to pull carts in the mine. Take it that i was ten, i can't remember exactly in which year each event took place, forty five years ago. People have worked hard and been poor. I knew these people between the age of eight and fifteen more or less. In London there was a man who worked near our house , he was big unattractive a bi tfrightening lookin gfor a child , i occasionally talked to them and they had a room they drank coffee in and i remember the cups looked as if they were never washed. His wife was skinny and really agreable and intelligent, they both smoked like chimneys, the wage in those days was very small, cigarettes were pretty expensive everything mad e you worry about how they got by. My mother gave her a job cleaning, except she did not look very strong, how could you ask her to clean much? They also had seven children, pale thin haired children but attractive until my mother persuaded there mother to get the free school dinners for numerous families that they weren't getting because they were the sort of poor too honest even to get the help that the government gave to every numerous families without being pushed. They got fat and less attractives so one half wondered if it had been agood idea. My mother, i think, must have known a poor family who lived near her mothers when she was a child and loved them, as i really liked and found amusing those of the goat, thats why she seemed to always get to know the poorest around us. In her opinion not everyones very efficient like Sepp holzer and she wished they had been born into a walk of life in which their inefficiency would hardly be noticed. That is why people should know the poor at least they wont find them stupid anymore and they might sympathise with their problems. You ifnd stupid people or apparently stupid people in everywalk of life you could get to know a stupid poor person and have all your suspicions confirmed. I think some people are horrified by poverty because they think they will find them stupid and that horrifies them in the same way illness and uglines can be hard to take. rose macaskie. After social security got good in england people started to grow to full height and their houses got cleaner and the objects in them less old and such. If success depends on confidence, in part, then the spoilt are more confident than the more strictly brought up. Things are complicated, do you want a whole country of over confident spoilt people who are successful. Some parents can see nothing wrong with anything their children do, their children grow up very confident, others are very critical of their children, may be Sepps mother who seems to have been fairly critical turned him into a thinker but that sort of thing often makes people lack confidence . If i am right working hard has not so much to do with being worthy as having an enormous self confidence that makes you take on things without being full of crippling doubts that lead you to think more about how you will spoil things than how you will manage them and makes you too carefull and that leads too being slow or too scared to take things on. rose macaskie.
I do not know what is best from here. I agree with Rose's picture of how socialism (government help) education etc. has ended true poverty (except amongst some immigrants) in the UK much better than charity ever did. I do not know what Russia is like- are some of the people there starving? The standard of living I hear of there is much higher, but perhaps only amongst some. My rich US friends who adopted children from there were told to dress better- get some fur coats etc- before their next visit or they would be deemed too poor to adopt the children.
I think the Germans and English I have lived amongst and the French I have known have better 'stuff' such as clothes and appliances that is more durable than the cheap stuff most Americans wear and own. Maybe protectionism- made in the EU- tops most of our made in China wares.
I also know socialism is breaking Europe or looks like it will- the old sayings when the majority can vote themselves benefits and make others pay for them the rest is downhill seems to be playing out in Germany and in California.
Yet most government benefits the rich so unions and the people benefitting is a nice change, good as long as it can last....
Are the British a different race from the Russians? The British poor seem to have no initiative, they go to the doctor for a note saying they need a better council house for their mental health they don't try (since there is little likelihood given British housing market) to earn the money to get their own nicer house. Better off but still downtrodden?
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