But there's the sticky part about having the food ready when you need it. 6 months for veggies and 6-10 years for nut trees doesn't cut it if I'm hungry today.
I really like in Starhawk's new novel ("City of Refuge"), as desertified farm land is recovered, they begin by building aquaponics systems. I have been interested in aquaponics since I did my PDC. I took various seminars, but have put off building a large system bc it requires so much in the way of resources and, on an ongoing basis, is at least a part time job. I just can't figure out how to add another part time job to my life. Aquaponics could help ramp up food production in a crisis. Aquaponics does increase growth rates for at least the first 4 weeks. Very nutritious sprouts could be ready in a week. Greens and maybe turnips could be ready in as little as 6 weeks, right? A crop of Tilapia could be mature at 6 months. Chicks could be raised to "broilers" in 9 weeks, laying hens in 5 or 6 months. So, not great meals, but maybe staving off starvation for some amount of time when combined with some hunting and foraging, if everything hasn't been decimated by said apocalyptic event.
Aquaponics also requires like 80% less water than traditional growing as the water is recycling.
A plan like this requires a lot of seeds, a source of fish and chicks. And some energy, like solar or wind with a battery, and maybe a bike driven charging system for emergencies. Growing more food forests for the long run requires more seeds and propagation of perennial nursery stock. Might as well get this started now and share the products with your neighbors before the trouble begins in earnest. It cost me a considerable investment to get my food forest started and costs more every year to diversify it. Even the price of a PDC kept me, for probably 2 decades, from the understanding that ignited my passion for building regenerative systems. In the current economy many are underemployed, unable to find work, but given the resources and the understanding how to use them, might be willing to grow food for their community and keep a share for themselves and their families -- if the meth heads didn't get to them already
. So how do we leverage current conditions in our neighborhoods to get the most food growing while we still have time? (I read here folks thinking that the change will be gradual, but I am not so sure. I can't think of Katrina or Sandy as gradual; although volatility in food prices has been building for sometime, I am guessing it didn't seem "gradual" to folks who marched and rioted....). There is some subsidized housing about a block from me. I have diverted my walks away from the beautiful marshland 1/2 mile from my property, and over to the parking lot of the subsidized housing. When I see someone out of their apartment, I mosey up and mention I have some land near by where I grow food and ask if they know of any gardeners who might be interested in gardening with me this year, anyone who is on a waiting list for a community garden plot. So far no takers. It is only February though, so I have time to find someone.
P.S. If you haven't read Starhawk's "Fifth Sacred Thing", I'd recommend reading that one first.