For a long time I could not figure out why our federal, state, and local governments did not care about farms and manufacturing closing down and more and more food and other basics needing to be imported. This week, here in Frederick County, there are two more dairy farms closing down for good. Everything is being sold at auction, including the milking equipment. The last several years have been very difficult times for dairy farmers.
The construction industry is also being dismantled. Even if the building industry were to revive tomorrow, I’m not sure how much infrastructure is left to support it. The last several years there have been many sawmills sold at auction—probably most of them sold for scrap metal. The boys and I attended the auction of Monumental Millwork last year. It was a large supplier of doors, windows, and mouldings for the Baltimore and Washington areas. It had been there for years. Everything went dirt cheap, even though there was national online bidding. Most of the big door machines were purchased by a beekeeper who was going to take them apart for parts to put together machines to build bee hives – never to make doors again.
I have been studying the economy and reading many articles glossed over by the main news media. Gradually, I have been able to understand why the government is encouraging the dismantling of America. Normally, when massive amounts of money are "printed" like the government has been doing for the last 20+ years, it causes hyperinflation. But we have not had very much inflation. Why?
When newly "printed" money is kept within a country, it causes inflation. But if the new money goes out of the country it does not cause inflation. The government discovered a way to print their way out of their financial troubles without the problem of hyperinflation – at least for now. As a result, the trade deficit with other countries has become huge. Farms and manufacturing through government policies and regulations have been encouraged to close so that more and more money can flow out of the country, so that more money can be printed to cover government over spending. Currently, close to half of our food is imported and almost all of our clothes. It is a short-sighted philosophy, but it has worked very well so far. The questions are: how long will it work? What will the ultimate consequences be? Where will we get food and clothes if other countries decide they do not want our "funny money"?
There is always the possibility that the government has found a monetary policy that will work in the long run. But there is also the very real possibility that it will fail big time. Here at Jehovah-Jireh Farm, we are hedging our bets by trying to learn as much as we can about growing our own food. If something were to happen that would stop the availability of imported food, at that point it would be too late to begin to learn how to produce all our own food. Every gardener knows how hard it is to grow enough food to live on for a year. You have all these dreams about putting seeds in the ground and harvesting all this wonderful food. Then as the summer progresses, reality sets in as plants don’t grow right, bugs devour plants and vegetables, and the weeds take over the garden. The learning curve is steep, but in the end it is very rewarding as you learn to conquer those problems and are able to produce high brix, nutrient dense food that tastes much better than the grocery store food.
Now, more than ever, it is important to learn how to produce our own food and to support local farms. The Fukushima disaster also raises questions about the future safety of the winter fruits and vegetables that come from California and Mexico. Much of the organic salad greens come from these areas during the winter months.