The garden is done for the year, and a pretty good year it was. Not only did I raise a lot of stuff, I let hardly any weeds or grass go to seed at any time. Plus clearing out an old fence row to open up a lot of new ground for next year, plus working the whole area in October and sewing rye over the whole thing. I bought a pretty good sized used upright freezer last spring for $75, and we flat filled the thing in addition to giving a lot of stuff away. Only thing still in the ground is turnips, and plenty of them. Not sure why I planted so many other than that I had the seed and didn’t think they would grow anyway.
I built a small deluxe chicken house with all the features that the up to date farmer would have wanted in 1942, which was when my chicken book was published. I’m going to buy 8 or 10 year old hens yet this fall and pen them in an area of the garden to see what they can do to wreck havoc with bug eggs and weed seeds. Will also try a trick my dad used by putting a large bale of hay in their pen to let them scratch it down this winter, eat the seed out of it, and work the rest into the ground.
I went out and plowed up about 3 acres in a couple of spots in the outlying fields. Will plant field corn, soybeans, oats and milo there next spring to provide feed for the chickens and maybe a few goats by next summer as well as having some grain to grind for bread, grits, rough cereal and that sort of thing.
The seed order for next year is nearly done and will be sent within the week. If anybody wants anything raised and you are within driving distance to come get it, speak now or forever piece your hold or whatever the phrase is. I’m going to raise a lot of stuff next year and will give some of it to anybody who will give anything of value in return, such as work, beer, dope, a reasonably funny joke, chicken feed, fence wire, a pretty good song, Kuggerands, whatever. Just kidding about the dope of course, as we have a new democrat sheriff in Daviess county and I’m sure he will be harder to bribe than the outgoing republican. Yeah, right.
Astonishingly, the lame microsoft spell checker does not include Kuggerand. Further proof that Gates is a wuss. (Ha. The checker doesn’t recognize wuss. Suggestions are woos, buss, fuss, muss, cuss, and puss. That’s about as funny as anything I’ve read today.)
A lot more will be done before spring including a better temporary greenhouse, a concrete pad for a shop, maybe a cellar, and probably start on a harvest kitchen/bunkhouse. I am increasing the pace as much as possible in anticipation of the biblical 7 lean years that are fast approaching. Yes children, I am predicting that in the next 7 years we will see gasoline at $15 per gallon, government default on Social Security payments, failure of private and public pension funds, massive unemployment, and a grinding depression that will make the 1930’s look like a bad weekend. A fair chance for hyper-inflation that will make paper money worthless, destroy all savings, and maybe lead to massive riots, martial law, and a total breakdown of the government as it exists today. Best case we wind down to something like life in the 1930’s and start to rebuild, worst case a demagogue is hailed as a savoir and becomes a dictator. We might already have that guy in place.
Sadly, I’m doing pretty well with predictions these days. In August I moved my measly 401K out of the stock market with the Dow at 11,400 and into fixed returns at 4%. In July, I predicted oil at $75 and gas at $2.75 by year end. I missed on the upside, but that’s closer than anything that I read back then. I am now going to take of the 401K funds and put them in the equivalent of fish hooks, .22 shells, beans, and bandaids.
So how did we come to this? I blame it on Earl Butz, Secretary of Agriculture 40 or 50 years ago. At least he was the front man for the idiots who decided to remake the US society in a thoroughly stupid way. Details in another post. More recently we can thank a bunch of corrupt politicians of both major parties, a bunch of brilliant bankers who figured out how to manufacture imaginary money from straw, and a bunch of overeducated idiots from prestigious universities who decided that an “information economy” was the wave of the future. Well guess what Corky, regardless of how smart you are and how much information you have, somebody has got to raise some cabbage, mine some coal, and make some stuff if we are going to live as other than animals.
In spite of all the potential misery, I detect little real concern in the folks that I interact with on a daily basis. I keep thinking of a scene from the movie “Titanic”. After the ship has hit the iceberg and everybody is milling around trying to figure out what’s the deal, the captain calls the engineer who designed the ship to the bridge. They lay out a blueprint of the ship and various people point out where the damage is and where water is coming in. The engineer does some mental calculations and starts talking about sinking speed. Captain breaks in and says “Are you saying the ship could sink?” Engineer replies, “No, I’m saying that it WILL sink in approximately 6 hours.”
I feel like that engineer about now. Only good news is that I’ve been wrong about a lot more stuff than I’ve been right about in my checkered life. Never-the-less, I will clean the old .22 and make mental inventory of the rabbit population this winter. And remind myself once again that whatever happens in the confused world of human activity the grass will still grow, chickens still cackle, water run downhill, and beans still sprout. This too shall pass.