they are pests and diseases

have you ever seen a a well kept cultivated garden or a crop field? Ever noticed how tidy and precise they are, no weeds, just vegetables or crops in perfect order.

Both of them are going to produce fine food, but at what expense?

It has been found that out of ten (10) calories of food, nine (9) actually come from fossil energy in the form of tractors, diesel fuel, pesticides and fertilizers (yes, they need to be extracted and trasported, and nitrogen based fertilizer requires methane in its sinthesys). Only one calory is from the sun. As you can see, most of today's humanity is actually eating fossil fuels.

What is going to happen when their extraction reaches the tipping point also known as peak oil and then they start depleting faster and faster?
Do I need to say it? Please. Nobody wants to think about bloodbaths.

Actually it's not that simple. The world is indeed a very complex nonlinear system and many things are bound to collapse catastrophically way before we resort to cannibalism. This might actually spell financial crisis. Who knows?
The most reasonable path is towards a gradual decrease in standard of life, followed by a decrease in population due to reduced life expectancy. All of this spiced up by wars, pestilence and famine.

Since according to official data the great fall could start between 2012 and 2015, there isn't much time left. Everybody's really waiting for the World Energy Outlook 2011 from the International Energy Agency (the most athoritative ones), for now give a look at this: http://www.worldenergyoutlook.org/docs/weo2010/key_graphs.pdf

at page 7 you see something quite discomforting: the oil fields "yet to be found" (and probably never to be) account for a larger and larger part of future oil output since 2015. Wonder what? this is the right amount needed to avoid the fall and even allow a slight growth.

Having seen this, having undertsood its implications, my best bet is to make my own food without fossil fuels.

Not only I need to make it without fossils so that I'll be independent from rising oil prices, I also need to make it efficiently. I need to attain a very high EROEI (Energy Return On Energy Input) which has to be beyond 10:1, otherwise my method is bound to fail. Most civilizations collapsed right because of that: they slipped below the critical EROEI value of ten. Our western EROEI is currently around 15-12 and falling rapidly. It was beyond 100 in the first part of 20th century when our growth went "explosive".

Everything is there in the graphs. Just give a look at the western per capita GDP. It is actually falling and began this trend after 1970...

For these reasons I need to grow my own food with the least possible energy input.

Everything I grow should be:

- drought resistant, at least to reasonable extents.
- self sowing and vigorous, up to the point of being weedy
- highly disease and pest resistant
- highly adaptable to an ever changing climate
- highly nutrient and productive
- resistant to inbreeding depression (possibly with a polyploid DNA)
- self fertile and possibly pollinated by wind or by self

 Not many crops satisfy these requirements.
I've been evaluating local weeds, neglected andean edibles and practically everything from around the world. There are actually thousands of edible species and we only rely on just 20-30 of them to feed the whole of humanity. That's not good.

However and unsurprisingly not all of them are viable.
Most promising plants actually have some bug either in the form of pests and diseases, scarce adaptability to my very competitive temperate environment (short daylenght flowering being only one of a long list of problems) or scarce productivity and fiddly harvesting procedures.

Only a minority of them actually passes my selective filter and go into trial mode. Even less had been overall succesful.

A few local weeds are actual candidates to becoming staple food sources, two or three andead species are too (one of them already practically confirmed) and finally some selected common vegetable varieties are actually strong enough to pass my exam!

Next posts will include a list of confirmed candidate crops, stay tuned XD

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