Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Farmers Trading Tractors for Oxen

An interesting article from earlier this month in UK based Daily Mail. I am curious why US based news groups are not covering such an interesting and "sign of the times" type articles.

When farmers Danielle and Matt Boerson realised they could no longer afford to run their tractors, they took the bull by the horns - and ditched them for oxen.

Soaring petrol prices had become so high that the couple, who run an 80-acre farm near Madison, Wisconsin, were forced to get rid of their two tractors, hay baler, plough and rotavator.

So they took a course at the agricultural institute in traditional farming techniques.

Cheap: A pair of plough-ready oxen cost $3,000 (£1,800) - roughly the same as a second hand tractorCheap: A pair of plough-ready oxen cost $3,000 (£1,800) - roughly the same as a second hand tractor

'It gave me the confidence that, yes, I could do this', Danielle told the Times. 'It just required a lot of concentration and a firm voice.'


From experience, I can tell you, farming eats up a LOT of fuel. I have been wondering myself lately, 'How long will we be able to continue farming with these fuel prices?'.

Thankfully, Many farmers are choosing to look into alternate means. Such as these farmers and their oxen. Many may also turn to draft horses.

With this change in farming practices, we can expect to see a shift in the ways our food is supplied. Foods will need to be farmed on a smaller scale and more locally. This may mean more eating "in season". This also means a great flux in prices based on supply and demand. For example, during a dryer year, their will be less of certain crops, driving up the price. And off-season crops will be near impossible to come by.

The other alternative, is to continue with larger scale farming practices using fossil fuels. With this option, as the price of fuel goes up, so will the price of foods. great amounts of fuel is uses in the production and shipping of products that are not grown locally or in-season.

In any case, now is the opportune time to be investing in food. Our world is changing. We need to be prepared. It is time to start becoming more self-reliant. What will your family do if the leading national supplier of tomatoes stopped producing nationally and only supplied on a small scale to their local areas? What if the price of tomatoes sky rocketed and you could no longer get tomato paste for all your quick recipes? What if winter brought a spike in egg prices making them hard to come by? What if milk became a luxury your family couldn't afford? Invest in these foods now, and you will have them later.

We all have a tendency to take our food supply for granted. None of us remember a time our grandparents knew, when food was hard to come by.

Now is the time to prepare for your family. Stock up on shelf stable foods. Have emergency supplies on hand. Use coupons to allow you to stock up on necessities like toothpaste, toilet paper, and first-aid supplies. Become familiar with recipes that can be cooked using shelf stable ingredients. Start a "Home Store Binder" and include everything you need to prepare your family. Keep check list of what is in your home store, supplies you need, emergency information, survival articles, recipes, canning guides, and more in your binder for easy reference.

Become Prepared.

As my dear friend always says "If my kids have to stand in line to get food from the government, I feel like I have failed them."

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