And I got hung up on this. For a minute anyway.
But then, the real systems thinker in me came to, and I felt a sudden rush of relief. Because in an energy descent context, we south Georgians have a vast surplus of pecans. We are one of only a few major pecan-producing regions in the U.S., that supply the rest of the continent with pecans. Pecans we won't be able to continue shipping away for too much longer. What to do with all those nuts? Well, we won't starve to death, that's for sure. Might be bored senseless of pecan this and pecan that, but it's a good solid menu item, survival-wise. But there will be no market value left in pecans eventually. Take a continent-sized pecan market, collapse it down to a sub-state region, and see where pecan futures head. For our region it will probably be the same for blueberries, cotton, peanuts, and peaches too. Not to mention that the two annual crops in that list will probably fall victim to energy descent even within the region ultimately. They're just too energy-intensive, and I don't see anyone volunteering to start picking cotton by hand again.
Fortunately, we can all grow a few peanuts at home if we want to, and we have enough clothing to blanket the Earth in multiple layers hanging in the closets and clothes shops of Tift County already. The term "seasonal fashion" might take a beating, but we have clothes. All the same though, I'm planting some flax this season, and probably picking up a few sheep. I wonder if we can turn slash pine fiber into cloth?
I saw a great bumper sticker last weekend at the Southeast Lawn and Garden Expo that read: "Spinning because knitting isn't weird enough." She and I are friends now. Actually she bought a shiitake mushroom log from me too! I had a demo booth going, plugging sweetgum logs with shiitake spawn, and selling them for $25 a pop. Sold out completely to a surprisingly fascinated crowd, was interviewed on camera for the regional nightly news, and have 5 more workshops lined up for this year already. Including the Georgia Master Gardeners state convention in Macon in October. I've been thinking about becoming a certified Master Gardener for a year or two now, and here I am teaching a class at their state convention! I love it.
Which takes me full circle back to the cutting of those pecan logs for future shiitake stuffing workshops, and the realization that it was OK to do so in light of current energetics trends. And not only that, but building a proper multi-storied food forest under the pecan canopy will require removing some of the lower limbs to let in more light. The food forest will yield more, and more diverse, calories per acre than the pecans alone, not to mention bear less ubiquitous crops for this region. I turned some of my mushroom earnings into persimmons and plums for the advancement of that plan.
It's time for a monthly photo update from Small Batch (which is now Tonic Permaculture btw, since we are anything but small these days). My next post will have pictures of our new Bourbon Red tom turkey, our dozen baby chicks that just arrived, a much improved garden and orchard, projects around the house, and a slow food group update.
See you again soon.