Dateline: 17 June 2015
|Fabric-mulched potato hills in my garden.|
I’m persuaded that we as a nation are currently in the early stages of of an era of epic wealth destruction and confiscation. For more and more people the American dream of working hard and getting ahead is giving way to the American nightmare of working hard (if a job can be found) to pay off debt while barely keeping the taxes and bills paid—or not keeping them paid.
Those who have good-paying jobs or an earned life savings are becoming a minority, and are increasingly seen by the corrupt political class as targets for even more vampiric taxation.
The old rules for wise investing apply less and less. Those who actually have a little money ahead, and want to invest it, so as to earn a return, are hard pressed to find safe and secure investment options.
With these emerging realities in mind, I believe one of the wisest investments anyone can make is in what I’ll call Garden Infrastructure. Let me explain…
A dictionary definition of the word “infrastructure” is as follows:
The basic physical and organizational structures and facilities (e.g., buildings, roads, and power supplies) needed for the operation of a society or enterprise.
My definition of “garden infrastructure” would be:
The basic physical and organizational structures and facilities (e.g., land, tools, fertilizer) needed for the operation of a productive personal garden.
No matter how bad the economy gets, no matter how much wealth destruction and confiscation happens, if you invest your money now in garden infrastructure, you essentially “lock in” profitable returns for years to come.
The concept of investing in garden infrastructure is surely unconventional. Precious few moderns will take the idea seriously, but it is pretty much the safest and surest investment a person or family can make.
Even in the unlikely event that impending worldwide economic problems are resolved, and the conventional investment paradigms do not fail, garden infrastructure is still one of the best investments a person can make. Think about this….
If you work a job to earn money to purchase your food at a store, and you are in a 30% income tax bracket, you have to earn $140 to buy $98 worth of food ($42 of the $140 would go to the government).
That being the case, you might be further ahead if you worked less at a job and more at growing your own food. Unless, of course, the government figures out a way to tax people on the value of any food they produce for themselves.
I have been investing in garden infrastructure for years, but this year I’m increasing my investment in the following areas…
1. I have invested in soil amendments to last me for several years. Specifically, I’ve bought several bags of kelp meal and humates. I invested in a soil analysis and mineralization of my garden a few years ago. These new soil amendments (along with compost and biochar that I produce) are all I figure I’ll need for a long time.
2. As readers of this blog know, I started using using black plastic and black plastic fabric as a mulch in my garden last year. These materials are helping me to have a more productive garden, and I have bought more of the material this year.
3. I’ve come to the conclusion that a soil blocker is the most intelligent way to get most seeds started, before transplanting them into the garden. With that in mind, I am in the process of purchasing enough ingredients to make my own soil-block mix for several years. I’m also making and using self-watering trays for the soil blocks. I hope to blog about this in the future, but there is plenty of soil-block information on the internet, and Eliot Coleman’s books cover the subject well.
4. After procrastinating for years, I am planning to finally to put up a small, movable, unheated greenhouse this year. It will be for the purpose or growing greens through the winter, for starting plants in the spring, and for growing tomatoes in the summer. I will be writing about this subject as it develops.
5. I hope to get a ramial chip maker (wood chipper) later this year. I have an abundance of scrub brush on my land that needs to be chipped up and put to good use.
These are just some examples of garden infrastructure. Other examples of garden infrastructure investments would be fencing, trellis supports, Row-cover materials, tools, and how-to books. Even bluebird nesting boxes could be classified as garden infrastructure.
I know that many (if not most) people who read this blog are investing in their own garden infrastructure. So I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. But, for the record, I just want to make it clear that I think garden infrastructure is one of the best investments there is.
As always, I welcome your comments and insights about this subject.