Homesteading, Organic Gardening, How to Farm, Preparedness, Self-Reliance
I work at a local nursery. The change I have seen since the economic collapse of 2008 is inspiring and saddening at the same time. After the crash the nursery nearly went under. Many others did. Then more gov't regulation was added, almost as if they wanted to put small businesses out of business. To top it off, the state of Oregon, where I live, passed a retroactive tax increase on business. Some how this family owned business managed to survive, but it sure wasnt a result of cooperation from the government. The business now employs fewer people so they can pay those extra taxes. I often wonder how America became the place where the honest little guy, who pays his mortage and bills on time, stays married and raises responsible kids is the one who gets screwed. This is the sad part.
The inspiring part is what I see in sales. Sales of landscape vegetation, from grasses to trees and shrubs has really fallen off. The exciting part is how people now consider whether they want something that just looks nice or want something that gives them something in return for their investment of time, money and labor. I have long discussions with people who wonder if they can "do it". "Do it" is anything from planting a garden to growing berries, grapes or a fruit tree. Fruit tree sales are at all time highs. It is down right exciting to see how many people want to grow some of their own food, even though it is completely foreign to them. That is the sad part. I couldn't tell you how many people have never even put a seed in the soil and after you explain how you get questions like "do I have to water it then?" As a society we have been dumbed down. If you don't have your hands in the soil you are not in touch with reality and this is not my own statement. I hear it from people who have tried to grow their own food and found out how difficult it can be. (poor soil, pests, bad weather and all) They begin to see the light just a bit as it dawns on them those grocery store shelves don't just poop out that loaf of bread every morning.
Still it is exciting. So many more people want to learn and its not like going to work when you can share the knowledge of how to grow things with people who want to know. I am saddened by the people I see that are struggling in todays economy, but the bright side is that it has brought people closer to the land and a little closer to wanting to provide for themselves. That is a huge step in the right direction and I hope it continues.
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