This article was originally published by Charles Hugh Smith at Of Two Minds Blog under the title: Rather Than Focus on What You Don’t Control (“The News”), Focus on What You Do Control: What You Grow, Eat, and Own
Now that globalization and financialization are finally unraveling, people are slowly awakening to the national security foundations of localizing production.
What exactly is “the news” other than an inducement to passivity, despair and derangement? Since we exert zero control over what happens in distant lands and global economies, why waste time passively consuming “if it bleeds it leads” offal designed to addict us to a steady stream of despair and derangement?
Why not ditch “the news” in favor of focusing on what we do control: what we grow, eat and own? It’s almost a binary choice: either focus on screens of addictive offal for hours every day or act on our own behalf in the real world.
Food inflation is highlighting the financial value of home gardens. Paul of the Silver Doctors and I discuss turning gardening savings into more ownership of something we control (for example, precious metals) in Save Money On Food, Get Free Gold & Silver, Beat Price Inflation (1:08 hrs).
I’ve been posting about the value of gardening for over a decade, describing the financial and health benefits. I Dig Dirt: The Remedy for Derealization (July 23, 2011) The Hidden Value of Gardens (September 13, 2014)
Food inflation simply increases the gains: One Solution to Soaring Food Prices: Start Your 2022 Garden Now (November 6, 2021).
Municipalities can either encourage or hinder local food production. Cities once grew between a third and a half of their own food within city limits: Could Urban Gardens Supply 1/3 of a City’s Food? Yes. (March 13, 2010).
If we’re not allowed to grow food, that’s a problem that can be solved by local lobbying or moving to a place where there are fewer restrictions on growing our own food. Local authorities can either lead (by encouraging community gardens for apartment dwellers, for example) or get out of the way.
Which makes more sense–air freighting tomatoes thousands of miles or growing your own? Globalization and financialization have so distorted our economy that if it’s cheaper to fly in tomatoes then that’s the “most profitable choice.”
But is maximizing profit really the only “value” we should be calculating? Thanks to an obsessive focus on maximizing profits, our economy has been stripmined of essential production because it’s always cheaper to produce stuff somewhere else where labor and bribes are cheap and environmental controls non-existent.
Now that globalization and financialization are finally unraveling, people are slowly awakening to the national security foundations of localizing production. Home gardens were called Victory Gardens in World War II for a reason. Reducing dependency and increasing local production is national security in a nutshell.
Gardening is the antidote to the toxic tsunami of despair and derangement sweeping the land and one expression of self-reliance and ownership of what we can control.
There are health benefits, too: the nutritional value of the food we consume has plummeted by a third as the soils are depleted of micro-nutrients. By boosting the health of the soil in your own garden, you are supplying your household with higher quality food than you can buy at the store.
If we consider the tragic decline in the health of the American public since the 1980s, the decline in the nutritional value of food and the consumption of real food (as opposed to processed “food”, much of which is inedible) are factors that we can control in our own lives: grow healthy food, eat what you grow.
The money saved by a home garden can be invested in assets we control: new skills, new tools, and assets that we control such as gold and silver.
The food we grow tastes better, too. Local chefs prefer locally raised food for many reasons, and taste is one. We recently turned a batch of our heirloom tomatoes into an amazing tomato soup (served with fresh basil leaves, croutons and grated Romano cheese) that was nothing like the over-salted canned variety. Our inspiration was Marcella Hazan’s Oven-Browned Tomatoes (page 527 from her cookbook Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking) and this recipe: The Best Homemade Tomato Soup.
This isn’t a difficult recipe. Even a beginner can chop up veggies, roast them and pulp them in a blender or food processor. Cuisine that’s just as good as that produced in a fancy restaurant is within reach of home gardeners. Truly refined cuisine is simple. It doesn’t take celebrity chefs with a half-dozen assistants to make. Preparing your own healthy home-cooked meals saves a bundle, too.
As I’ve been saying for years: “A healthy homecooked family meal and a home garden are revolutionary acts.” If these don’t seem revolutionary yet, just wait a few years: their revolutionary nature will become self-evident.
Gardening is a process of experiments and failures. Like any enterprise, it’s not a commercial, it’s real life.
Please join Paul and I for an enthusiastic look at taking control of what we can control and the joys of growing food and saving money: Save Money On Food, Get Free Gold & Silver, Beat Price Inflation (1:08 hrs).
It’s Time To End The Fed & Return To A Decentralized Currency (X22 Report, 38 min)
Charles Hugh Smith On Inequalities And The Distortions Caused By Central Bank Policies (FRA Roundtable, 30 min)
Tectonic Shift of Mercantilism Revalued (Gordon Long, Macro-Analytics, 42 min)
My new book is now available at a 10% discount this month: When You Can’t Go On: Burnout, Reckoning and Renewal.