Re: Solving World Problems: Hunger

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Tue Jan 29 2002 - 10:31:54 MST

Spike Jones wrote:
> James Rogers wrote:
> > As someone who grew up around gobs of fruit trees of all types, I would say
> > your first reason is the correct one. A healthy fruit tree produces a *LOT*
> > of fruit, even a small one, and depending on the type of tree may produce
> > all year... -James Rogers
> James thanks for bringing back fond memories of my misspent youth.
> The Florida town where I grew up was formerly acres upon acres of
> citrus groves. Most yards in the tracts had one or more trees. The
> neighbor lady used to pick the stuff and put it in grocery bags out front
> with a big sign "free fruit, or $1 donation per bag." I guess it was an
> easy place to be poor: a homeless person would not perish of exposure
> as it was warm, and it would be nearly impossible to starve to death in
> that town. A sluggard would feel pretty silly holding a "will work for
> food" sign with food hanging on trees all around.
> Hey that gives me an idea. Most places could set up public farms
> and trees. Then when the will-work-for-fooders show up, they have
> a place to work if they really mean it: maintaining the public farms.
> They would be free to devour all they can eat. We could even set
> up army tents out there. People would donate sleeping bags and
> clothing and such, especially if they saw will-work-for-fooders
> actually doing so.

I worked in an orchard one spring in high school, and can say that it is
fine work for a healthy person to engage in, especially if the landowner
is a decent chap. We do hear in the news of heinous abuses of migrant
agricultural workers in the south and west, generally in areas where
abuse and oppression through the law have a long tradition, either as
represented in seizures of minority owned lands, in gun control laws, or
in laws governing treatment agricultural labor and tenant farmers.

Up here in New Hampshire, 90% of the land was at one time cleared and
farmed. You can find stone walls dividing lots even in the deepest
wooded areas these days, where farmers had once cleared the land of
glacially deposited rocks to farm. In many of these areas, you can also
find old orchards of apples, pears, as well as blueberry and raspberry
patches, all gone wild. Mushrooms abound throughout the forest and can
fetch a high price at local markets, as well as other forest products
like ginseng roots, wild onions and cabbages, rhubarb and asparagus, and
nuts produced by many tree species, including beechnuts, chesnuts,
almonds, pine nuts, and more, which are all excellent sources of
protein. You can produce a natural flour from cat-tail reed heads, and
salad from fern fiddle-heads and immature dandilion leaves. And if it is
sugar you want, nothing beats the sugar bush (maple trees) for syrup,
sugar, and rock candy.

Anyone can still live off the land in many areas of the US with a little
knowledge without the need for 'public farms' to strip the land of its
natural bounty for the sake of monocultured lots.

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