Conversation with “Peace”- Part 3

Just a few questions for you to ponder… (I am not asking you to do anything I have not done for weeks now) As noted I’ve had this conversation in my head and on paper, unpublished since February. Today, in May, we are now seeing reports of the Mississippi and extreme flooding effecting hundreds of thousands of acres of American farmland- so some of my thoughts might need to be questions we are TRULY asking ourselves, for real!

What if you had to grow 95% of the food you and your family would eat for a year and it had to be grown from your yard?

  • What would you grow? 

  • How much would you have to grow in order to provide for your entire family? Visitors?

  • How would you store it? Where would you store it?

  • How would you preserve it? 

Think about your weather patterns-

  • Could you grow year round?

  • Or would you have a short planting season?

  • Do you have wet spots, or dry spots in your yard?

  • Do you have a contingency plan for a drought? Or flooding?

Now that we have a few food questions covered? Onto the basics of water…

What if your power was totally unpredictable and unreliable? As in, if you had a well with a pump, that would need electricity. Realizing, if you had no power, you have no water coming out of your electrified pump.

What if you did not have an electric pump to your well and you had to hand pump your water, how long do you think it would take to pump a gallon of water? What if you had no money for a pump and you had to walk to the nearest community pump? How far would your community pump be from your house?  How many people live in your area, the more dense- the longer the lines with others waiting to pump their water.

These are a few questions I was encountering on my trip to Uganda in February. We reach out to so many widows, many are HIV positive and they have full schedules of helping with Lamplighter Ministries, and they also have to work in their own gardens providing food for their families. 

I honestly thought about my own tomato plants this past summer. I had these gorgeous tomatoes-

  • then they got a fungus

  • then crazy worms consumed them

  • then Japanese Beetles…

We got loads of cherry tomatoes from 1 vine, all the others produced nothing. I was able to share my bounty of cherry tomatoes with friends, I loved it! But our family was not “dependent” on my tomatoes succeeding or failing. I was growing tomatoes for JOY- not due to my family’s tomato consumption for 365 days. Not one time did I assume, my family would starve if my tomato crop failed. But in the Third World this is a constant thought- I am NOT being dramatic, this is life and death.

In 2018, I planted over 100 sunflowers, due to squirrels or rabbits? Something, ate all but 1! Out of over 100 sunflower seeds, I got 1 sunflower bloom. (I know this time I am NOT shouting, “I grew up on a farm”, I am sort of hanging my head in utter failure as a farmer!) To me it was an “oh, well, I will try again next year”- because my family was not dependent on my sunflowers for oil, food or joy.

SO how do you think you would manage growing ALL of your food for a year? How would you rate on a survival chart?

In the third world, their survival is determined by the success of their crops. As noted by the sunflower fields in the above photo, they are doing great but could do so much better with some of our basic necessities. Viable, consistent electricity is needed. Clean water is needed, Because the gap between what we have & what they have should not be this vast!  

Nancy Hester