I was watching Doomsday Prepper re-runs recently and there was a prepper who had thousands and thousands of seeds stored away in case the SHTF, TEOTWAKI or whatever other acronym you can think of for when the world goes down the toilet.  I sat there listening to him proudly extol the virtues of having so many seeds and I thought-you’re going to starve to death before you ever get enough food to grow.  It was just so arrogant of him to think all you have to do is put the seed in the ground and everything will just work out.  Let me tell you, it won’t.

Welcome to farming-a world where Murphy’s Law is king.  If something bad can happen, it will happen.  EVERYTHING goes wrong in farming.  Animals die, plants die, rainstorms, droughts, wind, pests, predators…  It isn’t easy to farm.  The learning curve is something like this:

steep learning curve farming

Farming is a steep learning curve

When we first starting farming, we had dead animals everyday.  It became so depressing we nearly gave up.  Fortunately we stuck with it and began to get the hang of things and the animals began to get healthier generation after generation.  We found animals that could handle our environment, ones that were smart enough to stay away from predators (for the most part) and each generation produced smarter, healthier, tougher animals.  Now we hardly ever lose animals.  We’re working on saving our own seeds so that the plants can be adapted to our environment too.

And that’s the key.  Not only does it take years for YOU to figure out what you’re doing, but it takes years for the plants and animals DNA to figure out what it’s doing.  Not all lettuce will grow in your environment.  But if you find lettuce that will barely make it, a few years of seed saving will produce lettuce that will thrive in your location’s conditions.  And I won’t even ask if you know all the tricks of seed saving!!!!