I got a great comment from Big Bear this morning. He thinks manufacturing is headed back to this country because of the price of fuel. And he could be correct! I heard a man say back in the 90's that global food chains were too long, that it wouldn't work. Today we have heard the cry of the LOCAVORES. Grow local, eat local, and to hell with foreign grown food. And I say Amen.
Big Bear's idea is that this "make our own" strategy is going to start out as cottage industries. I say why not! That is how industry began! Before Henry Ford started his assemble line, cars were made by hand. Big Bears idea is regionalism, at least at first. You make a product and then you sell it in your region. I've been thinking about food production and I would say there is a very nice market within a 20 mile radius of our gardens. That would give us about 1256 square miles to service with food. And that is a huge market in terms of feeding people. Huge! And you can get anyplace within that area via horse and wagon in a day, and make it home for supper.
And then you have side-line businesses. You start delivering food all over the place and you will need lots of baskets and boxes, maybe even some clay jugs. And whoever produces these things will have a business. You make the baskts and boxes out of wood. You learn how to slice thin strips of wood for making baskets. You learn how to soak them in water so they will become something you can weave. Boxes will be made with boards. Someone will have to figure out how to make steel nails. They had better get busy amassing their scrap pile right now! Wooden pegs are a bitch to make and hold!
You want to make a little cottage industry? How about making a fly swatter? Can you waeve a wooden mat and attach it to a handle that people can use to swat flies? Sure would be popular with folks sitting on their porches in the hot weather. And you could learn to tan hides and use the leather for clothing and harness for horses. All kinds of uses for leather. Belts and shoes and boots and holsters for guns and watch bands and you name it. The proper tanning of leather might make a decent fly swatter. And you better get started on this because, as Big Bear pointed out, the fuel used to ship them in here from a long way off will be prohibitive in cost.
And other folks are going to get into this regional production. And we will have a way of communicating with them. Figure every 40 miles there will be a producer/supplier of some sort. Some may be closer and some may be further. But we will need cotten from the South for clothing and we have to have a way to get it. So we will have "Stations". These will be centers of trade and communication. The carters, what we call teamsters, will move our freight via horses from station to station. Mail and orders will go the same route. You will get your southern Cotton in this manner. Your method of payment will be as you arrange it with your supplier. It has details, and more details, to be worked out but this will get the job done. Currency for payment will be a huge issue. If FRN's are no longer acceptable then a barter has to be worked out, and that includes paying the freight. Pretty heady stuff for folks used to going to Chinamart and buying everything they want. That type of lifestyle may be on the way out!
And what about seed? You want some clover seed to over-seed you pasture for next year? It only takes about ten pound to the acre. You got 40 acres of pasture you use for your animals? That will be 400 pounds of seed. How do we price this? Hell, how do we produce good clover seed? How do we harvest it? That shit is so small it's pathetic. Who has a Combine that will screen that small stuff? Merciful God. We are going to be some busy people for a few years.
Growing flax to produce Linen will come back into vogue. Anybody know how to ret flax? That is a soaking process, by the way. I damn sure don't know how to do it but if there is an interested party I would say "Get it on!" Ain't nothin' better than wearing linen clothing, especially underwear, in the hot Summer months. Keeps you cool and pretty dry and damn sure keeps you from chafing your skin. The old time preachers used to wear Linen to long hot Summer meetings years ago. It's how they kept from being rendered into hot fat! Tricks of the trade.
I could go on and on about this regionalsim, this local manufacturing and production and shipping. It is surely a survival area of great concern. And I like the idea of cottage industries. What a blessing to folks left high and dry by globalism. And the prospectg of profit will be too great for our industrious types to resist. We will be busy trying to survive and others will be busy trying to produce. It's all the same thing, really. That ol' boy trying to make clover screens for his old horse drawn combine will still have to eat and someone will have to grow his food while he is tinkering with his machine. That dould get you a share of his businesss. And if you wanted to grow clover for seed you might give the combine man a sharre of your seed or your profit! The possibilities are endless. I sure do thank Big Bear for his thoughts on regionalism and cottage industry. Very important. Extremely important. We are lucky to have a thinker in our midst.
I had finished this blog and was just waiting for the late afternoon to post it, I have amused myself by watching the market. It has been horrendous. Nothing the Plunge Protection Team does makes any headway against this crooked bunch of bastards and their coniving. The market is still going down. When Bernanke mentioned that the discount window would be open for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the market initially went berserk and regained all of its loses. But then it started back down again. Yahoo was actually shut down on it's financial page for 30 minutes. It was just jammed. Get ready for hyper-inflation like Zimbabwe is experiencing. It's gonna be a bitch, folks. A real bitch. Got preps?