It's colder that a well diggers ass in the Klondike this morning. When I went to bed a little after ten o'clock last night it was 17 degrees. When I got up it had warmed to 19. A veritable heat wave. But December is almost half gone and I am thinking about the garden next year. The wife is down visiting the Amish this morning as is her custom. I wrote a letter to Mr. Amishman and told him I needed some non-hybrid corn seed for next year. I told him I thought about 10 pounds would be enough. He should be getting back to me pretty soon. I know that if anyone locally can help me with this it will be Mr. Amishman. He and his brethren have not allowed themselves to be fooled. They can save the seed from their crops and grow the next year. And they trade around so that their local strains retain their vigor. As the crow flies they are between 10 and 15 miles South of me, so their genetics should be quite well matched with our conditions here in the valley.
I have wanted to say that the times I have been on the radio with Big John Lipscomb I have not mentioned the fact that you can plant hybrid corn for the purpose of staying alive. I do not LIKE hybrid corn and you can not plant the seed of it the next year and get the same corn, but it will keep you from going hungry and will combine with beans to give you a complete protein. This non-hybrid seed business is not a suicide pact. It's a way of managing long term food needs on a permanent basis. It is a way of regulating the continuity of your food production. It is how you keep the food supply up to the task of feeding you and yours. But that rip-off hybrid seed will feed you if necessary. Do not refuse to plant it because of some belief in non-hybrid seed. Get a crop in the ground and growing, and then start looking for your good seed if you haven't been able to find it as yet. It is better to eat a hamburger than to skip the meal because there is no T-bone steak. The steak can come a little later.
As far as an F-1 hybrid is concerned, I might be tempted to experiment with it for a little while if nothing else was making itself known. It is my experience that the seed from an F-1 hybrid will grow and produce. I have seen it happen with my own eyes. But since it is a cross beween two kinds of corn and you don't know what the varieties are and why they were selected, you are taking a chance on your seed for the next year. But if there is no choice then plant the seed from your F-1 plant and see what happens. You just may get a nice crop. An F-1 hybrid is not a genetically mangled freak. It is a product of cross pollination. You should get the opinion of a plant biologist about what you are attempting to do. I am not a plant biologist I am merely a gardener. But being a gardener does not stop you from playing around a little bit and finding yourself a reliable seed to use for growing your food. If the outcome is in doubt then just plant twice as much as you can use. Save out the best looking ears and dry them for next years crop. Dry double what you think you will need. Keep doing this and you will come up with a good crop of corn from your F-1 seed. Like I said, it is not nearly as good as going forth with your Big John Lipscomb seed from the git-go, but it will beat the hell out of going hungry.
I hear words and phrases with the connotation of food being used as a weapon. And that can damn well happen. We get back to the idea of a man willing to do most anything if his wife and kids are hungry. We get back to the idea of people taking part in a very bad situation that is NOT of their doing. On the one hand it can cause a man to accept some form of slavery to get food enough to sustain his family. This is using food as a weapon. If you don't do what the masters say to do then you get the barrel of the starvation gun pointed at you. On the other hand, because most people are blameless in this mess, you try to push them into slavery and you might have the damnedest rebellion on your hands you ever saw or dreamed about. I think it was FDR who said there were no coincidences in politics. Okay. Let's just say ol' FDR got that one right. You don't have to like him or dislike him. But if he is right on this count then why are we having all these troops brought into the country? Is it because someone in government has looked down the road far enough and seen chaos and destruction right in our own streets? Is it because something has broken down in our midst that keeps us from feeding ourselves? Ugly pictures, to be sure, but worthy of attention.
So make your plans and do your thinking now, while you have the luxury of time. Get what you can together. Get out of the cities and get out on the land. And if you can't do that then do it anyway. Beg, borrow, or steal a retreat, a place to go, a place of some degree of safety. Get your crops in and get your storage built up. Get your bullets and band-aids in good supply. There is a real mess headed our way and those who prepare will be the better for it. Stay alive.