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Guest Post: Two No-Brainer Ways To Play Rising Food Prices

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Simon Black of Sovereign Man blog,

Last summer, two researchers from the New England Complex Systems Institute published a short paper examining the correlation between rising food prices and civil unrest. It was a timely analysis, to say the least. A number of food riots were occurring throughout the world, not to mention waves of revolution sparked by the high cost of food.

This is nothing new; throughout history whenever people have struggled to put food on the table for their families, social unrest has been a common consequence.

The French Revolution is a classic example; after decades of unsustainable fiscal and monetary practices that wrecked the French economy, the harvest season and subsequent winter of 1788 were particularly harsh. People went hungry, and it ultimately started the revolution.

The researchers' analysis went a step further, though; they modeled the relationship between food prices and social unrest to reach a simple conclusion-- whenever the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)'s global food price index climbs above 210, conditions ripen for social unrest.

Today, the FAO's food index is at 213... and rising. Netherlands-based Rabobank recently published its own analysis, forecasting further rises in food prices well into the 3rd quarter of 2013.

There are so many factors driving food prices higher. From a demand perspective, world population is growing at an extraordinary rate... plus the rise of billions of people from developing countries (especially in Asia) into the middle class is quickening demand for resource-intensive foods like beef.

From a supply perspective, drought, soil erosion, and reduction of available farmland all put significant pressure on global agricultural output. And finally, from a monetary perspective, the enormous amount of paper currency being printed in the world is finding its way into agricultural commodities.

I cannot envision a slowdown in any of these factors anytime soon. Central bankers will continue printing, people will continue procreating, developing countries will continue becoming wealthier, etc. So we should absolutely expect rising food prices for quite some time.

Long-term, technology will ultimately solve these problems... but large-scale implementation is a long way off, and it may certainly be a bumpy ride ahead.

Individuals can hedge their exposure in a number of different ways. The simple option is to invest in agricultural ETFs or long-term futures contracts. But I can hardly recommend this as a course of action given the massive systemic risk in the financial system.

Just as we often recommend holding physical gold and silver rather than owning a gold ETF, it's much better to own physical agricultural assets.

If you're on a budget, small gardens can be planted for a pittance as long as you're willing to roll up your sleeves. Even if you live in an urban area surrounded by a sea of concrete, tabletop hydroponic and aquaponic systems can be set up on the cheap... and they're easy to maintain.

If you have more capital to deploy, consider buying agricultural property, preferably overseas. Buying foreign real estate is a great way to move money overseas, plus it gives you a place to go if you really need to escape.

As I survey farmland prices around the world, the best region to buy is South America, particularly Chile, Paraguay, or Uruguay. I'll have more detail on those locations in a future letter.

Bottom line, if the analysis is correct and food prices continue to rise, agriculture will be one of the best investments of the decade. As Jim Rogers has said so many times before, it will be farmers driving Maseratis, not stock brokers.  Plus, you will have secured yourself a steady, reliable supply of food.

Even if the analysis is wrong and all the world's food challenges are magically solved, it's hard to imagine being worse off for having your own food supply... or owning beautiful, well-located land in a rapidly developing foreign country.


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Thu, 09/27/2012 - 13:57 | 2836095 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Good time to be in agriculture.  ;-)

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 13:58 | 2836106 BaBaBouy
BaBaBouy's picture

Buy Calls On COSTCO Warehouse Stocks ...

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:02 | 2836117 Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture

The collective farm, coming soon to a field near you. 

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:11 | 2836161 CommunityStandard
CommunityStandard's picture

Google search farm prices.  Farmland has only gone up, even through the housing collapse and this drought.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:38 | 2836264 camaro68ss
camaro68ss's picture

The bernake can just print food right?????

Fri, 09/28/2012 - 00:01 | 2837646 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

Who needs ETFs when you have an EBT?

Just give me a call on my Obamaphone, the "oPhone"

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:50 | 2836288 Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture

This after decades of being flat.  It's about time. 

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:12 | 2836333 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

It's actually a huge opportunity.

The New Normal person wants to sit at his computer and click his mouse and make money.  There are no farmland vehicles for that, because people in farmland have thought that through.

If you want to own farmland, you had to get out of your chair, find owners and talk to them and buy from them.  You have an advantage in that because the New Normal humans are still sitting at their computer.  You have no competition in your bid for the land.  The internet is not involved.  This somewhat insulates you if the internet ever shuts down because the maintainers have no food.

Then after you have it, as part of the buy, you get a users manual from the owner listing the phone numbers of the seed maker, the tractor leasor, the irrigation company, the crop duster, etc.  You hit the ground running, which provides you time to arrange phone numbers for the oxen owners and well water for irrigation.  When the end hits, you'll be the prominent citizen of your community of 200, which will be the largest in the world.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 16:18 | 2836624 mkhs
mkhs's picture

"seed maker"...You're one of the new normals, right?

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 16:28 | 2836652 ncdirtdigger
ncdirtdigger's picture

It would seem that you are one of the new normals. Never heard of GMOs I suppose?

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 17:49 | 2836892 mkhs
mkhs's picture

Right.  Everyone who is interested in growing their own food will prefer GMO seeds.  As an aside, the M stands for modified, not made.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 16:41 | 2836705 auric1234
auric1234's picture

But you can still buy DOLE stock, or the likes?

I wouldn't buy DOLE myself, as I heard they cut deals with Monsanto, but you get the point (btw, I'm interested in hearing alternatives)


Thu, 09/27/2012 - 16:57 | 2836750 Acorn10012
Acorn10012's picture

I'm a seed maker...don't get this in your eye.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:10 | 2836337 flattrader
flattrader's picture

This is fucking stupid comment:

>>>Long-term, technology will ultimately solve these problems...<<<<


>>>...but large-scale implementation is a long way off, and it may certainly be a bumpy ride ahead.<<<

You be your ass it will be a bumpy ride.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:51 | 2836538 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

Hmm.  I wonder which "technology" they are talking about. . .

 Centerally planned population reduction, or trying to eek out a living using a sharp stick in hard dirt while trying to keep your starving neighbors away?

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 19:00 | 2837039 Nehweh Gahnin
Nehweh Gahnin's picture

Had to scan down to see if someone beat me to this point.  You did.  Let's add the "farmers driving Maseratis" comment from Rogers to that.  (Hopefully that was tongue in cheek.)


PEAK OIL, BITCHEZ!  Oh, and peak fiat.  Um, and peak pollution.  Peak population.  Peak right here...


Thu, 09/27/2012 - 17:45 | 2836879 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Some people don't consider the need for income to cover property taxes which is the Govts. main source of revenue.   If the farm is your only source of income, you will need to produce much more than you consume just to keep your property.  In most states, the taxing authority will seize the property and offer it for sale at a public auction.  That's another good place to look for land.

Fri, 09/28/2012 - 07:27 | 2838031 samcontrol
samcontrol's picture

International land prices not Tylers' best theme.
Paraguay and Uruguay over Argentina ? Really ?

I have suggestions in Argentina and Chile for anyone interested.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:08 | 2836133 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

The previously United States of Monsanto............

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:58 | 2836306 Navymugsy
Navymugsy's picture

Have any of you looked into buying your own farm and hiring a manager? I may be behind the curve but I'd love to hear from someone who has done this or knows a reliable/reputible farm management firm. Realize this is a cash game and I'd like to get some info.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:43 | 2836495 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

It's a brave new world out there navy managers are those running the monsanto game...genetically engineered seed spliced with bacteria, heavy spraying of pre-emergent herbicide, then roundup and ensuing pollution of ground and groundwater...but hey, you got your short term profits, right?

Organic on the other hand has few managers available from what I can see because it is a ton of work and ya gotta love it.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 16:31 | 2836670 ncdirtdigger
ncdirtdigger's picture

There are a lot of young people who will sharecrop given the opportunity.  The local college with an Ag program would be a good place to look for them. They have little capital, and lots of enthusiasm.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 17:10 | 2836783 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

That'll work great is your tractor runs on Playstation or an iPhone app.  Check resumes for high scores on Farmville.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:39 | 2836480 AGuy
AGuy's picture

"Good time to be in agriculture. "

For Big-Agra company, yes, as a family farmer, not so much. Gov't regulations are putting the gov't boot on the neck of the family farmer.  Big Agra is using lobbyists to crush small farmers so they can gobble up the market share, and use there monopoly to raise consumer prices.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:56 | 2836557 Oracle of Kypseli
Oracle of Kypseli's picture

Houses should have flat roofs and grow stuff. It costs more to build a flat roof and design for snow loads, but still it works.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 13:58 | 2836104 Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture

Food, it's what's for dinner. 

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:01 | 2836114 PUD
PUD's picture

Double lock the dumptser bitchez

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:47 | 2836511 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture
Spain Splintering Apart as Hungry Forage Trash Bins for Next Meal

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:01 | 2836116 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Global food fight, bitchez..............

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:02 | 2836118 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

I'd love to play, but for the first time in 20 years my accounts are flat.  Why?

Counter Party Risk.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:03 | 2836122 Jason T
Jason T's picture

By The Sweat of Your Brow you Will Eat Your Bread

buy a 50 lb bag of flour and make your own bread and pizza doughs!  ..make sure not bromated flour though.. shit is banned in Nigeria and China yet its ok to sell in the USA.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:22 | 2836172 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



We buy Hard Red Winter Wheat like this, it can last many years, and grind our own flour with one of these to make bread like this...

Who is your miller?  What are they putting in your flour? 

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:19 | 2836383 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

"What are they putting in your flour?"  Folic acid for one.  Just because women that are in their first three month of gestation need it for their unborn.  It has side effects for the rest of us:

"Folic acid is LIKELY SAFE for most people. Most adults do not experience any side effects when consuming the recommended amount each day, which is 400 mcg.

High doses of folic acid might cause abdominal cramps, diarrhea, rash, sleep disorders, irritability, confusion, nausea, stomach upset, behavior changes, skin reactions, seizures, gas, excitability, and other side effects.

 There is some concern that taking too much folic acid for a long period of time might cause serious side effects. Some research suggests that taking folic acid in doses of 800-1200 mcg might increase the risk of heart attack in people who have heart problems. Other research suggests that taking these high doses might also increase the risk of cancer such as lung or prostate cancer."

Dwarf wheat's a killer.  It's the reason diabetes is epidemic.   The GMO varieties should be able to kill even quicker.

What better way is there to get rid of the useless eaters than fuck with their food?

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 17:00 | 2836757 Acorn10012
Acorn10012's picture

Please post more pictures of food...almost as good as the sugar daddy girls.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 17:04 | 2836762 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



...almost as good as the sugar daddy girls.

lol...I will be sure to pass that on, as she is a year older than me.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 17:13 | 2836791 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

Bread and potatoes = diabetes in the making.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:17 | 2836183 Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture

Buy the wheat berries and grind your own.  Flour goes rancid quickly, unless one takes all the nutrients out.  Which is why they spray it with vitamins (enriching). 

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:21 | 2836205 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Oats have more protein and fiber, and make a damn fine mash for home made Kickapoo Joy Juice.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:27 | 2836220 El Viejo
El Viejo's picture

"spray it with vitamins"


Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:45 | 2836275 Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture


Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:47 | 2836276 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



Stop pellagra, eat more grits! 

Preferably with butter, salt, runny-fried-yard eggs, beef sausage, and a glass of raw milk.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:53 | 2836296 Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture

What no I Can't Believe It's Not Butter?  Or the overseas version: My God It's Not Butter? 

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:03 | 2836315 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



Just butter, using only cream from our cow, churned in our Magimix, rinsed with well water. 

Some visitors have said things like, " tastes just like regular butter!"

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:09 | 2836336 Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture it. 

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:24 | 2836414 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

GMO corn based grits?  Soon to be outlawed in France and Russia due to health concerns and cancer in rats.

Fri, 09/28/2012 - 06:59 | 2837992 Cui Bono
Cui Bono's picture

a bit late but here is the report...

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 16:33 | 2836678 ncdirtdigger
ncdirtdigger's picture

Beef sausage my arse. Livermush is the cat's meow!

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 16:05 | 2836588 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

Pizza dough is easy and the flavor and texture is amazing:

1 pkg active dry yeast or 2 ish teaspoons

1 tsp white sugar

1 Cup warm not hot water

2 and ½ Cups flour (can be white or half white/half wheat)

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 teaspoon salt

optional -  fresh or dried herbs, olives etc.

a little cornmeal

Preheat oven  to 450

In med bowl dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until thickened, 10 min.

If using herbs, add to oil and mix well

Stir in flour, salt, and oil to yeast mixture. Stir gently until combined. Rest 5 min. (Can be stored up to two days in frig.)

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and pat or roll into a round.

Transfer to (very lightly greased) pizza pan or oven tray dusted with cornmeal or flour. Spread dough on pan.

Put sauce, toppings, cheese etc. Bake 15 or 20 min until golden brown.

Eat now.


Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:04 | 2836124 irie1029
irie1029's picture

Ironic how it corresponds to election years... hmm

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:04 | 2836125 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Can you buy foreign land with EBT?

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:04 | 2836127 Squid Vicious
Squid Vicious's picture

Buying wings burritos and pizza stocks because fat-ass mer'kans have to eat too!

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:05 | 2836129 yabyum
yabyum's picture

So ZHers, How did your garden grow? What worked? what failed? I had my best year of heirloom Roma's that are put up is pasta sauce and as sun dried(YUM!), potatoes were fair, corn great ( next year will stagger the plantings). Basil was off the hook but, peppers were dismal. Still getting crops as we speak.  I hope you tried your hand, damn little in this life is a satisfying as "growing your own".

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:09 | 2836151 donsluck
donsluck's picture

Research shows gardening health benefits exceed the food and excercise. There seems to be some kind of synergy going on between the sun, water, soil, air, plants and gardener.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:10 | 2836155 Vincent Vega
Vincent Vega's picture

I had a bumper crop of tomato's. I put up several quarts of roasted Roma's. Crowder peas, butter beans, purple hulls all did well. Yellow squash and zuch did well early on (as usual). Cucumbers did great. Peppers were mixed: bell was fair; habanero and Jalapeno did well. Corn sucked but I did get a havest...just not nearly what I had planned.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:20 | 2836198 Mercury
Mercury's picture

Northeast tomatoes rocked this year.  I went black and I'm never going back:

Brown Sugar
Paul Robeson
Black Giant
Purple Chinese Plum

Although I'm a roaster and freezer.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:22 | 2836209 Vincent Vega
Vincent Vega's picture

May I also suggest Russian won't be sorry.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:29 | 2836234 Mercury
Mercury's picture

I think I've seen those in the catalogs....

I've mostly been using Baker Creek which is where I found the noble Paul Robeson



Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:39 | 2836270 Vincent Vega
Vincent Vega's picture

I just went to the Baker Creek web site and ordered their catalog. So thank you for that tip.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:58 | 2836305 Vincent Vega
Vincent Vega's picture

Hat tip to you too kind Sir.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:33 | 2836457 Mercury
Mercury's picture

Some 17 yr. old kid started it in his bedroom 12-15 years ago and the thing has just completely taken off. The catalog gets bigger every year and they've bought up a couple other struggling seed farms.  I can't get as fired up amount GM foods as they do buy heirloom seeds, which they collect from all over the world, are just plain cool.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 17:12 | 2836787 startingnow
startingnow's picture

Black Icicle was the hit of the many heirlooms that we planted this year.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:12 | 2836165 Pinktip
Pinktip's picture

The only way to garden........

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:51 | 2836290 Vincent Vega
Vincent Vega's picture

Gave the film a quick look...can't wait to sit down and watch it all. Thanks!

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:32 | 2836443 JohnG
JohnG's picture

That's awesome, thanks very much.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:17 | 2836184 caimen garou
caimen garou's picture

basil,sage,& oregano still producing along with bell peppers,canalope. even with the drought we had a great garden. the solar power well pump was our savior.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:59 | 2836307 Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture

Let's not forget poppy pods, a favorite crop for generations of serfs. 

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:20 | 2836194 RSloane
RSloane's picture

One of things you might want to do, if you haven't already, is learn how to can food. Its not hard at all and will ensure that everything you've grown will be consumed. I learned how to can at my mother's feet in the kitchen when I was a little girl. I also learned how to dry spices and herbs and how to preserve them. I would assume there are a lot of how-to's in books and on the internet. This is assuming, of course, that you are not doing that already. If you are, please disregard my previous statement and accept my congratulations. There is nothing like eating food you've grown from seeds.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:43 | 2836266 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture




Keep an eye out for used pressure cookers/canners, size large, like Lehmans' 42 quart.  The price of these things has gotten out of hand...$419.00 new!  I think we paid $39 for ours many years ago.

You need a pressure cooker to can milk, meat, fish, and low acid veggies.

In addition to canning, they are also great for cooking swiss steak, fried chicken, and ribs.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 17:32 | 2836832 James
James's picture

I just paid $2.00 for a pressure cooker at a garage sale.

When I brought it in every body asked what are you going to do w/that?

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:27 | 2836426 Red Heeler
Red Heeler's picture

 Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning, is one of the best books in our library. Chelsea Green Publishing sells it. It covers lactic fermentation, drying, preserving in oil, preserving in vinegar, preserving with salt, preserving with sugar, sweet and sour preserves, and preserving in alcohol. If you're interested in putting your food up it's an essential guidebook to broaden the possibilities of preserving.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:35 | 2836464 Vincent Vega
Vincent Vega's picture

More good stuff. I feel like I've hit the jackpot today. Thanks!

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:41 | 2836472 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



That sounds like a very interesting book, and don't forget, when it comes to preserving lots of calories...

Blessed are the cheese makers, for they know the whey!


Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:50 | 2836519 Red Heeler
Red Heeler's picture

Goat's milk cheese is made on this farm. And it's nothing like that skunky stuff they sell at Whole Foods. (It's the Pasteurization process that makes it taste goaty.) Mozzarella at its best. 

I'll never understand why anyone with a fenced backyard doesn't have a trio or so of laying hens ranging about.

Nice press setup.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 16:30 | 2836660 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



It is a really nice press, and maybe even worth the $279 Ricki charges. 

I'll never understand why anyone with a fenced backyard doesn't have a trio or so of laying hens ranging about.

...and some rabbits.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 18:55 | 2837030 Red Heeler
Red Heeler's picture

Especially some rabbits. Although some people seem to have trouble getting hunny bunny from the cage to the table.

Thanks for the link.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:51 | 2836534 Vincent Vega
Vincent Vega's picture

I have not tried my hand at cheese making. However, last week a friend and I used up the last of our venison and made summer sausage. We used about 10 lbs venison and 7 lbs pork. We added some of my habanero's to a few sticks for some kick. Put it in casings, let it sit in fridge over night, then to the smoker for 5 hrs. Yum!

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 16:29 | 2836657 Shigure
Shigure's picture

HH - have you tried a juice press too? I bought mine from:

I pasturised some juice to store, and it freezes well, but we usually drink it straight away.  Apple and blackberry juice was really nice.

Fun to do too

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 16:41 | 2836699 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



Those look like nice presses. 

Our peaches and blackberries all get canned. 

The blueberries and strawberries all get eaten fresh, usually with homemade granola and fresh yogurt... 

I am still trying to figure out what to do with all the passion fruit.  Someday we may have pears, but I am not so hopeful.


Thu, 09/27/2012 - 16:52 | 2836737 Vincent Vega
Vincent Vega's picture

I bought some peaches and made a chutney with the recipe from the Ball canning book. It is a pretty good recipe (unlike some of them).

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 16:57 | 2836754 Shigure
Shigure's picture

HH - that looks fantastic. I must invest in more equipment. "Plant pears for your heirs" as the saying goes, but I am hoping that my cordon pears will fruit sooner than the bush/dwarf tree ones, it's a matter of pruning I think.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 17:17 | 2836801 omniversling
omniversling's picture

Great tucker HH...looks like my table! I had pears in 2 years off my tree, not sure which type...I freeze my excess passionfriut in icecube trays, then store them in a tupperware as 'portion serves'. Melt for use in baking and desserts. Used a dehydrator for the first time this year and dried own apples, guava, strawberries, veges, etc etc...electric dehydrators with 8-10 racks are around $300-400 (in Aus where I live) and solar setups can be made for virtually nothing using recycled materials...I'll try dehydrating passionfuit this year if I can work out a way to keep the pulp on the top of the rack..probably leave in in a half shell...



Thu, 09/27/2012 - 17:38 | 2836854 kekekekekekeke
kekekekekekeke's picture

do you have a resource or recommendation for learning how to can please?

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 18:12 | 2836923 James
James's picture

kekeke, Go to canning jar sites like Ball,Mason,etc.

They offer directions for use/how to/recipies.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:37 | 2836474 El Diablo Rojo
El Diablo Rojo's picture

Struggled with bugs, especially ants.  Some tomatoes did ok.  Lettuce went great. Still harvesting okra, tomatoes, and green beans.  Learned to can, and pickle this year. Potatoes did well, just relplanted more (get 3 seasons here in SoCal).  Spiders killed some though.  Squash did horrible, the leaves got some sort of fungus.  Same with the zuccini.  Not sure what to do there for next year.  My canned tomatoe sauce was the bomb, but the only tomatoes that didnt do to well were my Roma.  Really going to work the mulch and soil this winter.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 16:50 | 2836728 mkhs
mkhs's picture

Fungus?  A white powdery mildew?  I haven't found a cure for it, but can put it off a while and get a few squash.  Maybe it is something else because you didn't mention it affecting your tomatoes. 

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 17:23 | 2836818 omniversling
omniversling's picture

Yes, most likely a common powdery mildew. Also common on grape vines. I use a sulphur based spray that I get from my local ag shop. No chemicals. The sulphur dries out the fungus. The affected leaves still dry and curl, (then picked off when withered so as not to expose too many hollow ends of the stem/leaf which can multiply the infection) and spraying needs to be done every 2-3 weeks. I saved all my pumpkins, squash, zucchini and tomatoes with it...good luck..

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 17:59 | 2836912 mkhs
mkhs's picture

Well, I have used neem oil.  Seems to have the same effect as your sulfur, but, like you say, only good for short term.  Shorter if it rains and is washed off.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 18:23 | 2836963 omniversling
omniversling's picture

thnx mkhs, will check that...I've found that attention to the garden is paramount to cultivate organic. Some companion plants will reduce infestation, but vigillance is the best pesticide! Plus plants LOVE the attention, carressing and nurturing. Mine THRIVE...seriously over-produce and oversize compared to most of my neighbors and friends. They think that I have 'green thumbs', but I'm only into my 3rd year. All that said, I'm deep in the research phase of which 'pests' are not actually pests, but fulfilling some OTHER function in the garden that I can't see yet. I've come to be comfortable with the fact that I'm a sharer of my crop. The little local critters get a feed, and what goes round comes around. I feel blessed to have these organic gifts, so nutritious, wholesome and tasty, and deeply satisfying to nurture into abundance, so giving back to the garden (compost, feed the critters, pollen for the bees) is part of my cycle...

Search 'beneficial insects', eg:
Integrated Pest Management in Broadacre Farming


Thu, 09/27/2012 - 19:25 | 2837100 mkhs
mkhs's picture

Glad to see you are having a good time.  I just wish the pests would share more.  They have been eating the strawberries even before the berries are ripe. Ten for them, one for me. The adventure continues.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 17:41 | 2836866 James
James's picture

Back in the day tobbaco soaked in water was effective on fungus and bugs.

Try soaking 4-5 cigs in milk jug til you have brown water.

spray moderately on plants.

Research Aquaculture.



Thu, 09/27/2012 - 18:07 | 2836920 mkhs
mkhs's picture

Worth a try.  I have seen references to tobacco virus and its effect on tomatoes, though.  Still, it is the end of season and no harm in experimenting now. Thanks. Going to smoke a cigar now, for the plants.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 17:11 | 2836784 Shigure
Shigure's picture

There are plant pathology websites like this one:

with images to help you identify pest and disease problems

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 17:40 | 2836860 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

a 50lb bag of cornmeal will kill acres of ants, just be sure to store the unused portion in a dry place

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 18:19 | 2836958 Shigure
Shigure's picture

But don't ants increase soil fertility?

Fri, 09/28/2012 - 04:53 | 2837919 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

ants compete with people for food directly (how many people will eat a peach that the ants have already eaten)

ants will also destroy bee colonies (and thereby inhibit crop pollination and decrease yields)

if you want to increase soil fertility use earthworms or organic garbage (after tending to the basic soil chemistry)

Fri, 09/28/2012 - 00:57 | 2837723 crouton
crouton's picture

Copper sulphate, which is approved for use on organic sites, will help a lot.

Potassium deficiency makes plants more likely to get it too, due to softer foliage. Leafy mulch tends to be high in potassium

You basically want to be introducing it into the plant well before there are any problems. I water mine with a really mild copper solution 1 or 2 days before planting the seedlings out.

Another way is to collect rainwater in copper bowls, and dunk the plants in them while small.

Followup sprays (very dilute) tend to be after heavy rain, or long term rain + heat, ie fungus enabling conditions.

It can also be introduced into the soil itself

Fri, 09/28/2012 - 03:28 | 2837842 mkhs
mkhs's picture

Does the copper sulfate prevent infection?  Anyway, seems like a better solution than spraying every couple weeks.  Thanks.

Fri, 09/28/2012 - 01:06 | 2837731 crouton
crouton's picture

Argentine ants have invaded here, and they are nasty. The problem isnt so much the ant, but that they farm aphids on your plants. What shocked me a bit when i discovered it, is they also farm bugs under ground, on the roots of your plants. Because i save my own seed, i doubled what i plant. there are various home remedies, which work or not. Sugar based baits won't work when they crave protein for example.

Fipranyl + boric acid powder + tasty bait hammers them back pretty hard, as does flooding. Luring them to nest in haybales and then burning them works too. Fipranyl is allegedly harmless, used to control fleas on pets etc, but its nasty shit as far as i'm concerned. Maybe not nastier than buying supermarket veges tho.

Fri, 09/28/2012 - 05:38 | 2837947 Adahy
Adahy's picture

I used raised beds this year and it made a heck of a difference.  Tomatoes did great, especially Cherokee purples, heirloom romas, and Amish paste.  Basil and most herbs were insane!  Okra has been one of my best producers this year; 7 foot plants still producing since April.  Beans, peas, ground cherries, pears, apples, and figs all did well.  Corn didn't do so well as I have limited sun.  Squash and melons did half-assed, but at least something.  My big dissapointment this year was cucumbers.  I only got about 7-8 jars of pickles in before the cucumber worms came in and set up shop.  But that's how it goes.  Lots of success and a couple of failures is a net positve, plus you get to learn from the mistakes.
There is nothing better and more fulfilling than growing your own food and sharing it with others.

Fri, 09/28/2012 - 06:58 | 2837989 homme
homme's picture

I try to grow things that can be stored for several months without electricity and minimal effort. What worked: Last year, I got two crops in 9 months from the same patch by planting plain old red potatoes followed by black eyed peas. Both performed very well. Next year I'm going to try to get 3 by following the peas with carrots or winter squash.

I can't say anythng really "didn't work" but there are things I'll do differently next year. First, I don't use insecticide spray so the critters were hard to keep up with. The Flea beetles were hell on my tomatoes. The night beetles, (once I figured it out) took several weeks of hand squishing with a flashlight to get control of. Next year I'll be trying an organic method of beetle control. The only other thing that really needs chainging for me is my irrigation method. The sprinkler is a serious waste of water. Over the winter, I'll put in a zoned drip system and utilize heavy mulch- most likely straw.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:06 | 2836134 Vincent Vega
Vincent Vega's picture

A word of advice: Growing your own food is not as easy as you may think. If you have never done it but expect someday that you will need to, then i suggest you start now and give it a try. Start small, like with some planters on your patio. Or if you know someone who farms or gardens; offer to swap labor for education.  

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:39 | 2836479 Red Heeler
Red Heeler's picture

"A word of advice: Growing your own food is not as easy as you may think."

Also: growing your own food is not as hard as you may think. Anyone can grow okra, collards, potatoes, beans, field peas, english peas, tomatoes, and herbs.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:51 | 2836537 AGuy
AGuy's picture

"growing your own food is not as hard as you may think."

Setting up a garden to suplement your meals is one thing. Growing and storing enough food to be self-reliant is another.


Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:54 | 2836547 Vincent Vega
Vincent Vega's picture


Thu, 09/27/2012 - 19:02 | 2837042 Red Heeler
Red Heeler's picture

"Growing and storing enough food to be self-reliant is another."

Absolutely. Damn near impossible until one has been at it for several years.

Still, every little bit helps and it's amazing how much one can produce from a just a few square feet.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:57 | 2836545 Vincent Vega
Vincent Vega's picture

Agree. But for the beginner I still think it a good idea to start small or work with someone. Insect, deer, coons, worms, birds, etc...can be a buzz kill.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:06 | 2836137 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Pfffffft......who needs a garden? I've been stockpiling twinkies ,with their shelf life I can feed the family for years after shit hit the fan.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:34 | 2836250 kralizec
kralizec's picture

Ready for Zombieland.  ; )

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:49 | 2836285 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Yep ....You know it :->

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:07 | 2836142 Vandelay
Vandelay's picture

That's crazy, who wants to be a farmer in Chile or anywhere in South America?  Terrible advice.  Buy some staples and stay here.  I don's see a fence keeping Americans in the US so they do not go south to become farmers.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:08 | 2836144 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Let them eat Unicorns...........

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:09 | 2836148 caimen garou
caimen garou's picture

I can't see buying farmland in another country, they can sieze your property just like here. I plant a garden every year and doing fine so far,as long as the garden police stays the hell away!

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:10 | 2836154 RSloane
RSloane's picture

I'm not moving to Chile, Paraguay, or Uruguay so I don't care what his future newsletters are going to 'reveal' about those locations. I do, however, have farmland in the US, which is surrounded by other small farms [no incentive for Monsanto to buy land here]. I absolutely believe, in my heart of hearts, that the situation in the US is going to get bad enough that having a farm is going to be a huge plus. I still buy things from the Amish, I still patronize their farms, but knowing I have my own farmland is a comfort at this time. I feel sorry for people who live in developments that would fine an individual for using any of their property to grow their own food. The time will come that growing food is going to superceed any concerns about a well-trimmed front lawn.  

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:18 | 2836193 CommunityStandard
CommunityStandard's picture

Sounds like your farm is in PA?  Hopefully the nearby nuclear power plants will keep the cooling tanks running after things get "bad enough", otherwise your cows and veggies might be glowing.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:26 | 2836221 RSloane
RSloane's picture

Nope not PA. I agree, too close to a nuclear power plant in the event of a 'meltdown'  is not only dangerous for farming but also for life.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:50 | 2836287 adr
adr's picture

Sounds like Holmes county Ohio to me. The terrain is too hilly for massive farm equipment, even though there are still a lot of corporate owned farms. Just not the Mosanto mega farms you can find in Iowa.

With plenty of Amish around, you can always get food. The Amish will trade food for labor, if you're honest enough. It is getting harder for the Amish to get their kids to build stuff after getting infected with iPnitus.

Kind of sad that the collapse will send us back to the point the Amish never left.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:21 | 2836203 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

It wouldn't be a Simon Black article if he wasn't recommending you buy land in a far off country that he has pretended to visit, but I do agree with your statement. It's going to get awful, my concern is the golden horde when it does.:

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:31 | 2836239 RSloane
RSloane's picture

Someone mentioned that the other day, but I still contend that most of the inner city dwellers are so fat and so out of shape that a brisk walk of only two city blocks would have them bursting blood vessels. Then there would be the ones going through withdrawal so badly that they could not walk if they wanted to. I also contend that they would do what they always do in the event of a crisis - start shooting each other. Hell, they do that already. Maybe I'm being naive but I consider them almost negligible as a threat.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:03 | 2836314 Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture

I learned the hard way, not to trust Simon with my credit card.  To his credit, he did refund. 

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:28 | 2836429 Alea Iactaest
Alea Iactaest's picture

Wouldn't that be to YOUR credit?

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:33 | 2836456 Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture

Yeah, a double entry entendre!

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:12 | 2836167 formadesika3
formadesika3's picture

***Infomercial alert***

Beautiful lots available, just outside Talca, Chile.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:14 | 2836170 NEOSERF
NEOSERF's picture

Will need security companies for artichoke fields...

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:31 | 2836171 Mercury
Mercury's picture

 Last summer, two researchers from the New England Complex Systems Institute published a short paper examining the correlation between rising food prices and civil unrest.


True enough but indeed...a no-brainer.

Marla savaged those guys less than a year ago:

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:39 | 2836477 JohnG
JohnG's picture


Thu, 09/27/2012 - 16:27 | 2836648 Dr Benway
Dr Benway's picture

Two no-brainers, eh? Must be a job for Dr Hfuhruhurr!

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:17 | 2836182 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

so I guess that-unlike everything else-the farmland price bubble will continue forever?

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:22 | 2836211 dolph9
dolph9's picture

People in agriculture will certainly do ok, but I wouldn't speculate on consistently higher food prices.  You could get burned just like in 2008.

Rather, they will be rising and quite volatile, as each rise is associated with reduced demand.  Simple economics.  It's the same with energy.

The metals will be the only things consistently rising, as they can rise without affecting demand.  In fact, as they rise demand increases, as more people catch on to the bull market and want to protect themselves from the bonfire of the fiat currencies.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:24 | 2836212 davidsmith
davidsmith's picture

You play rising food prices by moving to Versailles.  Just ask Louis XIV

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:30 | 2836225 BanjoDoug
BanjoDoug's picture

Buying foreign real estate & sticking your gold pile in a foreign bank are common themes represented on ZH.    Yet I question the wisdom of this paradigm.    If you compare New York (or L.A.) real estate to something in Chile, it may seem like a foreign investment is a logical choice.  

But when you look around the midwest regions of this country, you'll find R/E in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, Lousiana, etc., that is comparable in price - and you don't have to leave the states.... and in all those states you'll have people with a similar mindset, language, values, & a similar perspective on firearm ownership, etc etc etc.....   

In summary, unless you have connections with a foreign country or family in South America, I think the concept of moving to a foreigh region is terribly skewed thinking, maybe it's a product of living in the highly congested regions of the USA....  NTL, there is land right here in America that can satisfy all these needs for a very reasonable price, and you don't have to leave "HOME".....

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:12 | 2836347 DCFusor
DCFusor's picture

Agree.  Croppable land in the Appalacians is still going fairly cheap - we didn't get the boom and didn't see the bust - things change slowly here.  Due to the twisty weird road system (to make the mountains navigable) most people have trouble finding my place with a map!

There will be no zombie hoardes here.   If they even find the county  I live on, my neighbors will pick them off on the way another poster said, like minded neighbors are a huge resource..and mine are all ready, too.

Quite a bit of what is produced around here is cattle.  Steep hills, cattle can harvest grass off easily, and the land isn't all that fertile on the hilsides.  Those whack job vegans who insist I could feen N humans with what it takes to make a cow obviously were thinking of factory-farmable land.  Here you'd need 100 coolies per field to terrace and hand-garden them - and they'd eat more than they'd probably grow.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 16:55 | 2836745 zerozulu
zerozulu's picture

Agreed. People from around the world are still dying to move to USA. We just need to find out why?

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 17:48 | 2836873 omniversling
omniversling's picture

a/ in previous empires many of the serfs flocked to the capital to increase their chances of cosying up to the senators rather than the outpost centurions, and to see better circuses?

b/ less fortunate peasants want to super-size their chance of gobbling up a disproportionate share of the world's resources before there are none left anywhere?

c/ front row tickets to the planet's biggest American Freedom and Democracy Show (coming soon)

d/ can buy weapons easily?

e/ as the whole planet is now officially NDAA 'US battlespace', doesn't really matter where you live. no-one is safe from the ruling class anywhere?(see 'a')

f/ there are rumors in the outlands that rainbow colored unicorns can be just saddled up and ridden home?

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:27 | 2836227 slow_roast
slow_roast's picture

The suggestion to move to South America is ludicrous and idiotic.  If the shit hits the fan, when it does I should say, American gringos will be chewed alive down there.  I love traveling and love South America, but the idea that you'd be safer down in South America where locals will view you as someone who is a transplant to be removed is just plain dumb.  Stay in the US, know your neighbors, protect your property, be armed, and make sure you're somewhere with low taxes....they can only ratchet up taxes so much before everyone stops paying so you'll be among them.


I can't get over how dumb the advice to move to South America is.  lmao

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:36 | 2836259 pazmaker
pazmaker's picture

Also can you say the word "expropriate"  Mr Simon?

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 17:45 | 2836881 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Calvo Doctrine

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:32 | 2836242 Solarman
Solarman's picture

Why does everybody assume that emerging market economies are going to get richer if the Western economies collapse?

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:43 | 2836251 BanjoDoug
BanjoDoug's picture

fuzzy thinking.....  (i.e. the non PC term is :: stupidity)

This is the same thinking that is represented often in the "survivalist" new world crisis paradigm, where Joe & Jane Sixpack are gonna load up the 4x4 truck with their GOOD bag & their guns and high tail it to the mountains (or country or whatever).   

The last time I was confronted with this, I asked, "Well how long are you gonna hide out in the mountains?   Have you got a farm up there, barn stocked with months worth of food, & a pile of gold dug into a secret hole in the mountainside?  Or do you think you can just hide out for a week or two in some rural camping environment and then come back home and everything will be ok & back to the ol'status quo again?"   --- my comments were not well received....


Thu, 09/27/2012 - 16:07 | 2836597 RSBriggs
RSBriggs's picture

And they'd better know where they are going, too, because when the SHTF, rural residents aren't going to be especially amenable to having bunches of complete strangers showing up.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:36 | 2836255 RSBriggs
RSBriggs's picture

I think the best way to play it might be Sturm Ruger (RGR) and Smith & Wesson (SWHC)....

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:26 | 2836423 hidingfromhelis
hidingfromhelis's picture

Owning their stock will be as good as GLD.

The actual product on the other hand...

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:45 | 2836499 RSBriggs
RSBriggs's picture

I get your point.   In both cases, I've purchased plenty of the actual product, too.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:36 | 2836258 Dumpster Fire
Dumpster Fire's picture


Long-term, technology will ultimately solve these problems


Pestilence, disease and starvation, while definitely long-term certainties, don't really seem to be that technologically nouveau.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:32 | 2836449 NewWorldOrange
NewWorldOrange's picture

Long-term, technology clearly creates far bigger problems than it solves. For example, modern American "farming" is little more than a technology that turns Middle Eastern oil into American-grown crops. The "soil" is barely more than sponge to absorb the made-from-oil fertilizer and pesticides. Without cheap oil, most "farms" in America could barely grow weeds. And where does the genetic modification of crops ultimately lead? What about zombie seeds? The day will come when society breaks down so far that the zombie seeds aren't even made or distributed. Then there will be no crops. And when it gets that bad, who's going to maintain the 10,000 or so nuclear reactors around the planet? How long before their breakdown poisons the planet so much even the roaches die? There is no "long term" for this planet, or at least not for humans or probably any mammals.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:36 | 2836260 Roland99
Roland99's picture

KFC - Kentucky Fried Currency


Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:42 | 2836272 Spaceman Spiff
Spaceman Spiff's picture

NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


They were facebook riots dammit!!!!!!  People were yearning to be free.


What's next, Mr Durden?   The embassy riots/killings were some sort of a coordinated attack by a group looking to harm America?


Jeez, please drink this punch and join Obama's reality.   It's mellow, unemployment numbers are low, you don't have to worry about deficits and debt, and tails wag their dog.   Get with it people.   

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 17:59 | 2836906 omniversling
omniversling's picture

Downarrows? It HAD to be a random 'PartyX' facebook style of random hooliganism, otherwise who would possibly organise such an attack, and leave themselves open to the acusation that assasinating one of America's best Arabist diplomats was 'payback' for Obomber not taking the meeting with Bibi, or that American foreign policy was being controlled by a few elite families and their friends?

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 15:26 | 2836422 Shizzmoney
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