Not today. Probably not this century. In the next, I’d be shocked if it didn’t start happening. Outdoor farms in their sprawling plant-filled glory will one day be extinct in most “developed” countries and will be a marker of terrible, desperate poverty.
There are already experiments in urban and/or indoor farming. Experiments and practical endeavors, in fact. With tall racks of trays and hydroponic and similar setups, optimized artificial lighting and harvesting, and total climate control (oh, this is the next paragraph right here, just you wait and see) an indoor farm can produce a LOT more food in the same volume of old-fashioned dirt farm.
And there’s another benefit, one that will grow much more valuable as time advances. You see, the climate is changing, and we humans changed it mainly by burning billions of tons of the distilled hundreds-of-millions-of-years-old forests and dinosaurs we call oil, coal, and natural gas. You can’t burn that much carbon-bearing material and not impact the environment you release it into. Deny it if you want, but the facts say it’s changing and we had a lot to do with it.
Climate change changes farming. Extreme weather events become more common because the global flows of air and heat are disrupted and you can’t disrupt a gigantic complex system without introducing chaos. Rainfall patterns and which land is suited for what crop change as wet land becomes arid (and presumably vice-versa as it’s a big globe with more than the USA in it), and temperatures and season lengths change.
So how do you escape chaotic weather that threatens crops? How do you immunize yourself against the shifting of agricultural zones under the whip of a changing global climate?
You move indoors, of course.
One day, our farms will be many, many thousands of enormous warehouse spaces full of light and the smell of growing things while the hot breath of the climate we screwed up howls against the doors.
Here’s our 5 year old proudly displaying the first fish he ever caught, just a couple of days ago. Itty-bitty little bluegill — and he went on to catch four more somewhat larger ones while I caught a decent sunfish, a crappie, and a smallmouth bass.
He was THRILLED to have caught more fish than I did. 🙂
When I was a kid we threw small panfish like that bluegill back. I have come to learn that panfish spawn eggs by the thousands, and in small lakes like the one we were fishing in they’ll generate a huge population quickly if someone isn’t eating them.
I’m sure the local bass, herons, and cranes eat way more than our little catch, but we took them home.
Small fish are good practice for my needs-work filleting skills. 5 year old Victor got an education in where food comes from: with my hands guiding his, he cleaned the very first fish he caught, and he ate it as a lightly breaded quick-fried fish nugget side dish.
If we eat meat, and all of us do but our 18 year old vegetarian, we should be aware of its origins, yes?
Also, with such tiny fish there need be little waste. The same light cornstarch & cornmeal dusting and a longer fry in slightly cooler oil, and you can eat the remaining bones and meat like crunchy fish potato crisps. But fishy and full of calcium. Chew carefully. Take small bites.
When I was a kid, we threw the little ones back, even though we often suffered food insecurity in the first 10 years of my life, when we lived in Wisconsin and our main income was my dad’s construction work — which tends to be seasonal, oddly enough, up north where it’s cold as hell in the winter. If we’d had more sense, or less pride, or thought of fishing as a way to get food instead of recreation, we’d have eaten them. Interesting, how our minds partition things based on our life experience. Dad was a city kid from Detroit, mom from a middle class background in a small town in Wisconsin. Fishing was something you did to have a good time, not to eat.
Well, times are tough and my family lives below the poverty line. I’ll be damned if I’m paying for a fishing licence and not turning a profit on it in seafood! (Side note: I’m trying to write our way above the poverty line — look above, there’s a tab marked “Support me on Patreon.” Look to the right, there are links to places to buy my ebooks. Even picking up a free one makes me a smidge more visible on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or wherever you get it from. I appreciate the hell our of anything you might do to make my dreams come true and my family’s bottom line healthier!)
And I hope you’ve had something wonderful in your life recently, something that compares with watching your kid catch his first fish.
I’m still smiling about it. 🙂
OBESITY WILL KILL YOU!
With population levels stabilizing around the world and continued advances in technology that make producing, preserving, transporting, and eating food easier every year, the populations of all but the poorest countries — and even most of those! — have gotten fatter than ever.
SEVENTY-THREE PERCENT OF OF YOU ARE OBESE. FAT! YOU ARE FAT! FATNESS IS THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN ADULTS OVER TWENTY-EIGHT AND HAS BEEN SINCE 2071.
Only the incredible advances made by modern medicine in the last 50 years have prevented life expectancy from plunging below the sixty-year mark for the first time in the early 20th century.
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Ask your doctor if NeroScarfin is right for you — and it almost certainly will be, as the side effects are infrequent and usually minor. Ask your doctor to discuss them with you, and if NeroScarfin is not right for you, what you can do to achieve the health you need to take NeroScarfin — because you need NeroScarfin!
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[The folks supporting me over on my Patreon page saw this 3 days before it was posted here — plus they have my seriously big and frequent thankyous for their generosity. Head on over and give a self-published indie author struggling for a break — me, silly! — a little love. Thanks!]
Our perceptions are WAY more dependent on our expectations and preconceptions than we like to think.
Do you think, perhaps, that this extends beyond food to our social and political worlds? I’m wondering, too, how it has colored my perception of short stories and novels I’ve liked or disliked in the past.
Cooking a cake in a rice cooker works just fine.
Doing a double batch will take frickin’ forever. Next time I do this, I’m using a single box of mix (or a recipe for one layer, 8″ round (or is it 9″? I can never remember. A regular made-it-at-home size cake.)).
The cake was particularly dense and moist. I think a fluffier texture can be attained by removing the vent plug that slows the escape of moisture during normal rice cooking. So next time I’ll do that.
So, there’s your update. Feel free to go crazy making cakes in your rice cookers. You don’t even have to adjust your recipes.
What do you do when a nor’easter storm threatens? Even better, threatens with snow, which here in coastal Virginia pretty much shuts the place down.
If you’re me, you settle in for some writing time. But that’s not enough.
Time to bake a cake. Since we have a bunch of cake mixes that my couponing wife picked up for a pittance, I’ve decided to experiment.
One triple chocolate fudge mix, one butter pecan mix.
And just for giggles, I’ve recently found out thanks to the wonder of the internet that you can bake a cake in a rice cooker. So I’m trying that out.
I’ll let you know if it’s a good idea, or a recipe for distaster. There might be a picture of an amaterishly frosted cake. No promises.
Pretzel buns seem to be the new fast-food and not-so-fast food fad. You want a bun that tastes vaguely like the cousin of a soft pretzel? Okay, fine. Whatever.
The pretzel-bunned burgers billed as totally awesome because of their amazing pretzel buns, though… that misses the mark.
A burger or a sandwich is about the filling. The bread is a sideshow. It can be a delicious sideshow. The sideshow can change the way you taste the main event, enhance it. But the advertisements I’ve seen reverse that. They’re all about the wow holy shit it’s kinda like a pretzel oh nom nom nom and the patty and trimmings and condiments are just kind of there to prop up those two halves of the pretzel buns and keep them from touching each other for some reason. Maybe it’s like Ghostbusters where you can’t cross the streams. Don’t cross the buns, it’ll be terrible. Which makes me wonder how we can get away with something called ‘hot cross buns’ without a catastrophe befalling us, but that’s a different subject.
In any event: burgers and sandwiches shouldn’t be about what’s outside first and what’s inside second. Sort of like people.
- Pretzel mania spreads from fast food to every food (usatoday.com)
- Pretzel Bread! (twodifferentgirls.com)
- Who the Hell is Responsible for the Pretzel Bunning of America? (iowntheworld.com)
- Lisa Abraham: Summer of lovin’ for the pretzel bun (ohio.com)
I’m eating apricots and I think: these are basically tiny peaches. But they have smoother flesh, they’re sweeter, they’re more flavorful than their larger cousins.
Same with cherries. Tiny plums, just way more delicious.
People like the giant Red Globe grapes, but they are bland and watery, if crisp. The modest Concord blows them away in flavor.
And yet producers breed for bigger fruit. Bigger and less delicious.
Where are the visionaries breeding for smaller, tastier fruit? Where are my tiny apricots the size of a dime and so delicious I’d collapse to the ground with my eyes rolled back into my head?
- What’s hot in the fruit garden? (blackmoorfruit.wordpress.com)
- Aprium’s (earthtreatsblog.wordpress.com)
- April is for Apricots (foodsfromspain.wordpress.com)
- All for making the king of fruits sweeter (thehindu.com)
- Syrian Dried Apricot Paste at Pars Market Middle Eastern Store in Columbia Maryland (parsmarketcolumbia.wordpress.com)
- Broadway Basketeers Dried Fruit Extra-Large Gift Basket (eyeoncelebs.com)