I saw an interesting quote yesterday, by Dwight D. Eisenhower:
"Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field."
Holy cow, truer words were never said. No one, but no one, who has never tried to grow or raise food can understand the complexities, setbacks, experience, intelligence, or sheer good luck required to succeed. Nobody.
I've warned in the past about making the dangerous assumption that homesteading is easy (and therefore easily accomplished in a post-bleep world). But remember, if the bleep hits, we can’t just mosey down to Home Depot and buy pre-grown hybrid tomato plants. We’d darn well better have a supply of heirloom seeds (preserved from the season before), a place to plant them, the knowledge of how to cultivate them, the fencing to protect them, the water to keep them alive, the understanding and experience of how to harvest and preserve them, and the ability to save seeds for the next year.
And unless you’re blessed with perfect soil, a lack of weeds, and a temperate and forgiving climate, a garden doesn’t just ... grow. It must be worked. You must amend the soil, control the weeds, and manage the pests. It's why we were forced by circumstances to garden in tires rather than the ground (sometimes I think we should have called our place Murphy’s Farm, where if something can go wrong, it will).
I have concerns that those unfamiliar with the intricacies of gardening (and the quantities necessary to keep a family in food for an entire year) will come to the erroneous conclusion that planting a windowsill herb box will solve all their food security woes. Or worse, because their windowsill herb box is blooming luxuriantly, they conclude that they’re natural and superb gardeners. After all, how hard can it be?
An armchair expert is the smartest guy in the room, the guy who tells everyone else how to do something. His pencil is his plow. But remember, it’s a whole lot easier to talk about doing something than to actually do it.
This year, we're struggling to learn about beekeeping and we're grateful we can rely on experts more knowledgeable than us (as well as the availability of new queens or pre-built hives or other luxuries). We'd rather have our failures now, while we still have a fall-back, instead of waiting until things go south.
That's why I urge people to do the same thing regarding homesteading, preparedness, or any other venture. Makes your mistakes now, and learn from them. It's the best education in the world.
Plus you get strawberries.