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Dwindling resources in the US from colonization till now - how industry progressed

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posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 12:27 PM
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So let's take a 6,400 acre plot of land. That is 10 sq miles. Let's say the land was virgin in 1700 and could be purchased for very little (maybe 5,000 pounds Stirling back then - maybe less depending on where it was). The land was covered with old growth trees, some 200ft+ tall and MASSIVE diameters. The water was pristine, the soil was 30-50ft of the best top soil for farming - best the world had ever seen. Back then they also got the mineral rights with the purchase so everything under the ground was theirs as well.

So the first generation decided that they wanted to build a lumber mill so they could clear some of the area to both mine and farm. These trees were used to build ships, houses, barrels, warehouses, carts, and most everything else in the 1700's. It was also the main source of fuel (the cuttings/bark/slabs/saw dust/etc were used while the bulk of the wood was used for equipment). They also made charcoal for the iron ore, metals and glass industry.

The first farms produced at levels never seen before and today's output can't come close for natural soil, and it was all organic. They also decided to dig mines/pits/quarries to extract things like iron ore, gold/silver/tin/copper/gems and later coal and a century later crude. The land was so rich, land owners did everything they could to get workers there so they started indentured servants from England (often for very petty crimes, often innocent people, who worked for a minimum of 7 years then they could return home but with no $$ they were stuck working as a "share cropper" who had to give crops to the land owner at the land owners set price - basically enslavement in all but name). There were some that didn't use this type of labor, though most did for some things, like working in the mines b/c they were dangerous. Skilled workers were often paid well and treated well, just like a tool or machine is today - it is valuable b/c it makes you money.

So over the years, quarries were dug, limestone, sandstone, etc was extracted and used to build the surrounding buildings (and even transported to England as ballast in ships if it was needed). The forests were eventually totally cut down and in some places they were replanted with the intention of farming them when they matured. but a VAST fortune had already been made on the old growth timber alone (it is difficult to convey the size and amount of lumber that was in the US at this time, magnitudes more than what was in Europe) This is what make the colonies boom for so many years.

So after the lumber was gone, mines tapped out, quarries loosing profitability (easy access had been greatly reduced), some land owners started selling off plots of land to keep up with their life styles, but they might start keeping mineral rights when selling land. Or they would do things like sell loads of top soil to other land owners where the soil was sub par (think those who live on the upper part /side of a mountain. This slowly degraded the soil on their land and the farming was no longer as productive. My county in the 1700's was the top agriculture country in the US at about 10% the size of the next biggest producer but producing about 80-100% output of the western county (and with only 10% of the farm land!) It was truly the richest farm land in the world, and still is one of the top 2-4 in natural production.

But with each generation, the output of the land became worse for one reason or another. Eventually many had to rely on industries which they never thought they would have to do, like production of firearms, clocks, silk, fabrics - all in mills and "sweat shops". This is because all the value of the land had been slowly extracted decade after decade, making each generation rich (if they were smart they didn't spend it frivolously). This continued to the early-mid 1900's when the massive wave of industrialization took over after WW1 and giant corporations popped up that polluted everything, paid paltry wages (much like Walmart, Disney, Amazon today) and company towns were created and make slum conditions for employees close to their work. No longer could the land support the people b/c it had been too greedily exploited for hundreds of years.

This continued till at least the 1970 where we found that corporate farmers were putting the small farmer out of business. While we still had some of the most productive farm land in the world, the price of commodities was less than what it took to grow them (b/c large corp farms got huge subsidies to off-set this). So farm land was sold to developers - houses, complexes, malls, shopping centers, and a once pristine farm land country turned into suburban hell. Developers $$ reigned supreme from the 80's till current and we have lost farms that have been here for over 300 years! Farms that were organic for 90-95% of that time (so the soil was EXCELLENT!)

So now the current generations, even if they get to inherit some of the land, there isn't much that can be done with it besides selling to a developer (puke) or finding some niche organic crop to grow and that is a HUGE gamble. We all hear how we aren't hard working and it gets pointed out how our ancestors made this land work for them, why are we so lazy and can't do it. Well, you've stripped the land bare, removed most of what made it valuable, didn't fight large corporate subsidize so small farms are at a HUGE disadvantage and can survive basically only by signing contracts with large food production corps where they get 100% of the farms output. A Dairy farmer can't even drink their own milk, they have to buy it at the grocery store FFS!.

This is just a small example of what took place in my county, which was one of the most productive in the US for many decades (possibly centrists farm wise).. Now it is struggling like never before, farmers are looked at as evil (because of the "smell" of cows, pigs, chickens, etc. by liberals moving from the big city) and the new transplants from the city want to regulate farm smells which have been here since 1700 at least vs the 2-15 year city slickers just moving from Philly, NYC, NJ, etc. The sad thing is that they seem to have a lot of political pull with the almost always democratic mayor of the crime ridden city (used to be EXTREMELY low crime until 20+ years of Democratic mayors).

What people need to remember about the past successes of Americans is most happened before 5 million pages of tax code/environmental regulation/ordinances/building laws/etc. and that there was an abundance of natural resources ripe to be "plundered" and provide a profit. Once those have been removed, and the cost for everything increases b/c of government intervention then the chances of success fall precipitously along with any hope of a better future until we do what needs to be done and "Hang em High, and Hang em Long!"




posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 12:36 PM
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I don't consider raping the land for profit as any measure of success in any country's history. However, your country is forced to evolve in other directions and import resources from other country's that which you had not the foresight to replenish for future generations. Isn't it true that leaders only think in terms of the next five years?



posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 12:44 PM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof




The first farms produced at levels never seen before and today's output can't come close for natural soil, and it was all organic.


350 bushell corn says otherwise.



Please know what your talking about before making false statements.



posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 12:57 PM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

The problem you are describing isn't that the land was raped (it may have been). Its city dwellers moving to the country and screwing things up.

Stand firm, my friend. Don't let those city slickers change your countryside.



posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 01:19 PM
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originally posted by: InTheLight
I don't consider raping the land for profit as any measure of success in any country's history. However, your country is forced to evolve in other directions and import resources from other country's that which you had not the foresight to replenish for future generations. Isn't it true that leaders only think in terms of the next five years?


Well I would have to know your definition of raping. If it is stripping of all natural resources without concern of the next generations, then I agree. But you have to acknowledge that this is how MUCH of the "old money" in the US was created, among other means of slave labor, indentured servants (most of which were white) who often worked well past the 7 years and until they died, just like slaves - it was just called something else b/c they were white and couldn't be owned.

I would have to argue that some indentured servants may have had it worse than some slaves (definitely not all) in that they had just as little recourse in unfair treatment and they were being treated basically as slaves by their fellow countrymen (who were supposed to consider them as equals). Many faced whippings/lashings/etc for not meeting quotas, had to sell crops to the land owner (often for no profit, or next to nothing) while they also had to find a way to put food on the table, this is why many farmers also learned a craft/trade of some kind. Slaves (blacks) had something different. They were mainly looked after as far as food and housing (maybe they had to cook their food, clean their houses & maybe/probably even build their houses - but that is no different from indentured servants). If they did what the master asked they most likely didn't face violence and could often get benefits like working in house, worship, some even taught to read by masters breaking the rules. There was a wide range of slave owners from "good" to evil - and by good, I mean they treated them well when they performed well, behaved, etc. It is a very bad management of resources to damage a "work horse" so it can't not work - be it though beatings, amputations or starvation. The indentured servants were left to fend for themselves and often died at high rated being worked into the ground, but since they weren't property, there wasn't a cost related to this as another servant could be brought over and take their place. This is almost NEVER mentioned in modern history books b/c they want to say that only blacks suffered under colonial rule.



posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 01:21 PM
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originally posted by: InTheLight
Isn't it true that leaders only think in terms of the next five years?


Well it depends on what leader. If you look at environmentalists, I'd say no. If you are looking at corporate leaders, I'd say that is MUCH too long a time frame as it may only be 3-12 month outlook with a few projects extending longer which are expected to become revenue streams.

Now when it comes to politicians, I would say their outlook is the length of their term limit, so that varies between positions.



posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 01:24 PM
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originally posted by: DigginFoTroof

What people need to remember about the past successes of Americans is most happened before 5 million pages of tax code/environmental regulation/ordinances/building laws/etc. and that there was an abundance of natural resources ripe to be "plundered" and provide a profit.


You've pretty much summed it up there....well said, my friend.



originally posted by: neo96








The first farms produced at levels never seen before and today's output can't come close for natural soil, and it was all organic.


350 bushell corn says otherwise.


Please know what your talking about before making false statements.


That's likely inedible, hybrid, seed corn sold to other nations, NOT food. Not to mention the fact that this figure was reached using harnful, expensive chemicals.

My family were farmers from the late 1600's until 1980, when my grandfather retired. I worked for an elevator most spring/summers as a kid. Some of the chemicals were $1,000 a gallon and up.Bayer had a fungicide that expensive, that, if splashed on your skin, warranted a trip to the ER. That's used on a plant meant to be used as seed to grow food.






Please know what your talking about before making false statements.


Take your own advice. You are likely one of those who left the city, moved to a farm town, complained about the smell and the noise of tractors, and brought with you crime, 'ethnic diversity', crime, drugs, and anything else that destroyed the American farm town culture.

I'm trying not to be judgemental or rude, but ppl like this make me ill.
edit on 23-7-2018 by Brywilson2 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 01:29 PM
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a reply to: Brywilson2

Modern farming produces more food on less acreage with less farmers.

And that is a FACT.



posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 01:31 PM
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originally posted by: neo96
a reply to: DigginFoTroof




The first farms produced at levels never seen before and today's output can't come close for natural soil, and it was all organic.


350 bushell corn says otherwise.




Please know what your talking about before making false statements.


What you are quoting is probably the national average. There are a few counties in the US where their crop production FAR surpassed current levels of production even with GMO, pesticides and fertilizers. Many of these farms that have been in the same family (Amish for instance) have production levels above what is national average and the soil is in MUCH better shape because they never used "inorganic" or synthetic fertilizers. There is a museum about the output of my county and it astounding what they were able to do back in the 1700's, the size of the vegetables and fruits, the crop yields, etc.

This was also before a lot of the crops had degenerated to what they are today, even heirloom varieties produce at much smaller fruits, less tasty and less quantity than they did hundreds of years ago as the seeds have slowly declined possibly with some cross pollination/contamination with other species (maybe for pest resistance).

But as a whole for the VAST majority of farm land you are correct. Without modern fertilizers, pesticides, etc it would be difficult to feed this country alone let alone the massive exports to other countries and use for fuels (bio-oils or ethanol). But that doesn't mean that there aren't some outliers in a few counties that are renowned world wide for there amazing productivity with no synthetic fertilizers, even today (not all farms in the country do this, many do, but many also use 1700-1800's farming techniques and their yields and quality are hard to beat let alone their very small cost of equipment as much is century or more old - always maintained/upgraded/fixed - mule or ox driven instead of motor driven for example). Most all labor is within the family so it is "free" essentially - or at least the money stays in the family.

Now if the soil wasn't so fertile, this type of farming wouldn't be possible (I dont' think) in todays competitive world.



posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 01:39 PM
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originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan
a reply to: DigginFoTroof

The problem you are describing isn't that the land was raped (it may have been). Its city dwellers moving to the country and screwing things up.

Stand firm, my friend. Don't let those city slickers change your countryside.


+100 on what you say. We have lost SO much precious farm land to these hideous shopping centers (Whole foods, Weagmens, Lowes/Wal-marts, Home depots, etc). We can have a 15 year old shopping center (with 5-8 big box stores and another 8-20 LARGE national chains) essentially vacant and they will build on another directly across the street that is 2-3x larger while the other one gets run down, loosing 100+ acres of prime residential development land (let alone the 300+ year old farm land it was), loose 30-40 acres of wetlands - reduces to 2-3, causing MASSIVE flooding from the huge parking lots of the 15yr old shopping center and the new one. Pollution in the wetland is very high from all the oil run-off from the parking lot.

All b/c they are chasing the $$. These stores aren't even very full after their newness wears off (6-12 months) and stores start to close after that and then it is rotating stores - and then time to start planning an even bigger shopping center on pristine farm land.

Believe me all residents of the country are FURIOUS about this but the developers spend HUGE HUGE $$ to make this happen, kickbacks, bribes, etc (some being revealed now luckily, but if things go as before, nothing will happen). It is just fraud after fraud and someone(s) needs to hang for this rape of our counties and country.

In another thread someone posted that the US started to go downhill when we stopped hanging people in the town square. I agree and think that is the only way that things are going to show the gravity of these peoples actions, from corporate embezzlement, to corrupt politicians, to a long list of other things, especially when there is loss of life associated with (deliberate or not). If not hanging, then the stockade/stocks where we can throw rotten tomatoes/potatoes and $hit at them.



posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 01:53 PM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

Interesting post, permaculture seems to be the way forward with regards to farming, there is also a growing demand for organic food and buying locally. In the U.K. small farmers are diversifying with rare breeds, sheep cheese and other ideas and people are generally more concerned about animal and land welfare. So there is hope.

Unsustainable practices can’t go on, the clue is in the word. Supermarkets and corporate interests don’t help, but with growing concern they can be sidelined out of the equation with people buying directly from local farm markets and such.



posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 02:17 PM
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originally posted by: surfer_soul
a reply to: DigginFoTroof

Interesting post, permaculture seems to be the way forward with regards to farming, there is also a growing demand for organic food and buying locally. In the U.K. small farmers are diversifying with rare breeds, sheep cheese and other ideas and people are generally more concerned about animal and land welfare. So there is hope.

Unsustainable practices can’t go on, the clue is in the word. Supermarkets and corporate interests don’t help, but with growing concern they can be sidelined out of the equation with people buying directly from local farm markets and such.


I was into permaculture (reading and researching) for a number of years and it seems to be somewhat a buzzword and a little trendy (though maybe not in a bad way). It IS the way most old country farmers worked their land for millennia.

The best way to work permaculture is haveing synergystic "crops" (while crops often means yearly plantings, I mean long term crops like orchards, vineyards, etc). The thing is that I think you can also say that things like orange groves, almond groves (and most other nut trees) could be considered permaculture, but the way they are grown in the mega mono-crop farms of multi sq miles, is maybe the absolute worst method of framing that can be done, along with feed farms for cattle.

A farm that has a large percent of producing trees (fruit, nuts, even leaves/bark or flowers - for honey) with a variety of crops is the best way to farm IMHO, possibly with livestock (chickens and others) which can openly graze these orchards/groves, some pasture land for cows, goats, sheep, etc and finally some fields which produce silage to feed the animals in "off season" (if they aren't slaughtered in off-season). All the animal waste is then used as fertilizer, bedding (saw dust, chopped corn stalk, etc) which has manure mixed in, is then spread on the fields and orchard to add organic matter (humus) and nutrients. Each production plant is used to it's fullest, waste is used for other means (bedding or even fuels) and then all is returned to the soil to enrich the soil nutritionally and in its water holding ability.

Some Permaculture seems to miss large parts of what the main goal is, which is to get away from having to bring in outside nutrient/chems/fertilizers.

The only problem with permaculture is that it can be more work intensive and needing to find a market for the different varieties of harvested crops. This works best when working with a co-op where the harvests can be combined between many farms, where one farm produced one staple (say corn at 100,000 bushels), now it may take 20-50 farms to produce the same, but they have maybe 20-50 different crops to sell through the co-op. This also helps with pricing and finding coveted buyers (grocery store chains) where a single permaculture farm may be limited to selling at a farmers market.



posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 09:14 PM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

Sounds like you're a farmer that didn't keep up with the rest of the world?

Answer me this: I've been told over and over that I don't deserve a job, that it's up to me to find something lucrative to do with my life, and that if I want that I need to struggle, and focus on the proper activities that will get me there.

In response to this criticism I picked up 6 college degrees. I read a book every 2 days. I write extensively. My whole life is either work or study.

I actually did find a good job. I enjoy it and it pays well. To remain competitive though, I can't let that edge dull.

Why should your profession be any easier? There's a lot of farmers out there.

You seem to want to go back to the old ways which were incredible wastes of water and fuel. A single hydroponic greenhouse is better than 3 fields of crops these days. It uses less water, is climate controlled, has no need for pesticides, produces less waste, is denser, and is faster to work. Farms that embrace that are doing well. Those that don't, are finding themselves being gobbled up by the large corporations.
edit on 23-7-2018 by Aazadan because: (no reason given)



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