Hello - recently appointed scholar here...with a project
(Before I forget thank you to Mod davespanners
for helping me out and answering my
many questions in a prompt and helpful fashion. I am probably not done with those questions yet...
Where I'm coming from with this project
My project idea focuses on food production and preservation, and in a larger context the ability to self-provide nutrition and nourishment for oneself
and one's family. I think so much of this knowledge has been lost in these days of pre-packaged and processed food, and even the knowledge that has
been retained can be confusing and contradictory. Opinions and advice abound. Old wives tales continue to surface. Scientific studies are available
for perusal but how do they hold up in practice? This project will attempt to answer some of these questions.
In addition, gardening in general is often treated by people as a hobby: we know we can always run to the supermarket to grab what we need. We are not
producing food for NECESSARY consumption. If you viewed your garden (and other food sources) as your ONLY source of nourishment you would realize you
have to actually eat what you grow - and only that! So how much salad can a person reasonably eat in a week? If you end up with a bumper crop of cukes
how many jars of relish can you use in five years? Can your family be happy living off stewed tomatoes and green beans all winter? We are spoiled by
endless variety. Growing your own is a whole different story.
Draft project goal (subject to refinement through project team input)
The overarching goal of this project is to understand how self-sufficient the average person can realistically be with self food production. The more
data that supports answering this question the better. But I do not suggest that this one research project will be able to answer the question fully.
Research participation opportunities
Many people talk about "living off the land" but how does one do that in practice rather than theory? What nutrition does a human body need and what
foods provide it? How much of each food source should you grow for how many people? What do you put by and what is the best way to do that safely
while retaining both nutritional value and quality? What are the risks to be aware of (pests, vermin, animals, weather)? What are the costs in terms
of money, labor, space? And how do you prepare these foods in the right combination to make satisfying meals?
These are just a few of the factors to consider for those who are interested in getting away from supermarket and fast food living. And I acknowledge
that this is no small feat to explore - the number of factors that contribute to success or failure is overwhelming.
Another important point about this project is that it requires empirical testing - actually applying the research to a gardening effort. I am already
doing this (gardening) and so would have this covered if others aren't willing or able to do so. But a second and even third gardener would be ideal.
I think it's obvious that this is not a "once and done" effort. The very nature of trying to achieve this end goal would require multiple years of
effort and research. Therefore the definition of "done" for an initial project would need to be very clearly defined. I propose chunking out this
project into focused, reasonable bites determined by member interest in the necessary research areas. Any and all of the topical areas are worth
pursuing. I would be invested in developing a practical plan with focused goals for both the research and the empirical reporting, with reasonable
reporting timeframes depending on the subject area. I believe even one member and myself could produce a satisfying project.
This project would not be marked as complete until the end of my (as project leader) growing season. A final project summary would not be posted until
October 2013. Empirical researchers would need to be on that growing cycle. Other research contributors could complete their portion earlier, but
would not enjoy the "fruits of their labor" until the project was closed in October.
Thanks for listening and let me know if you have any interest in participating, and to what degree. If you know of other members who might be
interested in participating in such a project but do not have scholar status please share this thread and have them U2U me.
edit on 2-5-2013 by otherpotato because: (no reason given)
edit on 2-5-2013 by otherpotato because: (no reason