Let’s review the big picture of real food independence — that means no bought-in fertilizer, feed, or food:

0624191634cSUNLIGHT:  This is where all the living things on the planet get their energy.  Whether you are a beet, a bacterium, or a buffalo, your life started out as a photon.

PLANTS:  Living things that photosynthesize.

PHOTOSYNTHESIS:  Green leaves catch photons and tie them up in an energy packet called adenosine tri-phosphate, but we make it easy and call it ATP — this is the solid form sunlight takes when it enters the life system.  At this point solar energy becomes accessible to things that are NOT plants, that do not themselves photosynthesize.

YOUR GARDEN:  A selection of a few dozen annual plants you can sow and harvest for human consumption.  Low in proteins and fats.  Limited in season.

BIODIVERSE PASTURE:  Plants you don’t have to plant.  All the short stuff growing out there in communities including many hundreds of species, perennial as well as annual.  Your yard.  The weedy field next door.  Mostly not stuff you are going to eat, at least not if you have a choice.

GRAZING RUMINANTS:  Cows, sheep, goats.  When they eat the biodiverse pasture (ruminant food), they turn it into meat and milk  (people food), manure (plant food)), and more grazing ruminants.  Lactating ruminants (dairy animals) give you twice-daily access to your local, quotidian photons.  And, once you’ve got your ruminant, there’s no charge:  not for the photons, not for the photosynthesis, not for the ruminant food, not for the people food, not for the plant food.

It’s all FREE.

That’s food independence on a shoestring.