As Greece Falls, Will Those With Gardens Survive?
Heather Callaghan, Contributor
Greeks don’t want austerity, but the future is bleak and unknown.
As of Friday, grocery shelves were being stripped bare of staple cooking goods, and pharmacies ran out of crucial medicines like thyroxine (thyroid treatment). More than half of those items are imported, but with banking plugs, companies are unable to pay suppliers. Things are frozen; stopped, and tens of thousands of tourists had allegedly cancelled bookings this past weekend.
The cities are feeling the effects of economic turmoil, more than their rural counterparts. This could be in part because of self-sufficient tactics like gathering animals and starting gardens as soon as the economic tides started churning…
The Associated Press reports that Greek villagers have a secret weapon against austerity and crash – their gardens. Something that is discouraged and often simultaneously banned across U.S. cities. Will it save them – or is it a reassuring buffer?
In Karitaina, one such rural village, it costs almost as much for taxi fare into the city as the bank withdraw limit (as of last week). Retirees have had their pensions devoured. However, with some self-sufficient methods, villagers think they can make it for now.
One man has 10 goats, some hens and a vegetable patch. He expects this will help them survive 2-3 months as he is feeding extended family too. It is now common for whole families to live off a retiree’s pension since so many adults have not been able to find work. The Greek villagers are generous with friends as well.
Associated Press reports:
Rural Greek communities have age-old survival tactics that allow them to weather storms such as World War II deprivation and natural disasters. They will need to draw on them deeply, as Greece’s current problems are unlikely to go away soon — whatever the outcome of the referendum Sunday on whether to accept the latest bailout proposals, which call for more austerity cuts to already razor-thin public services.
One forever debt-ridden man, whose business failed, has turned to barter, although it only offers some relief. He would still vote “‘200 times no’ against the proposed bailout deal, which would impose still more austerity measures on a country that has endured five years of dire cutbacks. He admires Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras for defying European leaders and the International Monetary Fund by urging citizens to reject the deal, a course that could cause Greece to tumble out of the eurozone.”
In the village it’s easier to live – You can get products from neighbors and give them some. In Athens you are strangers. But the crisis has affected the village very much. We are trying but there is no money here. I lived very well and now I have nothing.
One 85-year-old man remains at home since the taxi fare into Megalopoli would eat so much of the funds – just 10 minutes away. Taxi drivers have even cut fare in half!
I’m living on the pension from last month – I’ll try to go next week. Of course I’m upset. The government has swindled our pension funds.
Going to the bank every day for 60 euros when taxi fare is 40, has worn people down. According to the AP, anxiety fills the air and there are divisions between friends whether to remain in the Eurozone or not.
The U.S. not only faces its own food and speculation scandals, farming issues, food safety scares and more – but at least 50 million Americans live in food insecure homes. During what I would call a crisis, homelessness and feeding the homeless have been ridiculously banned or require expensive permits as jobs continue to evaporate and food banks dry up. Recently, Vermont milk producers were caught dumping obscene amounts of milk in order to drive prices back up, but Americans are struggling to keep up with rising prices and the insidious “grocery shrink ray gun.” Agenda 21 tactics continue to clip rural resources and drive people deeper into mega-cities.
For a long time, Russia survived mostly on its village Dacha gardens. In recent years, they got further away from such hearty home food production until … the West decided to try and punish them with sanctions. As writer and geopolitical analyst, Brandon Turbeville, has pointed out, this only made them pull from their country’s resources much more vigorously and start more independent production. They used the sickening U.S. food supply as a reason the E.U. should side with them over America.
What will you do to insulate against the possible domino cascade from the unsettled “Grexit” situation?
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