It’s All About the Kimchi

Cabbage

Cabbage

Original Image and attribution

Climate? Investment? Science? Who knows where to put this one…

While watching CNBC World (a financial news channel) coverage of Asia, I learned there is a looming Kimchi Crisis. Now, being fond of Mongolian Bar-B-Que, Thai Peppers, Sushi, and yes, Kimchi, this caused me some great concern…

Seems that there has been ANOTHER crop failure. Cabbages in Korea are not up to snuff. What can I say? This is: une vraie catastrophe!

OK, I had to do some googling… so the Economist caught my eye. Clearly this is an issue of International Economic Proportions! (given that The Economist is covering it). I mean, North Korea is a Nuclear State! My God Man, they might come after our cabbages!!! (Selling at the local Save Mart for 37 cents / pound on discount… what can I say, we are blessed with tons of cabbages and yet few who know what to do with them.)

From: http://www.economist.com/node/17204655?story_id=17204655

Of cabbages and Kims
Forget mad dictators. The price of cabbage is what really worries Koreans

Oct 7th 2010 | seoul

IN SEOUL, the South Korean government is staring nervously across the border, wondering about the succession under way in North Korea. The city is also preparing for a G20 summit in November. But the word on everyone’s lips is cabbage. The price of this humble vegetable, which forms the basis of kimchi, the Korean national dish, is soaring. Everyone from the president to the commonest crook and blogger is getting in on the act.

My God!!! We are on the precipice of W.W. III and all because Californians can grow tons of cabbage but think it’s something best fed to bunnies while the Koreans are suffering a nuclear meltdown.

What could possibly be the cause of this?

A poor harvest brought on by bad weather was the original culprit, but with prices soaring, hoarding may also be responsible. Year-on-year inflation jumped from 2.6% to 3.6% between August and September, pushed up by cabbage’s new status as the Ferrari of vegetables. Annual cabbage-price inflation is now 400% in Seoul, say official statistics.

Oh My GOD! It’s Climate Change!!! We’ve got bad weather, mixed with evil markets exploiting the weakness of the masses in their time of need… Oh, The Humanity!

(Though I must wonder if perhaps they might like some of our cabbages? It seems that Californians just can’t quite bring themselves to eat the things. It’s the, um, er, the … well, the way certain, oh dear, ah, ‘gases’ smell …. and it’s just so, well, it reminds us of a past when our German ancestors ate a lot of sauerkraut and wieners and smelled of cabbages and garlic… Though I must admit to having a plate of sauerkraut and sausages from time to time, when the spouse is gone and noone is around…. and I run the fan afterward so noone smells the hot vinegar smell…)

But could there be more?

That reference to “hording” is just a bit of a worry. Perhaps the Global Cabbage Cartel is at work?

Normally, Koreans serve home-grown kimchi as a matter of honour. But people are now looking abroad for their fix, sparking a debate about the suitability or otherwise of different countries’ cabbages.

Oh No, Mr. Bill! It’s a matter of HONOR! We are all clearly doomed. When North Korean Honor is at stake, we can pretty much assume someone is going to be nuked. South Korean honor? Not so much… They don’t take it all quite so seriously, not having been lead by a frustrated choreographer and all…

Many Koreans think Chinese-grown agricultural produce is unsafe, but they are having to swallow their pride about that. President Lee Myung-bak says he will be getting his personal stash from Western producers, earning him comparisons to Marie-Antoinette from South Korea’s numerous and critical bloggers. His administration has announced the temporary lifting of tariffs on imported cabbages, in advance of the traditional kimjang season, in which kimchi is prepared for the winter.

And it gets worse. We have an “East / West” divide developing, with the elite able to get Western Cabbage, while the poor must make do with cabbages from Communist China. Oh, the humility… Off With Their HEADS!

The country has not yet seen rioting in the streets, as happened in Mexico’s tortilla crisis of 2007.

Riots? Mexican Mafia issues? Look, we got through the Tortilla Crisis, OK? ( I still shudder as I remember going weeks without a burrito. Making do with Carnitas and Huevos Rancheros with no tortilla in sight…) No need to have Koreans crossing the border too. We already have a decent sized Korean community here and I don’t really need to learn another language. It’s already enough that I have to speak Spanish to get anything right at low end restaurants, flea markets, “auto recyclers” – that we used to call “junk yards” in more honest days, and, er, “recreational pursuits”; along with Japanese at Karate class and French at the high end restaurants, now you want me to get good at Korean too? Enough!

Nor are trenchcoat-clad men whispering down dark alleys, “psst, want some cabbage?” However, Korea’s kimchi crisis is a worry, not just for cabbage-munchers but policymakers. Food-price inflation—as in much of the world—is a serious matter.

Ah, cabbage as price inflation driver. Now I see… It’s really about balance of trade issues and the inflation of fiat currencies as the Koreans need to swap their questionable currency for our “long green”… I ought to have known… Yes, a serious matter indeed.

In Conclusion

It is quite clear that we are headed into a “Climate Catastrophe” driven economic and political collapse. The extent of the intrigues are hard to fathom. We have East vs West, the old guard Western Cabbages of unquestioned quality V.S. the Cheap Chinese Cabbages with God Only Knows what making them up. Lead Paint on the surfaces? Short weights? Substandard materials? Unhealthful handling? The RICH getting western cabbages while the poor make do with substandard Chinese fare (and suspecting all the time that the Chinese are playing for position, trying to drive the western cabbage makers out of business with shoddy goods and artificially low prices…) Even the heads of Korean Government positioned to join those of Marie Antoinette in the basket…

Clearly, it’s all caused by the present solar funk. The sun takes a bit of a nap, and we all go Ape Shit and plan to nuke each other due to the shortage of Cabbages.

We Are Doomed. There is no other logical conclusion. Simply Doomed. We are at the mercy of a fickle sun that has decided our fate. Nuclear war. The Cabbage War. And it’s hopeless. The only chance is if we all pitch in a few hundred percent more taxes. Yes, that’s the ticket. A few hundred percent more taxes and we’ll set it all right again.

This Time, For Sure…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in AGW and Weather News Events, Economics - Trading - and Money, Food, Human Interest and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to It’s All About the Kimchi

  1. Ken McMurtrie says:

    May your posts go on for ever!

  2. P.G. Sharrow says:

    CABBAGES !; man if you can’t grow cabbages things are really bad. Cool weather and lots of sun, a little night soil and just get out of the way. Must be weak sun or too much overcast for growth. Korean farmers know how to raise great cabbages so it can’t be their fault. It could be too many hungry bureaucrats and not enough farmers to feed them.
    I did not grow any cabbages this year but the broccoli is the largest that I have ever grown. The tomatoes really suck, weak sun this spring and summer. If you grow to eat, you plant different kinds of things, some will do well and some poorly, oh well, this winter there will be lots of sweet potatoes and winter squash, broccoli and carrots.
    I did discover one good thing this summer, no more zuccinni. Plant spagetti squash and cut them small ( about small fist size ) for summer squash and leave a few to mature. They are much better eating then any zuccinni. Mature ones will last until next fall in a warm dry place and they will produce until the frost kills them. pg

  3. Ken McMurtrie says:

    Hi EM. This may be just a nuisance to you, but I commented on a couple of your old posts, in order to bring to your attention some outside posts of interest. If you know about them already, please accept my apologies for wasting time.
    AGW:
    http://tipggita32.wordpress.com/2010/10/10/new-zealand-backs-away-from-doctored-temperature-data/
    Global warming is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud’
    Earthquakes:
    Earthquake Experts See the ‘Big One’ Getting Bigger

  4. Sera says:

    There is a huge Korean Population (and growing) in northern Atlanta. The first MegaMart in the US just opened across the street from my business, so I decided to take a peek. Unbelievable. This place has the best produce that I have ever seen, surpassing our local farmers market in spades. No shortage of cabbages or kimchi, and a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

    http://www.11alive.com/rss/rss_story.aspx?storyid=157387

  5. Pascvaks says:

    ‘kimchi’

    Been a while. Not sure if my memory is up to the task. But for what it’s worth here’s my take.

    When the Japanese had control of Korea food was real hard to come by. Koreans always liked cabbage but during the “Occupation” you ate anything and everything you could get your hands on, and you put up if you had excess for use later -when things got hard and scarce- one way to keep it hidden was to bury it. Anyway, that’s what I recall being told the story of kinchi was years ago.

    Oh! Quick fresh ‘kinchi’ is cabbage and Texas Pete. In a pinch, all you need is Texas Pete.

  6. PhilJourdan says:

    I thought Cabbages were a major source of Green House Gasses??????

  7. E.M.Smith says:

    @Pascvaks: You’ve given me an idea for Texas Kimchi, made with Collards and Texas Pete, served with a side of Tabasco and Habanero Salsa ;-)

    @PhilJourdan: Only if you eat it ;-)

    @P.G.Sharrow: I’ll try that with the Spaghetti Squash. Never could get interested in treating the threads like actual spaghetti, but as a zuke alternative, could be fun!

    FWIW, I had a purple cabbage ‘too long in the fridge’ and it made roots (along with some shriveling of the outer leaves) about 4 years ago. Stuck it in the dirt. Damn thing grew.

    Time passed, and I saved some seeds from it ( I like to reward stubbornness in “Darwin’s Garden” – which is what I call my seed operation…. “The survivors will be eaten” is our motto ;-)

    A cross with a Dinosaur Kale gave an interesting nearly indestructible plant. It’s on its 3rd year? Has a collards like habit, with dusky dark green leaves with a reddish tinge to some parts. Leaves have a rich cabbage like flavor, but doesn’t make a head. Survives the summers, but takes off in the winters. Mostly I just break of “rosettes” of leaves and buds for the bunnies (who love it). Some aphids try to establish on it each spring, but the wasps move in and clean them off.

    I’ve got another cross that was a bit accidental. I’m pretty sure it’s a 3 way of that Dino-Red with a Green Glaze Collards. Makes a very nice collard that tastes much more like cabbage (less bitter – never did like the bitter in collards) and has the glossy green leaf of the Green Glaze, but with a more elongated and slender shape about 1/3 of the way to a Dinosaur Kale shape. (Some sports have the dinosaur dusky green color, and I’m trying to decide if I ought to select for both lines or not… ) It has been growing for 2 years, largely unattended, in a square full of other stuff. I’ve got runner beans on one side that climb up a Fruitless Pear tree to about 15+ feet making a wall of green with bright red flowers (the humming birds just LOVE it!! and it’s right outside the living room window so we get to watch hummers against a wall of green and red all summer / fall ;-) But back at the Dino-Green: So I planted it, and have basically ignored it. Once a year I cut back the Runner Beans so the half that gets buried gets sun again. Sometimes other things are planted on the south side of it that shade it. Sometimes it gets full summer sun. Just keeps on growing. (Though clearly it likes fall the best).

    My intent, now that I’ve saved a few jars of seeds from it, is to plant out a square or two of the Dino-Green as a perpetual Greens source. Both for me and the bunnies. I think it has proved itself. FWIW, and for whatever reason, the aphids don’t even think about trying to grow on it. Maybe they just don’t get that far into the garden, or maybe it isn’t what they like… But it is a completely maintenance free plant that always has some greens on it (and without the bitter of collards, nor all the stem/leaf veins of cabbages).

    And it all reaches back to that one cabbage I left in the bottom of the fridge for a few months and forgot about… The Cabbage That Would Not Die…

    @Ken McMurtrie: No problem. It’s not like there is so much traffic here that a little duplication will run us off the road ;-) Though it has picked up a bit lately. FWIW, I periodically check the “approved postings” page and scroll back to assure I’ve not missed anything. Sometimes I let it go a few days, but usually I look everything over at least once. I don’t always comment on the links folks post (there are times I run out of time… it’s a time management issue on my part, not a commentary on quality of the links) but find them generally very interesting. The ‘what links folks click on’ statistic in the management page shows other folks like looking at them too. FWIW, since WUWT had covered the story, I didn’t do a “me too” posting on it (but did smirk when I read it ;-)

    @Sera: Santa Clara is an interesting place. Just about Ground Zero for Silicon Valley. My first job out of college took me there. Over the years, you could watch the economic trends in the population changes. The 1970’s had a bunch of “white kids from colleges in the USA”, then it moved on. There was the Philippines invasion of semiconductor assemblers, then some other Asians, now it’s a flood of Indians. But part of that Asian influx was a proliferation of Korean restaurants and a large Korean market. You get some very interesting ingredients there. We also have a more generic Asian market chain in the area. Marina (IIRC). Loads of very fresh produce and fish.

    It’s one of the best things to have in a neighborhood if you are a foody.

    FWIW, San Jose has had a Japan Town for ages. Long before I was born. Their Buddhist Temple is very nice and I’ve attended services there. There’s also the Hispanic East Side and I think there is / was a China Town at one point (but frankly, we’ve gotten so integrated that the Chinese are pretty well spread all over now. Though for some reason they seem fond of Cupertino). There is also a Little Saigon sprouted near the south central area.

    Part of the joy of living here is that you can tour large parts of the world, gastronomically speaking, without driving more than 20 miles. And it’s pretty darned authentic. Often the owners are 1 st generation Americans. (Though my favorite “Jewish Deli” is now gone. The owners retired and the shopping center renovated… I miss their pastrami and Kosher pickles something fierce at times… haven’t had the courage to go looking for a replacement. The owner sounded like he came from Germany near the W.W.II era; or perhaps the accent was via New York Yiddish).

    But the recent influx of Indians means we’ve got some great authentic Indian restaurants now. Heck, even the local mass market supermarket chain (Lucky’s) has an Indian ingredients section of a few dozen feet long. Spices that are wonderful, and Basmati rice in 10 lb+ burlap bags from different regions of India.

    Just recently I discovered a “Mediterranean” grocer that is Iranian and stocks things from Greek Olives to Russian canned sprats. More wonderful whole spices and a load of new ingredients to try. (When I think back on growing up in a rural farm town with ‘meat and potatoes’, my major memories of spices were around Thanksgiving and pumpkin pies. Much of the rest of the year “spice” meant salt and pepper… except at my Mexican friends home, where it meant “fire breathing”… ) Things are much more interesting now.

    At any rate, if you’ve never done it before: Look up the local Asian supermarket and go buy something. It’s well worth it.

  8. crosspatch says:

    Actually, this is pretty bad news. The Financial Times had an article in recent days worrying about a global food panic. Apparently crop yields are down in the US, Russia (stopped exporting grain), and Brazil among other countries. Apparently countries in the Middle East are hoarding grain in anticipation of short supplies.

    First was this article in September:

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5f6f94ac-b6bc-11df-b3dd-00144feabdc0.html

    And then a few days ago this one:

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/12b06cee-d300-11df-9ae9-00144feabdc0.html

    The point being that should North Korea experience a severe food shortage, there may be little relief coming from the rest of the world.

  9. E.M.Smith says:

    Unfortunately, that is one of the historical artifacts of a Grand Minimum type event. Something I’ve warned about for a couple of years now (and part of why I put up the “how to store food” directions on the right margin under “Emergency Preparation and Risks”).

    As soon as the volcanoes get really rolling, it’s going to be even worse.

    I typically don’t say much about it, nor dwell on it much, since it just sounds rather “End Is Neigh” and I’m more about “What Problem?” and that tech can save us… but the history is what it is. Grand Minimum events come with cold weather, a load of volcanoes, and crop failures. Followed shortly by mass migrations, wars, and the collapse of the dominant empires that preceded them. I’m just hoping China can assert World Domination in the next 20 years so it’s them what takes the fall and not us ;-)

    BTW, this is also part of why I have “Darwin’s Garden” ™ and (C) ;-) I am selecting for plants that grow and produce stuff you can eat even with poor tending, lousy inputs, mistreatment, and often shaded or with less than desired warmth and sun. Even if the food produced is NOT the most delectable. If I want pampered food, I can get it at the grocery store. And if I can’t, I want to be growing plants that rip weeds out by their roots and start putting feeder roots in the cat if he sleeps near them too long ;-)

    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/10/12/giant-purple-beans/

    for example. Yeah, they have a bit more fiber in the pod than Blue Lake. But they take zero care / tending, grow much larger, and are pretty easy to spot against the leaves. Oh, and the purple pod types are typically cold soil tolerant. They will sprout in 50 F soil when other types just sulk and rot…

    Oh, and Runner Beans can be perennial in California. Mine are. Just keep the roots from freezing with a cloche in winter and they re-sprout and grow very fast early in the next season. I’m hoping I can get the same trait in my Giant Purple Pods…

    (And for anyone worried that this sounds like “crazy talk”: It’s just a hobby, OK? I’m quite certain that with nuclear power and a little elbow grease we can continue to live happy and civilized lives even if another 1800 And Froze To Death happens. But since I can’t work on building a nuclear reactor, the next best thing is to do some seed development in my back yard. And since most of the other seed development turf is already being done by someone, this ‘odd backwater’ looked like a nice niche to play in. Besides, it means I never have to weed the garden ;-)

    So I’m doing the “Prepare for the worst, hope for the best” routine. I figure we’ve got about another decade before it gets bad (if it’s going to happen). If I lived in Vermont, I’d be worried. Living in California or the Southwest, not so much… (Part of the land rush to Oklahoma and Texas was a result of 1800 and froze to death driving farmers out of the North East and down where they could still farm and get crop…) So my expectations is that in California, we’re mostly going to be looking at more folks wanting to move back in… after our State Government finishes bankruptcy proceedings, of course ;-)

    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/04/06/food-storage-systems/

    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/05/27/crisis-kits-and-preparedness-packs/

  10. Paul Hanlon says:

    Being Irish, I’m a big fan of potatoes, and I got this great tip from my brother who is big into permaculture.
    Plant the potatoes and as soon as they pop through the soil, put a 2′ square plywood border about one foot high around them. Keep filling it with soil and force the plant to grow upwards. Keep repeating this until you are about four foot high. Then take out the bottom border and start picking out the tubers from the bottom. He reckons you can get about 100lbs of potatoes from that one plant, if it’s done properly. I can’t wait until February to try it out.

  11. LarryOldtimer says:

    I used to grow in large gardens, and would have done so this year, but I had the worst time getting a new fuel filter for my Mantis rototiller. By the time it got here, the dreadful heat of a Phoenix summer had set in, and it was just too hot to work outside. Now that the heat has mostly gone away, I will be back at it again.

    I expect the worst to happen, caused by our gubmint, and it does seem to be happening.

    I was reared on a farm near Sioux City, IA from the time I was 3 years old (1938) through the summer of my 13th year. Weather conditions have a lot to do regarding commercial farming success, and can’t be predicted with any reliability, and won’t be any time soon. But the grain picture isn’t looking at all good as of now.

    I have read that potatoes can be grown with high productivity, by planting them in 4″ of soil, and then adding straw (have to keep the straw dry) as the plants peek out, several inches at a time. I have 4 large plastic tubs which should work nicely, after I drill drainage holes in the bottoms. Need potatoes, just feel through the straw and remove them. From my gardening experience, if the potatoes (or other plants, the seed part) keep being removed, the plants keep on making new ones.

    Might go out and do some gold nugget shooting too.

    As of now, the US looks to me to be about the same as the Weimar Republic of Germany along about 1920. No real manufacturing, no mining to speak of, with eco-whacko laws that prevent either, and the Fed about to lead us into hyperinflation. Not good news at all. But at least, our only geographical neighbors are Canada and Mexico, which is fortunate indeed.

    At least I do know how and am physically able to grow enough food that I and my loved ones won’t be going hungry. As long as the water is kept running.

  12. E.M.Smith says:

    I’ve got some potatoes that have naturalized in an abandoned square of my garden. The square was over run with Saint Augustine grass and has a bit of bermuda mixing in. The “grass” is not trimmed and gets about 1 to 1 1/2 feet high. The potatoes don’t seem to mind at all. But now you’ve got me wondering if I feel around down near the sod what I might find … I think it’s a mixture of “Russian banana” and a purple flesh / purple skin “organic” spud. Basically, it’s whatever was left in thje dirt in that square when I decided not to till it a couple of years back (when it ended up on the “boys side” of the bunny fence… and I decided to garden only in the other side with the faucet…

    I’ve been torn between the desire to put the square back in proper use, and the desire to have a true “Darwin’s Garden” Potato. Abandoned under Bermuda Grass for years and keeps on keeping on…

    As I look out my window, I see a nice layer of potato leaves hovering about 8 inches above the foot and a half of grass… This year, I watered them during the summer, so I have both more grass and more potato tops. Prior years I let it all go dormant during the summer. So they only made plant tops after winter cold ended.

    Those are my kind of potato… They make flowers from time to time too. I’ve saved the seeds and even started some “from seed” potatoes that are planted in other squares.

    I like potatoes… they just don’t seem to care much about things that would kill off lesser crops.

    Planted a Chayote. It’s now got vines 20 feet up the fence and into the neighbors tree. (And headed about 20 feet down the fence and into my bamboo… ) Supposedly they make fruit about now (a squash like thing) but I’ve got nothing so far. Nice jungle look to it, though ;-) Supposedly they also make an underground tuber and you can harvest parts of it without killing the plant. If I get ambitious (and if it gives me no fruit) I may dig down and see what’s below. It is a bit strange, though, to look out and see this tree with what looks like squash vines poking out the top ;-)

    I like plants with “attitude” ;-)

    Just wish I liked the taste of nopalitos. (Prickly pear cactus pads). Nothing particularly wrong with them, just tastes like “bland green” with an odd undertone. But talk about your no-maintenance crop! Toss a chunk on the ground and walk away. Come back in a year or two and harvest as desired.

    The ‘bottom line”, IMHO, is that if we’re willing to adjust a bit what we choose to eat, there is no problem getting enough to eat. It’s the transition that can be rocky…

  13. Sera says:

    Great advice (all of it). And yes, I am a ‘foody’. Thanks.

  14. Pascvaks says:

    Ref your comment – “The ‘bottom line”, IMHO, is that if we’re willing to adjust a bit what we choose to eat, there is no problem getting enough to eat. It’s the transition that can be rocky…”

    I came to the conclusion many years ago (and it’s only grown stronger since then) that people who are hungry enough will eat anything (and I usually add ‘or anyone’). In a world that suffers another Grand Minimum (or major disruption of any kind –manmade or not) as you say the greatest danger, initially, is chaos.

  15. E.M.Smith says:

    @Pascvaks: On of my favorite pages when pondering odd plants to grow / eat is this one:

    http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/faminefoods/ff_home.html

    It’s where I learned that the leaves of green beans are eaten as a “pot herb” in Africa. I knew the bunnies liked them, a lot.

    Tried some. A bit coarse and not as much flavor as I’d expected, but definitely something I’d eat if hungry. My Camellia bush is pretty. AND close enough relative to Tea that it makes a tolerable drink (and the flowers are edible too ;-) The shoots of my Bambusa Oldhami are edible, though lacking in taste and texture compared to the ones in oriental food (or I didn’t know how to prepare it right…).

    All around me the hills are full of scrub oaks. Miles of them. The acorns are edible if you leach the tannic acid out. (Learned that in about 3rd or 4th grade in the section on California Indians…) Tons of them for the taking. I’ve got 3 apple trees (small ones) in the yard. Can’t even get my family to lift their arm up to pick one. The squirrels and rabbits get them. The Tangelo tree (that we sometimes call an orange tree, even though it’s a cross between a tangerine and grapefruit) usually has half to 3/4 of the fruit go to the compost heap. The list goes on.

    So in a true global crop failure, there is a lot of initial slack, but also a lot of initial cluelessness about how to respond. IFF this event turns sour, the hope is that with modern communications folks can adapt more rapidly and better. We’ll see.

    FWIW, part of Darwin’s Garden is growing a large variety of things I don’t usually grow; to try to learn in advance what works and what doesn’t under a variety of circumstances. So while I’m developing a cold tolerant locally adapted tomato, I’m also aware that it just doesn’t work well in the cold. Yeah, I can move fruit set down from 70F at night to 60 F and maybe even 55 F, but yield is still lower in the cold.

    And peas sulk in the heat and dry of summer. So if summers go cool and dank, I’m skipping the tomatoes and going to plant peas. (That’s why I sporadically grow some Fava beans, even though I don’t like them much. They grow here in the winter basically untended.) The hope being that if a SHTF moment comes, that info can get propagated very fast.

    For example, last year I learned that some types of Lentils grow with startling speed. I had a little green lentil that went from planted to harvest in something like 45 days. (I didn’t track it closely, I was just using it as ‘green manure’ and was startled at the schedule it took). On the “todo” list now is to look up the various lentil varieties and see what the expected time to harvest is for them. I think these were “French Lentils” (bought at Whole Foods). They were nice in cooking, but I’d decided I liked the larger lentils for storage. Hadn’t appreciated their startlingly fast growth… If you have ‘rain fed’ gardening with a very short soil damp period before it goes ‘way dry’, these would likely crop reasonably well. Then put in Tepary beans for the long dry season. ( I grew some of them 2 years ago. Slow, but very good in poor dry soil – being from the Desert Southwest).

    In the last cold event, the French refused to embrace the potato and ended up with bread riots and The French Revolution. Other Europeans embraced the potato and did better. In the internet age, and with much broader food preferences in the world in general (heck, I’ll even eat the snails from my garden – that were introduced by the French as a delicacy and that we see as a pest – if pushed enough) I think folks would be willing to shift preferences in a pinch.

    Though the fuss over Kimchi is a not very promising test case…

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