After the Fall of Civilization, I Will Feed Millions

We eat dinner in front of a large sliding glass door, calmly surveying the remnants of the garden that is on its last legs in the Austin summer drought. If we’re lucky, my husband will ask me what I’m thinking about.

“Oh,” I’ll say casually, “I’m thinking about how much of the back yard I could terrace and farm so we don’t starve to death when society collapses.”

I am such a pleasant conversational partner. No wonder he goes to work so cheerily every morning, earning money to keep a roof over our heads.

“Not much,” he says.

“The part that stumps me is the protein. I don’t think we can grow enough soybeans for all three of us. We could keep chickens for eggs?”

He grimaces. “Chickens are horrible. Better to make canals and have fish swimming in the rice paddies.”

“Where exactly are we going to get water for irrigation after the fall of organized society?” I ask. “They could do that in Houston, we’d have to drive there and get fish if we were going to start eating fish.”

“With all that gasoline that will be freely available, just like in Mad Max.”


I have to say, though, that with the agricultural output we managed this year, we may have sufficient produce to barter for protein. The zucchini plants only produced one edible zucchini before being scorched to death, but the cherry tomato plants were awesome. In fact, to properly demonstrate the size of the harvest, I had to find an appropriate visual comparison.

Cherry tomatoes half the height of Godzilla! It’s amazing. Surely we won’t starve when whatever the bad thing is happens and we’re reduced to living off the land.

(Does the sepia thing help camouflage the fact that my camera focuses wherever it wants and I’m too lazy to override it? Good, I thought so.)

3 thoughts on “After the Fall of Civilization, I Will Feed Millions

  1. Kate

    Wow. Your conversation seems really familiar, except the fall of organized society means that we are heading to the Bob Marshall Wilderness with quite a few others, I suspect. My husband also has a plan for what to do if zombies attack. We just like to be prepared. – K

  2. Grace

    We, too, have this conversation on a regular basis. Only all we’re growing is herbs for cocktails. If anybody needs a whole lot of mint once society falls, we’re set.

  3. Kelly

    Now I’m surveying my backyard and see that I can feed civilization only with my half-dead basil. Doesn’t look promising!

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