To keep up with population growth, more food will have to be produced worldwide over the next 50 years than had been during the past 10,000 years combined. To make this all the more challenging is that we are going to have to grow all this food with fewer resources:
- Less oil; in our highly industrialised food system, it takes 10 calories of fossil fuel energy to produce one calorie of food energy
- Less water; many places on the earth which are traditionally food producers are experiencing catastrophic drought.
- Less farmland through progressive desertification.
- Less climate stability
- Less genetic diversity. We need genetic diversity to be resilient against climate change,
There is nothing radical about a patch of grass, but growing our own food can be a subversive activity. Food is energy; it is what our body runs on. But it is also a form of power. When we grow some of our own food we take power into our own hands: power over our diet, power over our health and power over our wallets. What makes gardening subversive is that it takes control away from the corporate interests who have power over food and health.
Gardeners aren’t generally known for their civil disobedience, yet around the world in the last couple of years several have run afoul of local officials for tending vegetables in their front yards.
There have been several families emigrate to NZ from the United Stated of America because in some places, they have laws making it an offence punishable by prison to grow vegetables in their front yard.
And yet, this is happening at a time when it would be most prudent to produce our own food for financial and health reasons. Many of those involved in this radical behaviour are calling their gardens a “patriot garden,” an overt reference to the Victory Gardens planted during World War II.
At the peak of the Victory Gardens, 40% of all produce was coming from home gardens.
‘Food not Lawns’, www.foodnotlawns.com gives us many tips and reasons why we should dig up the lawn and grow our own food.
“Incredible Edible Todmorden” is a Yorkshire town which is planting every available surface with veggies. They are on a mission to reject the global food industry and become the UK’s first food self-sustaining town.
The revolution will be composted!