Why grow your own?

When the supermarket shelves are overflowing with abundance, why should I or anyone else be concerned with the future of our food supply?

Credit: Carolyn Herriot & iStock

grow your own food

When the supermarket shelves are overflowing with abundance, why should I or anyone else be concerned with the future of our food supply? The answer is that when we piece together the impact of an unsustainable food system that has become dependent on fossil fuels instead of sunshine, there clearly will not be enough food to sustain our grandchildren in the future.

Take a look for yourself to see what the future holds. Peak oil means increasing food costs (food transportation, farm inputs, machine fuels, processing and packaging are petrochemical based; as the price of oil goes up so does the cost of food production).

Increasing food costs will be further aggravated by biofuel production as more food is grown to power cars instead of feed people (20 per cent of the U.S.A.’s corn production is now grown for ethanol, and the price of corn has doubled).

Soil degradation, resulting from years of intensive and destructive industrial farming methods, leaves us with only 53 more years of food production from degraded soils around the world. Freshwater shortages for expanding populations will be further escalated by industrial-scale food production (global agriculture irrigation uses 90 percent of the world’s freshwater).

We will have to feed more people on less land with less water, complicated by the unknown and threatening consequences of a changing climate, which will cause widespread disruption of food production. Where I live on Vancouver Island, 95 percent of what we consume on the island is shipped in, and we would have only three days of emergency food supplies before the shelves went bare. What are we waiting for? The planet is warming up as a result of our demanding cheap, mass-produced food and abrogating our responsibility to feed ourselves.

I want REAL food on my plate: Regional. Environmentally responsible. Real food nourishes me and my community. Instead of poring over labels in the supermarket to ascertain where food has come from and what’s been done to it (not to mention that genetically modified and irradiated foods aren’t clearly labeled), I am better off doing my bit for the planet by growing as much of my own food as possible and supporting regional food production.

My parents went back to the land and “Dug for Victory” in the Second World War, and we can do it again with “New Victory Gardens.” I invite you to join with many others from around the world in the the Grow Your Own Food movement. Let’s reconnect with our food, families and communities and create a taste of Tuscany right in our own backyards.

Blog along with me every week as I create The New Victory Garden – eventually you’ll have a 52-week guide to greater self-sufficiency. I know you’ll delight in landscaping with beautiful plants that you can also eat. I will show you that you don’t even need a garden to grow food, and I will even teach you how to save your own seeds for future harvests!

Click here to read more about Carolyn Herriot’s Victory Garden Program.

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