A crash course in changing the world.
Food crisis... I frankly hope we'll never get there, but what would we do?
This is my personnal experience. If you want something you can participate in, get to the next Bold text, down.
I'm starting to work on the problem now and improving my solution a little bit more each year. What am I doing? A garden to complement what could become hard to get. The problems are multiple however. In Canada, the seasons to tend for a garden makes it hard to have a decent crop and I can definitely not grow everything I would wish unless I had a greenhouse. Another problem, I'm not good with seeds. Give me small plants and I can manage, but growing from seeds is something that's just not natural for me. Anyway, I will learn.
I take it one year at a time, growing more and more each year. This way, the learning curve is a lot less stressful and discouraging. But just last year, I manage to bring a decent crop of herbs (all kinds, really!), tomatoes, scarlet runner beans, salads, carrots, strawberries, rhubarb and peppers. One thing that helps me (unfortunately) is the lack of vegetables and fruits my husband eats so it doesn't give me a lot to choose from. This year, I'll try to add Jerusalem artichoke, potatoes, blueberries, juneberries, rasberries and maybe some kind of pumpkin and maybe grapes. Wow! If I can manage that, what do you think I will have in 2020? Something to make a real feast!
That's all nice to think about, but what about innovation? For me innovation can be big or small but they are both worth thinking about. Sometimes the small innovations makes for the big innovation to be able to work. Here's my small innovation to make my garden even more self-sufficient. This summer, I will add a rain container to water my plants. It will be placed against my house where the roof angles bring the water down (that is actually a problem on the house, I need to do something about it because the outpour is too close to the house and it could cause inflitration). So with that, I'm clearing 2 problems with one stroke.
I will add uncommon fruits that are hardy to my zone and I plan to do a post on that real soon (Juneberries are planned for this summer, I already have alpine strawberries and I would eventually love lingonberries). I already have a compost bin in my back yard, so this is a plus and I have a food dehydrator so I can prepare vegetables and herbs and keep them a long time. Any vision from you guys where I could improve this garden?
I know it's small scale and personnal, almost egocentric, but from there, you can go bigger scale : Imagine neighbors sharing their crops when they have too much or giving it to a food bank for the poor! Of course, you have to love gardening :)
The real ticker for those who want to see big scale and want a way to get local food :
Oh, one last thing. for those of you who don't want to garden, there is a big scale solution, at least in Canada. Become a partner to a close-by farm through Equiterre!
Basically, you pay an amount to receive close to your home a basket full of the vegetables and fruits of this specific farm. The contact with the farmer is great but you do take a risk : Maybe the season will not be all that good, but you are still expected to give the money to support the farmer. It is the contract you sign up for. There is generally at least 2 days of "open farm" where you can actually go for the day help the farmers, learn about your farm, create relationships with all the farmers and other partners. It is not mandatory but always appreciated from the farmers.
I've participated 2 years in this kind of enterprise, it is very good, but it was too much vegetables for my family :) We wasted so much! And with my new, young garden, I feel it's just not necessary anymore for me. But it's a wonderful project to be involved in.
I have a little story from last year (but you don't need to read it if you're short on time, it's just a small thing) :
It had been about a week I hadn't put anything in the compost bin and had a real surprise when I got there : A potato plant was growing in it! I took it out and planted it back in the garden. Unfortunately it died but it made me think how much I would actually have liked potatoes. This year, if possible, I would like to build a potato box. Basically, it's a big box of wood with h***s all around big enough for the leaves to come out. You fill it with earth and compost and small potatoes and voilà! Soon enough, small leaves will find their way to the h***s. This box can be placed on my (too big) balcony so it could save space directly in my garden.