|View of the Goat Barn over the Brassica Patch|
According to an article in the Small Farmer’s Journal written by Stephen Scott of Terroir Seeds in Chino Valley, Arizona, 71% of Russia’s polulation grows food-producing gardens on their urban plots. This according to government statistics from 2000. These gardens account for 3% of the arable land used in Russian agriculture yet grow 50% of the food eaten by the Russian people.
Given that an estimated 30-40% of food waste in our country occurs before the f ood reaches our homes, perhaps we ought to take a page out of Russia’s food production playbook.
The question of how best to feed the world is a complicated one, but one which yields surprisingly simple answers. Agribusiness answers the question with mass production, low wage minority workers, and exported commodity crops. But this solution renders local economies weaker and politically dependent.
In order to efficiently answer the question of how best to feed the world, perhaps we should pursue economically inefficient agriculture, such as the growing of hand-crafted veggies in our city and suburban yards, thus reframing the question as “How can we best feed ourselves, and thus encourage foreign countries in their own local economies? In doing so we would no doubt find more to add to the tally than rate of return per hour of labor. We’d have something to get up in the morning for, exercise right outside our front door. We could cancel our gym memberships and reduce our waistlines in the pea patch. We’d have something to share with our children and grandchildren, and even if they drag their feet and odn’t want to week the onions, they will grow stronger and straighter for it, fortified in their mid-life crises with memories of our example of fulfilling steady contented work. We’d have something to do with fellow Catholic families beyond dinner parties, at which we talk about the weateher, and cnfirm our prejudices, and bemoan the secular age. We’d have something to share with our neighbors, and with the poor, and we’d have a bridge of unity to meet our liberal friends halfway upon.
|Packing up First Week's CSA Shares|
|Three Generations of Woodsmen|
Food security reasons aside, to garden is to imitate the Creator, who, when he set oabout to make mankind, played in the mud. Perhaps in hopes of renewing mankind we ought to follow suit.
|Almost Finished Mountain of Split Wood ready for Winter|
|The Little Flower Farm roadside stand|
|Kale as Bathing Beauties|
|Bradishing Chard for the Weekly CSA Harvest|