Food Shortage? Grow Your Own!

Carrots would have been larger if I’d thinned them out when young

From The Food Shortage Solution In Your Own Backyard at

A confluence of crises—lockdowns and business closures, mandates and worker shortages, supply chain disruptions and inflation, sanctions and war—have compounded to trigger food shortages; and we have been warned that they may last longer than the food stored in our pantries. What to do?

Jim Gale, founder of Food Forest Abundance, pointed out in a recent interview with Del Bigtree that in the United States there are 40 million acres of lawn. Lawns are the most destructive monoculture on the planet, absorbing more resources and pesticides than any other crop, without providing any yield. If we were to turn 30% of that lawn into permaculture-based food gardens, says Gale, we could be food self-sufficient without relying on imports or chemicals.

Permaculture is a gardening technique that “uses the inherent qualities of plants and animals combined with the natural characteristics of landscapes and structures to produce a life-supporting system for city and country, using the smallest practical area.”

Author Ellen Brown discusses the apparent success of small gardens on dachas in Russia.

I don’t know much about permaculture, but I’m skeptical about it working in my environment in southern Arizona where we only get 7 inches of rain/year and summer temperatures are often well above 100 degrees F.

I have a small raised-bed garden. This is my second summer of experimentation. I’ve had a modicum of success with green beans, tomatoes, cantaloupe, carrots, rosemary, parsley, basil, and Armenia cucumbers. I’ve battled pests and predators who want my crops: mealy bugs, white flies, powdery mildew, woodpeckers, and rabbits. I find vegetable production difficult here, but I’m enjoying it anyway thus far.

Steve Parker, M.D.

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