On 8/7/2012 4:09 PM, Toby Hemenway wrote:
> Good points, Lawrence. I’m just trying to point out, and counter, the > instinctive assumption, in this individualist culture, that the only > safe way to get your food is to grow it yourself. This seems the > least flexible, lowest-common-denominator response to a complex > issue, although in some cases it is the right answer. I get the sense > that for many people “I have to grow all my own” is not a solution > they arrived at via good design methods, but one that we default to > out of fear, habit, and prior assumptions as though there is no safe > alternative. But I think we need to throw out that assumption and > start with the core issue. The goal is to meet our food needs in a > sustainable, affordable, healthy way, and that can be done many ways. > Obviously we need millions more farmers, at many scales. But I think > it’s very important, and a good stacking of functions, to create food > systems that operate mainly at the neighborhood, community, and > bioregional level, instead of a food “syst em” (which it would not > be, as system requires interconnection) consisting of people mainly > providing for themselves. 100 people taking care of each other is far > stronger than 100 people each on their own. Again, doing a critical > function like food in just one way–all by yourself–is not good > permaculture.
> The permaculture zone system applies well here. Zone 1 is, sure, grow > as much of your food as is appropriate given your circumstances (but > see below). Zone 2 is to use community gardens and local CSAs to get > the food you can’t grow yourself. Zone 3 is locally-owned stores and > farmers markets for most of what’s left. Anything you can’t get in > those inner zones, and that shouldn’t leave much, get at bigger > stores while they exist, but only rarely. Ideally this would be paid > for by a LETS or hours bank, not just with money. This builds a > resilient food network, a community rather than a bunker, and a local > economy.
> Community activists that I talk to complain that while a lot of > fairly privileged folks like most of us here are growing food and > gaining new skills for self-reliance, the urban and suburban poor, in > their huge numbers, are struggling at jobs that use all of their > time, taking care of their families the rest of the time, and don’t > have time, skills, energy, land, or money to start a garden. These > are the people for whom “just grow your own food” is not remotely a > solution. I think a coordinated local food system that networks > backyard and community gardens, CSAs, local farms and markets, and > even some commodity foods for as long as they exist (I’m not real > keen on raising all my grains) can generate a surplus that can help > feed those who aren’t able, or for whom it makes no sense, like > skilled workers in critical roles, to grow their own.
> This is one of my favorite topics because it shows how we default to > our assumptions, and gives us a chance to look at how we make > decisions, figure out the real goals and needs, and solve them using > all the tools at our disposal.
> Toby http://patternliteracy.com
I get it now. I misinterpreted your original post. In some ways you go beyond me with radical local food systems using permaculture principles. Of course its just a paper idea with me but one that I have nurtured for decades. There’s a lot to reply to above and I will do that after I take my vitamins….
….and get my mail….check out the new weed growth after rain today…
—I have a Johnson grass lawn or in part so; mow it with an Austrian scythe. BTW, if you have a garden or raised beds infested with a thick growth of morning glory, get out the scythe, sharpen it and cut it all down right to the dirt. Works fine and may be the quickest way to get it out of the garden, at least compared to rakes and hoes.
Back with more later..