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Can Organic Food feed the world?

Enough of blogging on issues that are of no immediate importance to human survival. Enough of blogging about people who want to be wives or girlfriends. Enough blogging about clueless politicians and angry humans who become terrorists.

What about a post on an issue that truly matters? Such as whether organic food is capable of feeding the world? Before we answer that Q, lets consider a few links:

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I grew up in a suburb of a small city in a ‘different world’, and a ‘different time’. Everyone was a subsistence farmer of sorts. It was a time when people were proud of subsistence farming. Of growing their own food. There was nobody to force you to buy their food, you could grow your way through life, if you wanted to. While still holding a full-time job as my parents did. The choice was yours.

We grew everything from Green vegetables, Corn, Peas and Beans, to Tomatoes, Pumpkins, Cassava, Carrots, Strawberries, Potatoes (both Irish and Sweet) and Sugar Cane. We could have grown a lot more things, but we didn’t need to. Other people grew stuff you needed for you, and you bought it fresh at a very reasonable price. Everyday.

Nobody was out to hustle or scam anybody. Everybody just wanted to carve a decent living, and growing your own food just made that job a bit easier.

We reared our own free range chickens (which thankfully were allowed to roam freely, even into neighbouring spaces since we had no gate or compound). We sourced local meat (beef, goat, lamb), and our bananas were grown less than 2 miles away, just outside the city’s largest prison (which I must say is a story for another day). The interesting thing being that all of our ‘farming’ happened on less than 2 acres of land. It was insane…

But it worked, in fact it worked so beautifully we only bought the necessities such as tissue paper, soap, detergents, fish, bread, honey and suchlike from supermarkets. The rest of our needs were sourced from the local market, which took place less than 2 miles away from home, everyday (although it was more pronounced, and offered a greater variety of produce/goods during the weekends). The tea and coffee we drank was grown less than 30 miles away. We had a mango tree in our garden, and one neighbour on the one side had a Peach tree and an Avocado tree (both mature), and on the other side a different neighbour had a Papaya tree. Oh, and they also reared pigeons for meat. Both were ever liberal (as everyone else tended to be during those years) at sharing what their land had bequeathed to them. Even the beer most men drank, was brewed less than 4 miles away.

Come to think of it, we could have even gone into Bee keeping, or grown something fancy such as, i don’t know, Asparagus for example…. We had the space, the manpower, the only problem being since it was a neighbourhood, I would imagine that with families having small kids all over, not everyone would have been exactly keen at the prospect of bees buzzing about in their neighbour’s garden, a few yards from where their children were playing.

When I look back now, I’m struck by just how entrepreneurial the whole thing was. Obviously we grew different things during different seasons (depending on the time of the year, the rains , etc), but the energy, the experience, the fun, the sheer dedication it took to plough and enable that small piece of land to shine, was simply incredible!

It taught me an incredible lot, not least Patience, discipline and self-sufficiency. I know the world can survive on Organic food grown on small pieces of land, within cities, because Organic food grown on small pieces of land, barely 5 miles from a city, fed me the first 18 years of my life.

I’ll end on this note:



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