Create Food Security In Your Backyard

By Neenah Payne

In 2020, Americans faced empty grocery stores shelves for the first time. Curtis Stone, The Urban Farmer, warns about more food shortages and provides tips on how to grow lots of food on small plots. See his book The Urban Farmer.

The world has turned a deaf ear to Native American and other indigenous cultures that have warned we ignore Mother Earth at our peril. The urgency of the situation now is shown by the fact that America has enough top soil to feed only two more generations! So, the survival of the nation depends on urgent renewal of the land in a way Big Agra does not understand. Yet, as this article shows, soil regeneration is easy and can be done quickly.

The world needs topsoil to grow 95% of its food – but it’s rapidly disappearing warns: “Without efforts to rebuild soil health, we could lose our ability to grow enough nutritious food to feed the planet’s population.” Only 60 Years of Farming Left If Soil Degradation Continues says: “if current rates of degradation continue, all of the world’s top soil could be gone within 60 years.” Can American soil be brought back to life? says: “A new idea: If we revive the tiny creatures that make dirt healthy, we can bring back the great American topsoil. But farming culture — and government — aren’t making it easy.”

On Mother Earth Day, Del Bigtree, host of The Highwire show, interviewed Dr. Zach Bush in Hawaii. Dr. Bush explained that the problem is not too much carbon which is fundamental for life. It is that the Earth can no longer absorb the carbon because our soils are depleted. They discuss how to restore our soils so the Earth can breathe. Is that what the “I can’t breathe” mantra that went global last year was really all about? Was it the Earth speaking to us and calling for our help now? The interview starts at 16.30 minutes in Planting A Seed.

Film: Regenerative Agriculture Is Essential To Our Health

Dr. Bush says on his site:

“My work is dedicated to the health of humanity and the planet we call home. It is critical that our pursuit of optimal health and longevity begin with an effort toward a collective rise in consciousness such that we would begin to thrive within nature, instead of fighting that nature that is life itself. My experience as a physician specializing in internal medicine, endocrinology and hospice care with a focus on the microbiome as it relates to health, disease, and food systems led me to found *Seraphic Group and the non-profit Farmer’s Footprint to develop root-cause solutions for human and ecological health.

My passion for education reaches across many disciplines, including topics such as the role of soil and water ecosystems in human genomics, immunity, and gut/brain health. My education has highlighted the need for a radical departure from chemical farming and pharmacy, and ongoing efforts to create a path for consumers, farmers, and mega-industries to work together for a healthy future for people and planet.”

Dr. Bush says about the free film below Farmer’s Footprint: A Path To Soil Health and Food Independence: “This film features the trials, learnings and victories of the four generation Breitkreutz family from Stoney Creek Farm transitioning from conventional farming to regenerative agriculture in Redwood Falls, Minnesota. Using conventional methods they saw their soils degrade and their input costs rise every year. Transitioning to regenerative practices has helped their row cropping operation and significantly reduced the input cost for their cattle. This film tells the story of how they did it.”

Who Feeds The World? Oneness vs The 1%

The film connects the introduction of Monsanto’s glyphosate into farming in 1996 with the explosion of cancer in middle America. In the Quest For The Cures docuseries, which is free online from April 21-29, Ty and Charlene Bollinger, founders of The Truth About Cancer, show that Big Pharma is hiding proven cancer cures while forcing people to accept surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation as the only acceptable treatments. When those treatments killed many members of Ty’s family, he and Charlene devoted their lives to telling people about proven holistic approaches. Ty is the author of The Truth About Cancer: What You Need To Know About Cancer’s History, Treatment, and Prevention.

There is also a direct connection between the introduction of GMOs  and the explosion of autism. While Big Ag is making us sick, Big Pharma is making a killing requiring us to use expensive ineffective treatments. Big Agra and Big Pharma are creating a hidden genocide. However, the film says consumers are “driving the bus” now because more people are demanding healthy foods.

Big Ag claims GMO foods are required to feed the world. However, as this article shows, Big Ag is wrong. Yet, Gates’ Plan To Control World’s Seeds, Agriculture, Food explains that Bill Gates, who owns 500,000 shares of Monsanto, plans to take the world further in that ecocidal/genocidal direction.

Global Food & Farming Issues: Dr. Vandana Shiva Slams Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg & Monsanto says:

“Physicist, environmental activist and renowned author Dr. Vandana Shiva explains modern day global food and farming issues. When organic agriculture has shown to be the best way to feed the world, why do giant corporations insist on taking over and doing things their way? Why do they have so much sway over government policy?”

Who Really Feeds the World?: The Failures of Agribusiness and the Promise of Agroecology is Dr. Shiva’s 2016 book. Her 2020 book is Oneness vs. the 1%: Shattering Illusions, Seeding Freedom

Small Farms Feed The World

What Big Ag Doesn’t Want You To Know: Small Farms Can Feed The World raises a key question, “Sustainable, local, organic food grown on small farms has a tremendous amount to offer. Unlike chemical-intensive industrial-scale agriculture, it regenerates rural communities; it doesn’t pollute rivers and groundwater or create dead zones; it can save coral reefs; it doesn’t encroach on rainforests; it preserves soil and it can restore the climate. Why do all governments not promote it?”

Books
Grow Your Own: How to Be an Urban Farmer
Your Farm in the City: An Urban Dweller’s Guide to Growing Food and Raising Animals

Articles

These articles show that more Americans are turning to farming/gardening now to ensure food security:

  1. Are Victory Gardens Returning Now
  2. Return To The Garden of EDEN Now
  3. Growing Return To The Garden of Eden
  4. Growing Power Shift — Power to The People
  5. Are You Choosing The Light In The Dim Age?
  6. Why The Back To Land Movement Is Growing!
  7. Man Turns Degraded Land Into Massive Forest!
  8. The GREATER Reset — Inspiring Vision For Humanity!
  9. From Homeless in America To Organic Farmer in Kenya!

Create Food Forest Abundance

Del met with Jim Gale of Food Forest Abundance and they planted a garden on the grounds of The Highwire office and studio. See their discussion at CREATING ABUNDANCE IN YOUR BACKYARD.

“Jim Gale is the founder of Food Forest Abundance, a landscape design service that specializes in personal sustainable agriculture gardens. Watch as he helps Del design and plant a ‘food forest’ on the ICAN campus for The Highwire team to have their own low-maintenance, self-sufficient fruit and vegetable garden while helping the planet, and learn how you can build your own ‘food forest’.”

We help families achieve an organic, healthy, and sustainable lifestyle by installing gardens and Edible Landscapes. Site Consultation • Design & Planning • Permaculture Design Courses • Raised Beds • Edible Landscapes • MicroGreens • Hydroponics • Tower Gardens • Solar. We make growing your own food Easy, Fun, and Productive.  Perfect for suburban yards, balcony gardens, retirement villages, community gardens, and small urban properties. As certified Permaculture Designers, we specialize in eco-smart designs that stack functions.

We transform ordinary spaces into beautiful, food-producing landscapes. Custom Foodscaping provides consultation, design, and installation services to help you realize your edible landscaping, farm & garden, or permaculture goals. We specialize in food forests, herb gardens, and profitable vegetable farms. We love to work with all types of institutions including schools, universities, hospitals, hotels, homeowner associations, community centers, and restaurants.”

Turn Your Lawn Into A Low-Maintenance Edible Landscape

Start To Grow Food Not Lawns includes a video which explains that fruit trees and bushes could be planted in small city parks across America to provide abundant fresh, local food for communities.

Seven Layers of a Forest Garden

The Food Forest site says:

Become Self-Sufficient With A Food Forest

A food forest is a diverse planting of edible plants that attempts to mimic the ecosystems and patterns found in nature. Food forests are three-dimensional designs, with life-extending in all directions. Food Forests are low-maintenance, sustainable, plant-based food production and self-sufficient system incorporating fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines, medicinal herbs, and perennial vegetables which have yields directly beneficial to humans.

Nature grows in a highly-optimized pattern, utilizing multiple layers and making the most of both horizontal and vertical space. Generally, we recognize seven layers of a forest garden – the overstory, the understory, the shrub layer, the herbaceous layer, the root layer, the ground cover layer, and the vine layer. Some also like to recognize the mycelial layer, layer eight (mushrooms). Using these layers, we can fit more plants in an area without causing failure due to competition.

Permaculture and Biophilia

The Food Forest site adds:

“Robert Hart, a pioneer of forest gardening in the UK, had a vision of forest gardening: “Obviously, few of us are in a position to restore the forests. But tens of millions of us have gardens or access to open spaces such as industrial wasteland, where trees can be planted and if full advantage can be taken of the potentialities that are available in heavily built-up areas, new city forests can arise…”

Through Hart’s observations of the complex relationships and interactions in his woodland forest garden, he developed a 7-layered model of forest gardens:

  1. Canopy layer that consists of tall fruit and nut trees.
  2. Lower tree layer of dwarf fruit and nut trees.
  3. Shrub layer of fruit bushes such as currants and berries.
  4. Herbaceous layer of culinary/medicinal herbs, companion plants, bee- and poultry-loving plants.
  5. Ground cover of edible plants that function as a living mulch.
  6. Rhizosphere layer that consists of root crops.
  7. Vertical layer of vines and climbers.

The site points out:

Bill Mollison, who many consider the founding father of permaculture – ecological and environmental design that reconciles food production systems and human settlements, with nature – visited Hart at his forest garden in Wenlock Edge. Following his visit, forest gardens became one of the key concepts in permaculture. Food forests integrate and draw from the disciplines of permaculture, agriculture, ecology, biology, and other natural living sciences. Together, these disciplines create a living set of tools and practices that can help us engage in regenerative garden design at multiple scales.

A diverse community of life can grow in a small space, which is suitable for urban environments. “Biophilia” developed by the late professor of social ecology, Stephen Kellert, suggests that humanity’s innate connection to nature transcends our physical and material reliance on the natural world. Food Forests can regenerate urban spaces through sustainable food production. And at a deeper individual level, the practice of food forestry can help us cultivate ourselves, and transform the ways in which we see and live in the world.”

Permaculture Provides Paradigm Shift For Global Economy

John D. Liu is a photographer who decided to become a soil scientist after he was asked to photograph a community in China that was conducting a radical experiment to restore the fertility of its soil in 1995. What he learned led him on a journey to work on soil restoration projects in the Middle East which are recounted in the documentary Regreening the desert with John D. Liu | VPRO Documentary | 2012.

It says, “It all started in 1995 when Liu filmed the Loess-plateau in China. He witnessed a local population who turned an area of almost the same size as The Netherlands from a dry, exhausted wasteland into one green oasis. From that moment on, Liu has been travelling all over the world to convince and inspire government leaders, policy-makers and farmers. Liu diligently spreads the message that a green future is possible worldwide.”

In  Ecosystem Based Adaptation: The Great Work Of Our Time Liu explains that there is a fundamental error in the logic of our global economic theory because it does not value the work of nature (sun, rivers, soil, microorganisms, pollinators, etc.) — but only its products (trees for wood, fruits, vegetables, animals)!

Life on Earth Is Mostly Green

Life on Earth is mostly green reveals that “A new census of life finds that by mass, animals are a small minority” and includes the following graphics that really put humanity in our place!

How Permaculture Redefines the Economy

Humanity may account for a minuscule amount of Earth’s biomass, but we have a huge impact on the entire planet!  While indigenous peoples see themselves as caretakers of Mother Earth, industrialized and developing nations see Earth as a collection of “resources” to exploit in a quest for endless economic growth. That ignores the obvious reality that infinite growth is not possible on a finite planet! So, unless we learn a new way of relating to our only home, we are going to continue to cause a great deal of easily avoidable havoc: soil degradation, floods, mudslides, droughts, famine, diseases, forced migrations, wars, and a declining standard of living and health for billions of people.

In Investing in Agorism — “Solutions Watch” with James Corbett, Jack Spirko explains that we’ve all been taught that investments are contained in portfolios — especially now as everything gets digitized. He points out, however, the importance of seeing agriculture/permaculture as an investment. There is no more sound investment than purifying the air and filling your stomach while enhancing your local community. That type of self-reliance and overall resilience is overlooked in most  investment strategies.

Permaculture provides an easy alternative which is not only common sense but profitable in the short and long term because it provides a sustainable way of life for all the world’s peoples. The 2016 film (130) Healing the Earth | John D. Liu – YouTube links to Commonland which discusses Four Returns in the film on the site:

  1. Inspiration
  2. Social Capital
  3. Natural Capital: Biodiversity
  4. Financial Capital: Investment/Return

See their project at: Introducing 1,000 Landscapes For 1 Billion People.

Note: John and Ocean Robbins are hosting the free Food Revolution Summit from April 24-May 2.

Edible Gardens

The film on the Edible Gardens site shows that small plants are available at some grocery stores.

Urban Garden Revolution

Dr. Vandana Shiva says:  “Urban Gardens are the greatest revolution today.”  She urges everyone to save heirloom (not hybrid) seeds now — even just one seed. She says the quantity doesn’t matter. It’s the principle. My Urban Gardens Revolution site shows that even people who have no land can easily grow a variety of nutritious sprouts.

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