We’ve written a LOT of posts about the need for people to get together to start growing more of the food they need rather than buying it. These posts have been written from a variety of perspectives. They range from the length and fragility of complex, just in time supply chains through to taking back a degree of control over your life through a greater level of food self sufficiency. Also, if a food growing project is done collectively, there’s the additional benefit of the boost to community solidarity and morale. Something that in these troubled times, we need as much of as possible. A number of these posts are listed at the foot of this piece.
What we probably haven’t mentioned as much as we should have done is the satisfaction you get from growing your own food. That in part is from the physical work and being out in the fresh air. If you’re growing food collectively, there’s the satisfaction of taking part in a collective endeavour and bonding with like minded people. In an increasingly atomised and fractured society, this kind of contact is vital for maintaining mental well being. Also, there’s the taste. The taste of home grown tomatoes (the ones that survived the blight) is way better than anything you’ll get from the supermarket, trust us on that one:)
All of the above are reasons to make the effort to grow more of your own food. However, in these troubled times, there’s one reason that overrides everything else – the clue to what that is can be seen from the title of this post!
The last nineteen months have been the weirdest and possibly most disturbing we’ve experienced as activists. There are a growing number of people who, for a variety of reasons, have lost any degree of trust in government, the media and the faceless corporations they serve. They do not trust either the government or the corporations with their welfare and security. The talk of vaccine passports that could well morph into a form of digital identity alongside an acceleration towards a cashless society and hints of some kind of social credit system have understandably, exacerbated that sense of mistrust and to be blunt, fear.
All of this is leading to a steady increase in people looking for ways of lessening their dependence on a toxic system. As we’ve mentioned before, going down the rugged individualist route to try and achieve this degree of independence is absolutely not going to work unless you want a life of constant paranoia holed up in a fortified stockade! It has to be people in a community voluntarily embracing a collectively organised way of taking back control from the state and big business. As the title of this piece states – whoever controls the food supply controls the population. When a community organises to grow as much of the food they need as possible, it’s a step in taking back control to where it belongs at the grassroots.
Talking about community food growing as a means of starting to take back control is an overtly political point. We make no apology for that. Alternative Estuary is not a fluffy, feelgood project. We’re about radical system change. Part of that is about empowering and facilitating people to get stuck into bringing this change about. Growing as much of our food as we can is a vital part of that.
Anyway, here are a number of the pieces we’ve written about this. For resources to help you along the way to start taking back control, there are plenty of links in the sidebar on the right.
Don’t buy it, grow it! – October 9, 2021
Prefigurative action – September 1, 2021
Keeping it local and under our control – August 9, 2021
Healthy choices? – July 27, 2021
Building community resilience – securing the food supply – July 21, 2021
A sense of urgency is needed right now! – April 11, 2021
Alternative ways of subverting the system – March 16, 2021
Crops NOT Shops: Growing the Mutual Millennium – February 18, 2021