Further to this post we put up a short while back – Another reason to grow our own food:) – 8.1.22 – there’s more writing and research backing up our argument that we could easily grow a lot more of our own food. Firstly, there’s this: UK could grow up to 40% of its own fruit and vegetables by using urban green spaces – Fiona Harvey | The Guardian | 24.1.22. In the Guardian piece, there’s a link to a detailed study conducted by the University of Lancaster: Potential of urban green spaces for supporting horticultural production: a national scale analysis. While walking around any urban or suburban area and using observational skills and common sense to identify the numerous potential sites for community food growing that are there is useful skill, it’s always welcome to have academic studies to back us up.
We make no apologies for making the obviously political point that whoever controls the food supply, controls the population. Also, if we rely on agribusiness to supply our food requirements, we’re a) limiting the range of foods we can access and b) become even more disconnected from nature as we rely on increasingly mechanised and digitised agricultural practices. Urban and suburban food growing can play a significant part in redressing the balance back towards small scale but efficient local producers, community food growing and even our own back garden plots. There’s also guerilla gardening as well:) The important takeaway is that it’s local and under our control.
Also, if you’re involved in a community garden, as well as the obvious gains from growing your own fresh vegetables and fruit, getting exercise and being out in the fresh air, there’s the boost to neighbourhood cohesion and solidarity from being involved in a collective project. In these troubled and divided times, anything that can help re-build trust between people has to be welcomed.
What we do as the Alternative Estuary crew is run a mix of public and private food production plots. Here’s are some reports of what we do which will hopefully inspire you to do something similar:
Even in the depths of winter – Part 2 – 16.1.22
Even in the depths of winter – Part 1 – 12.1.22
Don’t buy it, grow it! – 9.10.21
We got digging (and sweeping) – 1.5.21