One of my little pet things is that we need to start growing food everywhere. I’m always on the prowl for models of how this has been done, so imagine my delight when my aunt recently sent me a link to a YouTube clip from a BBC show called “Around the World in 80 Gardens.” It features a trip to Cuba, to see the organic urban farming “revolution” that has taken place there. It’s a beautiful and inspiring look at what people can do when they really need to, and also features the rather amusing (to my culture) image of a guy working an organic farm while smoking a cigar.
Then, I started browsing around on the various other links, and found some really dynamite models:
Nightline has a report about Jules Dervaes and three of his four adult children, who have a full-blown (sub)urban homestead in Pasadena. The four of them live on 1/5 acre (including the house) and $30,000 income, which they gain from selling their produce to nearby restaurants. On only 1/10 acre, they now grow three tons of food per year. They’ve also created a rich web site for their Dervaes Institute.
Even the Wall Street Journal has decided that suburban farming is an idea whose time has come (despite the lack of investment potential), profiling a couple of people in Colorado who have each farmed their own yards and then expanded to the yards of multiple neighbors. One fella started with his own front lawn and now has eight neighbors involved, and sells shares for a community-supported agriculture project.
I could go on and on (and on and on) with all sorts of related interesting clips about permaculture and vertical farming (30 story skyscrapers that can feed 50,000 people!?!) but I’ll just leave you with these three grassroots examples. If you want to see more, just look at the suggested links on all of these clips.