Victory Gardens as Community Insurance

Posted in Abrupt Climate Change at 5:28 pm

Let’s pretend that at some point in the future a deep freeze knocks out the west coast agriculture for the coming season and a long January hot spell followed by extreme cold destroys this year’s NE apple and other fruit tree crop.
                                                      – Oh wait, that just happened.

Send Eco-elegant flowers

If climate swings occur in a strategic number of places around the globe, world food production would drop. The US Northeast could be in a position to help with the crisis if they can turn into a net food exporter.

Turning a portion of everyone’s backyard into a viable vegetable garden can be very effective. Victory gardens planted by approximately 20% of the population helped supply 40% of the food the US needed during World War II. However, getting crops to maturity can be a challenge, especially if the climate is not cooperating.

Hazard tape might keep Joe Jr. out of the garden but it won’t stop the bunnies enjoying your labor. The effect of not paying close attention to evening temperatures can be approximated by throwing a cucumber in the freezer for a few hours. Even experienced gardeners might be a bit chagrined to dig up 1” carrots at the end of the season because they didn’t know the ground carried blight. (I’m not sure if I said that right but I was definitely chagrined.)

Get a jump on the gardening learning curve in your community by starting a victory garden challenge. Form teams. Find a 4’ by 8’ plot of ground the team can farm. Figure out how the team would make the best use of the garden for the next 12 months. Measure the size of each of your crops and calculate how many calories you produced. Donate the results to the local food bank (or eat it yourself.)

If all 10th graders took this on as a challenge they could help local food kitchens deal with the rising price of food and would have a basic knowledge of gardening in case we ever were called on again to help with the food supply

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