Extinction Rebellion has proved to be just what I was waiting for. It voices all the concerns that I was dealing with privately and feeling quite alone about them. Now I know I am not the only one who is scared by the climate change situation.
XR has broken through the wall of silence and denial about the climate emergency. We are starting to hear the truth now, (although not from the BBC or our government).
I am turning my attention to the concept of the ‘climate emergency food garden’. It’s a bit like ‘dig for victory’ in the world war, but this is ‘dig for survival’, or actually ‘no-dig gardening for survival’.
It is not enough to be organic gardeners now, we need to go above and beyond this to be carbon gardeners, or regenerative gardeners. Any piece of land is a precious thing, and any piece can be coaxed into giving us food. It just needs to be loved.
One of the predicted consequences of climate change is that farm yields are likely to be reduced, and crop failures will occur around the world. With this in mind we all need to skill ourselves up and learn how to grow food in our back door patches of earth.
Significantly a garden is a place where we can micro-manage what goes on to a large extent, more so than a farmer can on the field scale. We can make interventions and do protective cosseting to ensure that our garden crops suceed – e.g. watering or protecting from frost.
We can optimise soil conditions in our gardens with a range of resource neutral methods, such as green manures, compost making, liquid feed brewing, mulching etc. We can make our gardens self supporting, without the need for bringing in inputs. We will create healthy soils which are alive, and produce healthy foods, while locking up carbon in the process. An organic- matter rich soil is a carbon sponge.
My advice is that everyone should learn how to grow food. What we grow ourselves in gardens around the world will make a difference. We can green our cities with food plants.
And you don’t even need a garden – learning about seed sprouting and window sill growing will enable you to make a contribution to your diet.
I run food growing workshops in Whiteshill, Stroud and never before have they seemed to have such a weight of importance about them. I take food growing very seriously. When we have food rationing you will want to have these skills.