Food security is one of the most fundamentally important foundations to our existence on the planet. Survival of the species depends on having a constant supply of fresh produce to sustain our bodies. That and water make up our existence. The rest are all frills. Here on the south Cape coast of Africa water scarcity has become an issue of the past few decades as climate pattern shift. But if you can set up a system to catch the water then you will find that there is plenty. It just needs to be managed well. Food however, requires more endevor and few are trained or familiar with what it takes to feed themselves in the culture of markets and commercial farming.
Permaculture is the best system I have encountered that can work anywhere in the world and has been seen to re-green even deserts simply by using the correct principles of agriculture. The idea is promoted by two legends, Lawson and Mollison if you want to do some research, but with clever use of energy, with minimal input, one can simply encourage nature to do what it is already doing, to do what it knows best, and that is to produce food.
By proper water capturing, via swales for example, one can channel and utilize your water to its best abilities, without loss from evaporation. By mulching one can cover the topsoil to prevent drying out, and by putting in as much root work, or plants in your soil, nature will do the rest. Weeds can become mulch and you don’t have to work too hard. Minimal turning of the soil or disturbing of the plants is required. Work with nature, not against it.
Modern mono-culture crop production is damaging the soil fertility, and multi crop diversity is the better method. Also fertilizers and pesticides are destroying soil fertility and both of those product result in an unsustainable program after a few years. That is what is happening to much of the first world farming businesses. They used foolish and short-sighted practices and are producing dust bowls in their wake. ‘
Another problem is the heavy tractors that actually compact the soil, making it difficult to grow more produce. These short-sighted methods need to be ended and intelligent farming needs to be introduced so that “food forests” can be cultivated that last decades. Also smaller decentralized farming practices are needed and big agri must be ended. Self-sufficiency and small family farming is the long term solution.
In some countries you are not even allowed to grow your own produce, or you get taxed for storing your own water. Even USA is going along the route of totalitarianism, where self-sufficiency is limited. His is so that the state can control you totally and make you dependent on them. It’s a political move that will backfire badly.
Here in sunny South Africa, I have a local project that I visit occasionally nearby, where caged greenhouses keep the baboons out and the plants safe. They work well and with stored rainwater they are providing green fresh produce for the homesteaders to enjoy. Even the water in the outdoor bath tub or pool, if you prefer, is heated by solar power.
Curiously it looks like we need to become more discerning about our seed source. Seeds are the future and even organic seed can be suspect. Perhaps it’s the company Kirchoffs who sell the seed. One packet was purchased recently only to be opened up and found empty, not a single seed in the new sealed packet from the agri supply store. This is a concern. So be warned, the packaged seeds are becoming suspect now as standards dwindle and consumerism and profit override honesty and quality.
Therefore seed banks, or storing your own seed for future planting is a great strategy. We can’t rely on shop bought seed so much any more. Even if the packet says “heirloom” or “organic”. Times are changing fast, and long term survival requires a return to growing your own food and storing seeds for future planting. It’s a skill well worth teaching to your kids.