During recent climate change meetings held in Atlin, I brought up a number of concerns. I would like to share what I consider to be the most serious: our reliance on the south for a very large percentage of our food supplies.
I believe that it is in the neighbourhood of 99 per cent of our food is trucked in from Outside. More and more of it is being packaged overseas where labour rates are so much lower than ours.
What would happen to us if anything happened to the fuel supply for these trucks and ships? Or if our road systems became impassable for more than a few days? We are leaving ourselves very vulnerable.
What can we do to become more self-sustaining? A good start would be to grow a garden and if circumstances would allow, perhaps raise some food animals. There are many people out there with arable land not being used. They could advertise available garden or farm space in the agriculture section of the newspaper. If water supply is an issue, clean tanks or barrels could be put on site and filled by water delivery.
If growing your own food supply is out of the question, you can support stores or individuals who are working towards providing local produce. Locally and I believe organically raised buffalo and elk are quite tasty and in many respects healthier than animals raised on hormones and antibiotics.
If you do nothing else, you could see that your compostable household waste goes to someone who will put it to use. Raven Recycling and the Internet can provide plans for building composters. At the very least, you could grow tomatoes in your window. I hear that crushed eggshells and banana peels are healthy food for tomatoes.
Children should be introduced to the thrill of watching things grow and thrive. Schools, if they aren’t already doing it, could grow market gardens as a fundraiser for roadtrips.
One of the most important things we should teach a child is self-preservation. Are we doing that?
I would like to hear that by the end of 2014 we are importing less than 95 per cent of our foodstuffs. It would be good to see more newspaper articles with gardening hints for different levels of effort.
If you have never grown anything, growing enough to provide for yourself and your family for a year would seem a formidable task. There are many natural forms of fertilizer out there to boost lethargic dirt.
Hopefully one day we will eliminate this reliance on Outside food sources and the huge amounts of fuel required to take care of this.