This article on Daily Kos (“No water, no life”) says that “Agriculture is the most water-intensive sector, currently accounting for more than 70 percent of consumptive use.”
It doesn’t have to be this way. We don’t have to use so much water, folks.
I’m not advocating an immediate and total dismantling of our current food system. Frankly, in a perfect world I think we’d still have supermarkets, but they’d be very, very different entities.
I’m not advocating that everyone on earth live an extremely agrarian lifestyle growing all of their own food or even, as this article suggests, switch to a completely vegetarian lifestyle. (My opinions on eating animals is one for another day, and while I believe people are healthier and happier when they have a strong connection to the natural world, not everybody wants to live on a farm. I don’t completely understand this, but I respect it. ;> )
I AM advocating that we (me and you) support alternatives to the current industrial agriculture system, and that we raise awareness about the ways in which our food is produced.
The Food Forest Farm we are crowdfunding to create will produce perennial food crops in polycultures that are designed NOT to use irrigation.
Will these food crops all be familiar? Probably not — I’m aiming for a bevy of “weird food” (if you consider things like persimmons and goji berries weird, it’s debatable) that a lot of people aren’t (yet?) used to seeing in the grocery store.
Anyhoo! My point: other ways of growing food are possible. The kicker is is that they’re not immediately profitable, and I’ll restrain myself from going on a rant about subsidies and the tnagled parts of our food and economic systems and (see? I just had to delete a bunch of ranty-sounding stuff) …and how they can be better.
Instead, I will promise you: they can be better. It simply requires radically different thinking.
And in that? I’ve gotcha covered.
The Food Forest Farm we are crowdfunding to establish (by saving the blueberry farm Vanessa and I steward and transforming it from a blueberry monoculture into an art-filled, sustainable food forest) uses a totally different business model than most farms: a gift economy.
Long story short, raising funds through crowdfunding means we will have an extraordinarily low overhead, and will thus be able to make our operational decisions based on what’s best for the land, the community, the food system, and yes, for the world at large.
And as I see it, that means growing perennial crops, in polycultures that, once established, require zero inputs of water or externally-produced fertilizers. Food forests!
It is my sincere hope, and one of my deepest held desires, to create a shining example of how things can be done, how we can resolve sticky challenges, if only we embrace radically different kinds of thinking. Like, you know, running a farm without set prices.
Will that business model work for every farm right now, or possibly ever? Of course not. Land prices and “traditional” chemically-managed farming methods make producing most food an extremely costly proposition.
On a bunch of levels.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
We can do different. We can do better.
But we can’t do it without your support.
If you would like to see a world that uses less than 70% of all water consumption on agriculture, please make an investment in our collective future by making a contribution to our crowdfunding campaign right now.