The 100 Metre Diet
Most food travels a long way these days and takes a while to get here before it ends up on our plate. I know this is something most of us are aware of so I won’t dwell on the issue. For marketing purposes our big box, local grocery stores are more than happy to highlight heartstring producers that are a bit closer to home (with full knowledge that we’ll pick-up the other ‘stuff’ out of convenience).
Granted, oranges and bananas don’t grow well in Canada (although I am sure you could grow them if you provided the right conditions – it’s certainly not unheard of to have a lemon or lime tree indoors) and I recently read an article about a flowering banana tree growing in England so there you go. But all this said, we are surrounded by land just waiting to be properly utilized.
But what about everything else?
Well, that’s where your garden comes in. It wasn’t long ago that the 100 mile diet was all the rage (or was it?). Most of my food actually grows within 25 metres of my kitchen and I’ve definitely got my eye on that undeveloped property to the north of my home and an even bigger eye on those patches of city land which are either overly-tended (think lawn) or completely untended to the south, west and east of my home (think mosquito hatcheries). Throw in a few kind neighbours gardens and I’m on par with a smallholding.
There’s a concept called Landshare which was started in the UK by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (of River Cottage fame) and is visible here that I think is awesome. If only it took off locally (maybe this will be the year). There are 60,000 people involved in Landshare, under 1,000 practicing in Canada (WTF).
I’m plan on calculating how much food-possible land is being utilized (or under-utilized) within exactly 100 metres of my home and then I’m going to see how much of it I can use. OK, I won’t be planting anything in the cemetery (although it would make a great apple orchard) but everything else is certainly on the table.
To be continued…