Development and loss of farmland throughout the United States is going to wreck havoc on our food system. Yes we need to create new acres of organic, sustainable produce farmland in the U.S. and yes we need to make farming a profitable venture once again and yes we need small, local farmers who are producing food for their local communities and I posit that we also need as many people as possible growing their own food in their backyards. The resiliency of our food system is being challenged right now, even though you may not feel the effects of it at this moment.
Loss of farmland is a huge factor in why our local food systems are being threatened. According to the American Farmland Trust’s Farms Under Threat Initiative, the U.S. lost 31,000,000 acres of farmland from 1992 – 2012 and 11,000,000 of those acres were among the best farmland in the nation—classified as the most productive, most versatile and most resilient land. If we keep on losing land at these rates, our food prices are bound to go up and the amount of food that we produce as a country will go down.
It’s the same story with development, farmers are choosing to sell their land to real estate developers to cash in for their retirements. Another reason why farmers are selling their land is because their families do not want to go into farming and look for more glamorous jobs that pay better and allow them to lead a more comfortable lifestyle. So if we do not have enough farmers in the country and we cannot grow enough food to feed our population then we are going to have to start importing food from other countries, which will increase food prices and will impact our local economy
With these two factors in play, what are we to do to ensure that our local food systems stay strong and to ensure that we are continuing to grow food for our local communities?
Starting your own garden and growing your own food is the solution and I believe that this is a new path that will solve food insecurity, provide a huge boost to the local economy and make sure that our food systems will not be interrupted by development and the loss of farmland. If we are all growing our own food, then our local food system will be optimized. In a working local food system homeowners will grow enough food to take care of their needs and any excess food that a homeowner grows can be sold or bartered with neighbors.
If you are looking to contribute to your local food system, start your own garden. If you need guidance and support to grow your own food, because it can be challenging, then request a consultation. Heck I can even hold a consultation with you virtually as long as your are in your garden space and can show me your garden space via Skype or FaceTime. Click on this link to request a consultation or send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org