Friday, February 27, 2009

Homegrown Security

Urban Food Tower

Now that the "Masters Of The Universe" have blessed us with the Second Republican Great Depression, we have to come up with some innovative ideas of how to handle the care and feeding of Americans. This may involve a "Back to The Future" solution, so called "Victory Gardens" for a modern age.
In this excellent article by Chip Ward, He recommends we need more "Homegrown Security" and less Homeland Security:
"Cultural historian and visionary critic Mike Davis has already wondered why our approach to homeland security doesn't draw from the example of "victory gardens" during World War II. In 1943, just two years into the war, 20 million victory gardens were producing a staggering 30-40% of the nation's vegetables. Thousands of abandoned urban lots were being cleared and planted by tenement neighbors working together. The Office of Civilian Defense encouraged and empowered such projects, but the phenomenon was also self-organizing because citizens on the home front wanted to participate, and home gardening was, after all, a delicious way to be patriotic".
Ward goes on to say:
"Columbia University professor Dickson Despommier recently unveiled his vision of a "vertical farm," a 30-story tower right in the middle of an urban landscape, that could grow enough food to feed 50,000 people in the surrounding neighborhood".

Inside The Food Tower
"Rebecca Solnit, author of Hope in the Dark, reports that, within the de-industrialized ruins of Detroit, a landscape she describes as "not quite post-apocalyptic but ... post-American," people are homesteading abandoned lots, growing their own produce, raising farm animals, and planting orchards. In that depopulated city, some have been clawing (or perhaps hoeing) their way back to a semblance of food security. They have done so because they had to, and their reward has been harvests that would be the envy of any organic farmer. The catastrophe that is Detroit didn't happen with a Hurricane Katrina-style bang, but as a slow, grinding bust - and a possibly haunting preview of what many American municipalities may experience, post-crash".

Photos of other beautiful and unique food towers are embedded in the link to the article above


Hand2Hand said...

I definitely see a return to "Victory Gardens" as a means of survival.

It won't be easy, though. As a country we're a lot farther away from our agrarian roots than we were in the 1940's. A lot of the skills for home food production will have to be relearned.

Dojo Rat said...

Food canning and drying are pretty much the only preservation methods, if you couldn't count on constant refrigeration. Chickens and rabbits are very easy to raise, especially chickens. Rabbits are a little depressing, sitting there in their cages all day, but chickens are pretty simple. From my experiance, chickens breed as fast as you can eat them, and you get eggs. They also provide high quality manure that really gets compost cooking.

Sun Bear said...

Cool. This is sort of an updated, much more ambitious version of Nancy & John Todd's/The New Alchemy Institute's ideas in "Bioshelters, Ocean Arks and City Farming: Ecology as the Basis of Design".