Food Growing: The real Homeland Security

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Hands Holding VegetablesThe security of the homeland is not brought about by the military and by special police units but by people's resilience and the like of growing food in gardens, on allotments, and in other places.

While militias, minutemen, can be the defenders, real security lies in the department of food security, but not a single one of the so-called developed countries, especially such as the USA and more so even the UK, do take food security serious enough.

A British politician some while ago even went so far to actually state that we do not need farms and farmers at home as we can get all the food we need from abroad. It, once again, shows how far removed from reality and from history those people actually are. I presume he never heard of the blockades of both World War One and World War Two when Britain was nearly brought to its knees because of the fact that the U-Boats prevented vital supplies, including and especially food getting to the British Isles. Help!

National food security is not guaranteed when reliance is placed on importing food stuffs, from abroad, as the already indicated blockages of the British Isles in the two world wars have shown.

It was for that very reason that victory gardening was run as a program and everyone was encouraged – nay compelled – to grow as much food as possible.

True homeland security is food security and, if possible, energy security, and food security requires that enough food to supply every need is grown at home and not imported from abroad.

Energy security also is possible to create at home but you can't grow it, in general, except for wood. However, having seen the amount of electricity that was generated by the photo-voltaic cells on the roof of the Vauxhall Interchange on a very foggy day – 3.4KW sustained – proves that, if all buildings were covered with panels there would be no need for any other kind of generating plants especially if small wind turbines would be added to the equation. Not that the powers-that-be would go along with that as the power companies would have a fit. But back to growing food.

The gardening for victory approach is needed again today for reasons of food security of individuals, families and the nation and this approach is also good for the Planet in that we ship less food about over long distances.

The growing of food in our gardens at home, at allotments and in community gardens is the real homeland security that we needs and not para-military police forces and such like.

The treat to our food security and our energy security, as people and as nations is greater than any threat from the outside and both can be dealt with, totally or to a large extent, by growing things at home and by using renewables such as solar and small wind on every building and every property. But back to the growing of food.

Growing food wherever possible in the community is creating true security of the homeland and this we must do in every part of our respective countries in order to secure the food supply of the country and also to reduce our impact on the Planet.

Climate change stops not at any country's frontiers and will affect us all and to mitigate some of it growing more of our food, ideally all of it, and learning to cook and eat seasonally, will help here to a large extent, combined with other methods, such as those of energy security by means of using renewables and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.

Cooking and eating seasonally means that we don't have strawberries all year round or asparagus or other vegetables that are not in season at that time. We never did in the not so distant past either, preserved the harvest by proper storage, by drying, curing, canning (bottling) and later freezing also. It is not rocket science and it will make for true food security.

Do we really have to have green beans shipped all the way from Kenya where they are grown – in a country where people are starving – for the Western markets as the Kenyans do not eat those? I do not think so. It is not sustainable and also not ethical, even though they are claimed to be organic. And having those arrive still in Britain when those same beans are in season and then those Kenyan beans being way cheaper that local produce, I am afraid, does not compute.

We need to get some sense into our food again and growing our own as individuals, families and communities will do just that. And to ensure true food security that way we also must bring back the knowledge and the skills of pickling (I forgot that preserving method earlier), canning, and such like, as well as how to store the likes of root crops and fruit like apples and pears for the long term properly.

All around the developed world especially we are beginning to see a move to what is beginning to be called Agrihoods, that is to say neighborhoods with local farms and community gardens at the center. In addition to that we are seeing a burgeoning of food gardening, even in from yards and not just the back ones and this is the way we must go.

A secure food supply, created by ourselves, is the most important homeland security that we can establish.

© 2014