Everyone should be encouraged to try to use every available space to help grow food for ourselves and support our fellow creatures. Everything has a place and the loss of apex predators in various locations and invasive species in others are setting up catastrophic scenarios.
Even the simplest steps help. Here are just a few ideas:
1. Focus on indigenous plants. Native plants help support pollinators and predators.
- Pollinators will improve crop yields and native plants help support them throughout the year. The Audubon Society has a handy tool to help you discover plants for your area and resources. Simply enter your zip code to get started.
- Native plants also provide food for prey needed by predators. Coexisting peacefully with predators - whether raptors, coyotes, foxes, bob cats or other similar animals, will help control rodent populations. Many apex predators are very intelligent and learn patterns quickly, so it is important to eliminate food sources other than their natural prey, keep pets indoors, and obey leash laws.
- High density farming is resulting in destroying water supplies. Additionally, farmers are being pushed to the least usable land. Consequently, devastating storms and flooding is increasingly impacting food supplies and transportation. Crops are destroyed that are needed by humans and livestock and livestock have been killed by the hundreds of thousands in recent floods, eliminating meat and dairy availability.
- Current commercial fertilizers are often detrimental to the environment and skyrocketing costs are going to be pushed through to the consumer, whether through the cost of the fertilizer or the farmer having to make difficult choices and not plant crops, further impacting food supplies.
- Composting keeps waste out of landfills, where it can be used beneficial. Ideas for how to get started can be found in our Gardening Section. However, if you are interested in learning more in-depth techniques and the latest findings, an excellent resource is Eco Farming Daily. We've been employing many of their techniques with excellent results.
- The easiest step is to simply use less water. Using less water ranges from turning off running faucets and taking shorter showers to eliminating manicured green spaces and turning those into native areas.
- Eliminate water runoff by creating an environment that allows rainwater to seep into the ground and be used locally, rather than be pushed out to the sea as quickly as possible. Not only does this keep the water available for local use, it also helps eliminate erosion and debris from being swept into water ways.
- Drip irrigation versus traditional sprinklers helps use minimal amounts of water. Some crops, like grapes, will often perform better with stingy water supplies. Drip irrigation also helps reduce runoff, waste, and potential pollution.
- Think about what you eat and how you eat. How was the food raised? What is its nutritional value?
- Focus on reduced packaging and avoid plastics wherever possible.
- Use eco-friendly products.
- Clothing consumes huge amounts of natural resources. Think about what you really need and donate or recycle what you can no longer use.
- Minimize outings that require fuels. Walk or ride a bike whenever possible.