Monday, June 6, 2011

What Does Sustainability Look Like?

A few months back, we had had problems getting "clean" feed for our animals and I drove all over grabbing what organic feed I could from various retail locations. It was an expensive process and wasn't any cheaper when I added gas to the mix. During all of this running around, it made me think about the buzz word "sustainability". What does that really look like? If anything, what I had done was anti-sustainable; using fuel, oil, and buying feed not grown anywhere near the state of Georgia.

Picture of 180 Degree Farm taken by Aleeya Hargrove.

In a perfect world, we would have farmers growing vegetables, grains, fruits, eggs, dairy, and meats locally to provide for the needs of the community. Local farmers would also grow plants for the seed we'd grow our vegetable from, and grain to feed our chickens and turkeys. That's a perfect world.

A prime example of being anti-sustainable is some of our Saturdays on the farm. We get so busy; lunch can end up being take-out. All the food that is produced on the farm and we have to resort to take-out because it is faster and we are too tired to prepare it. I would imagine that's what life looks like for many. Doesn't make me feel any better about it, though.

As gas continues to rise, I'm even more motivated to find "local" where ever I can. Higher fuel costs equal higher food costs, which means people will have to make some hard choices coming up. Hard choices that could be diverted if we had more local options.

Victory Garden - Picture source:
What's happening now is a good history lesson. Our country is in turmoil much like the 1930's. People are out of work, the housing market is as bad as it has ever been and there are no signs of a let up. Yet history tells us that in these times, Americans became more self-reliant. The American people realized the government wasn't going to bail them out, because they couldn't. As a result, Americans started growing Victory Gardens. These Victory Gardens were so successful; in 1943, 20 million gardens produced 8 million tons of food! Talk about getting your food locally grown, how about the back yard. Now they probably weren't completely sustainable, but I would imagine they were much closer than we are today.
Just imagine if you took one step closer to becoming self-reliant and grew a back yard garden. This is something we “can” do, in fact, God’s first job to man was to work the ground from which he had been taken. We are built to work.

I hear many people tell me, “I can’t grow anything!” or “I definitely don’t have a green thumb, every plant I touch dies!” As my wife tells me from time to time, it’s all about priorities. If it’s important enough to you, you’ll learn how to do it and the first step is always the toughest. So go grow some good food, and we will be here to help when you need us.

Hosea 4:6 says "My people perish for lack of knowledge."

1 comment:

  1. Great food for thought. Now to get in gear!

    Thanks for challenging us!

    Jean Williams