Food closer to home

June 4, 2010 § Leave a comment


Edible Landscaping: One Transition Step from Peak Oil

 on June 3, 2010 – 9:22am in The Oil Drum: Campfire
Topic: Environment/Sustainability
Tags: gardeninglandscapingwill stewart [list all tags]

This is a guest post by Will Stewart, who has written a number of articles previously at The Oil Drum.

We are told that in the US, the food on our table has traveled an average of1500 miles and consumed 9 calories of energy for each food calorie on our plate. In a time when “oil prices are likely to be both higher and more volatile and where oil prices have the potential to destabilize economic, political and social activity”[1], we need a way to mitigate the near certain risks of much higher impending food costs.

There are a number of answers, one of which is to support local agriculture. Additionally, one can grow their own food in a pleasing, sylvan landscape. 5 years ago, I decided I was going to shift from a native plantings landscaping theme to one that turned my yard into a source of sustenance. I had read about “Edible Landscaping” and “Permaculture”, and decided that approaching tough economic times could be mitigated by growing more of my own food in a manner that did not require a large degree of manual labor. After all, we are supposed to have 2-5 helpings of fruit each day, and nuts have been shown to be very healthy sources of protein and essential fatty acids (and even lowering cholesterol). My family likes to “pick your own” at local orchards and shop at farmer’s markets, and felt that augmenting those purchases with our own fruits and nuts meant that we would reduce the need to ship food across country. So in addition to our gardening and backyard chickens, we could effectively cover 3 out of 5 of the basic food groups in the food pyramid right in our yard.

Douglass Carmichael

Stanford MAHB, Stanford Strategy Studio, Media X
Shakespeare and Tao Consulting


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