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The Future

"Food security rests in our hands, as transnational corporations have no interest in local agricultural systems based on diversity and community support. Since industrial agriculture we have lost diversity, fertile soil, and access to land. We have lost knowledge about plants, the land, and natural systems. We have lost skills like plant breeding, making medicines and developing appropriate tools. We have lost any sense of community that works with co-operation and mutual aid. We need to renew our connection to plants, land and community, organising alternatives, autonomous from power structures." - From the Primal Seeds website

As I've gone around the town interviewing older Brightonians it's apparent that not so very long ago the town just like every other place in England was fairly self-sufficient in food. If we are to rid ourselves of our present unsustainable agricultural system then once again every village, town and city will have to grow some of it's own food. Can it be done? Well, when Cuba faced economic crisis in the early 90's, it turned to organic food production, and by 1998 the Capital City Havana had gone from producing virtually no food to 115,000 tonnes with this figure rising all the time.

The popularity of farmers' markets shows that when people are given the choice they will buy fresh locally produced food. So couldn't the South Downs be covered in orchards and small scale farms?

Couldn't our vegetable peelings, tea bags and green waste be collected and turned into compost?

Couldn't we have more community groups with demonstration gardens to teach people who want to learn about gardening?

Couldn't every school that has the space have its own urban farm?

There are serious lessons to be learnt from the past, like how people were so much more resourceful and so much more inclined to help one another out. But we should also remember that people worked long hours and often lived in poverty.

On our project we try to strike a balance between taking the best from the past as well as looking to the future. Safeguarding old plant varieties and protecting diversity while experimenting with food plants and gardening techniques that could be useful in the future. We also try to be as resourceful as possible and work with the natural environment. And perhaps most importantly we work collectively and try to involve as many people as possible.

So if this book has inspired you to eat more locally produced veg, why not come along on one of our workdays and learn how to grow your own, make new friends and hang out with some real wildlife!

   

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