What if every child in an orphanage became a master mini-gardener and could teach others? What if poorer neighbourhoods were replanted with editable landscapes? What if homeless people cared for gardens on wheels? What if you could grow 100 pounds of high quality food in one four-foot square box made from used material and all the soil made from garbage — all at no cost?
These are only a few of the ideas now being tested that will change the way people feed themselves. It has been stated that 30,000 African children under the age of five die every day because they are too poor to stay alive. We do need new ways to feed an ever-increasing population. Worldwide, the United Nations says more than 850 million people do not have enough food.
Vegetable gardens of the future must center on growing more food in smaller places. Why? Because today’s productive soils are still moving off site due to poor farming practices. It has been said that we are losing three billion metric tons of valuable soil resources per year as they are eroded off of our fields and pasture by water erosion alone.
The economic cost of soil erosion in the U. S. has been estimated at $44 billion per year. Soil is a renewable resource that could be replenished constantly under ideal conditions. As I drive across Montana during a ground blizzard, you can watch the soil move, fill in ditches and pile up on fence rows as dirty snow. Sad to see, as it has been estimated it takes nature 500 years to grow even one inch of new top soil.
However, do not become overwhelmed by these doom and gloom estimations; solutions are at hand. You can make your very own homegrown naturally organic soil out of garbage! Compost making, using discarded organic matter (garbage) has the potential to feed millions. And I can prove this.
The following is a list of new ways to feed the world:
WORLDWIDE PORTABLE FOOD GARDENS
Food grown in moveable containers, such as lightweight bucket gardens, has several unique advantages. First off, if you can grow it in the ground, you can grow it in a bucket. The next fact is you can move your valuable plants indoors to prevent them from being frozen, damaged by a storm, or stolen in desperate poverty situations. You can also protect them from wind, hail, cold, hungry critters, and even take them with you or give whole gardens away.
100% PURE COMPOST GARDENS
This idea could really make a big difference in the world. Just round up wasted piles of dead grass, leaves, straw, livestock manure and all your kitchen veggie and fruit waste; pile them up in alternative layers; water, but don’t soak; mix things up and you’ll start seeing the miracle of nature at work. Turning garbage waste in the best healthiest organic plant grown material known to mankind called humus.
KEY HOLE GARDENS
This is a nifty idea of building gardens in a circle with the new raw organic matter added to the center of the circle where you pore in water, even wash water, and let the compost filter the water as it moves to the rest of the circle. The circle has a walk-in area to allow access to the middle of this round garden.
SQUARE FOOT GARDENS
On examining some 50 plus gardening books and visiting numerous web sites on how to grow your own food, one discovers that the brand new ideas in square-foot gardening (simpler, easier and faster) will out-produce most other methods. Visit www.squarefootgardening.comfor the how to information.
Other new ideas to feed the world that will be explained later:
Eat the view gardens
Whole gardens on wheels
Parking lot box gardens
Whenever you start a new project, stop and ask yourself, what is the real purpose behind what I’m trying to accomplish? Do you want healthier, better tasting food or just the pleasure of seeing things grow? Do you want to save money, share with others or be part of the solution to end world hunger? The whole purpose in writing this article is to motivate you, stretch your mind, and connect you to new ways to feed the world. If you have any additional ideas please contact us.
Wayne Burleson is a land management consultant working out of Absarokee, Montana. You can visit with Wayne at (406) 328-6808 or E-mail him at [email protected]Wayne also has an updated educational web site at www.pasturemanagement.com.