A beginners “Grow Your Own Food” course is offered at Pukekohe’s St Andrews Church hall on Wednesday evenings, starting August 30th. Over six weeks, the workshops will focus on practical, organic food growing techniques that don’t require a green thumb to follow.
“When I was a kid,” recalled project manager John Allen, “our family and most of our neighbours had vegetable gardens. Growing our own food was one of those things we just did.”
For many of today’s generation, the arts of growing vegetable have been forgotten or were never practiced. In the uncertain world we are on the threshold of, there are many good reasons to learn those arts.
First is that growing your own food is a means for individuals and households to mitigate the drivers of global warming, to adapt to climate change, and address social justice issues.
In today’s society, it is easy buy whatever food we want, whenever we want it. The impacts of a warming climate are changing that.
For example, the crops that can be grown in some areas is changing due to warmer temperatures, stronger winds and unexpected rainfall patterns.
A recent report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer-reviewed US journal, concluded that climate change will cut crop yields.
A 2015 report by WWF, The Calm before the Storm highlight how disruptions to long supply chains will affect the availability of food.
These change will lead to food prices rising.
As well as these impacts, there are many others reasons for people to grow their own food.
For some, saving money is the reason.
For many, it is about knowing what has gone in to their foods. People are looking for ways to avoid the chemical pesticides or genetically modified organisms that are increasingly finding their way in to our foods.
For an increasing number, it is about consuming in-season foods, grown locally on family-centred organic farms. This is a reaction to industrialised global food chains that feature excessive food miles, lowered nutrition values and pesticide residues.
For others, it is about the simple pleasures of working outdoors, getting our hands dirty in the soil and harvesting what we have grown.
For most of us, growing our own food is a combination of these reasons and is a practical action for sustainability and resilience in the face of uncertain world.
Take this opportunity to learn the simple arts of food growing.
Enquire below or visit facebook.com/groups/GrowYourOwnFoodNZ/