|How Much Food Can I Grow Around My House?|
The simple answer is it depends on the size of your available garden space, but 'lots'.
To get us started on our journey to self sufficiency (or i like to say reducing our reliance on money) take a look at the video below of how one woman converted her back garden into a food producing garden of Eden in 5 years.This inspiring documentary show's how much food one can grow on a small urban back garden plot and covers crop varieties, rainwater harvesting, a homemade gravity irrigation system, beekeeping, a small chicken coop and wormery. A really great introduction for aspiring homesteaders.
With the current economic climate and political turmoil in oil producing countries like Libya, the increasing price of oil will lead to an increase in prices of mainstream food. Conventional food uses oil derivatives in fertilisers, pesticides, electric power, plastic packaging and transport. Take advantage of what seems to be a negative situation and switch it to a positive. The logical solution to increases in product prices (or a decrease in personal income) is to make use of any available land space we have around our homes and grow some healthy organic food. Help our local environment and our national economy in doing so as we are importing less chemically contaminated food from other countries.
This is the rebirth of our Agri culture in Ireland where growing some of one's own food will be a common bond between all walks of life. We are moving back to the future. As a nation we had lost our focus for a while. The fat cat celtic tiger economy was an illusion and the people we placed our trust in failed us. Let's not get angry, let's relax and do a bit of gardening and educate ourselves while time goes by and collectively we recover as a nation. Be proud of your grandparents generation and relearn the natural skills of their time, like growing some of your own food and making and doing things yourself. Combined with the convenience of sensible modern technologies, we are witnessing a really special future unfolding in Ireland. As an island nation with a relatively small population we can lead by example and show other European countries how to be sustainable as a nation. We have an abundance of natural resources waiting to be harnessed, like tidal power, wave power, wind power, hydro power, solar power and horse power, combined. Because our government is tied in to the antiquated oil driven model of development we need to lead by example from the ground up. When the many positive changes that are silently happening in our communities are realised the relevant government departments will follow. Govern your own home and be the change you want to see. Your country needs YOU now more than ever so take a look around your garden area and see where a raised bed may look good and get digging for a positive future. On a 50ft by 20ft plot you can produce over €1000 worth of delicious organic food. Start with a simple modular raised bed garden system and some easy to grow vegetables, like cut and come again mixed salads. Build more raised beds as your interest develops. Get your composting started and next your wormery. Who knows next year you may purchase your first laying hens. You will find everything you need to know in the Organic Gardening - Grow Your Own section of Eco Homes and Gardens.ie
Above all have fun and enjoy the community you are becoming part of. You will soon meet like minded people who will share advice, talk about real stuff and maybe exchange some crops/seeds with you. For anyone who is unemployed it is a great way to feel productive. If you aren't making money, save it by growing some of your own organic food.