As we enter 2020 and the start of a new decade I (Michael) have been once again reminded of the need for individual and locally based food security. I was watching a news report this morning of a mysterious new virus that has apparently being circulating among the population in the city of Wuhan in Southern China. Reports at this time are sketchy but the media are reporting that the virus appears to be quite virulent and closely related to the SARS virus that broke out in 2003. The reports from China are very concerning.
My hope is that this virus can be contained quickly and will not spread beyond the city of Wuhan. But this is once again a reminder of the many issues that can potentially affect our ability to feed ourselves today and into the future. We have seen time and again that it doesn’t take much to upset the already fragile global food system.
In our own small backyard home garden, we are currently picking tomatoes, capsicum, silverbeet, onions, cabbage and kale and are about to start digging up our potatoes. Next month we will also be saving the seed of various home crops for future years. Growing an abundance of foods in our backyard gives us some peace of mind in times such as this.
The virus that is currently circulating in Wuhan may or may not have an impact on global food security and indeed on other supply chains relating to manufacturing and supplies, but it is a reminder to anyone who is currently growing at least some of their own food that we are definitely on the right track in regard to our personal food security.
For those people who have not given growing their own food much thought before, perhaps now is the time to consider the need to invest some time, money and effort in the coming months and years to secure your own personal food security. And in addition to growing food you will also reap many other benefits associated with food gardening such as physical health, mental health, improved organic diet, pursuit of a productive hobby and best of all peace of mind in times such as these.