Quite a few years ago, I read a book on energy studies translated from German. That was when the use of energy in great detail became clearer to me.
Transplanted to the topic of subsistence, we have the issues of ‘food miles’ and water inefficiency. Bananas and pineapples for instance would grow only in ‘tropical or neartropical regions.’ Yet, according to Louise Spilsbury (2009. Dig, Plant, Grow! Heinemann Library. London.), other plants/fruits can be cultivated locally. This would reduce energy and pollution expended from food transportation; especially high due to international export. Consider guava instead then…
In addition, the extensive use of water in dry climates to produce vegetables more suited in wetter environments lead to much water wastage. 50 grams of salad leaves require nearly 50 litres of water.
Thus, to resolve multiple issues, one could start with a small garden plot. To suggest – – consider the rocket. They are ready in 4 weeks (8-10cm long leaves). Remove the leaves and then they would grow back. Necessarily, there needs to be watering at consistent intervals. (Well watered soil, together with other actions, reduces flea beetle attacks and incidence of ‘bolting’.) Protect them with shade in hot or higher temperatures to prevent the leaves from stiffening though.
My colleague opined that I buy the ready plant instead of starting with seeds. And before I did so, my family bought some plants. I was told that we simply need to snip off the leaves and they would regenerate. (I do not have its English name at this point though…)
There is indeed a wider trend, I was informed that by the news that Anglican High School combined farming with science lessons. Likewise, at least one other city has done bee farming on roof tops.
To end, I leave you with the quote from Jim Rogers, the former partner of George Soros:
“Become a farmer. Finance is finished.”
Morton, J. (1987). Guava. Fruits of warm climates. p.356–363. https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/guava.html#Climate. Center for New Crops & Plant Products, Purdue University.
Phil Daoust. (17 May 2014). Grow your own rocket. http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/may/17/how-to-grow-rocket-grow-your-own. The Guardian.
The Royal Horticultural Society. (2016). Grow your own: Rocket. https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own/vegetables/rocket.
Newsmax Finance. (8 Dec 2011). Jim Rogers: ‘Become a Farmer. Finance is Finished’. http://www.newsmax.com/Finance/StreetTalk/Rogers-Invest-Natural-Resources/2011/12/08/id/420348/.