The Self-Sufficient Garden Blog

The Garden Food System – I

The Garden Food System – I

Basic Structure Contrary to popular belief, the importance of home gardens is not confined to small scale, individual use. I believe I’ve now clearly documented that they can provide a substantial proportion of a country’s food and can do so far more efficiently than...

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The Garden Food System – II

The Garden Food System – II

Why The Garden and Industrial Food Systems Are So Different First, just to map out some context, how are the two systems alike? Well to begin with, as their titles denote, they are both systems. A system is a group of interacting parts that work together as a whole....

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The Garden Food System – III

The Garden Food System – III

Current IFS System Fixes Fall Short of an Optimal Solution How do we assess the viability of food system fixes? First, let’s consider what constitutes an optimal “system fix.” One of the most comprehensive and thoughtful descriptions of what a truly sustainable farm-...

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The Garden Food System – IV

The Garden Food System – IV

How Will an Expanded GFS Impact the IFS? Suppose, just suppose, that at some point home gardens began to supply, say, 20% of all our food. How would that affect the industrial food system, given that we’re already on the way with 41% of all households currently having...

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False Narratives of Food Production

False Narratives of Food Production

Much of the discourse around the industrial food system—and how to make it more sustainable—hinges on the six untrue but largely unquestioned narratives discussed here. Together, they present a decidedly distorted picture about how the U.S. and the world produces and...

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Lawns! A Vast, Untapped Source of Food Wealth

Lawns! A Vast, Untapped Source of Food Wealth

I say: If we wanted to, we could grow enough food on our lawns to feed about 90% of our population. You say: You’ve got to be kidding, right? I say: Nope, I’m not. And the reason is that numbers don’t lie. See if you agree. Start with the baseline data of what one...

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Long Live the Dacha Gardens!

Long Live the Dacha Gardens!

What a bracing discovery for home gardens! I just found that in 2008 Leonid Sharashkin, a Russian grad student at the University of Missouri, did his PhD research on “The Socioeconomic and Cultural Significance of Food Gardening in the Vladimir Region of Russia.” In...

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No Trade-Offs

No Trade-Offs

It’s just so telling how mass food production is portrayed as a set of trade-offs, regardless of whether conventional or sustainable systems are being invoked. Yes, you get some wins if you do it this way, but also some losses. And if you go this other way, you...

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