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Peak Oil & growing food at home

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  • James Ward
    The main activity of ASPO-Australia (the organisation to which this discussion forum belongs) is briefing politicians and business- people on Peak Oil. To
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2, 2008
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      The main activity of ASPO-Australia (the organisation to which this
      discussion forum belongs) is briefing politicians and business-
      people on Peak Oil.

      To date, it has had little overlap with the Permaculture and food
      relocalisation movements.

      I am starting to seriously think that we need to promote self-
      reliance and community-resilience in the food supply. The reason for
      this is that, while the majority of the oil we consume is NOT
      consumed in food production, I think there is a strong likelihood
      that households will be entering a phase of increasing financial
      hardship.

      Today we see the prospect of rising interest rates, and rental costs
      going up at the same time as investors try to pay off their rising
      home loans. Couple this with high fuel costs, especially in the
      outer areas where lower-income folk are forced to live (like the
      Adelaide Hills, where Mel and I live) and you have a recipe for
      household hardship.

      We attended the ABC Gardening Australia Expo in Adelaide on the
      weekend, and Peter Kundall told a packed audience that he was
      advocating home-grown fruit and vegetables, because he is
      expecting "an acute shortage of oil", and an economic crisis that
      will make 1929 look like "a Sunday tea-party". This comes from an 80-
      year-old man who has lived through the Great Depression and several
      wars. In those times, part of the forced frugality included a degree
      of self-reliance in food. Today, surrounding a typical 1940s
      suburban home (if you can find one that hasn't been cleared for
      subdivision) we can still find the legacy of fruit trees that dates
      back to the frugal, self-reliant culture that emerged from those
      hard times.

      Complete "self-sufficiency" is probably an impractical aim in which
      the costs outweigh the benefits. However, it is highly practical to
      use plants to cheaply convert as much solar energy as possible into
      food energy. Nature's been doing it for some time now. This is a
      fundamental principle of Permaculture.

      I think that while it is important to help government and business
      become aware of the Peak Oil issue, it is equally or even more
      important to help struggling households prepare for hard times by
      building self-reliance into their food chain.

      I'm keen to hear what others think about this.

      James.
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