For years, scientists and practitioners of sustainable agriculture have been aware that our food chain is vulnerable. Soil depletion, resource scarcity, population growth, and the many and varied impacts of global climate disruption can and do impact our ability to grow and source food.
If we needed more evidence, 2020 has shown us how our fragile our food chain really is: from shortages of key items in stores, to essential farm workers risking their lives harvesting in a pandemic, to crops lost due to lack of labor, to an inland hurricane or “derecho” that destroyed millions of acres of crops across the Midwest and felled hundreds of thousands of trees in an afternoon, to unemployment making it difficult or impossible for millions to buy food, it’s certainly a wake-up call that is being heard. From Peru to Kenya, from Canada to California, Ecology Action and our international partners are seeing an upsurge in the number of people wanting to learn to grow their own food, sustainably and affordably. And given that there is as little as 22.5 years of farmable soil remaining in the world, the miniaturization of farming and more truly sustainable practices are key to everyone being able to grow food right where they are.
While I’m a little biased towards How to Grow More Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts, Berries, Grains and Other Crops Than You Ever Thought Possible With Less Water On Less Land Than You Can Imagine as a guide to sustainable soil-building and mini-farming, I’m always happy to read about other people’s successes and ideas, and 2020 in particular has led me to search out the hopeful and inspiring stories to help light the way. Sometimes the thought of starting to grow your own food can be daunting and intimidating. So, if you are looking for a delicious and positive story that will inspire you to get out in the garden and start small, then Miraculous Abundance by Perrine and Charles Herve-Gruyer is the book for you.
The back cover notes, “What began as a simple dream in an historic Normandy village has turned into one of the world’s most radical innovative experiments in small-scale farming…In this lovely, hopeful book, an unlikely couple creates an astonishingly productive edible landscape in Normandy, weaving together the insights, materials and techniques of dozens of acknowledged predecessors [while] restoring the biosphere.”
• Biointensive Microagriculture
• Eliot Coleman
• The Parisian Market Gardeners of the Nineteenth
• The Forest Garden
• Working by Hand
• To Be Small
• Microagriculture, Society, Planet
• The Earth is an Adventure
Miraculous Abundance is proof that we and our gardens can be a joyful part of the solution that grows a better tomorrow – for everyone. So, plant a garden and enjoy the adventure! Enjoy actualizing your dream! ●