So much reading to do…

I bought a bunch of books about agricultural urbanism and permaculture online and got started on “Public Produce” by Darrin Nordahl last night. I was on page 7 when I turned to Jeff and thumped him in excitement about what I was reading. I feel so inspired by this idea of agricultural urbanism, food security, Permaculture etc and driven to DO something about it. The more I read and learn the more daunted I feel at the size and scope of the potential endeavour this could be but I also feel a welling of passion and enthusiasm that I can honestly say I’ve never felt before for any kind of professional endeavour. But the positive note is I think i have found my calling (dare I be brave enough to say that yet?) It’s broad and undefined but I just KNOW I’m heading in the right direction. Who knows where it will lead me or what I’ll be doing? Strangely for me (self-confessed control freak), I’m ok with that. And luckily for me, so is my wonderful supportive husband, who just might end up my partner in this crazy venture given his expertise in planning and urban design and his shared passion for and concern about these issues. We’re currently rolling around the idea of an agricultural urbanism institute, a not-for-profit organization focused on education and policy. I think we need to get into local government and start to change the mindset and planning/social policy around these issues. I think that would be a hugely significant first step. Mmm, lots to think about…

I made a few notes while reading as my brain was buzzing with thoughts and ideas:

Agrarian Urbanism

Food shortages – price rises – social inequity – civil unrest
Peak Oil – transportation, fertilizers, pest/herbicides
Social – community engagement, CSAs, farmers’ markets, community gardens, “civic agriculture”, usufruct laws, sense of place
Education – food ignorance and of how to grow it 
Economic – small business, CSAs, farmers’ markets, employment
Climate change – crop losses, weather unpredictability, less water
Public health – obesity, diabetes, use of synthetic fertilizers, pest/herbicides
Food safety – pathogen outbreaks, pests
Aesthetic and recreational value
Economic equity  and accessibility – nourish the needy
Environment – off-sets CO2, wildlife habitat, shade, cooling
Gustatory – Slow Food movement, organic
Land use – arable land used for agriculture not housing, planning policy

“Food security is economic security is national security”