Wednesday, May 09, 2012
This is a HUGE topic and has kept me thinking for a while. And I'm only starting to scratch the surface.
Sustainability is defined very differently by different people. It is linked to population numbers (global and local), political interests and many other "big issues" that make my head spin.
I will do some brainstorming over the next couple of days in all different directions in no particular order, hoping that at some point some order will develop out of chaos. Anyone who wants to contribute their thoughts or feelings is welcome to do so, but be prepared that it might not always be pretty.
I am reminded of the issue of sustainability frequently. Sometimes it seems like "yet one more issue to deal with" in this quest for healthy, and hopefully joyful living. Sometimes it seems like nothing I do to live a healthy lifestyle makes any sense long-term without thinking about sustainability. After all how could I feel good about doing what allows me to be healthy and teaching my daughter about it when her children will not have any natural resources left to use?
What is sustainability anyhow? Sustainable for who? Humans, wildlife, the planet?
Are we talking about local, regional, national or global sustainability?
Is life on earth sustainable for much longer?
I rented a documentary that may yield partial answers to these questions and hope to watch it this week. It deals with sustainability and the oceans:
I also found this short video clip on the unsustainablity of farmed salmon and it's effect on wild salmon:
In the meantime I am taking babysteps at home to make use of our small property and move one step closer towards feeding our family with what we can grow. I planted two Filbert (Hazelnut) trees, a gooseberry bush and two Italian plum (prune plum) trees in our yard. It will be a couple of years until there is a significant harvest. I may add a walnut tree if I can find one that does well in our climate.
We already have two apple trees, I added one two years ago and we should have some fruit this year. Our pear tree gives us bigger harvests than we can handle all at once so we will dry pears this fall.
I also started some rhubarb plants last year and this year we have enough rhubarb to share. We have a few vegetables that reseed themselves, one is a variety of onion, the other is a kind of chinese cabbage, both very prolific and requiring no fertilizing or maintenance of any kind. Sunflowers also reseed themselves and their seeds will get used for food this year.
Our ducks are providing us with eggs and also with a new generation of ducklings. I'm hoping to research miniature dairy cows and goats in the near future to see if it's possible to keep one or two dairy animals on a small property.
And no, I have no interest in slaughtering any of our chickens, ducks or rabbits for meat. But I'm not opposed to the idea of keeping a few steers or other meat animals around for people who have a few acres that would otherwise be lawn.