city of Kalamazoo, with a population density of 3,009/Sq. Mile, breaks
down to more than 1/5th an acre, or more accurately, over 8,600 square feet of city space per person. Give each of us the
average American home space of around 1,000 sq feet. Then Give each of us
double that for work, school, parking... and perhaps there's 5,000 sq
feet per person left. And there are many plantable windows, porches, balconies,
Grow-Bio-intesive research has found it possible
to grow a complete (though possibly "boring") diet for one person, plus
all of the fertility inputs for the garden, in just 1,000 square feet.
So, if just 1/5th of Kalamazoo's land could be utilized for gardens, the
city could have complete food sovereignty.
Next, lets use the
Permaculture rule of thumb that 100% of a settlement's needs can be
produced in a 50-foot radius around the settlement. With that, a great
amount of variety could be added to our diets, as well as recreation,
beauty, and crops for business--all within a small strip around the
city. Sustainable community coppice wood lots could fuel a low-carbon
rocket mass heater or russian oven in every home, moving us a huge leap
towards energy sovereignty and sequestering massive amounts of carbon at
the same time. Mature wood lots could provide building material to
maintain our beautiful historic city homes....
Consider that "day
dream" one end of a spectrum of what kind of sovereignty/autarchy is
possible. In that direction, we have a truly ecological and sustainable
vision of human society with true food security, full employment, and
the potential to keep and accumulate wealth for all.
the basic necessities of life would become RIGHTS available to all, not
privileges to be distributed for the benefit of a few.
need not be purists about it. It's just one end of a spectrum of options
available to us, within our current economic and political system.
unlike other "solutions" we don't have to wait for a "savior" to
implement it or politicians to impose it. it is a future that can be
built and planted by each and every one of us, not "forced" upon others
through coercive politics and law. We build that future as we build our
own personal food sovereignty, show that it's valuable, desirable, and
beautiful to do so.
Ah... aren't daydreams nice.