During 2007, there was a significant amount of growing turmoil in many third world nations due to the population and limited resources. It is certainly not limited to trapidly rising prices of food. Then the financial crisis occurred and equity and commodity prices collapsed globally. Prices of food became much more affordable due to the souring global markets. A respite? Hardly, this was just a slight pause to the ever continuing problem of a growing global he third world as most of you already know by the rising prices at your local grocery store. Prices will almost certainly continue to rise but there is no need to panic, we just need to take the best of what history has to offer and put it to use. In this case it is a victory garden.
Victory gardens in one way or another have been around for centuries but became very popular during World War I and World War II as a means to support the war effort by easing the burden on the food supply. In 1943, Boston Commons hosted plots of vegetables and other types of edibles which could be grown in such a climate. They were not only limited to public property. Most of the food produced by these types of projects was by backyard gardens tilled by people like you. What was even more remarkable was how little work they required and how much of an impact they had. At one point they produced 41% of vegetables consumed in the U.S. With commodities such as wheat, sugar, and oats rising precipitously these types of projects are certainly a viable alternative and they may also have other benefits: jobs.
If many individuals begin to grow backyard gardens there will likely be surplus that can be sold. Many local economies will grow into a much larger macro industry which will require thousands to service it. Additionally, food habits may also change and people may start to become accustomed to what they can grow locally. Instead of having a lush green lawn from May to September why not have a yard full of what you are going to eat of the next several months?
The change will not likely be dramatic. It will begin as a few gardens here and there and their numbers will begin to grow as prices rise. For those of you who e-mailed me about ideas for a local Rhode Island business, this is a great one. Start researching what can be grown in our climate, different ways to cook and preserve it, and help to organize services such as harvesting and soil care.
While nobody can predict the future, there are certain realities. One is the fact that the world population is growing and this strains food output. When a commodity becomes scarce its price rises. Judging by the tremendous rise recently in commodities, food is becoming limited in supply. This reality will be translated locally by growing prices, just walk into Wal-Mart today as opposed to 8 months ago. The victory garden is one possible solution. They can be fun, solve an economic problem, and to the business savvy it can be an opportunity to exploit a coming trend.