‘Precious Millions are spent on daily dalliances that have nothing to do with critical issues.’
by Colin Leslie Beadon
India has recently experienced a huge power supply failure where millions of people were affected in so many ways without electricity. Without electricity, just about everything of commercial business these days comes to a stop, besides most homes, schools, hospitals, gas stations, airports, et al. But such a power outage does not necessarily kill anybody.
However there are one or two other such product failures that can do very dramatic damage to human endeavour, but few of us in Barbados seem aware of these things. They are: Food and water.
The lack of these two items is much more extreme in the results they cause, but nobody who has not been through such a dilemma as extreme thirst or extreme hunger or both; or seen a society suffer from such depredation, would fully appreciate where it leads.
So let us spell it out: Such depredation leads to the complete breakdown of most societies (Read ‘Collapse’ by Jared Diamond). The scene becomes horrific beyond most imaginations. Only the very strong survive it, and for a time. The old and the very young are lucky for they are the first to die.
“Britain, during the war, started producing 91% of its own food in small allotments farmed by villagers and town’s people.”
When England was deep in World War 2 and the shipping lines had been drastically cut and the winters were long and miserable, the British started intensive agricultural development. Everybody got down to growing vegetables on every available square of soil they could find; parks, empty housing lots, swimming pools and playing fields became Victory Gardens. This is what saved the UK when it came to food. Britain, during the war, started producing 91% of its own food in small allotments farmed by villagers and town’s people. Remember they had winters to contend with also. We don’t have winters in Barbados, and so apart from dry spells, there is little to stop us producing our own food All -Year -Through.
The British discovered that small lots ( 14 yards by 4 or 6 yards wide), looked after by concerned people, produced much higher quality and yields of produce than did huge commercial farms on a square acre average. Even the Russians have started to discover this as have the Chinese. Farms run by governments anywhere in the world are enormously unproductive and wasteful. That goes for a lot of other things governments decide to run on their own, like airlines, oil fields, and hotels.
The Cubans, after the Soviet Union broke down and stopped feeding them, soon discovered they could convert available space in town and village countryside into growing their own vegetables and fruit, and producing enough to feed themselves and their live stock. They discovered you did not need supermarkets and huge grain imports; if your produce was sold near where it was grown or in village shops and on stalls outside rural homes. Go to Google and get onto the site ‘The Vegetable Gardeners of Cuba.’
“So we will ask this pertinent question again, since we have asked it in letters to the newspapers several times: Why have Barbadian village organizations not approached Government for village lots to be sold or rented on a yearly basis like what is done in England? Is the Barbadian just lazy or is it he does not care if he is ripped off by high import prices of food he could be growing himself ?”
There is so much wastage of land around villages since the demise of sugar, the land doing nothing except growing scrub when it could be growing fruit trees, coconuts, and vegetables. Growing ones own food could put a stop to importing 90% of our food and wasting our foreign exchange. Why the malaise on the part of our elected? Don’t they appreciate what is on the point of happening here in Barbados ? Don’t they follow the world news at all ? Floods, Droughts, Wars!
We blame Barbados governments in every respect for this most atrocious situation. Precious Millions are spent on every day dalliances that have nothing to do with critical issues. Now with Government digging into the National Insurance Fund as though it were an endless pot of gold, we need to start growing our own food. If we refuse to do this, we shall shortly and bitterly well wish we had an allotment outside; full of something to eat.
A tough, new planet
Here is another book dealing with such a situation on a Earth-wide scale. Read the whole book: ‘EAARTH’ (Making a life on a tough new planet) by Bill McKibben. We are facing a tough new planet. It is not the same place we have known, so McKibben does not call it Earth any more. He calls it Eaarth.
One does not have to work village lots in the sun. Early mornings and late evening before the sun goes down is all the work you need on small lots. Children and the older people can help; those out of work could make a few bucks too. It is a splendid way to keep fit instead of watching television. It is a splendid way to live instead of catching buses and taking cars to supermarkets.
Working with the soil puts us back in touch with our ancient reality and our ancient Gods, the Sun, the Moon and the Rain. Our hands in soil again, re-enforces our contact with the Divine Ground. The simple work raises our heart rates, works our lungs, burns the calories, starts our sweat glands, lessens our chances of high blood pressure, stress and the results of high sugar.
Humans evolved by gathering and growing their own foods. We did not evolve by sitting around becoming fat, watching television and importing our own food.
Every village in Cuba has an agronomist and small lots full of produce. This is where we must aim. There is no time to dally.
Earthly Pursuits – Collection of British War Gardening Guides Wonderful!