Glocal – I believe sustainability starts with individual actions at a local level – consider the health of the entire planet and take action locally in your own community – being Glocal is Thinking Global & Acting Local for a resilient community.
Rising energy and fuel costs and our unpredictable weather, all add to increases in the price of our food, this in turn exerts increasing financial pressure on our families across all areas of our country today. When you factor in an unemployment rate of 13.00 % back in August it is easy to see how food poverty is beginning to affect many people across all sectors of the community.The current economic, political and labour environment leads to a sense of apathy, disempowerment and futility in communities. The solution for our young people is seen as emigration; our communities have little to offer. The question is ‘what can we do at a local level that will enable us to regenerate a sense of belief in ourselves, our communities and our country?’
The answer is Glocal and our Healthy Gardening Programmes throughout the county – just like the one here at Blissberry Social Farm.
Healthy Gardens like can be the catalyst to really inspire and regenerate a sense of self sufficiency which will benefit the individual , the environment and the community.
When people return to planting and growing local produce in Healthy Community Gardens Programme supported by the HSE and the VEC in collaboration with our local Donegal Family Resource Centre they can provide fresh, low cost food for their communities and many more opportunities.
Communities can transform local sites into productive gardens full of delicious fruits and vegetables, providing a generous harvest for everyone – just like the one here at Blissberry Social Farm.
Also Community Gardens could also encourage recycling wastes and their return to the soil.
Today there are many bio-degradable products such as grass, weeds, and garden wastes that can convert easily to compost. Community Gardeners could apply this compost immediately to their gardens and orchards and I believe there is no need to import compost from far distances to preserve fertility because it is too costly and it neglects the valuable local sources of this product. Community Gardens and fruit trees could help the planet in many useful ways. We all know they provide more oxygen to the atmosphere and also create appealing beauty to our communities. They regulate the water table, lessen soil erosion, and provide fertilizer when they lose their leaves in the autumn and they produce plenty of food which lowers the cost of all similar food products.
Community Gardens would lessen the social problem of food poverty because it would produce an ample amount of food. Therefore many ecological and social problems can be resolved locally and people discover that they are not just passive consumers but they are producers and innovators within their own communities.
Perhaps the greatest lesson local Community Gardens taugh (and teaches us) us is the greatness of smallness.
Once a soil is fertile, it is incredible to see how much food grows in a small area of land. Not only would it lessen the financial burden on residents but it would generate small steps towards a renewed belief in a thriving local economy. I believe it would allow for a regeneration of local entrepreneurial spirit.
The future is not global, it is not importing food from long distances with increased air miles and spiralling fuel costs, it is not relying solely on huge industrial food factories where food crisis erupt and the small producer is edged out and sacrificed to the big businessman.
The future is ‘Glocal’, a balance between the local and global which will benefit the economic and social health of our communities.
This is a revolution that has already begun here at Blissberry Social Farm – watch this space.