We can feed Harrisonburg and Rockingham County

November 5, 2008

So, for those of you who were not at the sustainability rally on court square last week I wanted to share some numbers that I have figured out concerning the food production of hburg/rock co.:

John Jeavons, who spoke and did a workshop at EMU the other week, said that, at the minimum, it takes 3,000sq ft. to feed a person using biointensive methods.  Well, I got to thinking,” How does this relate to us on a large scale in Hburg and Rock Co.?” So, me and Sarah did some math and have concluded that if we were to feed all of Hburg and Rock. Co. using Rock Co.’s land, we would need 1.4% of the land found in the county! This leaves just a little room for error, growth, etc. This does not include green space inside the city limits of Harrisonburg. I envision blocks collaborating to grow their own food using all of the backyard space.

At first upon discovering this, I was just amazed. Now, as I continue to think about it, I am wondering how farmer’s would react to this, how citizens would react to this, and how the government would react to this (local and federal)? So, I am wondering if anyone has thoughts on how to take this information and spread it out to folks. There is one problem that I see:If we were to provide all the food for ourselves, through small farms, edible forest gardens and free ranging integrated animal systems, who would be making any $$$.  Know that I don’t believe in our current money system, but it doesn’t look like the Federal Reserve is closing any time soon and money is still what it comes down to for most people.

So, how do we spread this information and dealing with the fact that farmers in the valley who own the land, need to make money? Discuss!


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