View Full Version : The Right to Grow Food is As Fundamental As the Right to Free Speech.

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011, 08:43 PM
The right to grow food is as fundamental as the right to free speech. Yet there are lots of totally unnecessary laws against growing food. They threaten our food security and we should fight them by ignoring them.

Of the threats climate change and peak oil pose, we should be most worried about the threat to food. I have young nephews, and thereís not much I wouldnít do to keep their bellies full if you catch my drift and I think you do. God knows what Iíd be willing to do for my own kids. Itís good I donít have any.

Food prices are high and rising and driving unrest the world over. One cause is crop damage due to climate change. If one degree Celsius (the warming so far) is enough to cause problems, what will 2 or 3 more degrees do? Itís unlikely to be linear; the second degree will do more damage than the first. If so, hello food shortages and unhinged uncles.

If climate change and peak oil arenít threatening enough for you, thereís also peak phosphorus. If only one of the three threats hits hard weíll have trouble. If two or all three hitÖIím not going to finish this sentence (sad pun).

Americans arenít yet feeling it Ė our food prices havenít jumped much, weíre rich, and we spend only a sliver of our income on food. But the blessingís also a curse, since while other countries see the threat and prep for hardship, we sit and whistle. Itís time to get resilient. That means you, individual reader whoís busy and pretty sure thereís no time for it. Iím too busy deal with cancer but if I get cancer Iíll find the time. Thatís our situation, even if you donít believe it yet.

One of our weaknesses is that few of us know how to grow food. Among the factors keeping it that way are laws against food-production on our properties. Many cities bar residents from keeping chicken coops or beehives, or growing front-lawn vegetable gardens.

These laws are wrong. The right to grow food is as fundamental as the right to speech. Weíve allowed ourselves to become helpless on the assumption that truly hard times are over. The assumption would be shaky even without the looming threats of climate change and peak oil Ė historyís riddled with societies who thought they had it made just before pooping out.

We shouldnít honor any law against safely and responsibly growing food. We should disobey.

What makes such laws good targets for civil disobedience is that breaking them isnít a big deal. Our chickens wonít land us in the clink. Instead weíll face whiny neighbors and maybe fines, both of which we can use as a platform from which to educate others. Weíll bring attention to our cause without heavy sacrifice. Itís got to be one the easiest kinds of civil disobedience we can do.

If you want only a little attention, put up a chicken coop/ beehive/garden where itís not allowed and just wait for a kerfuffle. But thereís also an opportunity for the bold among us to get big attention. Hereís how:
Put your coop/hive/garden in the most public spot on your property. If you live on a busy street, perfect.
Put a big lawn sign up next to your transgression explaining why itís there. Emphasize that you donít break the law lightly.
Donít yield. If youíre fined, donít pay, and be clear and open about why.
Find kindred souls among your neighbors and break the law together. Itís easier to dismiss one person as a lunatic than it is to dismiss a group. You might even launch a city-wide effort through meetup.com or your local transition group.
Offer to help neighbors grow their own food and advertise that offer in the sign in your yard.
When a kerfuffle happens, donít tamp it down. Let it evolve. Then alert local reporters about it, arrange for interviews, etc. Good activists invite publicity.
Protip: send baskets filled with food you grew to those who most object to your project. Deliver the baskets in person. Donít be ironic or snide. Be kind and respect their views. This was one of Gandhiís go-to moves. Heíd go hang out with enemies until they liked him in spite of themselves.

Finally: safety and aesthetics matter. The laws youíll break have reasons for existing, be they lame (all front lawns must have grass so the neighborhood looks ďniceĒ) or not-lame (public health risks).

So if you decide to break food-production laws, avoid accidentally justifying them. Make sure that what you do is a) pretty; and b) safe. Itís not hard, but you should do research, especially about safety. Example: before raising bees, make sure no one in your neighborhood is badly allergic to bee stings. We must look after our neighbors.

Double finally, civil disobedience only works if youíre both respectful and respectable. Be dignified and patient, never angry, never petty.

Source http://climatepirate.com/front-yard-disobedience-boost-food-security/

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011, 08:50 PM
Source http://climatepirate.com/front-yard-disobedience-boost-food-security/

I have often thought about growing my own food but I need to settle in one place and learn how. I am hoping to give it a go next spring I think I can get my father in-law to teach me.

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011, 09:14 PM
I have often thought about growing my own food but I need to settle in one place and learn how. I am hoping to give it a go next spring I think I can get my father in-law to teach me.

You dont have to start of hard, you can plant some tomatoes, herbs and strawberries. They are easy to grow and can grow inside. Chives are good herbs, they come up all the time (you dont have to reseed). There is even a chinese type which tastes like garlic (Garlic is also easy to grow, just let one boat sprout in the fridge and plant it. You can also eat the sprouts).

Recently I planted chives and chili peppers, I hope the growth season here will be long enough for the peppers.

wm mauer
Wednesday, May 18th, 2011, 09:26 PM
Our "rights" are under constant siege. In the end the only rights we have are the rights we ourselves secure. It is painfully obvious to me that they have called for a "full court press" against us & our rights.

Did you know that Idaho (iirc) & Colo (at the least) have declared rainwater the state's property? Heaven help you, if some govspy sees you collecting rainwater in your cistern & using it for your own nefarious (like watering your petunias, or asparagus e.g.) purposes.