What do you mean that food supplies are at risk as oil supplies decline and oil prices rise? That over time soil used for agriculture becomes “dead”, able to produce only because natural gas based fertilizers add the necessary nutrients? That there are fewer than 150,000 farmers in Britain and their average age is 60? (I checked a similar statistic for the United States. According to the USDA Data Sheet, in 2007 there were just over 992,000 persons (less than 1/2% of the total US population) who listed farming as their primary occupation in the United States and their average age was 57.)
The BBC documentary, A Farm for the Future explores the state of small-scale agriculture in Britain from the vantage point of the filmmaker’s family farm. In this film, a UK Farmer and wildlife filmmaker, Rebecca Hosking discovers and explores permaculture as a way to design food-producing systems without fossil fuel inputs.
This film showed me, a city dweller, how dependent our current food-producing systems are on oil and natural gas and so how vulnerable these systems are. In these times, it makes a lot of sense to build some resilience into my own personal food supply by raising some of my food at home, seeking out more local food sources and possibly even working in partnership with those practicing permaculture in a more rural context.