Sunday, 15 July 2012

Self Sufficiency

Miles per gallon's going up, so is car's per mile,
Speed is what's on most people's mind, then end up in a pile.


Self sufficiency

In my Fathers years of farming, there was the great depression of the nineteen thirties followed by world war II, which concentrated the governments minds on farming and food production. In my years following the war and rationing farming was appreciated and was treated with importance,
But now our country has once again got into the habit of importing ever increasing amounts of what the country needs to feed its inhabitants, and once again gone into a great (financial) depression.
 
A great majority of people do not give food, or food production any thought and is almost taken for granted. Just a hint of shortage creates a panic by government and individuals as to where they can buy to make up the deficit. But when it is a world shortage and nowhere to by it from, then food prices shoot up.

Houses built before and for some years after the second world war, had sufficient garden to grow a proportion their own food, Then the pressure was on to build more new houses, and on a given area of land they were crammed closer together, in towns and cities they had the high rise flats.

Allotments all over the country have suddenly been revived there being a waiting list in many places to get one. This is where folk who have no garden other than a square of lawn, can go and cultivate an area of ground on which to grow food or any thing they like, (more often used just to get away from her in doors).People these days seem totally incapable of being self-sufficient, no matter how much they grow at home or on the allotment.

I remember father telling us that it took a war to bring the country to realise why they have farmers, and much later towards the end of his life, he harked back to it again, hearing us younger generation moaning about making ends meet and paying more and more wages to less and less men on the farm.



Food Miles
On looking back when I were young, all them years ago,
The horse and cart were still about, a lot we didn't know,
Cars and tractors taking over, plenty of fuel they sup,
Fuel brought in from over seas, and local garages set up.

This has snowballed over the years, cannot comprehend,
Where all the traffic's going to, so fast around the bend,
Miles per gallon's going up, so is car's per mile,
Speed is what's on most people's mind, then end up in a pile.

Everything is carried about, and often back again,
Out to distribution centres, finding jobs for men,
Wear and tear on tyres and roads, burning up the miles,
Costs all added onto their goods, customer pays up and smiles.

At one time, veg came out the ground, flour came from the mill,
Chickens walked about the yard, pecking happily to get their fill,
A pig was fattened on scraps, from the house and garden,
Talk food miles, it was food yards, when things were all on ration.

Only thing that Mother bought, was cornflakes in a packet,
Then tins of peaches she would buy, from other side the planet,
Had these when bottled fruit ran out, ate with bread and butter,
Wheat was ground at water mill, bread baked next to the butcher.

Packaging's the thing right now, it's wrapped and wrapped again,
Keep the food clean and fresh, or that is what they claim,
Bin through many hands, and machines to wrap and pack,
Getting older by the minute, a use-by date on pack will slap.

Where do you put all the waste produced, pop it in the bin,
Land fill holes are filling up, rotting down n' methane begin,
It all boils down to negligence, in what were doing to our earth,
How it's changing for the worse, all getting bigger round the girth.

On looking where it's going to, well beyond my years,
Food's way down the list to buy, as" farmers" get the jeers,
Bring it all in from abroad, more transport still is needed,
"Look after those who tend our land", make sure the warnings heeded.

Countryman


There is no love sincerer than the love of foodGeorge Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)