Self-Sufficiency Versus a Backyard CSA (Video)


Image credit: Peak Moment TV

A few years ago, Scott McGuire launched an experiment in backyard sustainability—exploring how much food he could grow in his backyard for his family, and whether they could reach self-sufficiency. So what happened?

Having grown everything from annual vegetables to grains, Scott made a realization that it would be almost impossible to grow all his family's food in such a small space. But rather than give up, or scale back his ambitions, he launched a CSA to feed other families too. There's a lesson to be learned about true sustainability here, and the futility of individualism. Just as I have previously argued that collective success is more important than individual green virtue, so too Larry makes the case that self-sufficiency on the family level is an unnecessary, and probably unhelpful, paradigm. Because while it was almost impossible for Larry to grow everything him and his family needed on a third of an acre rental plot, it was also completely possible to grow much more than they needed of a whole variety of vegetables. So he used that surplus to form a backyard CSA, feeding up to eight families with fresh, local and sustainable produce, and bartering with others for things he could not produce himself.

It's a lesson most of our ancestors would have dismissed as obvious—building up your own skills and resources is vital, but it is in sharing those skills and resources with your neighbors that you achieve true resilience. From talking about being hooked on growth, to safe and legal gray water, Peak Moment TV has brought us some pretty insightful videos, but this one might go down as one of my favorites.


More from Peak Moment TV
Hooked on Growth: Conversations from the Edge of a Cliff
Safe and Legal Gray Water in California
An Experiment in Backyard Sustainability

Tags: Activism | Agriculture | Farming | Oregon | Permaculture | United States

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