Living here, and raising our now 12 year old daughter, in this valley, as her home, we have come to love the beauty and diversity of this landscape both culturally and biologically.
It is out of my sense of this place that I have come to the idea that we, as a people living in this watershed have an opportunity to feed all 92,000 of us, on the 719,000 acres of land in the Rondout drainage basin. Only a small percentage is prime agricultural land. The potential to go food independent here is, however, actually very good, from research I have been doing.
A resilient food system ,is one that provides food , that does not have to travel far and provides more of a full diet, year round, supply of food, providing what one study (Food Solutions of Lower New England) calls the omnivore’s delight, we can supply a individual’s food needs on approximately 1.6 acres of land.
That adds up to; out of the 719,000 acres in our watershed , only about 120,000 acres, of the land area, for the people of the Rondout valley, to produce a year's supply of omnivore’s delight, excellent quality food here, for ourselves and to produce certain specialty products for export.
The goal is also to protect areas that can be part of our local foodshed, like prime soils for crops like potatoes, grown primarily for a year round supply for citizens of the Rondout , possibly with the farmers paid by a tax base we create to cover buying and protecting, prime farmland for local food security, and paying farmers to grow crops, ecologically, for the people here, first, and extra can be for export, to offset costs locally.
The idea is to connect our local community more with land use patterns in mutually beneficial ways and to honor and appreciate the heritage, beauty and potential of the Rondout as a region.
Greater local food independence will also involve a whole new infrastructure for processing and storage, like community root cellars for winter supplies of crops; beans, grains, onions, garlic, potatoes, rutabaga, turnips and the like.
Processing facilities, charcuterie, walk-in fridge areas with dairy goods, cheeses and meats. powered on smart renewable integrated energy systems.
The ability to go food independent here is a truly attainable goal for our community and many others, enriching our sense of well-being and security while providing a local terroir that will attract even more tourism and interest in our local economy.
This is also a way to systemically address climate change and the carbon impacts of our import based, food system which is fossil fuel heavy. I like to put it this way, the best way to address many of the problems of our economy, is to shorten the distance of transmission of all goods and services thereby putting quality over quantity. Let’s think about future generations and giving them a restorative and place based experience of where food comes from and how it’s grown.
Permaculture - Watershed Planning for Food and Energy Independence - Andrew Faust Training and Consultation Andrew Faust's inspiring vision for greater food and energy resilience. Feeding and providing power for our communities in ways that are truly regenerative, and improve the quality of life and biodiversity on Earth, for our children to inherit. Watershed based models of economic development focus on insuring a full diet, year round food supply and resilient energy sources. Outlining how easy it is to grow all!