Farmer decline, food shortages, and 433,000 hectares of gardens available - get your (green) thumb out!

In 2019, to be told a global pandemic would see buyers battling over the scarcity of toilet paper would shock us. Yet, it occurred, and troubling reports suggest that more shortages are inbound, so it’s time to start building beneficial habits (or have fun trying!)

One famous Chinese proverb goes: “It is better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war.” It reminds us to prepare ourselves physically and mentally while the going is good, rather than face the wrath of chaos when the good is gone.

However, most are neither warriors nor gardeners, and as recent news points to trouble around the corner it is better we take care of ourselves where possible. What do I mean? Well, pandemics or other global events that shut down our infrastructure remain possible, the farming industry is under threat of steep decline (hence the Dutch protests) and media outlets warn of food shortages.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Yahoo advised stocking up on vegetables like Corn as the war with Russia in Ukraine - historically one of the world’s leading Corn providers - has disrupted that. Turmoil in recent years has seen a growing awareness of the need for self-sufficiency in a world that can be turned upside down overnight; for me that solution started at home. Specifically, in my garden.

Now, am I suggesting that amateur home gardening can compete with professional agriculture? No. However, we needn’t be outstanding in the field to be out standing in the garden, and the Wildlife Gardening Forum reports that the UK has 433,000 hectares’ worth.

So far, I’ve cultivated potatoes, dill, gooseberries, mini cucumbers, tomatoes, garlic and strawberries. It’s a combination that makes for an acquired taste, no doubt, but have I learned some valuable upkeep skills and (perhaps more importantly) enjoyed the hobby? Definitely. Although the gooseberries were annoyingly stubborn to sprout.

Regardless, it is said that home gardening confers mental health benefits (particularly by minimising screen time), cultivates plants that benefit critical species like bees, and may be a vital practice in future. If not, enjoy the good thymes during the good times.



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.